Why Veganism Has Gone Viral In 2017

The other day I got a message from girl that I have been lusting after from afar in a major way. She’s extremely interested in veganism and found out I was vegan, so now, all of a sudden, I became worthy of a message or two a day (yes, I am hoping my veganism helps me win her heart. It’s called seizing an opportunity). Anyways, what she sent me was a statistic saying that the number of vegans in the US had reached 20 million. I was actually super excited. It was just a great message to get for the overall culture of vegans – and it didn’t hurt that it was her that delivered it to me. But what an incredible number: 20 million people classifying themselves as vegans. Come on, what better news is there than that? So, in honor of the big 20, I have decided on putting together a list of the 5 reasons why I think veganism has gone so viral in 2017. Enjoy!

 

Vegan meats

I will openly admit to being terrified of vegan meats. Wait, I probably shouldn't have started this point explaining how the mere thought of real meat freaks me the f*ck out. But, overall, that works in direct unison to why it’s such a good thing that vegan meats exist. I look at meat in butchers and on commercials, and the alike, and I seriously get grossed out thinking that I used to eat it. And even what it would be like if I were forced to eat it now. But good lord, the vegan meats these days are incredibly… meaty?!?! They look and taste so much like the real thing. I don’t even get how they do it, but they do. Which makes this whole vegan community thing go to even greater heights, because if you can have plant-based meats that look and taste like the ‘real thing’, everybody wins – especially the animals who it directly affects.

 

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Vegan tech

I bet you think I'm trying to kiss Vegr's ass, or promote them, or whatever with this one. And if you do think that, you’re missing the bigger point. Vegr’s intent is to connect the plant-based community throughout the world. That’s their goal. Which is not only a beautiful sentiment, but so needed. And that’s no different than a lot of the other vegan companies out there introducing themselves and their expertise to a market that so very much needs it. Of course the technology behind plant-based meats like Beyond meat is amazing. But the vegan tech world has done even more than that. There’s the worlds first humane venture capital firm called New Crop Capital.  And EarthEasy gives you ways to alternative ways to make popular cleaning products. Animal-free lets you find out quickly if that product you’re unsure about is vegan or not. It’s not Silicon Valley just yet, but it’s a start. With veganism getting more popular by the day, there’s no doubt that this number will continue to grow as the population of vegans grows too.

 

Celebrities

I am not someone who you would call a fan of anyone. Being from Southern California exposes you to more than a few celebs all the time. And to be frank, I couldn’t give less of a f*ck about them, in terms of social relevance and media. But I do take notice when I hear that a celeb is vegan. And just like in the US population, Hollywood is also taking note and going vegan as well. From (of course) Jaquin Phoenix to Natalie Portman. To Kristen Bell, (my favorite) Jessica Chastain, Jared Leto, Woody Harrelson, Toby MaGuire, Casey Affleck, Alicia Silverstone, Persia White – the list could go on for ages. I hope you get my drift in it just being a beautiful thing to know that these people can influence others to do something impactful and make news for things other than movies or who they’re dating.

 

Youtube

I know some of you are reading this one thinking wtf. But bear with me. See, according to official YouTube numbers, the number of vegan-related channels has increased every year since 2011. So what that means is that search engine optimization and veganism go very well together. And I have said it before, and I'll say it again: without YouTube, I wouldn't be vegan. Algorithms that are so driven by the things we all are searching for, help so many people to discover things they never would have on their own. It was like they read my mind, as far as giving me consumable content. For some people, that's scary. They think 'big brother' is getting more and more indelible. But for most of us, the opportunity to spread veganism on a global stage with the press of a button is the best thing things since guacamole. If ‘101 reasons to go vegan’ wouldn’t have been suggested for me, we may not be having this conversation right now. I mean, as crazy as it seems, I went vegan because of YouTube. And it’s something I don’t take lightly. So I will forever be indebted to YouTube, no matter if the head-honchos ever find out or not. And with the growing trend and lifestyle that is veganism, I can confidently say that I expect more and more people to go vegan because of something as innocuous as a ‘suggested video’ on YouTube.

 

My parents

My dad used to put the entire message of an email in the subject line whenever he emailed me. And my when my brother first brought home his white, German girlfriend, my mother was a little hesitant in getting to know her (not that she was racist; it was more of her worrying about the social ramifications of it all. She now loves her to death and talks to her and the kids weekly). Both of my parents also HATED social media when it first came out. They said it was for kids. Fast-forward a few years and they are both on Facebook more than me. What does this means? It tells me that veganism is here to stay. Not that I didn’t know that, but I mean from a standpoint of my parents taking it in and embracing it as real as life. My mom is going more vegan every day. She randomly sends me vegan products seemingly every week. And my dad asked me the other day if I’d seen What The Health, because he had and thought it was amazing. Science be damned, if my parents jump on board with it – it’s likely gone from fad to everyday reality and something ANYBODY can do!

Eliot Chan
Vegr Contributor, Student, Game of Thrones Fan.




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