Monday, December 4, 2023

The rise of veganism

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Veganism has not always been what we know it as today. Although its roots can be traced back over 2000 years, it was not until 1944 that the term vegan was first used by Donald Watson to describe modern-day veganism. Today, millions of people around the world are part of the revolution started 75 years ago.

What started out as a small group of ‘non-dairy vegetarians’ who were a part of Watson’s Vegan Society, has now morphed into a way of life for so many. The early-day vegans began to avoid eggs, honey, animal milk, butter and cheese, becoming more like 21st-century vegans we know of today.

With veganism grouped into three categories, each practising vegan has their own reasons for taking up this lifestyle: dietary, ethical or environmental. 

With many simple swaps available that can change your diet to vegan, there is no better time than now to become meat and dairy-free. Even restaurants and high street supermarkets have embraced veganism by offering a huge increase in options. Making these swaps can impact the world significantly too. Every day, a vegan diet is said to save 4,200 litres of water, 1 animal’s life, equivalent to 9.1kg of CO2, 20.4kg of grain and 30ft squared of forested land.

No longer is veganism seen as a fad, dieticians from America, Britain, Australia, Canada and News Zealand have endorsed the diet. Not only has it been found to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and heart disease are lower but it also contains dietary energy, saturated fat and cholesterol. Keeping you happy and healthy. 

Scores of celebrities have decided to take up a vegan diet since the diet became mainstream around a decade ago. From music to fashion and film, stars from every industry have converted, including Natalie Portman, Madonna and Joaquin Phoenix

Venus Williams, world champion tennis player was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and decided to make a change to her health and lifestyle. She said, “Once I started [eating a raw vegan diet], I fell in love with the concept of fuelling your body in the best way possible.” 

Ariana Grande, no 1 selling artist, has been vegan since 2013 and famously told the Daily Mirror that she loves animals more than she loves people.

Actor, Woody Harrelson has been vegan since he was 24 years old. “I used to eat burgers and steak but I would just feel knocked out afterwards; I had to give them up. Dairy was first, though,” he told Metro UK.

With a withstanding past and snowballing present, the question is – what is veganism’s future? 

Olivia Preston
Olivia Preston is currently living and studying to be a world-class journalist in London. Fan of fashion, politics, feminist activism and all things canine. A very happy individual!