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Nowadays, the vegan movement is flourishing.
Gisele Bündchen, Natalie Portman, and Zac Efron are just some of the many celebrities embracing the vegan lifestyle.
As the vegan society keeps expanding, so do vegan food alternatives.
It feels like plant-based foods are getting closer to our hearts. And close to our taste buds!
Table of Contents
- Is Veganism On The Rise?
- Origins Of Veganism
- Who Came Up With The Term ‘Veganism’?
- Why Do People Choose To Be Vegan?
- Vegan Food Alternatives: Past, Present, and Future
- Can A Vegan Be With A Non-Vegan?
Is Veganism On The Rise?
Donald Watson (the founder of veganism) died at the age of 95 in 2005.
Back then, there were 2 million self-identifying vegans in the U.S.
In 2020, a study conducted by Ipsos Retail Performance revealed an incredible rise in the number of vegans.
Over the last 15 years, the Americans following a plant-based diet have hit a 300% increase.
As of 2020, nearly 9.6 million Americans stick to the vegan food lifestyle.
A report by Chef’s Pencil (food-centric media) highlights that “the popularity of veganism is at an all-time high, surpassing the prior all-time high registered in 2019.”
Origins Of Veganism
The concept of avoiding foods derived from animals can be traced thousands of years back in time.
It was around 500 BCE when Greek philosopher Pythagoras first mentioned vegetarianism.
The followers of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism also believe that humans should not cause pain to animals.
Who Came Up With The Term ‘Veganism’?
The term “veganism” was coined by Donald Watson in 1944.
Watson is the founder of the Vegan Society. He became a vegan himself in the 1940s after learning much about the milk production industry.
Why Do People Choose To Be Vegan?
Up-to-date people are more in tune with the vegan movement.
This form of “awakening” has to do with multiple factors.
1 – We Understand The Phrase “You Are What You Eat” Better Than Ever Before
The first mention of the phrase “you are what you eat” came from the work “Physiologie du Gout” in 1826.
Two centuries have passed since then, and SO MUCH has changed.
Science has made incredible progress. The same goes for the miracles of internet communication and shared information.
We get to realize how the food we consume influences our lives on many levels.
Physically, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually: food can be the cure or it can be the poison.
We sculpt our relationship with food the way we sculpt our bodies. Health is the product of our habits, and food habits are foundational.
2 – The New Age Mindset: “Good For You, Good For The Planet”.
The truth is, food is one of the most ancient medicines.
Our food habits have personal AND collective level implications.
We now know that the ways we produce and consume food highly influence our precious Mother Earth.
And we as humans depend on Mother Earth and her gifts: food, clothing, shelter, beauty.
The world becomes more health-conscious.
People want to live longer and enjoy more quality time with their beloved ones.
We want to look good.
But most importantly, we want to feel good in our bodies.
We want to remain young and vital for as long as possible, as much as possible.
We want to sleep better.
Plants over pills.
Health = happiness.
The health of both people and the Earth is intertwined.
Yes, we people want to preserve planet Earth for the next generations to come.
3 – The Truth About The Food Industry Has Been Revealed
In the last decade, there has been a BOOM of films and documentaries that make us question the food we eat more.
We keep getting more sneak peeks of the food industry’s perversions. And this makes us re-evaluate our lifestyle and existing beliefs.
It’s not a secret anymore that animals are subjected to high levels of hormones to help them get bulk quickly.
Many of them are treated with GMO foods.
Nonetheless, so many animals are victims of high stress and poor quality of life.
All of the above affects the quality of the food on our tables. And in return affects our health.
Below is a list of top food documentaries you may enjoy watching. They can help you learn more about what’s going on in the food industry.
- Game Changers
- Forks Over Knives
- Fed Up
- Food, Inc.
- Supersize Me
- Genetic Roulette
- The Truth About Food
Vegan Food Alternatives: Past, Present, and Future
For sure, vegan foods are more plentiful than ever before. Also, vegan food alternatives are bound to grow in the upcoming decades.
This wasn’t the case some years ago. Modern-day plant-based foods can be so scrumptiously delicious!
Packed with vital nutrients, health-friendly and eco-friendly.
Sounds like we may be witnessing the rise of the Vegan Heaven on Earth?
Now, think of…
- Double chocolate brownies with cordyceps mushrooms, rose petal powder, and pistachio.
- Pumpkin gnocchi with basil-violins pesto.
- Plant-based sausages.
- Plant-based smoked ham.
- Vegan cheddar cheese lasagna.
The list goes on and on.
Ultimately, vegan food alternatives are reaching gourmet levels. Yup, they are getting closer to the “real thing.”
Meanwhile, technology advancements also contribute to the vegan food market.
Need help in easier shopping for vegan products?
How about localizing the best vegan restaurants in town?
It’s as simple as using the right app. We have it all at the tips of our fingers.
1 – Is It Vegan?
A wonderful, free app for both iPhone and Android.
All you need to do is to scan the UPC code of any product. Then you receive quick information whether it’s vegetarian, vegan or none of these.
2 – Happy Cow
Ranked “the best research tool for vegan places,” the Happy Cow app is available for iPhone and Android.
It features over 7300 listings in over 150 countries worldwide.
Awesome app to track vegan food takeouts, restaurants, and nearby deliveries.
3 – Vanilla Bean
Vanilla Bean is quite similar to Happy Cow but can be downloaded for free.
It’s a very helpful app to find vegan restaurants across the globe.
Plus, it labels each restaurant according to other dietary features, e.g lactose-free and gluten-free.
4 – Gonutss
Gonutss is about finding vegan alternatives to any food product.
The app lists raw ingredients and store-bought items.
This is a fantastic way to explore more of your vegan food alternatives options.
The widely (over-)used artificial flavorings and preservatives are progressively becoming unacceptable.
But stay on the watch out for vegan food that may be full of harmful artificial chemicals.
That’s one of the reasons why we need to carefully source reputable companies producing vegan alternatives.
1 – Beyond Meat
From meatballs to sausages, burgers, and beef crumbles, Beyond Meat is a rising star on the vegan foods market.
Beyond Meat products contain pea protein and all-natural flavors. Also, only natural beetroot extract is used for color.
However, the products do include
Tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ). This is a synthetic preservative that prevents discoloration.
2 – Tofurky
Granulated garlic and natural smoke flavors make up for a delicious vegan meat alternative.
Tofu is a great source of protein.
Yet Tofurky’s smoked ham products are not suitable for people with gluten intolerance.
Shredding just like real chicken meat does! Daring Foods have brought the plant-based chicken taste to a new level.
A smoky blend of all-natural flavors equals a real vegan treat. Hands up for that top meaty recipe!
Can A Vegan Be With A Non-Vegan?
We don’t need to be vegan to enjoy vegan food.
Just as well, non-vegans can share healthy and harmonious relationships with vegans.
It’s about respecting our differences.
After all, we are unique humans with unique needs.
For example, I only consume meat twice a week. Also, I don’t consume dairy but I do enjoy eggs regularly. I have many vegan and just as many non-vegan friends.
Then again, we don’t need to be strictly vegan to enjoy more plant-based magic.
The most important part is to keep learning.
There is growing evidence supporting the multiple benefits of a diet high in plant-based foods.
Ahh, isn’t it beautiful to question our existing beliefs?
And even more beautiful to nurture our sacred connection with food day after day.
So, Why Do People Choose To Be Vegan?
Veganism is a mindset, as well as a strictly personal choice.
We can choose to stop fueling the corrupt practices that damage our health and the world we live in.
It’s about changing the way we treat our bodies and the way we treat the planet.
Every big change consists of small steps.
For instance, you can gradually start adding a bit more vegan foods to your routine. A healthy lifestyle is a continuous journey, not a speedrun.
What’s your relationship with vegan food alternatives?
“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.”
~ François de la Rochefoucauld