No, you don’t need to have your eyesight checked. You read that title correctly. And you’re probably trying to comprehend those “green” words combined with growing trend? After all isn’t a trend something that becomes popular and sticks around for some time? Eating plants only can’t possibly become something of permanent existence, or can it?
According to V Between the Lines, an online vegan news platform, “In 2009, a tiny one percent of the US population reported eating vegetarian or vegan. Now, 5% of the United States population is vegetarian and half of those people are vegan.” This is a huge growth spurt in an industry that is controversial and profit driven. Controversial because no one wants to talk about what the meat industry is doing to the animals, our health, and the environment. That is except for one unique program that has been in existence and has taken things to a whole new level of awareness.
The Ethical Choices Program is an Atlanta-based nonprofit that started ten years ago giving presentations to high school students focusing on effects the animal agriculture business has on human health, cruelty to animals, and devastation to the environment. The program recently received funding to support a wider coverage and is hiring educators across the Nation to “empower high-school and college students to make thoughtful, responsible lifestyle decisions in order to improve their health, protect the environment, and decrease animal suffering.” Ethical Choices Program has built a platform that proves effective and successful in planting a seed of change.
In January of 2016 the very first U.S. vegan butcher shop, Herbivorous Butcher, opened in Minneapolis. This iconic event marks a demand for plant-based options and cruelty-free living. Since the shop opened they have seen lines of people waiting to walk through the door. Some skeptics might say it’s curiosity, but those choosing to live a vegan lifestyle know otherwise. Veganism is not going away; it is only gaining momentum. Ben and Jerry’s ice cream recently released its first non-dairy options, set to be grocery stores by the spring. This is a precedent for the food market.
While the Vegan trend is new to many people, it keeps growing in popularity and curiosity. Meatless Monday and No Meat March are activities that have gone viral and encourage people to take action toward a meat-free lifestyle. The good thing is those thinking of making a change have more options and guidance to be successful in making the switch. Going vegan doesn’t have to be challenging or drastic. Committing to one of the above-mentioned activities or removing one type of meat is a great start. As intelligent beings, humans should know where their food comes from, plant or meat. Take the time to educate yourself and healthy eating will happen naturally.