Idea 6 ; Vegan community

The vegan community has been the focus of discussion recently due to the overwhelming amount of popular vegan You Tubers and influencers who have decided to discontinue the diet.

Veganism statistics ;

  • Demand for meat-free food increased by 987% in 2017 and going vegan was predicted to be the biggest food trend in 2018.
  • Vegan trend quadrupled in the 5 years between 2012 and 2017, according to Google search. It now gets almost 3 times more interest than vegetarian and gluten free searches
  • If the world went vegan, it could save 8 million human lives by 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds and lead to healthcare-related savings and avoided climate damages of $1.5 trillion.
  • Waterstones have 2,058 book titles with the word ‘vegan’ in them available for sale (as of January 2019), compared to 994 in August 2018.
  • ‘Vegan desserts’ pins saved were up by 329% while ‘plant proteins’ went up by 417% on Pinterest in 2017.
  • Dairy cows have been modified to produce up to 10 times more milk than they would naturally.
  • Male calves are of no use to the dairy industry and generally less suitable for beef production. This means that every year around 90,000 male dairy calves are shot soon after birth and discarded as a by-product.
  • Domesticated cows have an average lifespan of 20 years, but on dairy farms they are killed after 5-6 years on average.
  • 30% of UK dairy cows have mastitis, a bacterial infection of the udder.
  • Every year in the UK we slaughter around 950 million birds for food consumption, including chickens, ducks and turkeys.
  • 90% of chicken production in the UK is in intensive windowless sheds which house 20,000-50,000 chickens each.
  • 51% of eggs produced come from chickens in battery cages.
  • 40 million day-old male chicks are killed in the UK by either being gassed or being thrown into a macerator – this practice occurs in all egg farming systems, including organic.
  • Beak trimming is the permanent removal of part of the beak of a bird at a young age. This is standard industry practice in the UK despite being illegal in many European countries due to the pain it inflicts.
  • A free-range egg farmer can legally house 16,000 birds in one building, meaning that they can house 9 birds per square metre of space. This means that many free-range hens live out their entire lives in an overcrowded indoor farming unit.
  • We kill between 1 and 2.8 trillion fish every year. This is 143-400x the amount of the entire human population.
  • 308,000 cetaceans are unintentionally drowned each year after becoming entangled in fishing equipment.
  • Farmed salmon has 10x the amount of cancer-causing organic pollutants than wild salmon.
  • Sharks kill 12 people per year. People kill 11,414 sharks per hour.
  • Around 1.4 million sheep and goats are killed without being stunned each year in the UK using halal practices. Many people in the UK oppose this form of slaughter, yet purchase halal meat unknowingly, since it is sold in most major outlets, including supermarkets and takeaways, without always being labelled as halal.
  • Every year around 4 million newborn lambs die within a few days of birth, mainly because of malnutrition, disease or exposure to cold weather.
  • There are several different mutilations carried out on lambs. The males are castrated using elastration, a technique that involves a thick rubber band being placed around the base of the infant’s scrotum, obstructing the blood supply and causing atrophy. This method causes severe pain to the lambs who are provided no pain relief during the process. Lambs also have their tails docked using the same method
  • In 2018, the UK launched more vegan products than any nation.
  • 1 in 3 people regularly buy plant based milks.
  • 1 in 3 Brits have stopped or reduced their meat consumption.
  • Those eating meat spend a whopping £645 extra a year on food, compared to those on a meat-free diet.
  • A staggering 92% of plant-based meals consumed in the UK in 2018 were eaten by non-vegans.
  • The number of vegans in Great Britain quadrupled between 2014 and 2018. There were 600,000 vegans in Great Britain in 2018, or 1.16% of the population; 276,000 (0.46%) in 2016; and 150,000 (0.25%) in 2014. Sources: Ipsos Mori survey, commissioned by The Vegan Society, 2018, and The Food & You surveys, organised by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the National Centre for Social Science Research (Natcen).
  • The sign-ups for the Veganuary campaign – where people eat vegan for the month of January – nearly doubled in 2019, with a whopping 250,000 people signing up. In comparison, there were 168,500 participants in 2018; 59,500 in 2017; 23,000 in 2016; 12,800 in 2015; and 3,300 in 2014.
  • More than a quarter of all evening meals in the UK are vegan or vegetarian.
  • 80% people have friends or family who are vegan, 84% have eaten a vegan meal and 90% thought it’s easier to eat vegan today compared with 10 years ago, demonstrating the increased social presence of veganism in contemporary UK life.
  • Bristol was the most popular British city for veganism in 2018, according to Google Trends, followed by the Edinburgh, Manchester and London.
  • Almost half (42%) of UK vegans made the change in 2018, which shows veganism has been growing exponentially.
  • Over half (56%) of Brits adopt vegan buying behaviours such as buying vegan products and checking if their toiletries are cruelty-free. 50% of Brits said they know someone who is vegan. 1 in 5 Brits (19%) would consider going vegan. Source: Research carried out by Opinion Matters for The Vegan Society between 14 and 16 July 2017 involving a sample of 2,011 UK adults
  • Over a quarter (28%) of meat-eating Brits have reduced or limited their meat consumption in the six months to August 2017.
  • 35% of British consumers say they make a point of regularly having meat-free days (e.g. meat-free Mondays). 31% of British consumers say they have cut back on red meat in the last 12 months for health reasons. 25% of British consumers say that concerns about the environment have caused them to cut back on the amount of red meat they eat. Source: Unprocessed Poultry and Red Meat – UK, November 2016
  • Scotland: Demand for vegan haggis at Tesco in Scotland skyrocketed by 120% in 2018.
  • Scotland: There are now over 100 vegan businesses in Scotland, up from just a handful in 2012-13.
  • World Health Organisation’s first step to healthy eating is: “Eat a nutritious diet based on a variety of foods originating mainly from plants, rather than animals”.
  • A global move to a vegan diet would avert 8.1 million premature deaths per year.
  • The World Health Organisation report in November 2015 ranked processed meat ranked as a group 1 carcinogen (the same category as cigarettes, alcohol and asbestos). Eating just 50g per day (two rashers of bacon) increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. It also classified red meat as a group 2A carcinogen.
  • Vegan diets have been linked to a 35% lower risk of prostate cancer.
  • High blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, is less common among vegans.
  • Body mass index and cholesterol levels are lower among vegans.
  • Those who eat seven or more portions of fruit and vegetables per day have a 33% reduced risk of premature death compared with people who eat less than one portion.

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In 2016 the amount of people following a vegan diet began to peak, as many social media influencers and YouTubers began promoting the diet and mentioning how it has many benefits towards their health and appearance. Many of the benefits mentioned repeatedly by people online was an improvement in the appearance of their skin (clearness), also that they have lost a good amount of weight etc. This immediately stood out to me as most of the YouTubers claimed they were vegans for environmental reasons however it appeared their main intention for changing their diet to vegan was because of external(vain) reason. Veganism is an ethical lifestyle with the main purpose to liberate animals and cause the least amount of harm to animals and the environment. The fact that they are vegan is good because they are participating in the diet however they are not presenting the important values of the lifestyle. In 2018 suddenly a wave of vegan YouTubers such as Rawvana, Raw alignment, Bonny Rebecca, Vegetable police etc began quitting the diet . Between all of these Vegan YouTubers there was a common theme, malnutrition and digestive issues. Many of them said they were having to much fiber in their diet which was resulted in their digestion issues. Food with high amounts of fiber are Fruits,Vegetables, Beans, Legumes , breads, grains and nuts. Its not surprising that many of these YouTubers have a diet that consists on these food groups solely, Its a common fact when having a vegan diet that you have to eat a lot more as the food you can eat is quite low in calories. These YouTubers eat big amounts of foods everyday but somehow they continue to appear underweight, because they do not have a balanced diet and have enough of the nutrients they need for their bodies. On the other hand if you were to have a full diet with solely these food groups, they are more likely to have digestive issues because you are eating an excess amount of these food that contain fiber and give themselves fiber over loud. So there is either two scenarios that are very common in the vegan community, either malnutrition or digestive issues both of which are very bad for your health. When Ex vegans come out they are immediately bombarded with a wave of hate, And accused of not following the vegan diet well or they say other factors of their lives are the cause of their deterioration in health. I find this extremely toxic because they are further pushing away people who were once apart of their group, or others who may want to be apart of the group. I wont say they are completely wrong though as I have witnessed many vegan influencers taking part in extreme temporary diets such as, water fasting or restricting especially when they do not have to. I have noticed many vegans have a similar attitude towards meat eaters/animal product users as well, they have phrases for them such as carnist, rapist etc. I understand many vegans act out aggressively sometimes because they are very emotional and passionate about their cause. But if they are a group which needs participants to thrive they may want to find another strategy that is more peaceful and kind to encourage people to join their group. Obviously with every extreme movement their is also a counterpart/movement. To combat the vegan movement a new group of people called Raw meat eaters have come out. Their purpose being the encourage the consumption of animal products but in a more ethical way, many of them disagree with the farming system and would prefer if people use local farms. They also think the reason why many people have health issues related to eggs and meat is because the process used in larger farms to get meat is not sanitary and they inject the animals with unhealthy chemicals. A lot of vegans take veganism very seriously so seriously that by attending protest and talks that is how they financially support themselves. Vegans such as “That vegan Couple”, regularly make public presentations where they have other people standing in circles, holding tablets which showcase the standard practices in farms etc involving the dairy, meat, fur and animal testing industry. they also wear masks to hide their faces to make the presentation more dramatic and that vegan couple will explain whats going on to on goers and try to encourage them to switch to veganism. In a lot of her videos I think she has very poor skills when talking to the public, because she comes across as very over bearing and quite aggressive which could make the people she is talking to uncomfortable, but she makes very valid points and sometimes is able to get people to at least try the diet. Overall I think that the veganism movement is good because it will help the environment and animals although I do think they need to change their methods and have more of a middle ground with other people.

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