The Rise of Veganism: Start a Revolution!

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Are you a veggie lover?

● Veganism has grown to 2.5% of the US population
○ Up from 1% in 2009
○ number has more than doubled in 3 years
● (based on relative scale from 0-100) Google searches for “Vegan” have risen from 38/100 prior to 2004 to 88/100 at the end of 2013

Compared to searches for “Obesity”
■ 77/100 in 2004 to 19/100 at the end of 2013
● Americans still consume ⅙ of the total meat consumed worldwide
○ Even though Americans are less than 1/20th of the total population
○ The average American eats about ½ pound of meat per day
● Percentage of meat consumed by Americans is falling
○ Consumption of beef has been declining for the past 20 years
○ Chicken has dropped sharply in the past five years
○ Pork has shown a slow, steady downturn over the past five years
● Americans consumed approximately 12.2% less meat in 2012 than in 2007

Americans in 2013
○ 1 million – vegan
■ 78.51% – female
■ 21.07% – male
○ 7.3 – vegetarian
■ 59% female
■ 49% male
■ 42% – ages 18 -34
■ 40.7% – ages 35 – 54
■ 17.4% – over age 55
○ 53% want to improve overall health

What does the vegan say?

(based on a survey of more than 8 thousand vegans)
Highest percentages for all survey questions:
● 42.01% – became vegan after seeing a film, educational video or movie
● 45.06% – transitioned to a vegan diet gradually
● 52.22% – had been vegan less than 10 years
○ 2.01% had been vegan over 30 years
● 35.29% – have a non-vegan spouse or domestic partner
● 69.16% – became vegan on behalf of animals
● 45.22% – describe themselves as spiritual but not religious
○ 43.48% – describe themselves as atheist or agnostic
○ 11.41% – follow a major religion
● 61.99% – are politically liberal
○ 33.16% – are not political
○ 4.85% – are politically conservative
● 38.70% – do not have and do not want children
○ 32.95% – may have children at some point
○ 9.97% – are raising young children vegan

Celebrity Herbivores
● Person: Al Gore
○ Reason: Health benefits
● Person: Rosie O’Donnell
○ Reason: She had a “Widow Maker” heart attack
● Person(s): Alicia Silverstone, Dennis Kucinich, Ellen DeGeneres
○ Reason: Against mistreatment of animals
● Person: Usher
○ Reason: Health benefits
● Person(s): Alec Baldwin, Russell Simmons
○ Reason: Concern for the planet and personal health
● Person: Bill Clinton
○ Reason: Wanted to reverse coronary artery disease

Influential Films (for veggies)
● Food, Inc.
○ Directed by Robert Kenner (2008)
○ Documents food production from large corporations
○ Exposes environmentally hazardous and inhumane practices
● Forks Over Knives
○ Directed by Lee Fulkerson (2001)
○ Advocates consumption of vegan and whole foods
○ Correlates illness and disease to diets rich in meat
● Supersize Me
○ Directed by Morgan Spurlock (2004)
○ Follows Morgan Spurlock as he eats a diet of McDonald’s food for 30 days
○ At the conclusion, Morgan has gained nearly 25 lbs, has a cholesterol level of 230 and other signs of malnutrition
● Vegucated
○ Directed by Marisa Miller Wolfson (2011)
○ Follows 3 New Yorker’s on a humorous journey of being vegan for six weeks
○ The film advocates for veganism while showing some of the struggles of the diet
● Earthlings
○ Directed by Shaun Monson (2005)
○ Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix (vegan since age 3)
○ Hidden cameras document interactions between humans and animals; pets, food and scientific research
● Food Matters
○ Directed by James Colquhoun and Carlo Ledesma (2008)
○ Analyzes lack of nutritional value and potential for cancer and disease in common foods
○ Claims this is a conspiracy to increase profits for doctors and pharmaceutical companies

Is veganism a fad or is it the future of food?

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Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/02/interest-in-vegan-diets-on-the-rise_n_3003221.html
http://www.google.com/trends/explore?hl=en-US#q=vegan%2C%20obesity&cmpt=q
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/10/were-eating-less-meat-why/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
http://thevegantruth.blogspot.com/2013/09/survey-of-vegans-2013-results_13.html
http://www.care2.com/causes/12-famous-vegans-and-why-they-made-the-switch.html#ixzz2t8iuonmY
http://joanlandinosays.com/documentaries-that-inspire-veganism/