If you’re reading this, congratulations! You have made it through 2016. We lost a lot of people in 2016, and if you’d believe it, many weren’t celebrities. However, the past is now behind us (when was the past in front of us?!) and we must move on into 2017, or as I like to call it: The Year of the Vegan.
I know what you’re thinking, ‘There is no way this is the year everyone goes vegan’, I agree! Why am I calling it the year of the vegan? Let’s take Veganuary for example, in 2015, 12,000 people signed up, which doubled to 24,000 in 2016; now, with early figures showing what could be hundreds of thousands signing up for 2017 the growth is clear.
Veganism is no longer niche. You no longer have to score kale in a dark alley or visit seedy shops for you tofu fix. There are currently over 600,000 people in the UK identifying as Vegan, which is just less than 1% of the population, but if we include plant based and vegetarians we rise to over 5% or 1 in 20 people. What does this mean? Well, there will be less stigma attached to being vegan, it means there is a lot more talk about the issues and it means there is a huge community with which people can interact and learn from. These are all huge factors in people going and staying vegan.
Social media has played a vital part in spreading the word but its role is still being undervalued. Every single YouTube video can help someone struggling with recipes, every single retweet helps someone learn more statistics and every single Facebook post can help someone understand the truths from the fallacies and the facts from the myths.
So, what do I see for 2017?
- Over 1,000,000 vegan people in the UK (2% of the UK population)
- Further decline in the sales of fresh meat, processed meat and dairy
- Rise in both the sales and profitability of alternatives (Alpro, Oatly etc)
- An increase in the availability of vegan options in restaurants.
- A rise in media attention both good and bad (expect many getting behind it but also many finding new studies that show vegetables are harmful or veganism is damaging businesses)
This all seems pretty straight-forward though, right? Yet I honestly think this is still just the beginning. History may not remember 2017 as ‘the year the world went vegan’, but I think it will be the year everything changes. In the last 10 years we saw a growth of 350% in the vegan population, I’d say we may just see another 350% growth in the next 2. The growth will be exponential and in another 10-15 years we may just be the majority. What I can say for certain, we are on the right side of history.
Question of the Day: How many people do you know who are doing Veganuary?