2016: The Biggest Ever Year for Vegans?
The evidence is stacking up – the vegan movement has never been bigger and is set to go even more mainstream in 2016.
Don’t believe us? Check out just a few examples of how compassionate eating is on fire right now!
As people became increasingly concerned about cruelty to animals, climate change or their own health, Google searches for “vegan” reached an all-time high in January. Here’s what the exponential increase looked like in the UK.
And the top city for vegan searches? Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was Brighton, followed by Bristol, Bournemouth and Plymouth. It looks like the south of England is racing ahead in the cruelty-free trend.
We saw similar growth to the Google searches reflected in our annual Vegan New Year 31-day pledge. More than 6,000 people signed up to start off 2016 by living with compassion, and they were joined by tens of thousands more who signed up with other campaigns and groups, like Veganuary, Animal Aid and Viva!, or just made a resolution to choose a diet that doesn’t harm animals.
In addition, orders for PETA UK’s vegan starter kits have surged every year – from 14,000 in 2013 to 28,300 in 2014 to a whopping 35,000 in 2015 – and we’re predicting another massive jump this year.
Reaction to PETA’s Vegan New Year pledge has been amazing. PETA e-mails throughout January offered vegan tips, recipes and advice to guide new vegans through the month, and 10 per cent of participants joined us on WhatsApp for daily vegan tips and regular chats. The results are in from the participant survey, and we couldn’t be more delighted: a massive 88 per cent of respondents said that they planned to stay vegan after January, and another 9 per cent said they would consider it. We know that going vegan is the best way to spare animals the horrors of the meat, egg and dairy industries, and hearing such positive feedback makes our hearts swell. Here’s what some of the pledge takers had to say:
- “I wouldn’t have tried it without PETA. The info you sent and links were really helpful and made it really easy to do.”
- “Thank you so much! Your daily WhatsApp messages and e-mails really kept me going.”
- “I don’t think I would have stuck to it, but you have helped me find products I didn’t know were vegan.”
- “PETA has been very supportive, and getting the daily e-mails was great. The best for me was the eating-out guide.”
- “All the information I’ve had from PETA has been really helpful. The vegan starter kit is brilliant.”
- “Extremely helpful and supportive – the Facebook group, e-mails and online articles all make it an easier experience. Thank you!”
The food industry is starting to wake to the surge in interest and realise that the future is looking increasingly vegan. 2015 saw the vegan food selection at grocery stores expand dramatically, as more and more meat-free meats, non-dairy milks and vegan cheeses lined the shelves of popular shops. Recently, we’ve seen huge brands get on board, including Guinness, which promised to make its beer vegan in the near future; Ben and Jerry’s, which announced an enticing range of dairy-free ice creams; IKEA, which rolled out vegan meatballs; Quorn, which is releasing an egg-free range; and Hellmann’s, which is developing an egg-free mayonnaise. 2016 is certainly set to be another bumper year for vegan products.
And celebrities have been helping vegan eating become more high-profile, too. In the last few years, more and more household names have been declaring their love for vegan cheesecake, tofu scramble and cruelty-free living, a trend we predict will continue throughout 2016.
Shoutout to @CalvinHarris for hooking me up with vegan bbq tonight
— Ellie Goulding (@elliegoulding) April 29, 2015
PETA US has declared 2016 “the year of the vegan”, and we agree! All this progress is wonderful news for animals. With so much momentum behind us, it’s getting easier and easier for compassionate people to choose to eat cruelty-free. And every person who goes vegan spares animals’ lives at every meal.
There’s still time to get on board. A compassionate plant-based diet is the obvious choice for people who are worried about cruelty to animals, climate change or their own health, and we’re here to help you make the transition.