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Health, animal rights, environment: What’s convincing people to go vegan?

Every year, for the Veganuary campaign, curious omnivores and vegetarians sign up to try out veganism for a month. The campaign's survey showed people's reasons for signing up were animal rights (43%) or health (39%), and only 10% chose to go vegan for environmental reasons.

JAMES PURTILL: ‘After years of being mocked as the diet of the ‘weak, limp and weedy’, veganism has recently become the on-trend lifestyle choice. Thousands are going vegan. Why are old arguments suddenly convincing former omnivores?… In the UK, big chains like Marks & Spencer, Pret a Manger, and Pizza Hut have rolled out vegan options, and vegan restaurants report surging demand… Market research shows the UK’s vegan population increased from 150,000 to 542,000 in a decade, or more than 10 per cent per year. In the US, the number has gone up by 600 per cent since 2014. In Australia, the most recent data shows a sharp rise in the number of vegetarians. Research conducted by Roy Morgan has found that the number of Australian adults who eat all or almost all meat-free has risen from 1.7 million people (9.7 per cent of the population) to almost 2.1 million (11.2 per cent) between 2012 and 2016…

Data in Australia is patchy, but we may be able to learn from UK figures. Every year, for the Veganuary campaign, curious omnivores and vegetarians sign up to try out veganism for a month… The campaign includes a survey that shows 63 per cent of those who signed up were female, and almost half were in the 15-34 category… Most people’s reasons for signing up were animal rights (43%) or health (39%), and only 10 per cent chose to go vegan for environmental reasons. The 10 per cent figure above may seem surprising given the popularity of films 2014’s Cowspiracy, which looks at the environmental impact of animal agriculture, its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation and excessive water use… But the environmental argument does not seem to be cutting through. Cowspiracy co-maker Kip Andersen puts the newfound popularity of veganism down to a shift from the notion of sacrifice to that of benefit’. SOURCE…

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