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The Gap Year Blog

It is Cool to be Friendly to the Planet

17 Jan 2020 12:10 PM

After a massive surge in the number of vegans in the last decade, many people are adopting the life of a vegan this January. People are realising the benefits of becoming a vegan, from a healthier diet, a better mindset, to just a way of trying to stay planet friendly. Veganuary refers to going vegan, not eating or using animals’ products, in the month of January. With more and more people becoming vegan, it has become the trend to ‘try it out’ with friends, individually or as a family.

In ensuring that Frontier are devoting their time and energy effectively to the environment, all our volunteers are on basic diets that consist of veggie and grain goodness. The cooked meals by our volunteers are not all a hundred percent vegan but are aimed in living on a healthy diet that follows environmentally friendly sourcing of the food. This means going out to local supermarkets and farms to buy the fresh, naturally grown ingredients. We also guide our volunteers to try and not eat the fish on certain Islands as we are aware of the conflicting opinions of surplus fishing. An example is the lobster. The Caribbean Spiny lobster is under threat as fishermen are over-fishing as well fishing smaller sized fish that have not yet reproduced. 

So, would you give up your meaty burger for veggies? You’d be surprised at how many people would! With veganism growing in the last decade, so have the vegan cookery books, chefs and restaurants all across the globe, to accommodate for vegans! This also explains the increase in the economic value for plant-based foods as there is more demand for it.  By analysing websites such as Happy Cow, a website that sources vegan, vegetarian and healthy food, the case study has managed to understand that “since 2015, over 1,000 new vegan restaurants were added every single year”. This means that there is a demand for vegan food and with the number of vegans increasing every year, vegan restaurants and recipes are sure to rise too. Veganism worldwide has increased in the last decade, but The United Kingdom beat the rest to the first spot for ‘Fastest Growth in Veganism’.

Published data by the Food Standards Agency has shown that the vegan population of the UK grew from 150,000 in 2014 to over 600,000 in 2018. That's quadrupling in 4 years which puts the UK well ahead on the global stage. Unsurprisingly, India has the largest vegan population as not eating any meat ties into the religion of Hinduism, Indian’s most followed religion. This also explains why many Indian restaurant offer plant-based meals. According to the case study, Australia are the most vegan-friendly where “a considerable trend in restaurants and supermarkets [are] becoming increasingly accommodating towards vegans”. Google search trends are said to match this information, showing more people in Australia researching about veganism.

In 2018, Forbes conducted some data analysis on the age ranges, income and political ideology of vegans in the US. The statistics were surprising in showing 3% of 18-29-year olds identifying as vegans, with an increase of 1% for the 30 to 49-year band with a percentage of 4%.

3 common reasons to becoming a vegan:

The health benefits: There has been a lot of evidence swaying scientists to believe that meat products are causing people to fall ill or die. Industrial meat products contain lots of different kinds of concentrated chemicals. This is one of the biggest reasons people are trying to cut meat and replace it with vegetables. Many people who are overweight are also taking to a plant and water-based diet, allowing their bodies to get used to naturally grown products rather than taking in meat protein.

Environmental impact: The impact humans have on the environment is becoming an increasing issue on social media and the news. It is said that our diet’s carbon footprint is impacting our lifestyle the most.

Moral: Many people are becoming vegan due to their concerns about animal welfare. The treatment of animals in the last decade had definitely been a hot topic from animal slaughters, the banning of zoos, and encroachment. Here at Frontier, conservation of the planet is our number 1 concern, and thus giving our volunteers the most nature friendly experience is what we stand for.

This article is using facts, figures and diagrams from a detailed case study at The Growing Vegan Industry And What To Expect in 2020 .

By Aisha Benmeriem - Online Journalism Intern

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservationcommunityteaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!