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Is Vegan the New Normal?

Happy World Vegan Day. If that doesn’t mean anything to you today, we guarantee it will very soon.  

Veganism is on the rise around the world:  7% of  Great Britain identifies as vegan. In the U.S. in 2014 only 1% of U.S. consumers claimed to be vegan. By 2017, that number had risen to 6%.  Canadians are going meatless too. According to a new study from Dalhousie University’s Sylvain Charlebois, more than  6.4 million Canadians have dietary preferences which reduces or eliminates meat consumption, while 32.2% of Canadians are thinking of reducing their meat consumption over the next 6 months.  The top reasons for this are health, animal welfare, the environment and taste. Read the terrifying report issued this week that the planet has lost half it’s wildlife in the last 40 years primarily because of the food industry and you may want to jump on the bandwagon too.  Thankfully, there are some great things happening on the Canadian vegan scene:

  • Chef/filmmaker Dana Giesbrecht (@therawmermaid) launches a Kickstarter campaign today that she hopes will allow her to open the world’s first raw vegan restaurant in Winnipeg.   She says, “Although there has clearly been a growth in acceptance of plant-based diets, I think a lot of people still have a misconception about how delicious it is! And there are countless studies showing the ways it helps our planet and our health when we reduce our meat consumption.” 
  • Canadians have their own Amazon for vegans:  Fair/Square is an online store for fair, vegan and Canadian products. Shop 100 brands and over 500 products plus vegan apparel like “Love, Peace and Cashew Cheese” and “Tofu Never Screams” T-shirts.

  • The recently-launched London Vegan Food Bank.  Their goal is to make plant-based eating possible for Canadians regardless of income level.  
  • Walmart and Sobeys are carrying Lightlife Foods products. Plant protein foods like vegan bacon, hot dogs, and deli slices are now mainstream.  Lightlife was recently acquired for $140 million by Maple Leaf Foods. 
  • The $950 million Supercluster Initiative fund created by the Canadian government to grow innovation in the food manufacturing sector, with a portion secured for the plant-based food industry, including the production of pea protein. Just in case you were wondering what A&W’s wildly popular vegan patty the Beyond Burger was made of.
  • Some of the most innovative cooking right now at Canada’s best restaurants is plant-based.  

Ready to take the plunge, but don’t know where to start?  Download the just-launched VeGuide app.  It’s Duolingo for beginner vegans. 

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