The image of veganism is undergoing the most radical change in its history
I do believe we are approaching critical mass for veganism. It’s very exciting. Hot on the heels of news about the 360% increase in numbers of vegans in the UK compared with 10 years ago, we have this superbly balanced overview of the movement from Emine Saner in the Guardian.
It features the swearing bragging Vegan Bros, toned and fit, the self-proclaimed leaders of an “army of fit, sexy, vegan soldiers,” with a mission to change the stereotypical image of the “skinny-ass vegan”.
Then there are the wellness bloggers like Ella Woodward, the plant-based eaters like Gwyneth Paltrow, the part-time vegans like Beyoncé and Jay Z, the athletes – Nate Diaz, David Haye.
Nowadays, vegans can be anything, police officers, investment bankers, military personnel, airline pilots. Vegan for whatever reason. Eating fewer animal products for whatever reason. We need them all.
Appealing to the 99% of people who eat meat to go vegan on ethical grounds just doesn’t work. What would work is if vegan food was tasty, readily available and affordable, and increasingly became the norm. “The ‘real’ vegans, they want everybody to go vegan for the right reasons. I sympathise with that – I’m a vegan for animal rights reasons – but there can be a behaviour change before there is an attitude change , says Tobias Leenaert who writes the blog The Vegan Strategist and is co-founder of the Belgian organisation Ethical Vegan Alternative.