What Does It Mean to Be Vegan Today? A Look at History and the Vegan World
There is a rise in veganism of late, and for good reason. Research has shown that shifting to a vegan lifestyle can actually help the planet and even slow down the progress of global warming.
A plant-based diet can reduce the global consumption of meat, thus slowing down the production of greenhouse gases. It can also help reduce the use of clean drinking water and increase the availability of agricultural land.
Aside from mitigating global warming and climate change in its tracks, going vegan is also healthier. Endless pieces of research have also been made on the health benefits one can get when they shift to a vegan lifestyle.
Veganism: The beginnings
Contrary to popular belief, the vegan lifestyle is not just a fad nor is it something that began just recently.
While the term was coined in the mid-1940s, it has actually been around for centuries. It can even be said that it is as old as the practice of Buddhism, which was established around 2,500 years ago. The belief of Buddhists that humans should never hurt other animals is in line with what the vegan lifestyle is promoting. This shows that veganism has been around for a very long time.
How easy was it to be vegan back then?
Being vegan has always been accessible – finding and eating whole, plant-based foods in those days wasn’t difficult at all since there weren’t any processed foods. People also grew lots of their own food so they were in control of its quality and abundance. Whole grains and fresh vegetables were plentiful and easy to get. However, you wouldn’t find the vegan burgers and ice cream back then that you find today.
How long has veganism been popular?
If you were to count how many years the vegan movement has been around, this would be around 75 years, from when the Vegan Society was first established. When you base this on rising popularity, it would be sometime in the early 1950s when there was a steady rise in plant-based diets. Further increase in this lifestyle was noted in the first decade after the new millennium. This was when more and more food manufacturers and restaurants shifted to producing and selling only vegan food.
What are vegan options like today?
Today, it is easier to shift to a vegan lifestyle than it was in the mid to late-1900s. This is because of the availability of tasty vegan food options that are easy to prepare or buy. With the fast pace of life these days, having these quick and convenient choices make shifting to veganism easier than ever.
Even when you go on vacation, you know you can find food options for your vegan lifestyle. This is because of the many places that now offer these options on their menus. Some of the best vegan cities in the world include Berlin in Germany, London in the UK, and New York in the US.
The perks of taking vegan vacations today
Taking a vacation as a vegan these days is no longer that big a challenge. There are numerous places for you to get your vegan food wherever you are in the world. There are even vegan vacations that you can take which include food, activities, and souvenirs that are in line with the lifestyle.
Vegan holidays can be found in all places around the world. Some of the best vegan cities and countries in the world include the following:
- Los Angeles, USA
- Paris, France
- Mumbai, India
- Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Rome, Italy
- Toronto, Canada
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Warsaw Poland
- Tel Aviv, Israel
There are also a few holiday destinations that have what are called vegvoyages or veganism-centered options that you can choose over their regular vacation options. Vegan travel agencies are available to help you decide which countries are the best to visit.
One of the great advantages of taking these vegan-centered vacations is you get to share your experiences with people who share the same beliefs as you. You also get to enjoy great food while on vacation, which used to be a rarity.
Importance of supporting vegan companies and organizations
Aside from visiting some of the best vegan cities in the world as part of your vegan lifestyle, you should also consider supporting organizations that help spread the word about veganism. One example is FFL.org. This particular organization not only feeds hundreds of thousands of people daily but they do so in a vegan way.