Since 2014 veganism has seen a 600% rise in the US, with reasons ranging from an ethical stance to those who believe it is an all round more healthy diet to follow. In addition to this rise US Non-dairy milk sales have shot up 61% since 2012, which has caused a huge losses in sales of traditional cows milk. People choosing plants over meat has become a global trend, with a 350% increase in veganism in the UK in the past 10 years. Vegetarianism has also risen 400% in Portugal in the last decade. With 22% of people in Hong Kong now practicing a plant-based diet.
The argument often arises with the link between veganism and low protein, however there are many vegan foods high in protein such as quinoa, leafy greens, avocado, nuts and seeds. Plus many bodybuilders and athletes (who have a higher than usual need for protein) say they are following a diet free from animal produce.
Vegan Ironman triathlete Dominick Thompson made the switch from vegetarian stating ethical reasons. “Thinking animals can be used in a humane and safe manner to produce dairy products is simply not true …. The cruelty and torture that can be involved is just as bad as the slaughtering.”
Vegan Strongman Patrik Baboumian stated the health benefits he gained from veganism “I got heavier, I got stronger, I won the European championship title in powerlifting, I broke three world records so everything was going perfect … my blood pressure went down, and my recovery time was so much faster so I could train more.”
The list of famous vegans is huge and growing every year, currently it includes Joaquin Phoenix, Woody Harrelson and Alicia Silverstone, with Leonardo Dicaprio and Richard Branson now investing heavily in vegan businesses and charities. WILL.I.AM also went on an epic social media rant about his switch to veganism.
Towards the end of his life Einstein followed a vegetarian diet and was quoted saying, ““Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” and while it is debated Leonardo Da Vinci is believed by many to have followed a vegetarian diet having said “Of Bees: And many others will be deprived of their store and their food, and will be cruelly submerged and drowned by folks devoid of reason. Oh Justice of God! Why dost thou not wake and behold thy creatures thus ill used? Of Sheep, Cows, Goats, etc: Endless multitudes of these will have their little children taken from them ripped open and flayed and most barbarously quartered.”
Wim Hof (known as the Ice Man) is an extreme athlete who is most famous for his ability to withstand cold. In 2009 Hof climbed mount Kilimanjaro in his shorts and holds 26 world records, including one for a 1 hour and 13 minute ice bath. In this video Hof shares his stance on veganism.