JUNE 15, 2020

Vegan Transformation Stories That Will Make You A Proud Plant Foodie

The vegan movement has gone a long way since Donald Watson's inception of the term "vegan” in 1944. Long gone are the days when being a vegan could elicit a unilaterally hostile, indecent response. Reactions being an amalgamation of depressing sighs, gasps, moans, and head-shaking as if someone had just died. Fortunately, these days, the paradigm has shifted.


Fig 1 Google Trends search on "vegan"

Veganism is no longer frowned upon and is now more popular than ever, with an almost 580-percent increase in trajectory for veganism searches in Google Trends, during the last five years.

In the UK alone, there were almost 650,000 vegans in 2019 according to WTVOX; in Japan, vegans make up around 2.4% of the population; and although only 1-2% of the US population is vegan according to The Economist/YouGov , it’s still a massive uphill trend - hitting a 3.5% increase compared to the 0.4% recorded in the last two years, with 79% being women.

In the popular photo-sharing platform, Instagram, there are around 94.2M searches with the #vegan hashtag.

Veganism is a way of living that's altruistic in nature – one that thwarts all forms of violence, exploitation, and cruelty against animals for food, or whatever commodity. So how did this once-mocked subculture evolve into a mainstream lifestyle choice?

We've curated some powerful testimonials from influential women around the globe, from different industries and walks of life. When asked, "Why are you a vegan?" Respondents usually answer differently, of course – dietary, ethical, environmental, reasons revolving around preventing diseases, respecting animal rights or eradicating world hunger, or even citing biblical scripture. . But one thing's for sure regardless of the rationale, they all embrace a "Make Love, Not War" culture.

vegan leather material

#vegan search on Instagram searches of May 25, 2020

Here are some of the testimonials:

Pieces of evidence from NCBI and Harvard Health showed that vegan diets are associated with a lower risk of death from cardiovascular diseases, with subjects having lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower rates of hypertension, lower blood pressure rates, type 2 diabetes, and chronic diseases compared to their meat-eating counterparts.

Michelle Pfeiffer is one of the celebrity A-listers who went vegan for both health reasons and complexion issues. "Eating a vegan diet — it's just so much healthier — and you avoid a lot of toxins that can age your skin and your body. I really noticed a difference in my skin not too long after switching to fully vegan".

Grand Slam tennis champion, Venus Williams, in her interview with Health magazine, said: "I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, and I wanted to maintain my performance on the court. Once I started, I fell in love with the concept of fueling your body in the best way possible [through raw, vegan food]. Not only does it help me on the court, but I feel like I'm doing the right thing for me."

"People become vegan for lots of reasons. But for me, it was about eliminating foods frommy diet that my body doesn't like. It was about putting things into my body that would make me feel good and help me to live my best life."
- Jessica Sharp, Founder and Chief Educator of Sharp Brain Consulting

Debbie Carthew transitioned to a vegan diet after being diagnosed with bowel cancer. "I thought I ate fairly healthy, lots of vegetables/fruit, little meat. Then I got bowel cancer. I researched, read, and also watched What the Health. I realized little exercise and animal products were the cause of a lot of my problems! I used to think I could never give up cheese and bacon! So now, I exercise daily and eat a vegan diet.

Since I became vegan, I've noticed my arthritis has improved beyond belief. Not the reason I became vegan at all, just a happy side effect!
- Vanessa Lackford

Indeed, veganism has grown in leaps and bounds, permeating the masses, comprising millennials and GenZs as the majority. People attribute their more conscious choices to ethics, love for animals and the environment. That is why designers are introducing innovative materials such as bio-based vegan leathers, lab-made leathers, chewing gum, and algae foam cushions, renewed plastics, spider silks, and hemp-based fur coats which are blowing consumers’ minds.

vegan leather shoes

VEERAH vegan leather derived from repurposed apple peels

These materials are in line with what fashion designer Stella McCartney incorporates into her brand. Her respect for animals and the environment are the cornerstones of her company - and the reason for her being a vegan. "I definitely inherited a certain mindfulness from my father and my mother, who taught me to treat my fellow creatures with respect. And by respect, I mean not eating them or wearing their skins."

When she was 10 years old, Jenna Dewan-Tatum saw a documentary on slaughterhouses and, after that, resented eating meat. "The next day, I said, 'I'm never eating meat again.' It just stuck. I feel good about it morally and physically," she told Women's Health UK.

Another Facebook user by the name of Grace Elaine embraced veganism after learning how animal agriculture destroys the environment. "I went vegan because I couldn't call myself an environmentalist if I wasn't. I had been a vegetarian for years before I went vegan thinking I was doing the right things, and then I woke up and became a witness to all the horrors that came with the meat and dairy industry. There is no reason to eat meat and dairy; it's bad for our bodies, it is bad for our environment, and it is extremely horrible for animals.

"Since I became vegan, I have noticed not only the injustices behind animal products but capitalism itself. In the same way that the animal-using industries want the public to remain disconnected from the horrors that occur behind closed doors, capitalism feeds off the ignorance of consumers so that we buy more, unaware of the consequences our impulse buys have on cheap laborers and the environment as a whole. Veganism has inspired me to consume less and be more mindful about the purchases I make and become more aware of various forms of privilege, oppression, and other social justice issues that are intertwined with animal liberation."
- Chelsea Miller

Named one of the sexiest vegan celebrities in 2014 by PETA, Elliot Page, formerly, Ellen Page, is vocal about his advocacy in his tweets. "Why are vegans made fun of while the inhumane factory farming process regards animals and the natural world merely as commodities to be exploited for profit?"

vegan leather

Elliot Page, formerly, Ellen Page, named “Sexiest Vegan” by PETA in 2014 (SOURCE: POPBUZZ)

We could go on and on talking about the fascinating insights of so many people who have transitioned to a vegan lifestyle. Whether it's for health, animal love, the environment, and moral reasons, the bottom line is, these people have found a lifestyle that feels right for them. Adopting a healthier and environmentally-susceptible lifestyle is a massive step in the right direction, and it is high time we all contemplate the choices we make every chance we have. 

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