The word vegan has become synonymous with meat, and in the West we’ve grown accustomed to eating meat as a default.
But this may not be the case for all animals, especially those that live in far-flung countries where meat consumption is banned or discouraged.
One vegan organisation, Animal Rights UK, recently released a report called Animal Rights Is Not a Meat Substitute that argues meat-eating should be viewed as an extension of animal welfare, not a substitute for it.
The report aims to create awareness of the many other animals that are treated equally and treated humanely by society, but it also argues for a change in how we consume meat, from the traditional way of consuming it to one that involves eating meat in a plant-based way.
“We’re not in a situation where we’re making choices about how we eat meat,” says Anna Jones, the executive director of Animal Rights.
“There’s just no room for it to be a substitute to a meat-based diet.”
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try and change our habits.
In some countries, meat-free meals are a regular part of the diets of some communities, and veganism is now becoming a popular dietary choice in Europe and the US.
Here’s how it works: Vegans have been using veganism as a way to avoid meat for a long time.
In the 1960s, British chemist Margaret Beckett first made the case that eating meat was responsible for the deaths of millions of animals, including the largest ever known case of salmonella in a pig.
That led to a series of studies and scientific publications, including one that showed that meat killed millions of mice over a lifetime.
In 1984, scientists in the US discovered that salmonellosis in humans can be traced back to eating bacon and other cured meats.
The American public responded to this and banned bacon from the American diet in 1986.
In response, American vegan and animal rights activist Dr. Helen Fisher created the first vegan supermarket in New York City, called The Natural Meat Store.
She believed that veganism was an important step towards animal welfare.
But even in a market with a vegan menu, meat was still considered a normal part of life.
And with the advent of refrigeration, that changed.
Meat became cheap and plentiful, and meat-eaters could no longer afford to spend their time in the supermarket.
Veganism became a part of our lives, and was a way of living.
In Japan, meat is still the most common meat-reduced food in the world, but in many parts of the country, meat has become the mainstay of a diet.
In South Korea, meat consumption dropped by almost half between 1998 and 2013.
According to the Pew Research Centre, people in Japan are increasingly vegetarian.
And according to research from the University of Michigan, in 2013, there were over 50 million meat-eater households in the United States.
In 2016, the number of meat-consuming Americans increased by 25 million people, and the number eating meat dropped by 22 million.
“Veganism was always a political movement and it’s been about this for a while,” says Jones.
“Now, it’s become a way people are making political change about how they eat meat.”
And with a growing number of vegan restaurants, it looks like we may be in the early days of a trend that will be even more influential in the coming years.
Vegan restaurants have been gaining popularity in cities like London, Sydney, and Los Angeles.
Vegan cafes have been popping up across the country and now are also popping up in New Zealand.
“In some places it’s becoming a bit of a mainstream thing,” says Jessica Bickford, the founder of the Vegan Café.
“They’re having people come in and have the most beautiful vegan meal.”
This trend is spreading to Australia, where many vegan restaurants are already popping up, including The Vegan Cafe in Sydney.
Vegan food has also been gaining ground in the UK.
“I think the UK is becoming more and more of a hub for veganism and for the vegans, I think it’s really exciting,” says Jane Green, the co-founder of Vegan Society, which is a nonprofit that works to promote veganism in the country.
“It’s becoming increasingly popular and more accessible.
And as we’re starting to see more and less meat in our diet, people are starting to realise they can eat a vegan meal as well.”
In a similar vein, the vegan movement has also gained traction in Europe.
In 2014, the British government banned the sale of meat products in supermarkets.
In 2018, the European Parliament voted to ban the sale and production of meat in Europe altogether.
Vegan eating has also seen a significant increase in the popularity of vegan-friendly restaurants, and that’s also helped to make the movement more visible to more people.
Vegan Cafe, for example, is one of the few vegan cafes in London that’s even a bit on the trendy side.
The cafe, which opened in 2012, was inspired by the vegan restaurant in