It would seem that veganism is the fastest growing lifestyle movement. There are over half a million vegans in the UK according to The Vegan Society who conducted a study in partnership with Vegan Life magazine.
Approximately 542,000 people in Britain are now vegan and exclude fish, meat, dairy, cheese, honey and eggs from their diet.
This has increased by over 350% since the last time it was calculated about 10 years ago when 150,000 people followed the lifestyle.
The study was carried out by leading researchers Ipsos MORI and surveyed around 10,000 people aged 15 or over across England, Scotland and Wales - the biggest ever poll quantifying the vegan community.
"To have over half a million vegans in Britain is fantastic. More people than ever before are acting upon the health and environmental benefits of veganism, and finding out what really goes on in the meat and dairy industries and deciding they do not want to contribute to the pain and suffering of animals," said Jasmijn de Boo, CEO of The Vegan Society.
The results are encouraging- so many people care about animals and the planet.
Almost half of vegetarians who are not vegan would prefer to reduce their consumption of animal products- the equivalent of 521,000 people in the UK. This means there could be over 1 million vegans in the UK if veggies decide to go that one-step further.
Veganism is being boosted by young people who are opting for more ethical and compassionate choices in what they eat and wear.
The study also found that 3.25% of the population or 1.68 million are vegetarian or vegan. Over 860,000 of these people also avoid leather and wool.
Most of the vegans in the UK live in the towns or cities (88%) - most live in London (22%), compared to just 12% in rural locations.
Vegan Life magazine publishing director Keith Coomber said: "The public perception of veganism is changing fast. It's no longer an extreme lifestyle, it's easy and accessible - you can walk into any supermarket and be greeted by a huge range of dairy-free milks and many more other vegan-friendly products.
"As consumers become savvier about the reality of the farming industry, and the health implications of meat and dairy products, this boom will only continue."
De Boo added: "The reasons behind the rise of veganism are numerous: the positive portrayal in the media has contributed to its changing image; documentaries on the shocking realities and consequences of animal agriculture have gained prominence; delicious-looking vegan recipes have multiplied online and on social media as society becomes increasingly health-conscious; and top vegan athletes keep proving that you can be fit and healthy on a plant-based diet.
"Going vegan is the best thing any individual can do for the animals, the planet and your health. What are you waiting for?"
You can try going vegan with the 30 Day Vegan Pledge. Sign up for free at www.vegansociety.com/pledge and receive daily emails of advice, info and many great recipes.
Tagged in Vegan