In late 2018, The Economist predicted that 2019 would be the “Year of The Vegan” and boy were they right. 2019 was by far the most successful year to date for veganism as a movement and for vegan food. Veganism went mainstream.
Millennials are choosing to go vegan more than any other generation and as The Economist so rightly stated: “Where millennials lead, businesses and governments will follow.”. We can see this, especially in the UK, with literally thousands of new vegan products being made available throughout supermarkets and restaurants nationwide.
Veganism was an incredibly hot topic with frequent debates on popular chat shows, mini-documentaries exploring the idea of veganism and just this week both the BBC and Channel 4 have launched three new vegan TV shows between them.
2020 is set to be the year veganism establishes it’s place within society. No longer considered a fad or trend, but a philosophy to live by.
Here are our top vegan highlights of 2019.
1. Ethical Veganism Protected by Law
In a recent ruling in the UK, ethical veganism is now protected by law that considers it to be a philosophical belief. Vegans are now protected against discrimination.
This follows the unfair dismissal of a man who worked for The League Against Cruel Sports. He questioned the company’s investment choices, some of which were in companies that test on animals.
Many people claim veganism is still a fad diet or trendy lifestyle choice but they fail to understand the deeper meaning behind the choice to be vegan. Hopefully, with this new ruling, veganism can start to be seen for what it is and no longer compared to fad diets or trendy lifestyles.
2. Beyond Meat Achieves Best IPO in 2019
Photo by Wikimedia Commons
Last year saw alternative meat vegan products rocket in popularity. Beyond Meat launched its IPO in the middle of the year selling shares at $25 a pop. The stock was an instant success and surged 163%.
Since this launch, Beyond Meat has made some incredible deals with the likes of McDonald’s to help bring more of their products to the general public. This huge success of Beyond Meat helped send a message across the world that not only do we have a great meat alternative but now is the time to start reducing the number of meat products people eat.
This success combined with the increasingly popular Impossible Burger has helped veganism move into the mainstream.
3. Gregg’s Sausage Roll
Photo by Greggs
January 2019 saw the launch of one of the most talked-about vegan products in the world, Gregg’s sausage roll. People qued for hours to get their hands them. Some people threw tantrums at the idea of sausage roll not made from pork – Piers Morgan pretended to vomit after trying one on national TV and all of this helped it become Gregg’s bestselling products boosting their profits through the roof.
Now, in January 2020, they have just launched Gregg’s vegan steak bake. The reaction has not been as crazy but the product has been hugely successful with huge crowds swarming to Gregg’s to pick one up. Piers Morgan hates it but that is expected.
4. The Game Changers Movie
One of the most highly anticipated and talked about films of the year, The Game Changers, created by James Cameron and a number of high profile athletes and celebrities. The documentary which challenged the perception that meat is essential for protein, strength and athletic performance.
The documentary has helped millions reconsider the amount of meat they are eating and has piqued their interest in the vegan lifestyle.
5. Greta Thunberg is Named Person of the Year
Photo by Wikimedia Commons
If you didn’t already know, Great Thunberg, the world-famous environmentalist taking on the world leaders to fight for better climate action is also a vegan. Greta is admired by millions of young people all over the world and Greta challenges their idea of animals as food.
Greta continues to attract the attention of the world’s media as she tries to convince governments all over the world to take more action to help our planet.
6. Oatly Take Over
Photo by Oatly
2019 saw the huge success of Oatly who created some provoking and fun advertising campaigns across the UK challenging people’s cow milk-drinking habits. Oatly has established itself in the UK as the leader in alternative milk vegan products offering a wide range of different styles to suit each person.
Oatly has successfully helped hundreds of thousands to reduce or give up milk and is set to continue to do so this year. The dairy industry has been hit hard following some amazing activism in the UK with videos revealing some of the horrors behind a glass of cow’s milk.
7. Tesco Launches ‘Plant Chef’ Range
Photo by Tesco
Tesco caused a huge stir amongst meat lovers and farmers last year with their advert showing a little girl telling her Dad she no longer wants to eat animals. This advert was launched to promote Tesco’s new vegan range, ‘Plant Chef’.
The new vegan range has been a huge success helping more people than ever find meat and dairy-free alternative meals. It’s helping people all over the UK to realize how simple and tasty a vegan diet can be.
8. The Death of Fur Fashion
2019 was the year some of the most well-known fashion brands on the planet decided to ditch fur. Animal and vegan activists around the world are putting pressure more than ever. Entire states in the US have now put a ban on the sale of fur, including California.
Many celebrities ahve also quit fur as social pressure of the public eye is ever growing around animal products. People are now just waiting for the Kardashians to give up fur which would help raise awareness to millions.
Even the Queen went fur-free last year!
9. Vegan Food Becomes Fastest Growing Takeaway
Last year, more people than ever were choosing vegan foods as their choice for a takeaway. The orders of vegan foods grew by 388% between 2016-2018.
A combination of plant-based innovation, climate change strikes and vegan news stories has helped create huge number of people going flexitarian. People are actively choosing to buy and eat fewer animal products. A huge success for veganism.
10. Veganism Goes Mainstream
Photo by KFC
It’s hard to go a single day anymore without hearing something about veganism. KFC launches their new vegan burger. Aldi launches a new vegan range or Channel 4 launching a vegan TV show. Veganism is quite simply everywhere.
If veganism achieved anything last year it was awareness. The vegan philosopy is now more understood and accepted. People’s friends and family members are going vegan. Local restauranst now offer vegan options and their favorite newspaper reports on veganism daily.
2019 was the year veganism went mainstream and it is not going anywhere anytime soon.
Veganism is here to stay.