From evolution to revolution. The explosion of plant based products.
By Joy Gomez, Safe Haven Head Caretaker
Vegetarianism is not new. Albert Einstein, Susan B. Anthony and Leonardo Da Vinci – some of history’s most influential thinkers – were Vegetarian.
Yet vegetarianism has come a long way from the era of these greats. Companies are rapidly evolving the idea of what it means to eat vegetarian, and moreover, vegan. Plants are now being scientifically studied and new food options are being created in order to replicate the flavors and textures that our meat-and-dairy-based-culture has grown to love, while adding compassion into the process – no animals are harmed in the making of these products. Although conglomerates such as Tyson, Smithfield and Nestle are still far away from becoming solely plant based companies (i.e. they are still mass contributors to horrific animal agriculture practices), even they are jumping on the vegan-food-wagon by producing new plant-based goods.
These products are rapidly finding their way to the shelves of grocery stores and restaurants are beginning to carry many more vegan selections. Fast-food chains, such as Burger King, White Castle and Dunkin Donuts now carry delicious plant-based options as well. Others, such as KFC and Subway, are currently testing vegan options at select locations in the US, although many European locations are already regularly carrying these products. While vegans are generally pretty creative and can usually put together food options among meat-centric menus, we now also find ourselves with a wider variety of choices at a wider variety of eateries. Vegans and the vegan-curious will also be happy to know that the prices of these plant-based alternatives should drop as they become more common on the market.
This fast-paced change is not surprising. Rather, it’s the revolutionary way we view the food that comes to our plate. People are continually awaking to the injustices of human and animal oppression and the negative impact we have had on the planet. Many prominent people are making a way to share their visions and spread the word about the negative effects of using animals as products. Young, influential musical artists such as Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus are open about their choice to be vegan for the betterment of animal welfare and the environment. Leonardo DiCaprio, a social, environmental and animal activist and actor, has joined up with the company Beyond Meat to help continue its mission of producing plant-based meat alternatives. Recently another social, environmental and animal activist and actor, Joaquin Phoenix, made an emotional and powerful speech at the 2020 Oscars, perhaps effectuating even more change in the world. At a time when we need it most, the rapidly growing vegan industry is a shining beacon to a more compassionate and healthy world!
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