Updated: Mar 15
It's #Veganuary this means that the supermarkets are full of special offers on vegan food, manufacturers launch new vegan junk food and celebrities go vegan then tell the world how wonderful it feels to be plant-based, before they go back to eating the way that they did before. For some people Veganuary means the push that they needed, the motivation to make the step, the leap, into veganism. But, what will 2021 bring for vegans and for the world at large?
Public Figures Go Vegan?
With the pandemic raging out of control in some countries, more people are looking at ways to become healthier. They realise that obesity is harmful in more ways than just getting out of breath walking up the stairs, that obesity often leads to diabetes, heart disease and with diseases like covid it can mean a trip to the hospital, being put on a ventilator and even death. Public figures are also starting to speak out about the importance of good health and maintaining a healthy weight. Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister, became ill with covid and was in intensive care for weeks, after this he realised that he had to start taking his health seriously. A petition was started in December 2020 to urge Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to go vegan for 31 days in January. She didn't take up the challenge, but she was chosen for the challenge due to her stance on encouraging people to eat in a way that is healthy and better for the environment.
Links Between Animal Agriculture And Climate Change Become Common Knowledge
Many people don't believe that animal agriculture contributes to most of the greenhouse gases and pollution that is destroying the planet. In fact, it is easy to find many articles on Google that will support the idea that animal agriculture is actually good for the environment. The problem is, it isn't. Animal agriculture leads to pollution of the air, pollution of seas and waterways, destruction of rainforests and huge amounts of wasted energy while millions go hungry. Most of the vegetables grown each year are fed to animals to grow them for meat. If these vegetables were used to feed people no one would go hungry; there would be enough food for every man woman and child. The wildfires in Australia at the beginning of 2020 turned a lot of attention on to global warming and how human activity was destroying the planet, this attention waned as the pandemic took hold. People started to talk about it again when the wildfires of California were forcing people from their homes, destroying everything that they owned and ruining their lives. But, the fires were brought under control and people turned back to the pandemic. Hopefully, as the world returns to normality people will acknowledge that eating meat destroys our planet.
The Link Between Animal Exploitation And Pandemics Is Accepted As Fact
When covid was first discovered, before anyone understood just how dangerous it was, many people, celebrities, university professors and lay-people alike, came out to tell the world that this was a fuss over nothing. That covid was just like the flu, you get sick, you get better, a few people die, no big deal. A few months later this was clearly not the case; a year later nearly 2 million people have died and this number is believed to be short of the true number of people that have died from a covid infection. When the origin of the covid pandemic was traced back to a wet market in Wuhan, China one well known personality said that they simply did not believe that covid had been caused by "one person eating bat soup". Well, where the bat soup idea came from I don't know, but this virus did start in bats and, via another wild animal host, it was passed on to humans. This means that the animal had to be in contact with humans to pass the virus on. Humans have a way of messing with things that would be better left alone that almost always lead to a bad outcome; covid is proof of this. The 1918 pandemic started on a chicken farm, it was a type of bird flu, SARS is believed to have come from pigs on a farm, MERS came from people using camels and now covid has come from an illegal trade in wild animals. The connection is right there and this is something that simply needs to be understood, not fought against.
All Fast Food Companies Will Offer Vegan Options
Papa John, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Domino's, KFC, Greggs, everyone wants a slice of the vegan pie. Even McDonalds is going to launching a vegan burger, but they are late to that party, extremely late. Whether or not you choose to eat at places that make most of their profit from the abuse and mass slaughter of animals is entirely up to you, there are good arguments for and against buying food from these places. However, as more companies discover that there is a lot of money to be made from vegan products (vegans have jobs too) they have realised that this is something that they should invest in. Also, it's not just vegans eating these meals, some people are curious, some people think they're being healthy by eating a fried Quorn burger with their chips instead of a fried chicken burger, but hey, whatever works for you.
Vegan Fabrics Become Fashionable
Decades ago real fur was a sign of wealth and luxury. Women would drape a whole fox around their shoulders, the little foxy skull would bounce off of their collar bone as they walked. People would trip over the bear head at the end of their bear skin rugs as they walked across their living rooms. It's pretty stupid looking at it now, but, back then, it was "conspicuous consumption", the proof that you had so much money that you could buy and display these things. The sports car compared to the family hatchback. However, recently things have shifted, showing how rich you are has become tacky and so people are spending their money in other ways, such as organic foods and electric cars. This means that less people want real leather, real suede, real wool. Not only this, products such leather made from banana leaves and soft fake furs are not only relatively cheap, they are good quality, easy to care for and last a long time. Designers that want to appear edgy and forward thinking are using these fabrics and making a huge fuss about it. They talk about wanting to help the environment, wanting to reduce waste, it's all non-sense, they just want your money.
More Food Products Will Be Made Vegan
"Why is there milk in this?" Every vegan has asked this question. Quite often you will pick something up in a shop and assume that it will be okay for you to eat, but checking the ingredients shows that it isn't. Carmine, whey, gelatine and many other ingredients that do not seem necessary, that could be replaced with plant based alternatives, such using maple syrup instead of honey are used, meaning that these items are not vegan friendly. Food manufacturers have been removing the animal products from many recipes for over a year now and we can expect this trend to continue. Dairy lecithins being replaced with sunflower lecithins, gelatine being removed from sweets and vegetables oils being used instead of butter are the way forward.
It looks like 2021 will be a good year for vegans, for the planet, for the animals.