The vegan lifestyle and plant based diets are attracting more and more people. There are plenty of good reasons to do so, too. Research has shown that if you choose to go meat-free, your blood pressure will be lower, you’ll have a lower risk of death from heart disease, lower risk of diabetes, lower risk of developing cancer and enjoy being in a better mood. So it’s not difficult to see the health benefits of going vegan. While over 50 percent of those who follow a vegetarian diet do so to improve their health (Vegetarian Times survey), that’s not the only reason so many people are going this route.
Factory farming is becoming more transparent, which means animal welfare is attracting more attention. This is a common reason why people choose to go vegetarian or vegan. 54 percent of the people surveyed by the Vegetarian Times said that this was a factor in their choice. 47 percent said that reducing their environmental footprint and leading a greener lifestyle was a factor.
Business is booming
Because of its growing popularity, vegan-friendly businesses are rapidly growing and doing quite well. From stores that cater to vegan cooking like Amy’s to vegan-friendly supplements like Plant Sport, you can find pretty much anything. TheVeganList.com has business listings in pretty much any category to find vegan-friendly businesses.
Take a look at some of these interesting facts:
- Vegetarians have, on average, cholesterol rates 50 point lower than non-vegetarians
- 10 percent of adults in the U.S. Now follow some sort of vegetarian diet. This may be completely meat-free or simply excluding certain meats and dairy.
- Nearly 60 percent of vegetarians say they’ve been living their lifestyle for more than a decade.
- The majority of vegetarians are part of younger generations. Merely 17 percent are over 55 years old.
- Nearly 60 percent of vegetarians are women
There are tons of vegan and vegetarian festivals you can attend to learn about the lifestyle, hear medical experts and book authors speak, enjoy a wide range of food and simply have a good time. There’s probably one near you. Probably the most well known is the VeggeiFest in Chicago (Naperville). This year it will be on Aug. 9th and 10th. Many swear this is absolutely the best vegan festival to attend. Unlike many others, this one needs two full days to fit everything in. The cuisine is spectacular with its famous vegan food court. You can find a little bit of everything, so come hungry. Just some of what you can expect to find: smoothies, Chinese, Caribbean style spicy foods, variety of veggie kabobs, ice cream, fries, juice, Cappuccinos, deserts and much more. But it’s not just about the food. Bring the kids along for the Vegi-Kids Parade. Get creative with them by doing some arts & crafts and other interactive fun-filled activities that teach them about being vegetarian. Enjoy live music, face painting and photo opportunities. When you need a little relaxation, visit the family meditation tent. Get directions and more info at the VeggieFest website.