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The Rise of Veganism

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21st century has noticed many movements in food and dietary requirements. We explore the concept of veganism and why it is on such a popular rise!

You might be in the middle of a conversation when your eyes catch someone’s social media post wherein they declare, “I am going vegan.” You let that thought settle and with every breath, there is a lurking curiosity.What is veganism and why has it become a more mainstream food choice trend in the recent years?The vegan diet has, for a long time now, been clearly associated with boring salad bowls and alternatives to the meats. At times it is also confused with vegetarianism. Veganism is more than all of this. It is a philosophy, a way of living, which excludes all forms of exploitation and cruelty towards animals for food, clothing, and other purposes. It includes a healthy alternative to everything, even the dietary essentials like milk and other dairy products.

Veganism as a lifestyle option is on the rise, fairly due to its massive presence on social media, influencing the choices of the audiences. A lot of celebrities have opted for a vegan lifestyle. A lot of influencers regularly promote vegan choices and products. According to the recent statistics presented by BBC News, veganism has one of the highest web searches worldwide. With prominent celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian, Sonam Kapoor, etc. promoting it, it has gained a lot of attention.Some of the vegan foods are alsoknown to be gluten-free. Although these terms are wrongly used interchangeably, they are not the same. Gluten-free and veganism are considered to be similar when they are not. Gluten-free diets are also rising considerably. A gluten-free diet is necessary if you have a celiac disease, or are otherwise gluten intolerant. If neither of those conditions persists, then there is absolutely no reason to avoid gluten. Other misconceptions that circle the vegan choice are the ‘missing out factor.’ When you go vegan, you can still have your favourite foods, the only things you will be ditching are cruelty and cholesterol
that go hand in hand with using animals for food. As the demand for vegan food options is skyrocketing, companies are now coming out with more delicious meat and dairy free options that taste great, are healthier, and do not hurt living beings.

A popular argument against veganism is the fact that it is a luxury or an expensive diet. Tobias Leenaert in his book Vegan Strategist calls veganism a ‘first world luxury’. While a lot of people agree it is the transitioning which partakes to be expensive, it depends from region to region. While transitioning, faux meats will be more expensive than regular meats.Necessities like dairy are now swapped with plant based products. Soy milk, coconut milk, and creams are subject to regional availability, which is key to determining their price. Waiver in the supplementations one will require keeping the nutritional balance. Arpita Chhikara, a graduate of Jesus and Mary College said, “Being a vegan is one of the best choices. You know you are doing something incredibly good when you opt for a more healthy option that benefits all. At the end of the day, it’s our choices that really make or break us. This is my choice
and I love every bit of it.”

Feature Image Credits: The Economist

Avnika Chhikara

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