When asked to imagine a future in which vegan diets are widespread, participants in a recent New Zealand study largely answered that society would be kinder, more peaceful, and more caring. While many respondents envisioned limited to no health and environmental benefits by adopting plant-based diets, the study found overwhelmingly that the young participants linked reduced societal dysfunction with vegetarianism and increased societal happiness, sense of community, and concern for animal welfare and nature protection with veganism. The researchers, who are from The University of Melbourne and Victoria University of Wellington, concluded that campaigns focused solely on the health and environmental benefits of veganism are not as effective as those that also emphasize the positive societal outcomes that may result from widespread veganism. That means that discussions in Western societies, which tend to frame vegan diets as personal or individual choices, should shift to conversations about the wider communal outcomes that are possible if a group of people or entire society went plant-based.
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