Okja Release Spikes “Vegan” Google Searches by 65 Percent

The moving blockbuster about a lovable pig destined for slaughter is raising questions about eating animals, pushing viewers to actively seek vegan resources.


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According to animal-rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), animal-rights-themed film Okja is responsible for a 65-percent increase in Google searches for the term “vegan.” The film was released mid-May and by late June, Google searches for the term “vegan” hit levels equivalent to those that occur around New Year’s annually—a time when people make resolutions often related to pursuing a better diet and lifestyle. The film—which stars actress Tilda Swinton and is produced by South Korean director Bong Joon-ho—follows the relationship of Mija (played by child actress Ahn Seo-hyun) as she forms an emotional bond with titular character Okja (a “superpig” that’s destined for slaughter). PETA predicts that the increase in “vegan” Google searches will continue thanks to the vegan documentary What the Health, which has been recently credited for a boom in new vegan customers at restaurants across the Dallas, TX area. “In July alone, PETA received more than 21,000 requests for our vegan starter kits—double the number of an average month,” PETA’s Vice President Colleen O’Brien tells VegNews. “These powerful films are creating a new generation of vegans, one screening at a time.”