If you’re reading this, you probably don’t need convincing about how great it feels to be vegan. That said, discovering interesting facts about ourselves can be fun, especially when those facts are issues that we’ve never thought of before. Also, we can find comfort in community by recognizing and owning a few quirks that plant-based people tend to share. With this in mind, we’re highlighting 34 thought-provoking, humorous, insightful, and shocking facts about vegans that make us glad to live a cruelty-free lifestyle.
1. There are more of us than ever before, as six percent of the United States population identifies as vegan—a 600-percent increase since 2014.
2. Vegans can spot an animal product in a long ingredients list faster a cheetah can run (ok, not really). We see you, gelatin and whey powder!
3. Millennials are leading the vegan charge, as the world’s largest age demographic is paying more attention to what it eats. Thankfully, it’s plant-based.
4. Vegans make the best cupcakes. Proof: chef Chloe Coscarelli beat other (non-vegan) contestants on the “Matchmaking Party” episode of Cupcake Wars in 2010. Vegan for the win!
5. Vegans save approximately 30 animals per year, which works out to one life spared every two weeks.
6. Vegans have smaller footprints … on the environment. By not supporting deleterious factory farming practices, vegans create approximately half the carbon footprint of an omnivore.
7. Long-term vegans (17 years and more, according to a Mayo Clinic study) increase their life expectancy by 3.6 years.
8. Countless studies have shown that a whole-foods, plant-based diet has the power to eradicate type 2 diabetes in most individuals who suffer from it.
9. Compared to meat, plants are a far more sustainable form of nutrients. For example, 1.5 acres can produce 37,000 pounds of plant-based food, whereas the same amount of land produces only 375 pounds of beef.
10. A vegan diet requires 1/13 the amount of water of an omnivorous diet.
12. Vegans don’t think it’s weird to soak our nuts.
13. Vegans make the best chocolate mousse. Out of avocados, of course.
14. Vegans consume more than lettuce and green juice, which might come as a surprise to your omnivorous friends who take you to a restaurant without vegan salad options and say, “Just order no meat and no cheese.”
15. Vegans can run 100 miles in less than 13 hours … well, at least Michael Arnstein did in 2012.
16. Vegans massage their kale.
17. Vegans introduced the world to 100-percent cruelty-free, plant-based burgers that look, smell, taste, and bleed like an animal-based burger. Omnivores (and some vegans) are gobbling them up due to their expansive distribution in restaurants, and fast-casual chains. Look for the Impossible Burger in metropolitan areas, whereas the Beyond Burger can be found at Veggie Grill, TGI Fridays, and more nationwide.
18. Some vegans (this writer included) will drive exceptionally far for vegan food (my personal record is two-and-a-half hours).
19. Vegans invented a sustainable, cruelty-free, healthy shrimp alternative made from plants and algae. Thank you, New Wave Foods!
20. According to a 2008 brain-scan study, vegans tend to have heightened levels of empathy.
21. Vegans made banana “nice cream” go viral. Although we could not pinpoint who created blending frozen bananas into a soft-serve treat, we have tracked this plant-based staple back to vegan blog posts from 2009—before the Yonanas Machine was invented. Now, everyone from women’s magazines and the diet industry to HuffPost is raving about it.
22. Vegans make the best salads.
23. Vegans can easily plow through an entire tray of roasted vegetables or devour a mixing bowl-sized salad as a meal.
24. Vegans make cheese out of nuts. And you can’t tell the difference.
25. Vegans are obsessed with plant-based macaroni and cheese.
26. Vegans have the power to transform plants into culinary masterpieces. When omnivores ask, just say it’s vegan magic.
27. Vegans have not been duped by societal speciesism. We know all living beings deserve to be treated with equal respect and kindness.
28. A resident of Las Vegas is referred to as a Las Vegan.
29. Not all vegans have celiac disease, and we do not all adhere to a gluten-free diet.
30. Vegans can eat animal products—we simply choose not to.
31. Vegans discovered how to mimic egg whites using the brine from chickpeas. The process is called “aquafaba,” and it’s revolutionizing the baking world.
32. Plant-based food sales escalated to $3.1 billion as of September 2017—an 8.1-percent increase from the previous year.
33. Vegans are voting for a more sustainable, healthier, and ethical world with each bite, thanks to the basic economic principles of supply and demand.
34. Studies have shown that a plant-based diet increases metabolism. Within three hours following a meal, vegans can burn calories up to 16-percent faster than omnivores. Burn baby, burn!