BBC News recently published a feature entitled “Veganism: How a Maligned Movement Went Mainstream,” which highlighted a change in the perception of vegans in recent years. Writer Caroline Lowbridge interviewed influential organizations and individuals—including The Vegan Society, Sean O’ Callaghan (founder of blog Fat Gay Vegan), and the founders of Veganuary—to gain insight into the rapid growth of veganism. “We did a survey where we asked people about their perceptions of veganism,” Vegan Society Head of Communications Samantha Calvert said, “and found that non-vegans actually often said that they admired vegans. That wouldn’t have been the case 20 or 30 years ago.” Currently, 42 percent of vegans in the United Kingdom are between the ages of 15 and 34. Calvert explained social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube are driving younger generations to become increasingly aware of issues surrounding animal agriculture. Lowbridge pointed to 2017 as the year big corporations fulfilled the growing demand for vegan products with Ben & Jerry’s introducing non-dairy ice cream, international pizza chain Pizza Hut permanently adding vegan cheese to its UK locations, and liquor company Bailey’s debuting an almond milk-based alternative to its popular Irish cream. “I’m not sure a day went by during the year where at least one mainstream newspaper wasn’t reporting on vegan advancements,” O’Callaghan said. “2017 was the year where veganism was cemented as a permanent aspect of our society.”
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