Remember last year when PETA campaigned to change the name of San Francisco’s Tenderloin District to the “Tempeh District?” That was great, wasn’t it? (Runner-up names included “Granola Flats” and “Seitan’s Lair”.) And oh, how I wish I could forget that VegNews was exposed for using edited pictures of non-vegan foods in order to promote their vegan recipes. They promised not to do it ever again. Hopefully no one else does either!
2011 was definitely the beginning of veganism hitting the mainstream. Remember when Oprah and three-hundred-something of her staff went vegan and after that, Bill Clinton? I didn’t see that coming. Bigwig celebrity vegan diets was definitely a theme of 2011. But what I see coming in 2012 is even bigger; I’m thinking we’re going to see a lot more vegan athletes and vegan bodybuilders. Venus and Serena Williams just announced their raw vegan diet. I’m guess there will probably be a few new vegan babies too!
Possibly the biggest trend on the horizon is “Flexitarianism“. No, this is not another corny reference to vegan body builders. It is a way of eating that reduces the amount of animal products consumed, without going all the way vegan. At least half of Americans are aware of the “Meatless Monday” campaign with around 27% actively trying to reduce the amount of animal products they are consuming. And the amount of meat we are consuming as a nation can be seen as plummeting in comparison to recent years.
In the media right now there is no shortage of reasons why people are striving to eat a mostly plant-based diet. Some sources are reporting that going vegan is better for the environment that going organic. Authors of the China Study report that the long-term effects of animal products on the human body are worse than smoking cigarettes. Even the Harvard School of Public Health recently cut out dairy and made meat optional in their revision of the classic food pyramid. So perhaps being a perfect vegan isn’t in the cards for some people, but if you ask me, flexitarians can still cut it with the rest of us.