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Veganism is taking off in a big way.
That’s not an opinion. That’s fact. More people—everywhere—are becoming vegan.
Let’s start in the UK. There are now 350% more vegans compared to a decade ago. This is reflected in burgeoning industries in many sectors. Just take the food industry—where plant based product sales are up 1,500%.
Rarely does a day go by without new vegan options coming out. For example, supermarket giant Sainsbury’s recently launched a new line of vegan cheese, which exceeded expected sales by 300%.
Elsewhere, for example in Australia, Germany, Russia and the US, similar trends have emerged. The “Try Vegan This January” campaign Veganuary just broke records too, as did the number of people searching for ‘vegan’ on Google.
But there has been a twist. Because as people are adopting veganism more and more, there has been a pushback from industry. Corporate leaders, clearly feeling threatened, are pressuring lawmakers to nip this trend in the bud.
In the US, many states have passed what are known as ‘ag-gag’ bills. These laws make it a felony to do something as seemingly trivial as taking a picture of a suffering pig in a factory farm. And why? Because it’s a threat to profits.
And what’s worse? It’s happening in Australia, too. Their new Biosecurity Bill dubbed the Australian “ag-gag” legislation hands power to law enforcement officials, allowing them to prosecute whistleblowers revealing the practices of corporate-sanctioned animal rights abusers.
This attempt to stifle dissent, along with the vast livestock subsidies designed to keep meat, dairy and eggs cheap for consumers, shows just how entrenched the animal agriculture industries are. The US dairy industry, for example, is currently pleading with congress to pressure the FDA to issue a ruling that plant-based milk can’t be called “milk”.
BBC’s latest “clean eating” documentary is another case in point. The programme, by many accounts, provided a biased representation of the benefits of plant based nutrition under the guise of educating the public about popular diets.
It may be no surprise that it later transpired that the presenter’s funding source was Helmholz Alliance, which is connected with Sanofi Aventis Pharmaceuticals, the fifth largest drug company in the World.
Sanofi is the maker of some of the most popular diabetes drugs on the market, Lantus and the newly-released Toujeo. They also produce a host of drugs to treat cardiovascular disease. Both diseases, incidentally, can be effectively treated, and even reversed, with a plant-based diet.
The conflicts of interest are not always obvious, but they certainly exist. As Nelson Campbell, founder of Plant Pure, Inc. last week said:
“The power of industry is enormous… their collusion with academia, media and government runs deep.”
The harm caused as a result of this industry influence cannot be overstated. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of climate change, amazon destruction, species extinction, ocean dead zones, antibiotic resistance and the inefficient feeding of a growing population.
So, why is there not more awareness of the detrimental effects? Especially given that meat, dairy and eggs are completely unnecessary for optimal health, and are among the largest contributors to chronic disease.
Put simply, there is a network of industries and institutions that coexist, embedding themselves in society, and they have a vested interest in holding back veganism. They mutually benefit each other, habituating into us food habits that cause great harm.
Unless we question the false bedrock assumptions about the role of animal products—that, for example we need meat, dairy and eggs for protein—and rid ourselves of our archaic status-quo attitudes—that things will never change—animal exploitation will be perpetuated and the health of our planet and it’s people undermined.
But there is hope. The animal agriculture industry and mainstream media no longer control the messages. Due to the Internet, new communication pathways are now available.
We have an amazing opportunity to change the World. Lets not be confused by the establishment agenda that too easily diverts, nor demoralized when their power feels too strong. Stand up, speak up, and I promise, you will be on the right side of history.
Klaus is the editor and founder of Plant Based News.
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