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Going vegan may seem easy to some animal lovers, while it’s a hard-fought challenge for others. Most people seem to agree that it gets much easier when you get very clear on why you want to go vegan. Many teenagers are finding that clarity early in life. In fact, veganism is rapidly growing in popularity among young people. Here are three prevalent reasons teenagers are finding their way to a plant-based, more compassionate lifestyle.
Delectable vegan food is appealing to more teenagers as they have access to enviable Instagram images of everything from vegan desserts to decadent, hearty meals based on meat substitutes. Also, with veganism no longer being so rare, it’s easier for others to join.
I asked Lilly Cowie, a talented 13-year-old who has her own YouTube channel called Lillycution where she often shares vegan-themed videos, about why teens are going vegan.
Lilly explained, “I think food is what enables teens the most. Vegan food is getting better understood by the everyday person. I think it’s thanks to so many, recipes and products like non-dairy milks, the new innovations in vegan ‘meats' and focus around eating more veggies, (even in unsustainable diets based on Atkins or Paleo), that have helped everyone to see that you can eat vegan foods quiet easily.
Teenagers are aware of how the environmental damage that’s happening now can have a big impact on their future. The biggest, yet most ignored, cause of environmental destruction? That is animal agriculture. In fact, the United Nations reported that animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gases that driving automobiles. With Scientific American warning that we need to act now before it’s too late to reverse global warming, teens are waking up and realizing that their choices matter, and going vegan is an important choice that many who are concerned about the future of the world are making.
It’s easier than ever to spread information about the detrimental impact of animal agriculture. Not only are teens flocking to a variety of mainstream social media networks in droves, where they can connect with each other through groups and hashtags, there are also sites just for teen vegans. For example, Teen Vgn, the volunteer-led organization and social network for young vegetarians and vegans, empowers teens to share information and opinions with each other. It’s hard to be in denial when facts about meat and dairy are spreading like wildfire.
Teenagers also have a variety of strong vegan role models now who show how fun a more compassionate way of life can be. “Among teens, it’s a great help to look to inspiring influencers like colourful Fully Raw Christina, beautiful Chloe Coscarelli and athletic dad Rich Roll. I hope to become an influencer for my generation, as we could do with a tribe of more vocal young teen vegan activists,” explained Lilly.
Evanna Lynch, who rose to fame in the Harry Potter films, is a vegan who is planning her own plant-based podcast. Celebrities like actress Alicia Silverstone, who is forever immortalized as a teen in Clueless, and singer Miley Cyrus are outspoken about the joys of veganism. Many celebrities who appeal to teens share openly about how veganism rocks their world.
One’s things for sure. Veganism among teenagers seems set to spread even further. As Lilly said, “It’s us teens who are more open to questioning things, because we are less committed to one type of thinking, as adults can be. I am so proud of people, whatever their age, when they become curious enough to question the ‘norms’ and then even more impressed when they change their eating habits for a healthier, happier change!”
Robin Raven is the author of Santa’s First Vegan Christmas. She has written for publications such as The Malibu Times, Alabama Baby & Child Magazine, the official website of Melissa Gilbert, and USAToday.com. She holds a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and is now furthering her education. Robin often has her nose in a book and her arms around a rescued animal. She’s a vegan foodie who blogs at RobinRaven.com and loves to connect with readers on social media. You can follow her @RobinRaven on Twitter.
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