World Vegan Month Heralds Record Growth for the Plant-Based Movement
November 1st is World Vegan Day, inaugurating a month-long annual celebration of veganism and the plant-based lifestyle. New research shows how veganism is proliferating significantly throughout the globe.
Established in 1994 by Louise Wallis, then Chair of The Vegan Society in the United Kingdom, Vegan Month commemorates the anniversary of the founding of the organisation and the coining of the terms “vegan” and “veganism” that are so hotly discussed and ubiquitous today.
The Vegan Society describes World Vegan Month as “a time to shine a light on the vegan movement,” while Farm Animal Rights Movement calls it “a month of compassion and understanding of veganism.” Even if you’re not vegan or ready to try plant-based eating, it’s a ripe opportunity to learn about the lifestyle and sample novel vegan foods, particularly since many restaurants offer plant-based options as a unique feature of their November menu to commemorate the occasion.
Veganism On The Rise in 2023
Soylent reports the number of vegans worldwide reached approximately 79 million and from 2004 to 2019, and the number of vegans in the USA increased 30-fold. During the pandemic the plant-based market grew by 27 percent.
According to Grand View Research the global vegan food market size was valued at USD 16.55 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.7% from 2023 to 2030. They have reported that increased awareness about the health benefits of following a vegan diet is a key factor driving the growth.
A study from the University of Oxford found that if the world went vegan, it could save 8 million human lives by 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture by two-thirds and lead to healthcare-related savings and avoid climate damages of around USD 1.5 trillion.
Veganuary, one of the most popular plant-based campaigns, has the main purpose of endorsing a vegan diet for January and launches at the end of the year. In 2022 alone the sign-ups for this campaign reached new highs, with over 629,000 people from 228 different countries signing up to participate. Historically, this number has increased year upon year. According to Plant Based News, the 2023 Veganuary campaign has lead to an amazing figure of almost 30 percent of participants still eating a plant-based diet by late this year – more than a quarter of all participants.
Why People Go Vegan
Animal welfare is still at the forefront of the vegan movement, though. Studies suggest that around 68.1 percent of vegans are motivated by animal welfare, followed by health reasons at 17.4 percent. Environmental issues are slightly behind at 9.7 percent, despite the meat and dairy industry being one of the main contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions, which remains an enormous existential threat spurring rapid climate change and instability.
With veganism’s rise in recent years, the value of the vegan food market has also shot up. In 2018 it was valued at USD 14.2 billion, and is expected to rise to a staggering USD 31.4 billion by 2026. As for the vegan beauty products industry, it’s currently worth USD 15.1 billion and is predicted to exceed USD 21 billion by 2027. On Google search alone interest of the word “veganism” has grown year upon year, reaching a high point during the pandemic and remaining consistently far more prominent than a decade ago.
Google Trends puts South Africa at 14th globally in searches for “vegan,” the only African nation to rank so high Furthermore, Trade Intelligence reports 20 percent of domestic customers identified as Flexitarian, 17 percent as Vegetarian, and 9 percent as Vegan – showing a substantial foundation for the South African plant-based movement and annual progress of this market segment far beyond what has been seen in previous years.
Plant-based eating supplies all the vital nutrients in a healthy diet, drastically reduces environmental agricultural impacts compared to animal-based farming and with the extraordinary products available today by no means requires consumers to sacrifice taste while reaping the benefits of an abundantly healthy lifestyle.
ProVeg embraces Vegan Month as the ideal time for people to try plant-based diets and recommend our Veggie Challege as a great tool to guide participants through a 30-day period of plant-based eating.
About ProVeg South Africa:
ProVeg South Africa is the local branch of ProVeg International. ProVeg is an international food awareness organisation working to transform the global food system by replacing conventional animal-based products with plant-based and cultured alternatives.
ProVeg works with international decision-making bodies, governments, food producers, investors, the media, and the general public to help the world transition to a society and economy that are less dependent on animal agriculture and more sustainable for humans, animals, and the planet.
ProVeg has permanent-observer status with the UNFCCC, is accredited with UNEA, and has received the United Nations’ Momentum for Change Award.