Note from the Coordinators
The Future of Veganism
A supermarket industry publication recently included a full-page ad by America's Milk Companies titled "Give Milk The Presence It Deserves." Who would think the dairy industry would have to be asking for space in stores, but witness the growth of almond, soy, coconut, and other plant milks, and you can understand why.
For a presentation, the head of a food company asked us for input on what might happen in the next 100 years to move society towards a vegan diet. In the 2016 Vegetarian Resource Group national Harris Poll, of the five percent of the U.S. adult population that always eats vegetarian meals (including vegan) when eating out, their top reasons for eating vegetarian were: 25% animals; 21% health, 9% ethics, 9% environment, and 7% spiritual. Thus, at least half are doing so out of altruistic beliefs such as animals, ethics, and environment.
Of those who currently do not eat vegetarian meals, their primary reasons for eating vegetarian meals would be: 24% health, 9% cost, and 3% animals. For vegetarians, altruistic reasons seem to be the most prevalent motivations, with health being strong. For those not yet eating vegetarian meals, health seems to be the most important reason, cost and altruism less so. Most likely everyone won't become vegan because of one event, but rather evolve due to the ongoing factors of cost, convenience, peer pressure, and taste.
Debra believes the scarcity of water will impact what people eat. A key VRG volunteer suggested it will be "lab grown" meats and transparency about where our food comes from. One of our high school interns sees the keys as a "meat tax," regulations and restrictions on food advertising, and the opening of more vegan fast-food restaurants.
We would like to see a change in ethics and people not wanting to kill, but don't see that for the majority in our or our kids' lifetimes. Each in their own way, businesses, activists (many with opposing visions), nonprofits, scientists, politicians, academics, etc., are contributing to a more vegan world.
In honor of The Vegetarian Resource Group's 35th anniversary, a supporter has pledged $15,000 to match donations. So every contribution you make towards our programs will be doubled. If you would like to donate towards our continued work for a veg world, please mail to VRG, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203, call (410) 366-8343, or go to www.vrg.org/donate.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
Debra Wasserman & Charles Stahler
Coordinators of The Vegetarian Resource Group