We all love interesting facts, regardless the topic, and vegan fun facts are … well, there are just plenty to talk about 😉 I wrote about them in a previous post, and I thought it was high time to add some more information.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into some more fun facts and discover what vegan life (and history) is all about 🙂
1. Veganism is Ancient
Yes, although the Vegan Society was established in November 1944, veganism has always existed. There is evidence of people avoiding animals and animal products for consumption that dates back to more than 2000 years ago. Obviously they did not give it the name veganism, but the practice already existed back then.
Let’s list a few historical figures that were vegan or vegetarian (in ancient and modern history):
- Leonardo Da Vinci
- Albert Einstein
- al-Maʿarri (Arab poet)
- Nicola Tesla
- Mary Shelley ( in her book, she describes Frankenstein’s monster’s food choices as “not of man. I do not destroy the lamb and the kid”)
- Rosa Parks
- Mohandas Gandhi
- Correta Scott King
- Cesar Chavez
Quote (Gandhi: “I do feel that spiritual progress does demand at some stage that we should cease to kill our fellow creatures for the satisfaction of our bodily wants.”
2. The Number of Vegans is Increasing
According to the United Nations the world population is now at a staggering 7.8 billion. As of September 2020, the total estimated number of vegans in the world today is now approximately 78 million.
3. Lower Risk of Heart Disease
By lowering your cholesterol levels you also decrease the risk of heart disease. A vegan diet is low on cholesterol. I don’t go to the doctor often, but whenever I make a visit to the local clinic for a health check and my cholesterol levels are checked, I always get the same response: low levels, very healthy.
4. Tel Aviv Has Over 400 Vegan and Vegan Friendly Restaurants
It is no wonder that Tel Aviv has been named vegan capital of the world, a title that was previously held by Berlin. Vegan burger bars, an Indian restaurant, even a vegan Georgian restaurant, and so much more can all be enjoyed in Tel Aviv.
5. In the UK, Veganism has Increased a 350% from 2009 to 2015!
Quoted from the Guardian: “Veganism is on the rise. In 2006, 150,000 people in the UK opted for a plant-based diet. Today, 542,000 do. That’s a 350% increase. The movement is driven by the young – close to half of all vegans are aged 15-34 (42%), compared with just 14% who are over 65. When the Guardian asked people about being vegan, 67% of the 474 who replied were under 34, and more than one-sixth were teenagers. We heard from people as young as 14 espousing the purported virtues of quitting meat and dairy.”
350% – that is pretty amazing!
6. A Vegan Diet May Increase Your Health
A vegan diet may indeed contribute to a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer, and type 2 diabetes. Several studies have proven a link between a plant-based diet and a decrease or less risk of the mentioned diseases.
For more info, please check T. Colin Campbell’s book The China Study, a comprehensive study about nutrition and its implications for weight loss and health.
7. Veganism Also Saves Human Lives
There are different reasons for going vegan. Most people choose a vegan lifestyle for ethical reasons, for the animals. Others do it for health reasons or the environment.
But how does veganism help save human lives …?
I remember an incident with my neighbor. His friend had run over a dog, and I unfortunately ended up witnessing that event … Hearing the screams was terrible, and I was the one who informed the owner, because the man who had hit the dog did not want to deal with it or pay for what he had done. I just couldn’t leave the dog there, in such agony …
I clearly remember my neighbor snapping at me. “There are people starving in the world and you are here worrying about this dog!”
I could have given him a reply to put him in his place, but that would have made me the “angry vegan” or the “holier than thou” vegan, so I did not say anything. I just told myself to let it go. When I mention the words “angry” or “holier than thou” vegan, I don’t mean this in a frustrated way. As much as there are vegans who tarnish our movement with their aggressive approaches, there are also plenty of non-vegans who do the same thing …
I guess, in the end people are people, and there are always certain members who mess it up for the rest.
Back to helping people now.
PETA has been saying for years that if everyone went vegan, and we stopped feeding so many grains to farm animals, world hunger would disappear. I can imagine some people rolling their eyes when I mention PETA. However, studies back up this claim.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of the Environment state that 36% of the calories in crops are fed to farm animals. When those animals – cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, sheep, lambs, calves, etc … – are slaughtered for food, only 12% of those calories make it into the human body as meat. If those grains had been directly consumed by humans, those calories would not have been lost.
Other findings by the University of Minnesota’s Institute of the Environment are the following:
- Growing crops for direct human consumption increases food calories by 70%
- These new crops would be enough to feed an additional 4 million people
- It takes 13 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of meat. These 13 pounds of grain could go a long way to feeding people – the majority of them children.
- Feeding farm animals large amounts of grain is taking food out of children’s mouths.
- The researchers also concluded that there is no real case for continuing the consumption of animals and animal products, since their suffering is immense. It’s a lifetime of suffering that ends in a prolonged, painful death. Animal abuse on factory farms is rampant, there are videos to prove that.Organic or grass fed meat doesn’t make a difference to their lives. They still end up suffering the same terrible deaths that factory farmed animals endure.
- Organic and cage free does not imply “happy” and “free of suffering”. Labels can be misleading. (this is a general fact, this does not come from the University of Minnesota’s research, but there is plenty of research about that too)
When we mention “fun facts” not all those facts are fun, but they merely imply that they are interesting, and some of them can be fun, such as finding obese vegans. Believe me, there are plenty of vegans who munch only on plant-based junk food and put on several kilos.
Some of the facts I presented are no fun at all. The last ones I mentioned are surely thought-provoking.
I find it interesting to sometimes come across blog posts that vehemently oppose veganism when in fact there are so many arguments for following a vegan lifestyle or diet.
Are there nutritional deficiencies? Yes, when you follow an unbalanced diet there will naturally be nutritional deficiencies, whether it is a vegan or a non-vegan diet. You must always make sure you have your nutrients. However, with all the information that is available online nowadays, it should not be a problem to balance your diet, and you can also speak to your doctor or a nutritionist about it, if you would like to make sure.
For more information on nutrients in a vegan diet, feel free to read the following articles (they will open in a new window, so you will not lose this page):
Please let me know if you have any comments or questions.