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Where are all the vegans coming from?


If the month of January had a designated diet, it would probably be vegan.

A quick scroll through your social feeds at the moment should tell you one thing: If the month of January had a designated diet, it would probably be vegan

We reckon that one in every eight posts mentioned the v-word in our feeds, certainly in the first few weeks of January. And this is likely because people tend to use the clean slate that is the new year to try something different. We aim to make positive change for ourselves, for a variety of reasons, all fueled by the not-so-binding contracts of our New Year’s resolutions. And for many of us, that means dabbling with veganism

This post-Christmas popularity is undoubtedly linked to the success of the Veganuary campaign, which has grown to see hundreds of thousands of people pledging to try veganism for (at least!) one month. But quite often, their surveys show that people continued with their newfound veganism, well into February and beyond. This means a steady climb in the total number of people following a vegan diet.

Plant-based diets are a growing trend

Between 2014 and 2019, Google Trends reports interest in 'veganism' having increased sevenfold. During this time, the number of vegans in Great Britain quadrupled and 42% of those vegans made the change in 2018. This was also the year the UK launched more vegan products than any nation. 

These numbers speak for themselves; the plant-based lifestyle, once termed a ‘fad diet’, continues from strength to strength with rapid year-on-year growth. So what’s driving all this change? 

Well, different people find motivation in different things. And while they are certainly big factors for many vegans, it’s not always solely due to animal welfare or environmental impact. So, let’s take a look at some of the less-discussed reasons to, as the 2021 Veganuary campaign encourages us, “try vegan”.

Try vegan for your health

A large proportion of vegans state that the health benefits were a primary reason for taking the plunge into plant-based living. And by all accounts, going vegan does do wonders for your health. It has been widely reported that vegans are less likely to develop heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure than meat-eaters are. This is due to vegans getting all their essential nutrients, such as plant protein, fibre, and minerals, without the harmful stuff in meat, such as cholesterol and saturated animal fats. 

Looking for good fats? Olive oil is one of the best good fats available!

Try vegan for your fitness

It might surprise you to hear that fitness and veganism actually go hand in hand. There are many professional athletes who have turned to veganism and now experience great health-based and training benefits, aiding muscle growth, metabolism and strength. From Fiona Oakes (world record marathon runner) and Kendrick Farris (Olympic weightlifter), to Rich Roll (Vegan Ultraman and Ironman athlete) and Lewis Hamilton (Seven-time world champion F1 racing driver) - the list of successful vegan athletes continues to grow all the time.

With such high profile personalities proclaiming that a plant-based diet has made them stronger, made them leaner and improved their focus, it’s no wonder that many people are willing to give veganism a try themselves. Who wouldn’t want to experience reduced muscle soreness and fatigue, improved recovery time, and decreased inflammation and injury occurrence, all just months after making the change to plant-based eating?

Looking for tasty vegan recipes to make your transition even easier? Head on over to our recipes page for some plant-powered Spanish specials!

Try vegan to spend less  

It may not be the #1 reason that most people first try veganism, but the potential savings are often quoted as an unexpected positive outcome that is certainly reason enough to keep eating green. Reportedly, cutting animal products from your weekly shop could slash your food bills by as much as a half!

But vegan food is so expensive, right? Not quite. Someone who is new to veganism might be tempted to splash out and explore the vast variety of vegan products available, or they may be less knowledgeable about cost-effective food combinations and opt for the easy wins - but that’s not normal shopping behaviour. Try planning your meals more carefully and going back to the basics – inexpensive vegan staples like beans, lentils, pulses, rice, pasta, vegetables – and then you’ll see those savings soon add up. 

Did someone say meal planning? Don’t miss our Top 5 Reasons that Meal Prep could change your life

Try Vegan for the flavour

Any veteran vegan will tell you that their diet is far from restricted. In fact, most experience food like never before, with a new world opening up before them as they venture into previously unexplored territories of taste. It’s reported that there are 20,000 species of edible plants in the world, of which approximately 150 and 200 have been domesticated and farmed. And when you consider just how many plant-based recipes are out there these days...well, that’s more than enough variety to keep your taste buds very busy. 

The other thing to consider is that vegan produce has come a loooong way in a short space of time, driven by growing demand for quality and variety. If your view of meat, milk and cheese substitutes is based on a couple of poor experiences from the ‘90s, then it’s probably worth revisiting this corner of the supermarket. 

Try vegan to help feed humanity   

Veganism may be the ultimate answer to the global food crisis and a more effective means of even food distribution. It has been estimated that there is enough food on earth to support 10 billion humans if plant-based diets are more readily adopted, and yet 820 million people face food shortages around the world.

The problem is that farmed animals eat far more calories in feed than they give back in meat, milk and eggs, meaning those crops are essentially wasted. Approximately 33% of the world’s cereal harvest and a shocking 70% of the world’s soya harvest is fed to farmed animals. World hunger could be eradicated today, if only these crops were made available to people instead. 

Try Vegan because it’s easy

We’ve already mentioned the huge amount of recipes and plant-based produce that are available these days. This, together with the increasing organisational support from brands and restaurants, and an institutional recognition of veganism’s value, means that the stage is set for making the vegan diet - no, the vegan lifestyle - as accessible as possible. It has truly never been simpler to take the plunge into plant-based living

Not ready to forgo the whole hog? 

Hey, we’re not judging! We recognise that not everyone is ready to fully embrace plant power. But if the things we’ve discussed here have started you thinking, then it can be enough to take small steps closer. 

Here is a quick list of things you can do to be more vegan without being all vegan:

  • Buy fewer animal-based products
  • Buy from vegan and vegan-friendly companies 
  • Buy sustainable, reuse and recycle 
  • Buy Free Range
  • Buy Organic 

One last question...

Is La Española Olive Oil vegan? 

The answer is yes. At La Española, we take our commitment to our planet very seriously, and being a cruelty-free, vegan-friendly company is a small but important part of this commitment. We are delighted to be supporting non-intensive methods of harvesting and are proud of our use of 100% recyclable packaging. Overall, we believe we have found the perfect balance of supporting traditional harvesting techniques and remaining sensitive to the environment whilst crafting beautifully rich (and vegan) olive oils.