I have been hearing a lot of comments from people of all ages (including some in their 30s) that the new generation has lost their values, morals, and focus on the important things in life because of technology, the lack of proper communication and the invasion of Social Media.
I don’t completely agree with this, however.
If you think about it – no matter the time and age, elders have always been complaining about the same things when it comes to the younger generation (lack of morale etc.), while it has always been that a small percentage of the population are the ones driving the evolution in all its aspects!
I believe we live in exciting times when these changes are extremely profound and fast-paced.
Berlin is considered the vegan capital of Europe with around 80,000 vegans, 10% of the total number of vegans in the Germany, according to the news agency France24. Berlin is at the forefront of a vegan movement happening all over Europe, with Paris and London not far behind. The city has 60 vegan restaurants to choose from, with offers far exceeding the underwhelming salad that might come to mind when picturing a typical vegan meal. There are soy ice cream shops galore and even a 100% vegan pizzeria.
food writer Inês David talks about attending Berlin’s annual Veganes Sommerfest where vegan food vendors and animal rights activists come together to celebrate a lifestyle free of animal products.
“After watching a documentary promoted at the festival, I felt as if I had no other option,” she writes. “If I wanted to be true to my values, I had to be vegan. For me, it’s an ethical choice first and foremost.”
She explains that going vegan in Berlin was easy because of how accessible vegan restaurants and grocery stores are. “Berlin is considered the vegan capital of Europe for a reason. Its vast variety of vegan restaurants and cafés perfectly marries the many Berliners bringing the movement to a whole different level of vegan living,” David writes.
Germany is just one of several European countries to see a spike in veganism in recent years. According to the Guardian, there were 150,000 vegans in the U.K. in 2006. Now, there are over half a million — a 350% increase.
Seventeen-year-old Euan Reece of Northamptonshire told the Guardian he believes social media, as well as the open mindedness of young people, has played a huge role in the expansion of vegan diets.
“Veganism is definitely more common among young people now. I feel that social media has played a major part in this, but there’s also the fact that younger people aren’t bound as much by traditional values, so they are more likely to change to a more left field thing such as veganism,” he said.
Abigail Wheeler, also age 17, told the Guardian
“I went vegan for three reasons: animals, health and the environment. People worry about the lack of B vitamins when going vegan, especially B12, so I eat food supplemented with it, such as nutritional yeast. Being vegan is inherently quite healthy, however, because you eat so much fruit and veg.”
Isabella Hood of New Zealand, age 15, also cited the environment as one of her main reasons for becoming vegan.
“There is so much I could say about why veganism is the only sustainable choice for people. I could spout so many shocking statistics and facts. For example, animal agriculture is the leading cause of CO2 emissions, deforestation and pollution of our waterways. It has been predicted that if the whole world went vegan, then world hunger could be solved five times over,” she said.
Millennials are more health conscious and care more about the environment than previous generations,
Young people especially are becoming increasingly alarmed at the toll that meat production takes on our planet.
Of course for many strict vegans, the main philosophy behind their lifestyle isn’t necessarily land sustainability, or even health for that matter.
They truly believe that animal husbandry shouldn’t be practiced. They’re passionate about animal welfare, and as many of us know all too well, there’s no changing the mind of a passionate millennial.
As 15 year-old Isabella Hood told the Guardian,
“The main reason I became vegan was because I see all animals as my friends and I would not want to eat a pig, just as I would not want to eat a dog. Every animal is a living, breathing and feeling creature who doesn’t want to die. I don’t want to contribute to their deaths.”
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