Has America underestimated the growing presence and underground influence of its own vegan population? Does America even care that we vegans have arrived, ordering our six dollar coffees with coconut milk instead of dairy? Or does America just assume we all died a while back from a lack of protein?
According to Top Trends in Prepared Foods 2017, which was released in June 2017, there are currently 6% of Americans who identity as vegan; and that is up from just 1% in 2014.
That means the number of vegans in America has increased by 500% in just 3 years! Try to fathom that.
According to Gallup News in a study released in January 2017, currently 4.1% of Americans, or 10 million people, now identify as LGBT; and that is up from 3.5% in 2012.
There are more vegan Americans than there are gay Americans.
No, it’s not a competition. But I do compare those numbers to prove a point:
It is safe to say that the American vegan population is larger than most people realize. And as relevant as the LGBT community is in our nation and its culture, I feel that comparing the numbers of both groups shows how surprisingly popular that veganism has become in our country.
Yes, there are now over 19 million vegans in America and 10 million are gay Americans.
That means there are arguably nearly twice as many vegan Americans than there are gay Americans.
No, I am not conflating veganism and homosexuality. I have no interest in implying vegans have struggled in any comparable way that the LGBT community has. I do not feel that way at all.
Instead, this is my point: No one else seems to be noticing or caring about the massive invisible influence that vegans have on America.
Just imagine the millions of Americans over the past few years alone who, like me, have quietly bowed out of the system; the system of depending on meat, dairy, and eggs for nutrition.
It’s a bold move. It’s rebellious. It’s counter-cultural.
Imagine the effect that must have on America’s economy. Imagine how grocery stores have already adapted to this shift. Imagine how restaurant chains must be hurting, as they have lost 6% of their customer base.
Vegans aren’t taking over America. But we are the reason you can easily find cashew milk ice cream in most large grocery stores now.
Yeah, that’s a real thing. Cashew milk ice cream.