In Australia, the Facebook community “Friendly Vegans in Melbourne” has almost 20,000 members. Sara Toucan, one of the moderators, has been vegan for nine years. “The community is generally great. Like any group of people, there are different ideas and personalities. We don’t all think the same just because we are vegan,” she said.
And what do vegans want to see on the market? Many people believe that being vegan means eating as healthy as possible. “That is a popular myth,” Toucan said. “A lot of us just want vegan versions of the food that we used to love. I do know from social media that vegans are far more excited to see a post about junk food than a photo of a salad.”
Toucan could not be more correct. Owen Westman decided to open a vegan fast-food restaurant after living in California. There, he saw the demand for plant-based patties, such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger. After moving back to Australia, he worked for nine months on his own recipe. He created something so good that he convinced a Bitcoin millionaire to invest in the idea. Two months later, Green Burger was born.
Westman sees fast food as a crucial step to make veganism popular. “The vegan movement needs be part of the modern lifestyle. The best way to convince people to make a change is to make it as easy as possible,” he said.
For those who want to experiment in the kitchen, many bakers and chefs share their recipes online. There are videos with simple steps that can help all recreate their favorite dishes. People also feel more motivated to cook now that there are good substitutes for ingredients such as eggs, milk, cream and butter. For those who want to have a healthier diet, there are plenty of options as well.
And what can we expect of the future? “As more and more companies start to compete, and there is more demand, good-quality vegan food will become much more accessible,” Westman explained. With so many possibilities, we can expect society to depend less and less on animal products. We all know we should live healthier lives. But these changes mean that people can also satisfy their cravings. They can eat their favorite treats in front of the TV, celebrate holidays… and, why not? Leave animals alone.