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Vegetarian Society Says Veganism Gaining Relevance

October is Vegetarian Awareness Month, and the NZ Vegetarian Society says veganism is becoming increasingly relevant in our ever-changing world.

Last year, The Economist predicted that 2019 would be the year of the vegan - that is, the veganism would finally become mainstream - and now, in October, that prophecy appears to be coming true. 2019 has seen growth in the sale and development of vegan alternatives, but and an increasing awareness among the general population that vegetarian and vegan lifestyles are necessary to mitigate the climate crisis and prevent further degradation of the natural environment. The Amazon rainforest fires that gained worldwide attention in August have been attributed to animal agricultural practices, and have prompted many people in the USA to consider transitioning to meat-free diets.

Veganism is growing here in Aotearoa, too. NZ Vegetarian Society President Julia Clements says, ‘We are really pleased to see the enthusiasm with which people have been embracing veganism, and how many more people are turning to it to help the environment and the animals. The word 'vegan' comes from the beginning and end of 'vegetarian', to describe a diet that not only excludes animals, but also eggs, milk, and honey.’ She says veganism initially arose because people wanted to do more for animals.

There has been a marked increase in the number of companies exploring and developing vegan products. The NZ Vegetarian Society has now certified well over 100 products as vegan under its Vegan Certified trademark scheme, in addition to its extensive range of Vegetarian Society Approved products. Our Vegan Certified range include chocolates, hemp-based ice creams, dairy-free cheeses, herb spreads, wines, and more! A list of products can be found on the NZ Vegetarian Society’s website: www.vegetarian.org.nz.

The NZ Vegetarian Society is encouraging New Zealanders to give vegetarianism a go. ‘Spring is a great time to go veg,’ says National Office Coordinator Viktória Lencsés Spear. ‘Fresh vegetables are widely available. Also, coming into summer you can’t help but feel optimistic. It’s the best time to make a sustainable change.’ Those who are looking for inspiration will find 31 veg recipes from around the world on the society’s website: http://www.vegetarian.org.nz/vegetarian-events/world-vegetarian-month/31-vegan-recipes-from-the-worlds-tastiest-cuisines/

You are also encouraged to vote to determine the winner of the Think Kind student competition. Students from across the country were encouraged to use their unique talents to help the animals. There were more than 200 entries from around 30 schools! Among the final entries are a website, a beach cleaning initiative that made the front page of the local newspaper, and even a Scratch coding project!

You can vote for your favourite here:

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