The internet: the vegans movement’s new best friend

THOMAS PITTS

According to Google Trends, Australians lead the world in researching the word ‘vegan’.

This comes as no surprise as Australia is set to see the third largest market growth in the world in vegan products over the next five years, according to Foodprocessing.com.

But what is this growth in the marketplace owed to, and why has Australia turned meat-free?

Long-time vegan and animal activist, Stuart Richards, says that he and most of his friends came into contact with the vegan lifestyle through information shared in online formats including numerous documentaries shared on YouTube.

Mr Richards believes it is the education through the internet that can be attributed to the growth in interest in the vegan lifestyle.

“Great films are becoming more and more accessible with things like YouTube and obviously with the internet streaming films through Netflix as well films like Cowspiracy and Blackfish that are available to any subscriber as well. I think education is the biggest part of the increase,” Mr Richards said.

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Veganism is click-worthy. Image: Thomas Pitts.

Mr Richards believes that it is the easy exposure that the internet offers to animal cruelty documentaries that has allowed for people to educate themselves on the topic that has had the greatest impact on the number of people involved in the vegan lifestyle.

“Firstly, it’s the education side of things, there’s been a few great films by Australian filmmakers lately one of which is Lucent, it’s about Australian pig farming it’s a very confronting film but it delivers a strong message of how we’re actually treating the animals in these places, ” Mr Richards said.

VeganAustralia.com hosts a comprehensive database of all topics vegan in Australia is an online stronghold for research and information. Their power and legitimacy in Australia have seen government reports on agriculture include reference to their ideas on steps towards reducing animal cruelty in Australia, proving that the internet is definitely the vegan movement’s new best friend.

According to a 2010 Newspoll Survey, 5% of Australians identified as vegetarians with 2% of them actually eating a vegetarian diet.

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