Go Greens!

History on the development and popularity of vegetarian and vegan diets.


Go to nearly any restaurant today and you’ll find a lucrative variety of vegetarian and vegan meal options. From fast-food chains to five-star restaurants, it’s almost an offense if they’re not catering vegetarian options. However, those options proved sparse if one were to look for them a decade ago.

In the Unites States, vegetarianism was a remarkably obscure idea until around the early-mid 1970’s, paralleling the beginning of animal rights movements. In 1975, an Australian professor, Peter Singer, writes a book entitled Animal Liberation. Animal Liberation surrounded the basic argument against animal consumption and animal testing.

In March of 1980, the most recognizable animal rights organization in the modern-day, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was founded by animal rights activist, Alex Pocheco. Pocheco’s passion dispersed the introduction to the importance of animal rights, and gave PETA a boost into the vast popularity in our modern-day.

In the late 1980’s-early 90’s, an entirely new concept was introduced: veganism. Veganism, being a diet in which no animal by-products whatsoever are consumed by the dieter. This idea was popularized specifically through a book entitled, Diet for a New America, written by John Robbins, and published in 1987 that talked of the benefits of a vegan lifestyle.

However, neither diets really sprouted up until about ten years ago, and vegetarian and vegan accommodations became more and more at a demand. Now, it’s easy enough to find restaurants specifically dedicated to either diets or both.

Where vegetarianism and veganism were once unknown concepts, in our modern world, we see a massive amount of the population converting to either of these diets. Whether it be a fiery passion for animal rights that causes this large amount of people, or a way of attempting to distinguish one’s self, or merely to just “try it out,” these diets have soared in popularity, and only seem to be growing!

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