“Vegan diets becoming more popular, more mainstream”

Have you noticed your friends and family opening up to the idea of veganism in a new way recently? I know I have! I feel like the whole world is going vegan – it’s really different than just a few years ago, when I would talk to folks about it and they often thought it was just a weird fringe thing. Leave a comment to tell us if you’ve noticed this too! (Or if you’re a recent vegan, or on your way there, tell us – why now?)

Following up on yesterday’s “Veganism on the increase as more people question eating meat”, here’s more good news! In “Vegan diets becoming more popular, more mainstream” (Washington Post), Michael Hill writes,

Abstaining from animal products is an ancient practice found in cultures worldwide. But veganism never got traction in meat-loving America. Tracye McQuirter, a vegan for 23 years and author of “By Any Greens Necessary,” a vegan guide aimed at black women, said things were different until about a decade ago. While she was part of a vegan community in her hometown of Washington, she says there was little understanding beyond it.

“People did not know what it meant,” McQuirter said. “There were not a lot of options in terms of grocery stores. There was no Whole Foods… We had to basically cook everything for ourselves.”

That’s changed. More than half the 1,500 chefs polled by the National Restaurant Association for its new “What’s Hot in 2011″ list included vegan entrees as a hot trend. Vegan entrees came in at No. 71 out of 226 trends (beating out organic beer and drinkable desserts) – that’s far from No. 1, but evidence of veganism making inroads beyond urban strongholds like New York City and Los Angeles. Some chain restaurants like Souplantation and Pizza Fusion even mark vegan items on their menus…

Read the rest of the article here.