A new study from Wakefield Research found that fifty-five percent of Americans are considering altering their diet to pursue a vegan or at least partially vegan lifestyle. Of that percentage, thirty-six percent considered eating more vegetables than before, while the remaining nineteen percent answered that they were switching to a mostly vegetable-based regimen.

It’s hard to tell what created this recent shift in mindset when it comes to eating, but most likely, the rise of popular fashion blogs promoting veganism, businesses built on the foundation of healthy eating, and the widespread education on animal cruelty and food-based allergies all contributed to this turn of events.

Assisting the change are the latest advancements in replacements for meat that look and taste like the real thing. These act as tasty substitutes for meat without sacrificing potential protein or already established dietary habits.

The change in popular mindset is terrific news for animals. It’s already well known that factory farms (where the vast majority of meat comes from) and slaughterhouses are deplorable places, but lately, the press has uncovered even more inhumane practices we were still unaware of–sometimes even affecting the humans that work there, as in the recent revelation of Tyson employees wearing diapers because they’re denied bathroom breaks. But concerning the animals themselves, it is clear that Americans going veg have challenged the meat industry–not only saving millions of animal lives but also halting the process of opening farms in the first place.

Purportedly, ninety-three percent of Americans still eat meat in some capacity, but the number is steadily getting lower every year. With the continuation of animal advocacy, advancements in food engineering, and overall awareness, this trend is proving to be much more than a passing fad; if it keeps up, it’ll become mainstream in an astoundingly short amount of time. Hopefully, the direction Americans are moving towards will send this message to the big companies: That we want an increasingly healthier, cruelty free market in the future.

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