Nowadays, many people wonder about the reasons that led vegetarianism to become so popular, especially in some European countries. More than a food choice, it is about opting for a lifestyle that eliminates meat consumption for social issues, also contributing to the environment.
Given the increase in veggies around the world, it is important to understand what are the main reasons that lead people to be part of this very important movement. You know more!
After all, what is vegetarianism?
It is a lifestyle and is associated with people who do not consume meat, i.e. animal protein. Moreover, although not a rule, some adherents of the movement also decrease the consumption of animal foods.
Thus, vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds and other foods are prioritized in meals. It is necessary that, by excluding animal protein from meals, foods with high protein content are inserted, which is totally possible in vegetarian diets, taking into account the variety of ingredients and products.
Increase in vegetarianism in Europe
A phenomenon that is worth mentioning in recent years is the rise of vegetarian food fans in Europe, something never seen before in history. A study conducted by AC Nielsen for the Vegetarian Center showed that between 2007 and 2017, the number of people who do not consume meat quadrupled in Portugal.
It should be mentioned that the growth in the number of vegetarian and vegan people in Europe has enhanced a promising market for the movement of the economy in recent years. In Europe, 14% of all new food products launched in 2015 were vegetarian or vegan. From 2013 to 2015, the launch of new vegan products grew 150% on the continent.
For many experts, and even adherents to vegetarianism, all this is due to the spread of studies, research and ideals about the benefits of this lifestyle for the environment, for animals, for health and for humans themselves.
Currently veggie world access is much simpler, due to the variety of products existing in the food sector that can replace animal products, and please the most different types of vegetarians.
Vegetarian food market
To keep up with the rise in vegetarianism, the food sector has invested in products that appeal to vegetarian consumers, and consumers who have decided only to reduce meat consumption or the use of animal tested products.
According to the Portuguese Vegetarian Association, between 2008 and 2018, the sector grew significantly. Speaking only of Portugal, information from the HappyCow institute indicates that the market of vegan and vegetarian food in the country, in this same period, grew about 514%.
Contrary to what many might imagine, the products were widely consumed, thus bringing profit to companies that have invested in the sector.
The internet and the popularization of veggie
One context in which one usually addresses the theme of vegetarianism is on the Internet. With the development of applications, social networks and new tools, society is connected worldwide like never before.
Because of this, there are many articles and information that disseminate ideas and that address the benefits of opting for vegetarianism; content in different formats, which help to reach different audiences, especially the younger ones, which represent the large public connected to social networks, especially in Europe.
Another important point is the consumption of vegetarian foods, very popular among younger people, who see information, videos and content increasingly focused on addressing vegetarianism-related topics, as well as celebrities who have joined the movement and share their routines with the public.
The profile of vegetarians
In all age groups it is possible to find veggies. Many children do not consume meat of any kind, because families intend to pass this habit on to younger people for different reasons.
However, the profile of vegetarians in recent years points to a younger audience: between 18 and 24 years of age, mostly composed of women. With regard to the territory Portuguese, among vegetarian people, 63% of this audience is female.
Among the main reasons that this population claims for the change of eating habits and the adoption of vegetarianism are: ethics in relation to the treatment given to animals by the meat industry; concern for the environment, taking into account the impacts of the meat market on the planet; health concern; the possibility of adopting a healthier and cruelty-free diet for animals.
Vegetarianism and cooking: a perfect combination
In addition to environmental and social issues, vegetarianism also demonstrates how ingredients, recipes and dishes are directly related to health care and the planet.
Thus, over the years, vegetarian cuisine has gained more and more fans, thus increasing the number of spaces, delivery services and veggies restaurants. A perfect example is the fast food healthy food Cheeky Leeks, present in Portugal.
The popularization of recipes and ingredients that can replace meat consumption has brought a new perspective to gastronomy. It should also be noted that the content available on the internet with vegetarian and vegan recipes, made the perception of the public more positive to meatless foods.
For those who don’t know much about vegetarianism, there’s a feeling that only salads are the existing options. But the truth is that vegetarian food is very vast, with the possibility of preparing pies, cakes, stuffed breads, hamburgers and a multitude of dishes, which replace meat with chickpeas, beets, potatoes, among others.
Cheeky Leeks: the popularization of vegetarianism in Portugal
Cheeky Leeks is a company that offers healthy and flavored food, always valuing the health of customers and the environment.
At Cheeky Leeks you can find different dishes, with quality ingredients perfect for vegetarians and vegans, or even for you looking to reduce meat consumption.
Go to the menu and make your order now!