NZ Ranks 4th Globally for Veganism

New Zealand is 4th in the world for veganism this year, climbing up from 5th a few years ago. Google Trends indicates that searches for veganism worldwide are slowing down, there was a spike in the popularity of vegan searches in the first quarter of 2019, which has now slowed. However this does not mean that veganism overall is slowing down, or that people are opting out of veganism. Searches for veganism in New Zealand remain high in number, but the growth of searches has declined. This would support the high percentage of vegans in New Zealand, who once they know what to buy and where to eat, may not need to search so much on Google.

The top country is the UK, where 36% of the population say they approve of a vegan diet, according to a government poll. Germany follows second with 2.5 million people saying they are vegan and there are also a lot of world-renowned plant-based industries there. Austria was third, with only 1.2% of the population claiming to be vegan. The delights of vegan schnitzels and strudels are enjoyed by many – perhaps this has pushed the searches up?

There has always been much debate about the numbers of people who are vegan or vegetarian in Aotearoa, with surveys suggesting anything from 6-10% of the population eschewing meat in favour of healthier and more planet-friendly options. The Vegan Society’s 21 Day Vegan Challenges continue to get more people taking on the challenge each month, with May seeing over 400 people signing up to try vegan. All surveys show a steady increase in the number of people reducing their meat intake over the past decade.

This is good news for the planet and good news for human health. An Otago University study published in January 2020 indicated that several $billion in health care could be saved by people switching to a wholefood plant-based diet. Every plant-based meal eaten saves resources, helps the environment, saves animal lives and improves human health. The number of people who are actively reducing their meat and dairy intake continues to grow globally and this is a trend that will likely continue.

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