Vegan Diets Becoming More Mainstream?

Did you read Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet or our Plant-Based Men series and now find yourself flirting with a plant-based lifestyle? The AP reports that veganism is "moving from marginal to mainstream" and that today's vegans are "urban hipsters, suburban moms, college students, even professional athletes."

So is veganism a fad?

I don't think so, but I do think a plant-based diet is more inclusive and sustainable for most individuals. ("Plant-based diet" was my pick for the 2010 Word of the Year and a 2011 Trend to Watch.)

How many people are actually vegan? The AP reports that, according to a 2009 survey, only 1% of the US population is vegan (though it's difficult to measure so the accuracy is up for debate).

What I find most encouraging in the AP story, and another 2011 Trend I predicted, is what I called "Veggies for Foodies" among chefs:

So what do you think? Is veganism a fad or an evolution? Do you prefer the word "vegan" or "plant-based"?

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