Number of Vegans Steadily Increasing!

Last summer, the Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) published a poll measuring the number of adult vegans in the United States. They’ve now conducted 12 such polls between 1994 and 2020, with the most recent one showing the highest percentage of the population as vegan (3%) which translates to the highest number of vegans to date (7.6 million). Possibly more important, there’s been a strong, steady increase in the number of vegans over the course of these polls.

VRG-polls-blog-post-2021-020-08.jpg

More details are in our spreadsheet, VRG polls, along with a larger version of the graph. You can also read about them on the Vegetarian Resource Group’s website.


2020 in the voice of our staff!

I hope you and your loved ones are doing well.
You are a big part of Vegan Outreach’s India program, and I’m writing today to tell you how we helped animals in 2020 directly from our staff.

Staff Stories


We couldn’t have done any of this work without supporters like you!
Help us reach our 2021 goals by becoming a monthly sustainer!.



With utmost gratitude,

Richa Mehta
Director of Programs, India


Fast Food – New Zealand

By Sam Tucker, Australia and New Zealand Outreach Coordinator

Eating vegan at fast food chains in New Zealand has never been easier! From Dominos to Burger King to Hells Pizza to Subway and more, there are countless vegan fast food options to choose from.

Dominos has a great range of vegan pizzas with mock meats and dairy-free cheese including the vegan El Scorcho, Godfather, Hawaiian, Ham and Cheese and Beef and Onion. They also sell vegan cheesy garlic bread and their regular garlic bread is vegan too!

Dominos

At Subway, try the Veggie Patty, Veggie Delight or Smashed Falafel (without tzatziki). Choose whatever veggies you like and then choose from any of the following vegan sauces: BBQ, Sweet Onion, Sweet Chilli or Tomato.

veggiepatty

The Rebel Whopper at Burger King is entirely plant-based when ordered without mayo and so is the salad burger when ordered without cheese and mayo.

rebel whopper

Hells Pizza has a huge range of vegan pizzas including the Vegan Burger, Pride, Damned, Sinister, Mischief, Wrath, Saviour, Mayhem and Brimstone. They also sell vegan nuggets, gluten and dairy-free garlic bread and plant-based ice cream sandwiches.

hells pizza

Burger Fuel has lots of great vegan options too. The Alternative Muscle burger and the V8 Vegan burger are both vegan by default and the V-Twin Vege and Combustion Tofu burgers can both be made vegan on request. They also sell soy thickshakes, kumara fries, potatoes fried, motobites and smash browns, which are all vegan (just ask for vegan aioli with the sides).

burger fuel

Pizza Hut also has a delicious roast veggie and caramelized onion pizza with vegan cheese.

vegan pizza

Do you have a favorite vegan fast food option? Feel free to leave a comment below and let us know!


BITS Pilani, Goa Campus to slash-down the use of eggs and meat by 15% in their cafeteria

BITS Pilani, Goa, one of India’s most prestigious institutes, became the latest signatory of the Green Tuesday Pledge to address the rising global climate change crisis. Once fully rolled out, they are to slash-down the use of animal products like eggs and meat by 15%.

“At BITS Pilani, Goa, we are always taking new steps towards environmental sustainability, and the Green Tuesday Initiative takes us one step closer to achieving our sustainability goals,” said Yash Jain, Student Mess Convenor. “Globally and in India, institutions are reducing their use of animal products and choosing plant-based foods to fight climate change,” added Richa Mehta, Director of Programs, Vegan Outreach.

India is the 5th most vulnerable country to climate change according to the latest global climate risk index. Animal agriculture is one of the largest contributors of human-made greenhouse gas emissions, and multiple reports have identified it as one of the leading causes of climate change. One such example is the recent report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2019), which emphasized a shift towards plant-based diets as a significant opportunity to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

We also wrote to the decision-makers of three other BITS Pilani campuses — Dubai, Hyderabad and Pilani — to take the lead and implement sustainable food policies. Educational institutes play an essential role in building the best future for the next generations, and steps such as the Green Tuesday Initiative will be the way to go.

About the Green Tuesday campaign
Green Tuesday Initiative is a campaign by Vegan Outreach to help institutions reduce their environmental footprint by making small changes in the food they serve. So far, we’ve collaborated with twenty-two institutions in India.


Not Letting the Pandemic Come in Our Way to Help Animals

The lockdown has ended, and we all are adapting to the new normal. We are still working remotely, but we are not letting the pandemic come in our way when it comes to helping animals and reaching our goals.

I am excited to share some updates about our team’s work and new initiatives during the times of social distancing.


Adopt A College Webinars



Our Adopt A College webinar program is an initiative to connect with the students from volunteer groups like the National Service Scheme and National Cadet Corps. Through virtual sessions, we reach out to thousands of students and help them make compassionate food choices.

In September

  • We have organized webinars with 20+ colleges.
  • 4000+ students have signed up for the 10 Weeks to Vegan program.
  • 100% of the students who attended our webinar signed up for the 10 Weeks to Vegan program at the National Institute of Technology, Calicut.


    Campaign Success




    BITS Pilani, Goa Campus, has agreed to reduce their meat and egg consumption by 15% to decrease their carbon footprint. Once the college re-opens, they will switch to plant-based dishes once a week and serve 105,000 meat-free meals every year.

    We have written letters to the three other largest BITS campuses—Dubai, Hyderabad, and Pilani to follow BITS Pilani’, Goa, lead and reduce their meat and egg consumption on the campus.


    Green Tuesday Initiative Website


    Since 2019, we have been helping institutes in India reduce their environmental footprint by replacing meat and dairy products with plant-based food options in their cafeterias. Our campaign website is now live. Please visit and sign up for our newsletter to get blog posts, updates, and resources.

    Visit: GreenTuesday.org

    Help us reach our 2020 goals! Please donate today for animals in India.


    Donate Now!


    Warmly,

    Richa Mehta
    Director of Programs, India


  • India News: Making the best out of the challenging times

    Most of our work is remote these days, and our team is making the best out of these challenging times. I’m writing to share some of the positive changes and highlights that are giving me hope

    Remote College Outreach


    We’ve kept our outreach going during the lockdown in creative ways by collaborating with colleges and engaging with students through phone calls, webinars, and emails. Over 3,000 students from 21 colleges signed up for 10 Weeks to Vegan during the lockdown!


    Campaign Successes


    Here are some of our latest victories:

  • Hetero, a leading pharmaceutical company in India, will now serve meat-free meals to their employees every day to reduce their environmental footprint! Once fully rolled out to all locations, over 2 million meals will be meat-free every year.
  • After working with us, Veggie Champ, a leading manufacturer, and supplier of mock meat in India, has veganised their mock meat range by removing milk solids from their products.
  • DY Patil University School of Hospitality and Tourism Studies, will serve vegan food on Fridays. This initiative will prepare future chefs to create vegan menus and help reduce the environmental footprint at the institutional level.


    Introducing Richa Mehta


    This month, I’m moving into a new position at Vegan Outreach, and I’m excited to share that my colleague, Richa Mehta, is taking over as Director of Programs, India.

    Richa has many years of experience with animal and environmental protection nonprofits. She has been instrumental in the success of our Green Tuesday Initiative and has done extensive in-person outreach in India.

    We need your help to keep the momentum going for the rest of the year. Please donate today for animals in India!

    Warmly,

    Aneeha Patwardhan
    Director of Programs, India


  • Impact of 10 Weeks to Vegan

    Background

    10 Weeks to Vegan is a weekly email series from Vegan Outreach containing tips, recipes, and resources for those interested in learning more about animal-free eating. We’ve adapted versions for several different countries worldwide.

    To assess the effectiveness of our program, we surveyed United States, Mexico, and India 10 Weeks to Vegan and Get Healthy participants before and after they began the email series. In order to evaluate long-term change, we sent out a follow-up survey to those in the United States for whom it has been ≥6 months since completing the series.

    The pre-test was emailed to participants within a week after they signed up for 10 Weeks to Vegan. We sent the post-test approximately two weeks after people finished the entire 10 Weeks to Vegan series. To encourage participation, we offered two randomly chosen participants per month a $50, $300 peso, or 1,500 INR, respectively, Amazon gift card.

    Response Rate

    • US pre-test: 7%
    • US post-test: 15.5% of those who took the pre-test
    • US ≥6-months post-series follow-up: 30% of those who took the post-test
    • Mexico pre-test: 10.5%
    • Mexico post-test: 10% of those who took the pre-test
    • India pre-test: 3%
    • India post-test: 10.5% of those who took the pre-test
    • Get Healthy pre-test: 9.5%
    • Get Healthy post-test: 12.5% of those who took the pre-test

    Methodology

    We evaluated responses from participants who received 10 Weeks to Vegan, took both the pre-test and the post-test, and reported reading at least one email. In total, we evaluated responses from 500 US participants, 105 Mexico participants, 63 India participants, and 103 Get Healthy participants.

    We asked people how often they eat various animal and plant products. The pre-test asks how often participants ate various animal products in the last month and the post-test asks how often in the last week. We follow the food intake questions with a question about whether they identify as a meat-eater, vegetarian, or vegan.

    We considered those who moved from being a meat-eater to vegetarian or vegan, or from being a vegetarian to vegan, as a positive change. We classified those who moved in the reverse direction (vegan to vegetarian or meat-eater, or vegetarian to meat-eater) as a negative change. However,  anyone whose self-identity was vegetarian or vegan at the pre-test and moved in a negative direction at post-test was cross-checked to see if their diet frequency showed otherwise. We counted the net changes for our total conversion figures.

    For people who, based on food intake, misclassified themselves as a vegetarian or vegan in the identity question at pre-test and then reverted to a meat-eater or vegetarian at posttest, we didn’t count their reversal as a net negative. In these cases, we assume that they didn’t understand the definition of “vegetarian” or “vegan” at pre-test but then learned the definition during the series. The conversion rates would be inaccurate if we considered such people as having reverted simply because they learned the definition.

    We further adjusted the results to reflect findings from the control group in our past Leafleting Effectiveness Study (LES). The LES asked the same food intake question as our 10 Weeks to Vegan surveys. We found that those in our control group had a conversion rate of 1.6%. Because we would have used this same methodology if we had a control group for our 10 Weeks to Vegan surveys, we subtracted the 1.6% rate from all our net conversion rates to arrive at the final, adjusted rates shown in the table below.

    Additionally, we compared the results of those who signed up in-person versus online. In-person sources primarily came from those who signed up through public outreach on college campuses or local events. Online signups came from those who signed up via an online ad or through our website.

    We determined p-values using a McNemar test comparing non-vegans at pre-test to total conversions at post-test.

    Results

    The adjusted conversion rates in the table above show what percentage of participants moved in a positive direction—either from meat-eater to vegetarian or vegan, or from vegetarian to vegan. In all but one instance, those who signed up online showed the greatest change.

    All findings for the United States 10 Weeks to Vegan and Get Healthy were statistically significant. All but the in-person diet frequency results for Mexico were statistically significant. Because the pool of respondents from India was relatively small, the findings didn’t reach statistical significance.

    Follow-up Results

    We followed up with 143 US participants 6 months or longer after they’d completed 10 Weeks to Vegan. The results were very encouraging. There was no statistically meaningful recidivism between the time that they completed the post-test and the follow-up survey.

    There was a slight improvement in in-person outreach and a slight decrease in online. The differences between the two were only statistically significant for the self-identity question.

    Below are the results from the initial pre-test to the ≥6-month follow-up survey.

    Based on this data, it appears that our work is having a lasting effect.

    Reasons For Signing Up

    Most participants cited multiple reasons for signing up for 10 Weeks to Vegan. Their motivations for signing up for the program fell into a few main categories:

    • Health
    • Help with transitioning to veganism
    • Recipes
    • Insight into veganism
    • Animal welfare
    • Environment
    • Reduce animal product consumption

    Summary

    This research indicates that Vegan Outreach’s 10 Weeks to Vegan series is having a great deal of success in motivating and helping people to become vegetarian and vegan.


    2 million+ meals made meat-free

    Hetero

    Hetero, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in India, will now serve meat-free meals to their employees every day to reduce their environmental footprint. Once fully rolled out to all locations, over 2 million meals will be made meat-free every year. Vegan Outreach worked with the company to implement this sustainable food policy as part of its Green Tuesday Initiative campaign and will also organize employee awareness sessions on animal agriculture and its environmental impact.

    This change will make a big impact by reducing the suffering of animals in India. This sustainable food policy will also contribute to the wellness of employees and helps the environment.
    Animal agriculture is one of the largest contributors of human-made greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, water pollution, and air pollution. Worldwide, meat and dairy production uses 83% of farmland and produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions.

    Help us reach even more institutions. Please donate today to support our work in India.


    Spring 2020 Outreach Coordinators Who Inspired Us

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve had to put our public outreach on hold. Still, we’re keeping our focus on the end game–a future where animals are no longer killed for food—and we aim to meet our goal of 80,000 signups for our 10 Weeks to Vegan program for the first half of 2020.

    Before college campuses shut down, the outreach coordinators below inspired us with how many signups they received!

    Saurabh Sonkar

    • 10 Weeks to Vegan signups: 5,514
    • Booklets handed out: 5,563
    • VR views: 962

    Irving Martinez

    • 10 Weeks to Vegan signups: 3,340
    • Booklets handed out: 5,485
    • VR views: 301

    Richa Mehta

    • 10 Weeks to Vegan signups: 3,194
    • Booklets handed out: 4,576
    • VR views: 2,055

    Brent Ratkovich


    “We’re all doing this work to inspire and empower people to go vegan. We all take on the important responsibility of being the educators and bringing the inspiration to the students and the public in general. That inspiration can go both ways—a few moments can light a fire and make you feel like you can make a big difference in someone’s life.”

    • 10 Weeks to Vegan signups: 2,941
    • Booklets handed out: 1,433

    Perla Anerol


    “I’ve had several interactions with people who immediately rejected 10 Weeks to Vegan because they weren’t vegan and because they like meat. However, it’s so nice when they finally sign up after I explain that the goal is precisely for people like them to discover delicious and nutritious dishes that do not involve hurting animals.”

    • 10 Weeks to Vegan signups: 2,394
    • Booklets handed out: 4,710

    Ben Gardner

    • 10 Weeks to vegan signups: 2,374
    • Booklets handed out: 7,193
    • VR views: 205

    Ethan Blake

    • 10 Weeks to Vegan signups: 2,086
    • Booklets handed out: 5,528
    • VR views: 85

    Astha Gupta

    • 10 Weeks to Vegan signups: 1,877
    • Booklets handed out: 2,574
    • VR views: 448

    Brian Chavez

    • 10 Weeks to Vegan signups: 1,805
    • Booklets handed out: 3,946

    Abhishek Dubey

    • 10 Weeks to Vegan signups: 1,731
    • Booklets handed out: 1,115

    Thank you to all the above community outreach coordinators as well as the many we didn’t list who also contributed substantially to signing up over 60,000 people for 10 Weeks to Vegan so far in 2020!


    India News: Sharing some good memories of 2020

    It’s been a challenging year for the Vegan Outreach India team. In the last three months, our staff has faced many tough situations—violent riots over the Citizenship Amendment Act, government-imposed internet shutdowns and now the coronavirus pandemic and a nationwide lockdown.

    Despite the hardships, we’ve continued to work towards our goal of ending the suffering of animals raised for food. Join me in looking back on some of the best moments from the last quarter.


    11,769 Students signed up for 10 Weeks to Vegan


    In just three months, we helped 11,769 students get started with their vegan journey. Our team travelled across the country showing videos, giving presentations, and talking to students at college campuses.

    We also set a VO world-record along the way by signing up 666 students for 10 Weeks to Vegan in a single day!


    Outreach at Youth Events


    We participated in many college festivals and youth events this year and educated the students about compassionate living. Many students thanked us for being there and pledged to reduce their use of animal products.

    Some of the best events were at colleges in Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, and Varanasi where we not only reached thousands of students but also met students who have been vegan since meeting us at their campus last year!


    Looking Forward


    While we’ve paused public events to keep our staff and community safe, we’re continuing our outreach online. The India team is engaging with students, employees, and vegfest attendees via email, phone calls, webinars, and social media to help them make the transition to vegan eating.

    We’re already seeing good results and many people have told us that they’re rethinking their lifestyle choices.

    Thank you so much for enabling this important work.

    We need your support now more than ever to continue speaking up for animals. Please consider supporting some of the India team members!


    Donate Now!


    Warmly,

    Aneeha Patwardhan
    Director of Programs, India