Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 23rd 2016 Contents A26
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, May 23, 2016
If you want to see the face---or the body---of the
new wave of veganism, head to the website of the
Vegan Bros. There with their tops off, smooth and
firm as tofu, are brothers Matt and Phil Letten.
They run a blog, sell an online fitness course and,
at the end of last year, signed a deal with Penguin
Random House to write a book, which the pair pre-
dict will become "the vegan bible for years to come."
They swear and they brag---they are the self-pro-
claimed leaders of an "army of fit, sexy, vegan sol-
diers." They suggest that the reason they got so
ripped was because "the animals deserved better
than a stereotypical skinny-ass vegan".
The type of person who might be attracted by the
Vegan Bros punchy, profane style won t necessarily
be won over by more academic, ethical (even sanc-
timonious) discussions about veganism.
"I was one of the people who, when somebody
talked about veganism, would start making bacon
jokes," Phil once said to a reporter over Skype. But
he changed. Phil became a vegetarian first after seeing
a video of animals at a factory farm, then went vegan
about eight years ago. Matt used to be anti-vegan
until he discovered fitness.
The brothers launched their Vegan Bros brand a
year and a half ago, and have attracted a lot of atten-
tion in the UK. "We wanted to get across the message
that vegan eating isn t some niche thing any more,"
says Phil. "We ve entered the age of the new vegan.
There used to be these stereotypes about vegans. It
was considered maybe more feminine or hippy."
Things are different today, they say---they have vegan
friends who are police officers, military personnel,
investment bankers and airline pilots. "Athletes are
becoming vegan," says Phil.
According to research by Ipsos Mori, commissioned
by the Vegan Society, there are 542,000 vegans in
Britain---the previous estimate, from 2006, was just
150,000. "This is an increase of more than 350 per
cent over the decade," says Jimmy Pierson, a
spokesman for the Vegan Society. Another estimated
500,000 vegetarians are considering going vegan.
The market in animal-free food and drink is grow-
ing---according to the research company Mintel, the
number of products launched in the UK marked
"suitable for vegans" grew by 134 per cent between
2012 and 2015. Vegan dishes used to be restricted to
wholefood cafes, but now some pubs have recently
launched vegan menus.
What is pushing the trend? Social media has helped
raise awareness of some of the atrocities of factory
farming and many people are concerned about the
environmental impact of eating meat. The global
production of meat and dairy produces more green-
house gas emissions than transport, and a recent
study found that a widespread adoption of a vegetarian
or vegan diet would dramatically cut emissions related
to agriculture and food production---by 63 per cent
if we went vegetarian, and 70 per cent if vegan.
On his podcast earlier this year, the atheist thinker
and neuroscientist Sam Harris recalled a conversation
he d had with the psychologist Paul Bloom on the
subject of what will horrify our descendants when
they look back at the 21st century.
"On both of our shortlists was the horrorshow of
factory farming," he said. "Neither of us could defend
it, both of us participated in this machinery of death,
and we both admitted that it was only because it
was out of sight and out of mind that we were able
to do so."
The implication is that anyone who believes in
reason and rationality, when faced with the evi-
dence---on animal welfare, environmental impact and
human health---should become vegan.
Fit, macho, sexy, the
reinvention of vegans
Jay Z own
shares in a
A well-planned vegan diet brings a lower
risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes
and some cancers.
Beyoncé, who reportedly eats a mostly plant-
based diet, and husband Jay Z own shares in
a vegan delivery service.
"The image of veganism is undergoing the
most radical change...People now associate
veganism with health, fitness and wellbeing,
when the opposite was perhaps true a decade
ago." (Guardian, UK)
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and Advice
Links Archive May 22nd 2016 May 24th 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page