There is a rising trend in the online fitness community and Canadian society as a whole. It consists of men and women who consciously refrain from eating meat and maintain a vegetarian/vegan diet.

Dr.Oz came out with his “21 Day Plant-Based Diet” at the beginning of this year and stated that Veganism will be the single biggest movement in 2017! Dr. Oz estimates there are about 3.7 million Americans who now live a strictly vegan lifestyle. The “Vegetarianism in America” study published by Vegetarian Times showed 7.3 million adults in America follow a vegetarian-based diet. Among the American vegetarians are the Christian Seventh-day Adventists, who on average live 10 years longer than the normal American life expectancy. Statistics have also shown that religion makes people happier, which inevitably helps the Seventh-day Adventists live so long!

The Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research published a study by American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada which estimates 4% or 1.3 million adults in Canada follow a vegetarian diet. A vegetarian diet is defined as one that does not include meat, fish, or fowl.

Researchers in the study stated that “interest in vegetarianism appears to be increasing” and “vegetarian diets offer a number of nutritional benefits including lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein as well as higher levels of carbohydrates, fibre, magnesium, potassium, folate, antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, and phytochemicals. Vegetarians have been reported to have lower body mass indices than non-vegetarians, as well as lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease, lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer.” So why are we not feeding our children Vegetarian meals at home and in schools?

A 2015 survey conducted by the Vancouver Humane Society and administered by polling company Environics “shows that 33 percent of Canadians, or almost 12 million, are either already vegetarian or are eating less meat.” Broken down, the figure includes 8% of respondents who are already vegetarian or mostly vegetarian, as well as 25% of Canadians who say they are trying to eat less meat.

Vegetarian/vegan lifestyles are gaining attention on social media and taking the online fitness community by storm. I personally envision a meat-free society in my lifetime.