VOICE OF AMERICA
Meat may be meeting its match, as more and more South Africans are experimenting with vegetarian and vegan lifestyles.
Veganism, which entails cutting out all meat and animal-derived products, such as dairy, eggs and honey, is slowly growing globally. A Google Trends report puts South Africa at 14th globally in searches for “vegan,” the only African nation to rank so high.
Other African countries, including Nigeria and Kenya, are also reporting an increased interest in veganism. One 200-member community in Nairobi is entirely vegan, reports Deutsche Welle.
Yvonne Iyoha of Nigeria founded the blog Eat Right Naija after learning about the social and environmental impacts of eating meat. The website focuses on producing healthy, vegan, Nigerian recipes and educating people about the benefits of plant-based eating.
Although there is no official count of how many vegans there are in South Africa, the interest has led to vegetarian and vegan restaurants sprouting up in Johannesburg, the nation’s economic hub. In 2020, Africa’s first large-scale vegan and plant-based exposition will land in Cape Town.
Moral and health reasons were cited by many new vegans, like 41-year-old financial advisor Dayalan Nayagar, who made the switch in 2019 after being a lifelong omnivore.
“I got introduced to this whole new way of eating, you know healthy, eating organic-type food from plants, and I couldn’t believe it,” he said.