Veganism: The fringe movement turned mainstream – Dr Christoph Fiolka – CuraproxFeatured Products Promotional Features
Posted by: probe-admin 6th December 2018
Years ago, vegans were reduced to hippie stereotypes, regarded as “tree-huggers” with a love of ill-fitting tie-dye shirts, dreadlocks, and tofu. Yet with an estimated 3.5 million Britons now identifying as vegan, there can be no doubt that plant-based living is more popular than ever before, prompting many of us to re-evaluate our ideas of meat-free eating.[i]In fact, the latest figures from the Vegan Society have revealed that the number of vegans in Britain has skyrocketed in the last decade, with almost half of all vegans found to be aged between 15 and 34.[ii],[iii]These statistics demonstrate that veganism is now the fastest growing lifestyle movement, so what exactly is the drive behind the meat-free trend?
People choose to be vegan for a variety of different reasons. Many abstain from using animal products as they feel that factory farming is cruel and inhumane, while others believe that agricultural land created to feed livestock is destroying the environment. Some simply view veganism as a healthy diet that is inherently low in fat, calories, and cholesterol, but high in fibre and vitamins. Evidently, being a vegan is not a lifestyle choice that suits everyone, but it has encouraged some to consider the food choices they make, reminding them of the value in buying products from ethically-raised animals.[iv]
Society has long been weighing up the pros and cons of farming animals for meat, perhaps even more so following the release of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) report, which found a link between processed meats and cancer. Unsurprisingly, just a few months later, it was found that nearly a third of Brits had cut back on their meat consumption in light of this. Nevertheless, the attraction of modern veganism goes far beyond concerns for general health and wellbeing, as it is currently heavily endorsed by some of our most popular celebrities and trendsetters.
Ellie Goulding, Jennifer Lopez and Liam Hemsworth are just some of the famous faces influencing current attitudes towards veganism, which might explain why many of the youngest in our society now aspire to meat-, fish-, dairy- and egg-free living. This is further fuelled by social media platforms, which provide hashtag systems that make it even easier to share vegan-related content, helping to build a greater sense of community. According to Google Trends, searches for “vegan” have been rising steadily since the inception of Instagram, indicating that the social media platform could be credited for helping transform the once-kooky diet into an aesthetically-pleasing display of kale salads and soy milk smoothies.
Many believe that Instagram has enabled plant-based diets to be conveyed as a colourful, abundant, vibrant and delicious lifestyle choice, which has helped shake the preconceptions of eating “rabbit food”. Of course, what we eat has to be enjoyable in order to be sustainable, which is why some vegans also argue that Instagram has acted as a useful tool to illustrate this can be done. The rise in popularity of social media accounts like Ella Mills’ and Niomi Smart’s – both vegan “foodies” – provides an apt reflection of the changing face of veganism at a societal level.
Still, critics claim veganism is too good to be true. There is ongoing debate over whether the sole consumption of fruit and veg is truly beneficial, but research does indicate that a vegan diet could be detrimental to your oral health. For instance, vegans are at a higher risk of suffering from dental erosion and decay, due to their increased intake of naturally sugary and acidic fruit and vegetables.[v]As vegans are often guilty of snacking and grazing between meals, they may also encourage plaque to build up on their dentition, which, as practitioners are aware, can cause periodontal diseases if left untreated.
As more and more people are considering the transition over to a plant-based way of living, dental health is becoming a key topic of concern. However, by following good at-home oral care routines and attending the dentist for regular examinations and professional cleanings, patients can ensure that their teeth always look and feel their best. Practitioners can recommend the use of the most effective products such as those supplied by Curaprox. The leading oral healthcare specialist offers an extensive range of adjuncts, including the CS 5460 ultra soft manual toothbrush, which has been innovatively designed with fine CUREN® filaments to facilitate efficient, but gentle tooth brushing.
Demand for meat-free alternatives is continuing to increase, with veganism predicted to remain the biggest growing food trend in the next few years. Long gone are the days when vegan food meant you were served with a boring salad – it is now an exciting movement based on experimenting with the best the food industry has to offer. Practitioners can help patients enjoy the potential benefits of veganism by reminding them of the importance of effective tooth cleaning habits, which can ensure patients maintain optimal oral health.
[i]Comparethemarket.com. (2018) Cars Against Humanity… What would you give up to improve the environment? Link: https://www.comparethemarket.com/car-insurance/content/cars-against-humanity/. [Last accessed: 02.08.18].
[ii]The Vegan Society. (2018) Statistics. Link: https://www.vegansociety.com/news/media/statistics. [Last accessed: 02.08.18].
[iii]The Vegan Society. (2016) Find out how many vegans are in Great Britain. Link: https://www.vegansociety.com/whats-new/news/find-out-how-many-vegans-are-great-britain. [Last accessed: 02.08.18].
[iv]Cloake, F. (2016) Felicity Cloake: my week as a vegan. Link: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/may/18/felicity-cloake-my-week-as-a-vegan/. [Last accessed: 02.08.18].
[v]Laffranchi, L., Zotti, F., Bonetti, S., Dalessandri, D. and Fontana, P. (2010) Oral implications of the vegan diet: observational study. Minerva stomatologica. 59: 583-91. Link: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/49739421_Oral_implications_of_the_vegan_diet_observational_study. [Last accessed: 02.08.18].
Dr Christoph Fiolka
In 2008, Dr Christoph Fiolka was awarded the Diploma in Chemistry from the Department for Chemistry at the University of Cologne, before completing his PhD in Coordination and Solid-State Chemistry. Dr Fiolka then became a postdoctoral research assistant at the University of Berne. In 2015, he was appointed as a sales representative for the international research-based pharmaceutical company, Berlin-Chime, before he began to work as a chemist at Cell Care Lab Ltd in 2016. Dr Fiolka is now the Head of Product Management Chemical Products at Curaden AG in Switzerland.
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