Google Goes Vegan

Google’s attempt to purchase Impossible Foods, a vegan burger startup in Silicon Valley, was the hot topic of a recent Breakfast Club presentation.

Veganism is a philosophical doctrine whereby proponents recognize the ubiquitous use of animals in a variety of industries including food, cosmetics testing, entertainment and clothing. Vegans attempt to minimize animal suffering as much as possible by refraining from purchasing animal-based products.

Top 3 Reasons for Going Vegan

  1. Save Animals
    150 billion animals are killed each year in slaughterhouses worldwide for human consumption.
  2. Save the Planet
    In order to grow crops to feed all these animals, animal agriculture uses 45% of the Earth’s land and a third of the Earth’s freshwater. According to Leonardo Di Caprio’s recent documentary, Cowspiracy, one burger requires 55 square feet of land and 300 gallons of water. The process results in 27kg of carbon dioxide for each burger produced.
  3. Improve Your Health
    When you choose to obtain your nutrients directly through plants, you also get the added benefits of water, fiber, antioxidants and flavonoids that have been demonstrably proven to enhance human health. Conversely, when acquiring nutrition indirectly through the consumption of animal flesh or secretions, you also end up eating things that, if anything, can be harmful to human health longterm including saturated fat, cholesterol, the animal’s naturally occurring hormones and any antibiotics that may have been given to the animals.

Google’s Vegan Initiatives

In addition to serving gourmet vegan meals in their its cafeteria daily, Google has attempted to purchase Impossible Foods, the makers of the ultimate veggie burger built molecule by molecule from plant-derived amino acids. The three hundred million-dollar bid was rejected, but, as it turns out, Google executive Tony Fadell along with Bill Gates are among the top angel investors of Impossible Foods.

Google has also hosted Michael Greger, MD, who gave an impressive talk at Google NYC in February of this year to enlighten Google employees on the health benefits of plant based diets and the surprising health consequences of animal-based diets.

Vegan Goes Mainstream

Here are some quick facts that depict veganism’s growing popularity:

  1. Google searches for the word vegan have shot up 35% from 2014 to 2015
  2. Vegan and vegetarian related content were mentioned 4.3 million times in 90 days compared with 4.1 mentions of Coca-Cola in the same period
  3. Vegan and vegetarian specific products make up an estimated industry worth $2.8 billion.
  4. Vegan milks (almond, coconut, rice, oat, cashew, hazelnut, etc.) make up 20% of the milk market.
  5. The United Kingdom has now reached half a million vegans, many of which are in the 15-34 age bracket.

Even Ben and Jerry‘s have launched their first vegan ice cream flavours this year. It will be interesting to see how this trend continues to grow over the years. We’re especially interested in observing the marketing tactics used to convince consumers, almost all of which have grown up on meat and dairy and eggs, to try a more sustainable dietary pattern.