In 2023, the polling organisation YouGov conducted a survey that revealed that 59% of Indians are likely to consider a vegan diet in the near future, 74% of respondents believed a vegan diet was healthy, 72% said it was good for the environment, and 73% thought that it helped to stop animal exploitation. Additionally, 62% said they thought the vegan lifestyle was easy to maintain, while 61% believed there were enough vegan food choices.
India is the country with the most vegetarians in the world, with religions such as Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism contributing to this tradition. This should help people to transition to veganism. Almost 70% of participants in the survey said they believed the country’s vegetarian traditions could help to fuel the growth of veganism, while many pointed out that several traditional Indian recipes are vegan-friendly.
The British-born vegan organisation Veganuary, which in 2023 wrote the record of participants with over 700,000 people signing up from almost every country in the world, opened a branch in India in 2022, and it became a success, registering the third-largest number of participants in any country worldwide. For the 2024 campaign, several Indian celebrities have signed up as ambassadors, including actor Soundarya Sharma, mountaineer Kuntal Joisher, and singer-composer Anushka Manchanda.
Prashanth Vishwanath, Country Director at Veganuary India, said to Vegconomist, “The reasons for a vegan diet being popular among Indian youth are interesting. While 6 out of 10 people attribute it to increased health consciousness, specific reasons such as achieving an ideal body weight are more among flexitarians. This shows that a vegan diet is for everyone, regardless of age, gender, motivation, and previous diets. The Indian public has voted for change, and helped by Veganuary’s range of free resources and guidance, they can exercise their choice to transition into a healthier plant-based lifestyle.”