Ciao a tutti!
If you have recently passed through Italy, you may have noticed more growth happening with switching to a vegan lifestyle. More and more Italians are making a conscious choice to move towards a plant-based diet. These changes include many more vegan restaurants being established and even more restaurants and pizzarias that are offering vegan options on their menus.
This also includes the added vegan items at the supermarkets. And this is great news! Even down here in Sicily, where things are still slow-moving, you can find Vegan gelato, vegan restaurants in the bigger cities and even some of the smaller towns have restaurants with vegan options.
Of course, things like plant-based milks are pretty much everywhere. If you’re out for a coffee there is a pretty good chance that the bar or cafe’ will at least offer a soy cappuccino, especially in top tourist areas!
So where are most of the vegans in Italy? And who are they?
About 36% of Vegan Italians live in the Northern part of Italy in cities like Milan or Torino. In fact 13% live in big cities, where it is usually easy to be vegan. About 25% of them have positions higher within their company, like manager or assistant manager with 17% have a degree of some kind. And of the Vegan Italians, 58% are female, which 28% of them are usually between 45-54 years of age.
VeganOK, who started in 2009, was one of the first companies to approve the vegan products. Since then, they started have already certified 400 companies and the number is growing steadily. They started on the basis that they wanted to help consumers to be absolutely aware of what was vegan and what was not vegan.
The Italians also choose to go right to a vegan lifestyle, skipping the passage from carnivore —> vegetarian —> vegan. They choose to go directly from meat to seitan, which seitan, of course, being for those people that still feel the need to see something resembling meat on their plates.
Even vegan authors and facebook pages are growing in number. Maria Di Noia, or also called Vegachef, has 120,000 fans on Facebook and wrote a best seller, “Tutto il resto e’ Soia” (Everything else is soy) which proves the ironic rebellion of the Italians of their prosciutto or ham cutlets. In her book she highlights many recipes, some of which are traditionally vegan!
If you’re in Italy, then, you have come to the right place to be Vegan!