Alternative food movements
In the 1960s and 1970s, a vegetarian food movement emerged as part of the counterculture in the United States that focused on concerns about diet, the environment, and a distrust of food producers, leading to increasing interest in organic gardening. One of the most influential vegetarian books of that time was Frances Moore Lappé's 1971 text, Diet for a Small Planet. It sold more than three million copies and suggested "getting off the top of the food chain".
The following decades saw research by a group of scientists and doctors in the United States, including physicians Dean Ornish, Caldwell Esselstyn, Neal D. Barnard, John A. McDougall, Michael Greger, and biochemist T. Colin Campbell, who argued that diets based on animal fat and animal protein, such as the Western pattern diet, were detrimental to health. They produced a series of books that recommend vegan or vegetarian diets, including McDougall's The McDougall Plan (1983), John Robbins's Diet for a New America (1987), which associated meat eating with environmental damage, and Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease (1990). In 2003 two major North American dietitians' associations indicated that well-planned vegan diets were suitable for all life stages. This was followed by the film Earthlings (2005), Campbell's The China Study (2005), Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin's Skinny Bitch (2005), Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals (2009), and the film Forks over Knives (2011).
In the 1980s, veganism became associated with punk subculture and ideologies, particularly straight edge hardcore punk in the United States; and anarcho-punk in the United Kingdom. This association continues on into the 21st century, as evinced by the prominence of vegan punk events such as Fluff Fest in Europe.
The vegan diet became increasingly mainstream in the 2010s, especially in the latter half. The Economist declared 2019 "the year of the vegan". The European Commission was granted the right to adopt an implementing act on food information related to suitability of a food for vegetarians or vegans in article 36 of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council. Chain restaurants began marking vegan items on their menus and supermarkets improved their selection of vegan-processed food.
The global mock-meat market increased by 18 percent between 2005 and 2010, and in the United States by eight percent between 2012 and 2015, to $553 million a year. The Vegetarian Butcher (De Vegetarische Slager), the first known vegetarian butcher shop, selling mock meats, opened in the Netherlands in 2010, while America's first vegan butcher, the Herbivorous Butcher, opened in Minneapolis in 2016. Since 2017, more than 12,500 chain restaurant locations have begun offering Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods products including Carl's Jr. outlets offering Beyond Burgers and Burger King outlets serving Impossible Whoppers. Plant-based meat sales in the U.S have grown 37% in the past two years.
In 2017, the United States School Nutrition Association found 14% of school districts across the country were serving vegan school meals compared to 11.5% of schools offering vegan lunch in 2016, reflecting a change happening in many parts of the world including Brazil and England.
By 2016, 49% of Americans were drinking plant milk, and 91% still drank dairy milk. In the United Kingdom, the plant milk market increased by 155 percent in two years, from 36 million litres (63 million imperial pints) in 2011 to 92 million (162 million imperial pints) in 2013. There was a 185% increase in new vegan products between 2012 and 2016 in the UK. In 2011, Europe's first vegan supermarkets appeared in Germany: Vegilicious in Dortmund and Veganz in Berlin.