Beyond the nutritional benefits of a plant-based diet, a new report has found that a vegan diet could actually boost happiness. Vegan eaters were found to be happier than meat-eaters and pescatarians across the board in a report from Tracking Happiness that surveyed 11,537 Americans to research the relationship between diet and mood. With more people globally adopting plant-based diets, the research published found that once people dropped meat, their average happiness increased.

Tracking Happiness asked participants to rank their general happiness on a scale from one to 10 (one being very unhappy and 10 being very happy). The research organization found that vegans report seven percent higher happiness levels than meat-eaters. The correlation also went further to find that out of the omnivores the participants with higher happiness reported felt more inclined to adopt a plant-based diet in the future.

“It’s no wonder vegans are happier - by sparing animals atrocious suffering, helping to save the planet, and improving their own health, vegans can enjoy peace of mind and a clean conscience,” Vice President of International Programmes at PETA Mimi Bekhechi said. “If you want to join the happy v-gang, you’re in luck: Going vegan has never been easier or tastier.”

The report discovered that dropping animal products correlated with overall well-being, potentially showing how consumers have started prioritized the health and wellness of themselves and the planet in recent years. More people across the world and especially within the US have shifted their diets to exclude meat or animal products.

A survey conducted by Morning Consult for Bloomberg News found that 35 percent of Americans are “making a conscious effort to eat less meat.” Plant-based diets continue to be propelled to the front of American dining discourse, highlighting the changing concerns of the typical American consumer. Whether it’s nutrition, environment, budget, or happiness, American interest in plant-based foods is accelerating, signaling a new food landscape that promotes happiness and well-being.

“We’re not surprised by these findings at all,” a spokesperson for The Vegan Society Francine Jordan said. “We know that the image of veganism is undergoing the most radical change in its history while shedding some tired, old stereotypes. It’s no longer portrayed as an unusual lifestyle, it’s easy and accessible. You can walk into any supermarket and be greeted by a huge range of plant-based products; or walk into any restaurant and be presented with an exciting vegan menu. There has never been a better time to be vegan and it’s great to see that vegans are much happier too!”

More Americans feel that a plant-based diet will help their individual wellness while also presenting an easy option to support environmental health. The Bloomberg survey also found that health reasons rank as American’s top reason to give up meat, followed by budgeting and environmental sustainability. With more Americans switching their diets to become more plant-based, it is likely that general happiness will continue to increase as well.

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