Being a vegan has always been work. There’s the planning ahead, the requisite grilling of waitstaff, and the inevitable need to explain your dietary choices in a way that doesn’t offend the meat eaters asking the questions.
This year, though, things should have gotten easier, as vegan foods went from trendy meal kits promoted by Tom Brady to mainstream options accessible to anyone looking to try them out, whether driven by health, climate change, animal welfare, or simple curiosity. Soy-based Impossible Whoppers are now served in Burger King. Consumers can find Beyond Meat Inc. breakfast sausage at Dunkin’ and, if they like it enough, pick up some stock in the now public company, too. Even meat giants Smithfield Foods Inc. and Hormel Foods Corp. have unveiled beef imitations. All in all, the global plant-based meat industry is now valued at $14 billion.