By Chelsea Johnson
West Australians have traditionally been diehard meat eaters but there has been a noticeable shift in the number of people turning to vegetarian and other plant-based diets.
Recent figures show that nearly 11% of the adult population is now eating all or mostly, plant-based meals.
Lauren de Munck, a student from Thornlie, has been a vegetarian for six months.
“I’m doing my yoga teacher training and there is a strong emphasis on non-violence towards all living beings, so that was the reason I went vegetarian,” she said.
Lauren says it was not difficult transitioning to such a lifestyle, given that she rarely ate meat beforehand – she has also considered going vegan.
“It’s just a matter of doing more research and seeing what products I’ll be able to replace animal products with.”
Naturopath Natalie Woodman and nutritionist Jessica Valiant, the founders of ‘Nutrition Gym’ in South Perth, have a whole food, plant-based lifestyle, and this is what they teach their clients.
“I noticed that when I worked with my clients and switched them to whole food, plant-base [lifestyle] that there was a myriad of health conditions that disappeared,” Natalie said.
“Everybody starts into whole food, plant-based living wherever they come from, but it’s very difficult to go backwards – you just want to keep learning more,” said Jessica.
Jessica and Natalie believe it is important to emphasise that plant-based lifestyle choices are not diets, and this is part of their popularity.
“The word diet is demonised and people don’t want to be on a diet, and now people are beginning to understand that it doesn’t give them lasting change,” said Jessica.
“I think the whole food, plant-based lifestyle has become popular because ultimately nobody wants to think every day about what they put in their mouth.”
“I think it’s so popular because it’s so simple, and because it’s so easy,” said Natalie.