In-depth: Why Black Americans are the fastest-growing vegan demographic in the country

Levi Tafari: "I think people realize that it’s in the food we eat. It plays a role in our health.”

 

By: Anthony Hill, WFTS Tampa Bay (FL)

Jan 07, 2022

 

TAMPA, Fla. — More Black Americans are choosing plants. According to a Pew Research Center survey, 8% of African Americans identify as vegan or vegetarian compared to just 3% of the general population.

 

Many people of color say they switched to a plant-based diet for the environment, animal rights and their health.

 

Levi Tafari is the owner of The Good Life Food Truck in St. Petersburg. The business opened a little more than a year ago with a goal to veganize familiar foods. Tafari said he thinks more people of color are switching over to a plant-based diet because of the increase of information about nutrition currently available. “In this era, the age of information, I think people realize that it’s in the food we eat. It plays a role in our health.”

 

Meanwhile, across the Bay in Tampa, Nick Alami is the owner of The Vegan Halal Cart with an all-vegan menu of gyros, wraps and shawarmas. He said about 40% to 60% of his clients are people of color. “It’s definitely growing in terms of people of color who want to participate more in a plant-based diet,” said Alami.

 

Jean Oriol says he switched over to a plant-based diet four years ago to improve his health. “I could never forget my doctor, he was like, ‘you look like a Lamborghini with bad parts in it.’ And that changed my life,” said Oriol.

 

Family physician Dr. Ana Negrón explained the connection between what we eat and our overall health:

 

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