Islanders are venturing into veganism.

According to a recent study, more than 40 percent of people in B.C. under the age of 35 have transitioned to a vegetarian or vegan diet.

“If it comes from an animal then we try as best as possible not to consume it or wear it,” said Jordan Reichert with the Vancouver Island Vegan Association.

Thousands of people attended Vegtoria which was held in Victoria today.

The event is the province’s largest outdoor vegan festival.

The vegan movement is growing across the world with celebrities, chefs and high-performance athletes making the switch.

“The benefits of [veganism] are kind of three-fold,” Reichert explained. “It’s much better for your health. There’s also the environmental impact, but first and foremost it’s about the animals.”

The second annual event brought together vendors and speakers who are embracing the plant-based movement.

“I preached that I loved animals and I preached that animal cruelty was wrong yet I was taking in the unnecessary suffering of animals three times a day,” said Ed Winters, an animal-advocate from London, England who spoke at the event. “My life is better now because I feel my morality now aligns with my actions.”

Reichert said the biggest barrier facing those wishing to transition to a vegan lifestyle often comes from friends and family.

“When you make that choice to become vegan, you need friends and family who are supportive,” Reichert explained.

To learn more about Vegtoria and the Vancouver Island Vegan Association, visit their website. 

Ceilidh Millar