Throughout the years, Vegan foods have undergone an amazing and mouth-watering transformation. From tasteless to trendy vegan foods have catapulted into the mainstream. Out of the 1.6 million vegans in the U.S. the average age is forty-two. Surprised?

The twenty and thirty-somethings -- today's millennials -- only make up about half of all U.S. vegans. Females make up about seventy-four percent. Politically, they lean to the left, and according to research, today's vegans are not religious.

Tyson Foods getting in on the vegan action

Last year, Tyson Foods, the largest meat producer in America, purchased five percent in the plant-based company Beyond Meat.

This is a company that is best known for Beyond Burger, a burger made with beet extracts that are said to sizzle as they grill.

Vegan's image has gone from hippie's pulling fruit off the trees to sophisticated people living aspirational lives. Just take a look at what the power couple Tom Brady and his wife, Brazilian supermodel, Gisele Bundchen, have done to increase the popularity of vegan diets.

Animal rights movement

The animal-rights movement started what sociologists call a lifestyle movement. General environmental concerns, farming conditions, and food production became mainstream focal points for concern. Healthy living and veganism became synonymous with one another.Social scientists who have studied veganism see it as it relates to large scale farming practices, abuse and the over-use of antibiotics.

Social scientists who have studied veganism see it as it relates to large scale farming practices, animal abuse and the over-use of antibiotics.

The term vegan first used in 1944

Co-founder of the Vegan Society in England, Donald Watson, came up with the term "vegan" in 1944. It was originally meant to be used to as a meaning for a non-dairy vegetarian.

That makes sense because that's what it is, but in 1951 the society wanted to expand its meaning to include man living without exploiting animals.

In 2010 veganism started become increasingly more popular. The term vegan was used more often and with greater understanding and acceptance. Then, vegan stores started popping up, and food options started becoming available at local food markets and superstores, and eventually, restaurants specializing in vegan dishes became the exciting new trend.

A lifestyle, not a diet

For those who are now vegans, and those who have been for decades say it is not a diet, it is a lifestyle.

A vegan will go beyond food choices in their life. They will not purchase anything made from animal products, and that includes leather, wool, fur, silk and even down. They will avoid products that use animal testing which includes cosmetics, and household cleaners and chemicals.

It sounds like an extremely healthy and humane way to live one's life.