Veganism, a diet free from animal products, can seem daunting to some. It’s an idea that our culture is still adjusting to, but the trend is undeniably on the rise. Plant Life Meals, a Kirkland-based vegan meal prep and delivery service, is attempting to make a plant-based diet more accessible to a wider range of people.

Plant Life Meals began in July of 2019 by Elizabeth Medeiros and David VanGeystel, who saw the need for a business that helped people have affordable vegan meals at home. Plant Life Meals’ customers make their orders online which get delivered at the end of the week to their doorstep. With a growing customer base in Seattle, Kirkland, Redmond, Bellevue and Bothell, it appears the timing was right for the owners to offer this service

According to a recent Plant Based Foods Association report, the plant-based meat industry alone has grown to be worth more than $800 million. Additionally, since April 2017, total plant-based food sales have increased 31 percent, while total U.S. food sales have remained relatively flat during that period.

This upward trajectory can, in part, be attributed to findings from the Environmental Protection Agency which claim that vegan meals emit fewer green house gases and require less resources than their meaty counterparts. There’s also the health benefits: Over the past decade, reports from the American Heart Association, American Dietetic Association, and others have provided detailed insight into the benefits of plant-based living, including lowered risk for heart disease and improved blood sugar, among others.

It comes with no surprise, then, when we see new vegan eateries opening while burger joints and fast food chains have had to tighten their belts.

“Reducing the selling and consumption of meat and dairy products has an enormous impact on the environment,” Medeiros said. “As a business, by not allocating our dollars to the purchasing of meat and dairy, we’re sending a huge message to the industry and taking a large step towards saving our planet.”

According to their website, Medeiros’ and Vangeystal’s friends asked for guidance and support when first implementing plant-based practices into their routine, which inspired the owners to provide a resource for others attempting to incorporate more vegan options. The menu includes innovative plant-based recipes such as vegan lasagna, a tofu breakfast scramble, and a red lentil curry, to name a few.

“The Protein-Packed Pasta is my go-to as often as I can get my hands on it,” VanGeystel said. “My other favorite is the Energy Protein Bites — these are really simple and I don’t feel bad for eating as many as I can. This is a new item on our menu and I already know it’s going to be a hit.”

Plant Life Meals is the one of the latest additions to the ever growing Greater Seattle vegan scene, a movement which has led to Seattle being named the fourth most vegan-friendly city in the nation by WalletHub’s research, and 9th most vegan state according to Health IQ’s data collection.

“Each vegan meal our customers are opting for is having massive impact on our planet,” said Medeiros. “I think they’ll be super proud of their contribution as I know we are.”