Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus has been vegan for over a year Getty

Veganism is slowly becoming mainstream as people use their forks over knives and ditch the leather for pleather.

According to research commissioned by The Vegan Society earlier this year, there are over half a million vegans in Britain – an increase of over 350% in the past decade – making it the nation's fastest growing lifestyle movement.

It is being driven by young people in particular who consciously make more ethical and compassionate choices, with the media portraying the diet in a positive light.

Along with good press, effective and informative documentaries including Netflix's What The Health and Cowspiracy, trendy celebrities are also having an impact on the world.

Here are some of the most influential vegans of 2017.

Ariana Grande (Instagram following: 115m, Twitter following: 54.6m)

Grande, 24, is one of the biggest influences on today's youth, which is great news for vegans. The self-proclaimed animal lover announced via Twitter in 2013 that she had made the jump to veganism despite being raised in an Italian meat-loving household.

She has been particularly forthright with her reasoning behind the decision, telling V magazine that she didn't think humans should be drinking milk from cows – who "produce milk with nutrients for cows."

The diet must be working for Grande, since she has tonnes of energy during her stage performances and has maintained a lithe figure ever since committing herself to the lifestyle.

Miley Cyrus (Instagram following: 72.8m, Twitter following: 37.3m)

The 24-year-old American singer, songwriter and actress stole the world's attention back in July by getting the vegan symbol tattooed on her inner arm – dedicating her life to veganism in ink.

Along with her fiancé Liam Hemsworth, Cyrus is an animal lover and told her followers that she is "Vegan for life!" She has been described a "super vegan" by PETA since she is outspoken about being anti-fur and hunting.

Unlike many vegan celebrities, Cyrus often shares pictures of her plant-based culinary creations. She pleaded with her fan base in early 2016: "Please consider vegan options because we as humans have resources.... "

Ellen DeGeneres (Instagram following: 48.8m, Twitter following, 75m)

Famed for being one of the world's most liked talkshow hosts, Degeneres has a huge fan base and is one of the best celebrity role models out there.

She publicly announced that she became vegan along with her wife Portia de Rossi, even having a plant-based menu at their wedding in 2008.

The host co-ordinates a vegan outreach website titled Going Vegan with Ellen and the site for The Ellen DeGeneres Show also contains a section called Going Vegan With Ellen in which she promotes Meatless Mondays. This lady means business!

Ruby Rose (Instagram following: 11.8m, Twitter following: 1.33m)

The Orange Is The New Black star, 31, is a passionate vegan and doesn't shy away about informing her followers about the lifestyle movement, along with encouraging them to make environmental changes.

The Australian actress – who previously called meat "revolting" – encouraged her 1.3m Twitter followers to fight climate change by going plant-based. She wrote: "We can be the change."

Jenna Dewan Tatum (Instagram following: 4.4m, Twitter following: 756K)

If you're leaning towards a vegan diet for vanity reasons, just take one look at Channing Tatum's gorgeous wife. Though she is still young at 36 – the long-term vegan doesn't look a day over 20 – proving that all those fruit and veggies are keeping her skin hydrated and firm.

The animal rights activist was declared one of three of 2017's Sexiest Vegans by PETA, and is raising her daughter as a vegetarian before she is old enough to decide what to eat for herself.

She previously said: "I certainly encourage veganism, not just for our health, but for the environment and also for the ethical and moral reasons."

Honourable mentions

Other notable vegans of high-profile status include Jared Leto – who has admitted to being a "chegan" (cheating vegan), Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Venus and Serena Williams, Alicia Silverstone and Joaquin Phoenix among many others.

Happy World Vegan Day!