Veganism, or the practice of not using animal products, has been on the rise in the United States. In fact, a study early this year revealed that 9.6 million Americans are now vegans, representing 3 percent of the total population and a 300 percent increase in the last 15 years.
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For the uninitiated, HappyCow is an online platform that helps those looking for vegan and vegetarian restaurants across the U.S. With the new partnership with the automaker, Toyota and Lexus vehicles, 2020 model year and newer, equipped with the Destination Assist feature may now use HappyCow to find suitable places to dine that are near their proximity.
How does it work? Pressing the Destination button on the infotainment screen, the system will contact a live representative to assist with the car owner's query. Users just need to mention that they are looking for a vegan or vegetarian restaurant, then the live representative will use HappyCow to find the nearest ones.
Destination Assist feature is offered as a trial for one year on newly purchased or leased Toyota vehicles. Lexus vehicles, on the other hand, have it on trial for three years.
"We are excited about being part of Toyota Connected’s Destination Assist, which allows owners of select 2020 Toyota/Lexus models to speak to live representatives who have been trained to use HappyCow," Ken Spector, HappyCow Principal, told VegNews.
For now, the HappyCow service is exclusively available in the U.S. However, the company is exploring the possibilities of global expansion, VegNews reports.