With pro-vegan posters having graced the walls of Clapham Common Station in London this month, it has become evident that ethically sourcing your food has far surpassed the stereotype of hemp and free love, with a new generation taking up a plant-based diet – 42% of today’s vegans falling into the 15-45 age bracket. Consequently, there has been an upsurge in new products, eateries and general engagement with the fastest-growing lifestyle choice in the UK, with a 360% increase over the past 10 years.
According to The Vegan Society, the 3 main reasons for going vegan are:
- Animal Welfare
Every year, 60 billion land animals are killed, along with 1 trillion sea animals. Whilst in captivity, animals endure intense mental and physical suffering. Even cows kept for dairy are still subject to constant artificial insemination and milking, which induces angst, hunger and infections. Veganism promotes respect for all life and looks to end the farming of animals completely.
Following a vegan diet can reduce your chances of premature death by 33%. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, as well as improving cholesterol and blood pressure levels. All meat contains hormones and consuming them has an adverse effect on our own hormone balance, which increases the risk of cancer.
Humanity has been producing ever-rising quantities of meat. Last year we consumed 129.5 billion pounds of beef. Cows produce more CO2 than any vehicle – 51% of the world’s greenhouse gasses coming from agriculture. This also contributes to deforestation and water shortage – agriculture accounting for 80-90% of our water consumption. Put simply, our plant is struggling to maintain such an enormous demand for meat.
Veganism is quickly evolving into more and more of a viable lifestyle. In addition to the wave of vegan and vegetarian-only establishments being opened throughout the UK, it is also becoming necessary for manufacturers, retailers and restaurants to accommodate veganism. With so much on offer, we have carefully chosen some cool products, restaurants, events and communities for you to enjoy…
What to buy?
It has been hard to miss the increasing numbers of vegan labelled products that have been finding their way onto our shelves. Vegan shopping may entail some time spent reading packaging, but dedicating a few minutes to research ahead of your trip will save you a lot of effort later on. If you’re having difficulty finding the right vegan products in the supermarket, then fear not, because we have selected some products for you, that our vegan friends love… look out for them on the GreenJinn App to get cashback!
Quorn Hot & Spicy Burgers
Sainsbury’s price: £2.50
GreenJinn cashback: £0.60
Old El Paso Black Beans
Quorn Vegan Fishless Fingers
Waitrose price: £2.49
GreenJinn cashback: £0.60
Where to eat?
With chains broadening their menus to encompass vegan options, there has never been a broader range of possibilities when it comes to vegan dining. However, if you’re still concerned about eating out, then perhaps consider looking at online menus before visiting a restaurant, or even calling ahead, they will more than likely be happy to accommodate! Don’t forget that you can make requests when eating out (often just a slight change to an item on the menu can make all the difference) and never assume that you are an inconvenience or a burden!
Looking for somewhere to eat? You may not have to search for as long as you may think… PETA’s Vegan Food Awards 2016 produced some interesting results, here are some of the winners for best vegan dish:
Images and results from peta.org.uk
Pret A Manger
Chana Chaat Flat Bread
(Best Vegan Salad)
SuperClean Quinoa Salad
(Best Vegan Pizza)
(Best Vegan Curry)
Sweet potato, Chickpea and Spinach Curry
If you get the chance, be sure to check out these vegan restaurants in London:
London’s first vegan chicken shop recreates classic fried chicken meals by replacing the chicken with seitan for guilt-free indulgence. (Morning Lane, Hackney)
Image from Temple of Seitan Facebook Page
Enjoy some quick and affordable Indian cuisine in a unique setting… freshly cooked and ‘karma-free’! (Radha-Krishna Temple, Soho Street)
Image from TripAdvisor
What to do?
In 2017, veganism has never been more about community. Thanks to social media, there are events taking place constantly, nationwide. Whether you’re struggling with your diet or just in need of some inspiration: one of these events can re-ignite your passion. Sometimes just knowing that you are not in it alone is enough.
Take a look at these upcoming vegan events: they consist of stalls, talks and demonstrations – with plenty of opportunity to taste, try and buy new products, with everything from hot food to makeup.
- Saturday, 25 February, 2017 Portsmouth Vegan Festival
- Saturday, 4 March, 2017 Essex Vegan Festival
- Saturday, 25 March, 2017 LABL Vegan Fair Liverpool
- Saturday, 8 April, 2017 VeggieWorld London
- Saturday, 6 May, 2017 Kent Vegan Festival
Want more information?
Don’t worry if you can’t make it to any events, you can still find information and advice within vegan Facebook groups/communities. Here are a few to join:
Interested in giving veganism a go? Check out Veganuary: a charity that encourages people to try a vegan diet for the month of January. It’s rapidly gathering support, with some 50,000 of us taking part this year. According to the charity, around half of participants stay vegan once the month is up, so we should expect to see an even greater demand for vegan options throughout our supermarkets and restaurants.
Veganism can be a challenge, but it can also be extremely rewarding. Provided the current trend of vegan awareness persists, it may not be so much of a challenge after all… whether you are vegan, vegetarian or just open minded, use this guide to save you time and effort finding the best veganism has to offer.
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