The demand for vegan foods has risen extraordinarily in the past 12 months as people become more health driven and environmentally focused. This means as a nation, and possibly as a world, we are starting to eat less meat and dairy and more vegetables and lentils.
But is this diet actually beneficial, or just another media construction trying to get into our heads?
Scientists have recently constructed a diet that they believe could ‘transform’ the planet if everyone stuck to it. The proposed diet is not strictly vegan, or even vegetarian, as you are allowed to eat the equivalent of 1/3 of a fish finger a day, or 1 steak a month, lucky us. However, the diet is largely plant-based, so be prepared to eat plenty of nuts and vegetables if you’re brave enough to commit to it.
Food production is responsible for a quarter of all greenhouse gases, more than planes, buses and cars combined. And the land that is currently farmland and used for animal grazing could be used to plant crops or trees that can absorb the excess CO2 from our atmosphere. And of course, you will be saving animals from slaughter and animal cruelty.
And it’s not just the environment that you will be saving, you will arguably be saving yourself too. Apparently, a full vegan diet cuts cholesterol, lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
So, you can definitely see why people would want to be become vegan, but it’s a big commit and not for the faint hearted. Changing your whole diet will definitely be difficult and I’m not sure I could commit to never having any cheese or butter again, never mind no burgers, and what would you eat on Christmas Day with no turkey or pigs in blankets?
But many people are making the change, starting with ‘Veganuary’, where people are making the pledge to be vegan for one month. The vegan community are hoping that these pledgees will stick to the diet, or at least become vegetarian, but whether or not it’s successful we will wait and see.
Of course, there are critics. A builder speaking on BBC 2 recently, made the point that he’s 18 stone and works on his feet all day, how much energy is he going to get out of some carrot sticks? And then, the human race are natural meat eaters, would following a plant-based diet go against the whole of human evolution? The jury’s out.
People are also making the point that just eating vegetables, many of which we cannot grow in the UK, will encourage importing foods such as bananas, and increase emissions from planes and boats. And if we don’t eat animals such as cows and pigs, will they breed to take over the world? Who knows?
And you have to feel for the poor farmers. If people do decide to change to this revolutionary diet, they will lose their jobs and livelihood. Don’t we have enough unemployment as it is?
But either way, there’s no denying the fact that veganism is on the rise and vegan restaurants are popping up everywhere with the new demand, along with vegan options appearing in a lot of chain, and independent, pubs and restaurants. Including one of our very own customers, S17 in Bradway who are taking part in ‘Veganuary.’
They have implemented some new products for all you budding vegans out there. Check them out here:
If you are looking for some vegan inspiration then check out Sophie’s Healthy Kitchen on Instagram (link below.) She shows off her vegan meals using our very own tableware!
What’s your opinion? Are you vegan already? Are you trying ‘Veganuary’? Or like me, are you sticking to your burgers?
Let us know by tweeting us or sending a message on Facebook or Instagram.