If you are vegan then you are far from alone. There is a strong trend towards plant-based eating and the statistics are mind-blowing:
- The number of vegans in the UK quadrupled between 2014 and 2018
- More than a quarter of all evening meals in the UK are vegan or vegetarian
- Over half of all Brits consider buying vegan products and check if their toiletries are cruelty-free
- 50% of Brits said they know someone who is vegan
- 1 in 5 Brits would consider becoming vegan
- 31% of British consumers say that they have cut back on red meat in the last 12 months for health reasons
- 25% of British consumers say that concerns about the environment have caused them to cut back on the amount of red meat they eat
A recent study by Fiona Dyer of GlobalData, said the trend towards veganism “is being driven by millennials, who are most likely to consider the food source, animal welfare issues, and environmental impacts when making their purchasing decisions.”
The report went on to explain that the trend represents a genuine long-term move towards a healthier and more sustainable relationship with food, and it strongly emphasised that this movement is being driven by the younger generation.
Calling all millennials
So I turned to our very own millennial, Katie, for comment. An English Lit undergrad, Katie helps around the office at weekends, mainly by drinking green tea and listening to early David Bowie on her phone.
“OMG” said Katie, “Fi-o-na, ma bae, you so dang Marvel”
Celebrities, Athletes, Google and China are all supporting the movement to eat more plant-based foods
“You have to help us out a little bit here Katie” I said, “what exactly do you mean?”
I might have said, “Katie, put some meat on the bones of your answer”, but I didn’t…for obvious reasons I just didn’t.
Here’s what Katie had to say:
“Eating meat is killing our planet – fact! 18% of all the greenhouse gas that we produce comes from animal farming and that pollutes our atmosphere and contributes big time to the climate change that brings about an increased incidence of floods, droughts and heatwaves.”
“Katie, you’re a vegan warrior,” I said.
“I’m not remotely warrior-like. I’m a citizen of the planet who thinks we’ve got to get a grip before its too late, but I’m neither militant nor belligerent.”
Vegans go “WOW”
I poured Katie another green tea. “So for you it’s about more than just baby pigs and bunny rabbits?”
“Totally. I mean I think it’s brilliant that people are recognising the harmful impacts of meat production and are taking an interest in knowing where their food comes from and how it’s produced, but for me it’s all about the WOW! I’m into the health benefits. I’m a vegan who likes to feel great. There are lots and lots of very good reasons to become a vegan, including losing weight, controlling your blood sugar levels and protecting against certain cancers. But here’s where I’m coming from…it’s about the glowing skin, strong nails, and the luscious healthy hair. That’s the WOW!”
Plant-based foods will continue to grow in popularity – the trend towards being vegan is here to stay
“David Bowie had WOW, and plenty of it” I said. “Was he a vegan, or even just a vegetarian?”
“Neither” said Katie, a little sadly I thought.
“Are there any famous vegans?” by which I meant anyone other than Morrissey; anyone who ‘helps’ the cause and who might persuade me to put down a bacon sandwich?
“Beyonce” said Katie immediately. “And Jay-Z, of course. Then there’s Ellen, love her… and Venus Williams and the guy who drives cars.”
I hesitated. “Noddy?”
“Lewis Hamilton” she said. “And Joaquin Phoenix and Thom Yorke and Sandra Oh and Benedict Cumberbatch and for you older folks there’s Albert Einstein and even Leonardo da Vinci.”
Ah yes, I thought, my contemporaries. “Well, looks like I’m going to have to join the ‘bowl of grass for breakfast and kale three-ways for dinner’ brigade” I said.
That received the withering look it deserved. “Supermarket shelves are full of vegan foods” said Katie, “and there’s endless variety, with everything covered from meat-free burgers to sweet potato curry, and from oatcakes to almond ice cream.”
Vegan is the new rock ‘n’ roll, or the new black, or the best thing since sliced bread
“It’s the way to go,” said Katie. “It’s a worldwide movement, practically a revolution. Google’s staff are being offered specially created vegan ‘power’ meals in their canteens and China’s vegan foods sector is growing 17% per year. Heck, Bill Clinton’s now a vegan and he was once a politician, so it has to be a good thing.”
She paused, lifted her eyes from her green tea and looked straight at me. “And what about Gwyneth Paltrow?” she said in an almost conspiratorial whisper. “Think about it. Is there anybody who is more often and more obviously on the right side of history than her?”
“She called her daughter Apple,” I said.
“I rest my case” said Katie.
“Darn it Katie, you so dang Marvel.”