Whether it’s for health reasons, financial, ethical or you just prefer the taste – everyone has their own thinking behind turning to plant based diets. In the UK alone, the number of people on vegan diets is continually increasing, 4% of the population are now fully plant based, double the number of 18 months previous. As stigma around the issue lowers, new and exciting product ranges appear and the science behind the lifestyle is more circulated, we caught up with our vegan community to celebrate World Vegan Day, finding out why they made the choice.
“In some ways, it is a lot easier to be vegan in such turbulent times. During the lockdown, I had a lot more free time to be able to get creative with the foods I ate. Being vegan has made me experiment with foods that I would have never considered eating before. I lot of people still presume I just eat grass every day, but the pandemic has defiantly made more people consider a plant-based diet and I have had many messages from followers asking for advice to go vegan.
Veganism does not just mean ‘I don’t eat animal products’, but it is a lifestyle choice to help animals, eat more nutritious foods and reduce your personal carbon footprint. The pandemic has it hard on most of us economically, eating whole plant-based foods are much cheaper than eating meat. The accessibility of vegan food and alternatives are so easy to get hold of in every mainstream supermarket, so you never feel like you’re ever missing out. To be able to eat well, eat ethically and eat economically is a great way to live. That’s vegan.”
– Verity Archer (Vegan Blogger)
“Whilst I support vegan diets, I myself am a flexitarian. This means I eat mostly a plant-based diet, with the occasional animal product. My aim is to show people that you don’t have to be perfect to make a huge difference, nor give up what you love – in my case, cheese!
Research has shown that the reduction in emissions from a population simply reducing their meat consumption far outweighs the emission reductions of a small proportion of fully vegan diets. Animal products are approximately 1/3 of our emissions and simply implementing more plant-based alternatives a few meals a week dramatically cuts greenhouse gases. There are so many fantastic alternatives out there, there’s no reason why the general population shouldn’t simply reduce animal product consumption – if not for the environment, then for health reasons! If you’re looking to try things out, my favourite products are Violife cheese, oat milk, The Protein Works Wondershake and the KFC vegan burger!”
– Beth Chalu (Eco-warrior)
“For me, being a vegan during these difficult times has been really fun! I have had lots of time to get into more complex and interesting recipes, as well as improve my skills in the kitchen. The vegan movement ultimately encourages people to be more environmentally conscious every day. It’s very important we motivate others to get into veganism, because what’s a better time more than now?”
– McKenna Rileigh (Vegan Blogger)
“Covid-19 has made society more aware of the negative impact we have on our planet. We have seen the negative impact of air travel and how a restriction on this has had a positive impact. There’s also been a realisation that we need to treat our animals better, to protect them, ourselves and the environment. Approx. 75% (measured by weight) of soy crops are fed to animals in livestock production systems- a huge contribution to climate change. I am not vegan for one specific reason, but for the animals, environment and my health. The vegan market has grown massively, with supermarkets like Tesco committing to a 300 percent increase in its sales of meat alternatives by 2025. A vegan diet is becoming increasingly accessible. Moving away from a total reliance on meat to a more plant-based diet has been said to be the one best way to reduce climate change.
I understand it is not possible for everyone for many reasons, but every small change can make a huge difference, e.g. a vegan meal once a day or swapping one product from your fridge like opting for oat milk. We can help create a better world and less suffering for our fellow animals we live alongside- lets be the generation to do it!”
– Issy Sedgwick (Vegan Blogger)
For some people, the idea of change is not something they’re ready to take, however for a growing number of us, plant based diets are the way forward.