Disclaimer: You don’t have to go vegan… but maybe have a think about cutting down on meat.
By now you’ll have heard about veganism in the news, met a few vegans and have maybe even passed a vegan food fair in London. Veganism is best described as a movement; it’s a diet, arguably a mindset and a way of life that seeks to look after the animals and the environment. Not every vegan is an activist, some have sympathy for the animals and choose to change their diet and lifestyle. Then there are some vegans that don’t eat animal products. Just to confuse you, there’s also some technical vegans that shrug the name and instead claim to be plant-based.
Being vegan doesn’t necessarily mean healthy, as more time passes there are more vegan alternatives to our favourite junk foods. The healthiest diet is a plant based diet, as this involves eating mostly natural foods. Both flexitarians and vegans can be on a plant based diet, so there’s really a lot of grey area there.
Recently, Burger King has released a vegan Whopper alternative to appeal to the changing food market. Smart move on their behalf, as when Greggs released a vegan sausage roll it actually boosted their sales. We can expect a lot of fast food restaurants to jump on the vegan wagon. Hot on their heels Starbucks are releasing a vegan friendly Cadbury Creme Egg Frappe, to get one you’ll just need to put it a special order. Lastly, Subway is now offering a Vegan with Garlic Aioli wrap in stores. Of course there are plenty of vegan options on sale in places like Itsu and Leon (self-proclaimed healthy fast food vendors), but to be honest, it is nice to see these giants heading that way.
It’s easier now more than ever to go vegan, and many more have joined the movement this year for “veganuary”. If you’ve been vegan since January you’ll have saved: 90 animal lives, 1,629kg of grain, 374,751 litres of water, 819kg of CO2 and 252 square metres of the forest.
Switching straight to the vegan thing might be a little too heavy, and that is understandable, so why not try being a flexitarian? A flexitarian chooses when to eat animal products and when not to. For those of you that are considering trying veganism, this is a great first step. Going flexitarian will be good for your body and good for the environment.
It is a little pricey to take the leap at first, but don’t let that put you off. It’s a newer food industry, and more affordable options are coming out all the time. The big retail stores like Asda and Sainsbury’s already have their own brand vegan option available in store, and honestly, they are just as good. If you’re really interested in making the switch and don’t want to spend the money, you can stick to the fruits, grains and vegetables. You can make your own plant/nut milk at home, and if you’re really keen, you can make your own plant meat, it’s all up on YouTube.