#plantfood

Emma Hogan 21 February 2019

What is veganism?

Officially, veganism is a lifestyle rather than just a diet and typically means someone who does not consume or use anything containing animal products. That means saying ‘no’ to meat, milk, eggs, wool, leather, honey etc.  Does your favourite haircare contain biotin, cetyl alcohol, keratin, or stearic acid?  Yep, all of those ingredients are sneakily non-vegan, and out of the window (but don’t worry, not everyone is so strict!).

So why are we talking about it now?  The start of the year always brings with it the desire to eat well.  Nutrition, overall health and environmental concerns are constantly in the media highlighting issues such as widespread obesity and our carbon footprint.
 

Why veganism?

Health: According to the Vegan Society, research has shown that following a vegan diet can contribute to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, lower rates of heart disease, reduction in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and limit the propensity of some types of cancer.

The environment: We’ve all heard the about the green house gases emitted by animals – mainly attributed to cow flatulence (!), but the amount of land and resources required to rear, transport and process meat and dairy products is also an argument for a vegan lifestyle.  Researchers at Oxford University found that by cutting dairy and meat from our diets we could reduce our overall carbon footprint from food by up to 73%!  

Animal cruelty: For many, the poor treatment of animals in the food chain is a great incentive for becoming and staying vegan. Reducing the demand can ultimately impact the supply volume.
 

Veganism is trending off the charts* (*not literally)

Not surprisingly, vegan diets have taken off.  According to The Vegan Society and Vegan Life, just 540,000 people aged 16 and over classified themselves as vegans in 2016.  This year that number has risen to an incredible 3.5 million!

In a recent survey,  29% commented that they believe Veganism is ‘trendy’.  On Instagram, #vegan brings up a staggering 74 million posts (that’s A LOT of avocado and sweet potato).

We know veganism isn’t for everyone (vegan bacon is definitely not the same…).  But whether it’s a trend or here to stay, veganism is on the rise.  Fancy giving it a go? For some vegan foodspiration, read on!
 

#homemadeplantfood

Veganism has traditionally been viewed as a bland vegetable / bean based diet – what do vegans even eat?! However, with 20 different beans available (this may be an exaggeration) and supermarkets introducing more vegan-friendly ingredients all the time, the blogosphere and social media influencers are showcasing new, delicious and varied vegan inspiration – try sweet potato gnocchi or these vegan caramel slices.  Doing without is a thing of the past!
 

Eating out

Want to eat out? No longer limited to vegan cafe’s, vegan food has gone mainstream with large restaurant chains such as Nandos, Bella Italia, Weatherspoons and Toby Carvery joining the fray. Tuck into a bean burger, aubergine stack or vegan curry when you’re out and about.

Just fancy a snack? Gregg’s have taken the biscuit (sorry), by creating a vegan version of their trademark Sausage Roll, aptly named the Vegan Sausage Roll.  Having trouble sourcing one? They’ve got you covered with their Vegan Sausage Roll Locator

Research suggests that the Vegan Sausage Roll has delivered the best new product sales for six years, with Greggs’ share price reaching a record high of £14.50.
 

Want to go fully vegan?

Apart from our diets, to go fully vegan we need to look at everything in our lives from the clothes we wear to the products we use to clean our homes.

Clothing

  • Ditch the leather for an affordable pleather
  • Swap out your down jacket for PrimaLoft
    • You’ll find that unlike down these can be water-repellent, clump-resistant and much easier to dry in poor weather
  • Swap wool for polyester

Beauty

According to the team at Vogue, our skin absorbs 60% of the beauty products we use daily.  They also suggest that synthetic products contain more toxins making vegan formulas an attractive solution to sensitive skin. Experts believe that plant based products allow our skin to absorb essential ingredients including Vitamin A, C and E, helping us to fight off nasty bacteria and glow!

As savvy shoppers & researchers, we took a pragmatic look at this – are these products affordable and readily available?  Surprisingly, yes.

We’ve tracked down some of your favourite vegan – friendly beauty products, all available on our High St / in UK online stores:

Household

Thinking of making your housework vegan-friendly? Check out our list of vegan household products below:

But is veganism a fad or is it here to stay?  Get in on the conversation and share your thoughts on Veganism on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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