According to research carried out earlier this year by The Vegan Society, the number of vegans living in the UK has more than doubled from 276,000 in 2016 to 600,000 in 2018.
But why are so many people turning to plant-based and why now?
Reason #1 – it’s better for animals
Dominika Piasecka, spokeswoman for The Vegan Society, explains: “Most people go vegan because they see animals as sentient living beings who deserve to live their lives free from exploitation and suffering – and we reject the notion of animals being seen as commodities. Being vegan simply means living in line with the ethics so many of us already hold in our hearts.”
Reason #2 – it’s better for the environment
“Veganism is also a great lifestyle choice for those concerned about the environment and the health-conscious,” says Dominika. “It’s much more efficient to consume crops directly rather than feed them to farmed animals and then eat the animals.”
Reason #3 – it’s better for your health
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“Vegans also tend to eat more fruit and vegetables, which are among the healthiest foods out there – contributing to good health,” says Dominika.
Reason #4 – it’s easier than you think
“Some people may think being vegan is difficult but as with any lifestyle change, it simply takes some time getting used to it,” points out Dominika. “The biggest challenge is simply deciding to give vegan eating a go! After a few weeks, it will feel as natural as anything and you will start experiencing amazing benefits.”
Reason #5 – there’s lots of support out there
“The Vegan Society works to inspire people to become vegan, as well as support existing vegans. We want to make vegan living easy and accessible to everyone.
“Our website information on all aspects of veganism and we campaign on a number of issues, including vegan advocacy and vegan food provision in public canteens.
“Some people go vegan overnight but for others it’s a longer journey comprising a number of steps. There’s support at hand on every corner – not least from The Vegan Society. Sign up for free to our 30-day Vegan Pledge to receive daily emails full of information, advice and delicious recipes.
“Having that support and encouragement really helps to ease into vegan living. Join local vegan groups on Facebook, go to vegan fairs, chat to people and share tips.
“In terms of cooking, Google any dish you like with the word ‘vegan’ in front of it and you’ll find some of the most amazing, mouth-watering recipes. There are vegan alternatives to pretty much everything now, allowing you to ‘veganise’ your old favourite dishes with ease. Experimenting with vegan food is now easier than ever and there are a whole host of recipes and ideas at your fingertips.”