Most people give up alcohol or pledge to cut down on chocolate and cake once January begins, having indulged a bit too much over the festive season. However, instead of heading out for a run more often than usual and making a greater number of green smoothies, this year has seen a huge trend in Brits turning vegan, as they take part in Veganuary.
In fact, since the campaign launched in 2014, participation has doubled every year, and a record quarter of a million people around the world have signed up to get involved in 2020’s Veganuary movement.
This coincides with the fact that veganism remains the most popular food trend, and the number of people in the UK who eat animal-free products went from 150,000 to 600,000 between 2014 and 2018, according to The Vegan Society.
It is clear that hundreds of thousands of people feel strongly about avoiding any products that contain meat or dairy. However, the question remains whether being vegan is as easy as it appears?
– Vegan-based meals
Well, it is certainly easier to find animal-based products in restaurants or supermarkets these days, as vegan meals have become more readily available in the last few years. Orders of vegan meals rose by 388 per net between 2016 and 2018, while meat substitute sales increased by 451 per cent in the European market from 2014 to 2018.
Indeed, as many as one in six products launched in the UK in 2018 claimed to be vegan, with major superstores, takeaways and cafes beginning to offer animal-free alternatives.
In 2018, Waitrose unveiled vegan sections in 130 stores and increased its vegan and vegetarian range by 60 per cent, while Sainsbury’s reported a 24 per cent rise in the number of customers searching for vegan products online.
Not only are the country’s biggest food suppliers offering vegan products – including the likes of Greggs, Subway, KFC and Pizza Hut – but more and more coverage has been given to encouraging people to create vegan meals at home.
There is a huge range of vegan cookbooks on the market, giving people lots of ideas on how they can re-haul their diets in favour of an animal-free one.
What’s more, those who want to find recipes quickly online can access thousands of convenient ideas on the internet, so they are never stuck for things to make for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
– Collectively as a household
Veganism involves making huge changes to your diet, switching from cow’s milk to plant-based ones, ditching all meat products, and finding alternatives for butter, eggs and cheese, including anything that contains them.
Therefore, people who are more successful in abstaining from animal products are those who do so collectively as a household.
According to a report from Waitrose, published in the Guardian, becoming vegan is most popular among those aged between 18 and 24 years old. This is not a surprise, as this group typically lives with peers of their own age or on their own.
Trying to enrol parents, younger siblings, partners or children in veganism can be very difficult, and could even cause conflict among family members who do not agree with the lifestyle choice, as seen in BBC Three’s Veganville.
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