Plenty of people across the UK are going vegetarian or vegan – in fact, in just a decade, there have been 360% more people identifying as vegan in the country. This rise can be attributed to many different reasons, from health benefits, to celebrity advocates, right through to environmental concerns. But one of the biggest causes for such a seismic shift is simply an increase in awareness.
Being More Ethical
Many of us keep animals as pets, but we still eat meat. Look… it’s not always easy. We grow up with meat being completely normalised, so it can be hard to just suddenly cut that out. At the very least, we should be making sure that the meat we eat has been raised in fair conditions.
It’s not just about the loss of animal life, either. The fact is that meat production is bad for the environment, as it promotes water waste and harmful gases to be released into the environment. Plus, its farming destroys much of the land.
Where To Eat?
Don’t feel too guilty. Even wanting to make changes – even just occasionally – is a great step. Going from consuming meat seven times a week, to five, makes a massive difference. The good news is that this doesn’t mean missing out on good food, too.
Many places now cater to veggies and vegans, from the supermarkets with their vegan cheese and “meats”, to your average restaurants and takeaways. Carluccio’s now has a completely vegan menu, for example, with many other chain restaurants heading the same way. For example, you might be surprised, but even looking at typical menus these days will reveal way more vegan treats than you might have imagined. Yo Sushi is leading the way here – it’s not all about fish!
If fine dining is more your thing, don’t be put off by the fact that these places traditionally serve meat. When charging for quality, chefs are happy to create dishes for all tastes and dietary requirements, and a chef worth his salt (and pepper) will relish in the chance to challenge themselves creatively.
Look, a vegan diet is actually very healthy when it’s done correctly. Like any kind of diet (including those containing dairy or meat), it’s all about getting a balance. There are unhealthy vegans, of course! Especially with the range of amazing alternative foods out there at the moment such as vegan burgers and pizza, it’s not all about low-calorie salads.
However, not eating meat and dairy can be really good for your body, and the NHS agrees, with some top tips on how to get all the nutrients you still need.
We can all make simple step changes to our diet, even if it’s not forever. Many of us enjoy the taste of meat, but we want to do our bit to help. So, we can at least cut down. While initiatives like Veganuary are amazing at improving our eating patterns as individuals in the first place throughout the month of January, you don’t need to stop – or start – there.