“wait, so you don’t eat ANY animal products? What about cheese, do you eat cheese?”
“How do you survive without cheese!?!?”
If you’ve become familiar with situations like this then you’re probably vegan (or lactose intolerant).
Well folks, It’s safe to say that these conversations are soon to be a thing of the past! Say goodbye to baffled looks from restaurant staff and only taking 5 seconds to choose the only option on the menu. Good riddance to everyone at work thinking you love falafel and bloody hummus wraps. It’s the only thing the bloody shops have, alright. We’ve all be there, we all know the situations. But, this is 2018, things have changed, veganism has made the headlines, we are experiencing the vegan revolution!
Returning to the UK after 2 years living abroad, I had no idea how much progress we’ve made. My vegan brothers and sisters, these wheels they be rolling and this plant-based machine has definitely gained momentum.
Here are the things fuelling this beautiful vegan revolution!
Supermarkets Fuelling the Vegan Revolution
Once upon a time we had a single dusty product, then we upgraded to a shelf and now ladies and gentlemen we have an AISLE
(well, I’ve seen half an aisle but it’s still a aisle)
Not just in one or two places, all of the supermarkets have jumped on the bandwagon. Like a ferret on speed I darted from shop to shop to find out exactly what was going on in this vegan revolution.
Leading from the front line of the revolution, Tescos now has a mind blowing Free From section with a whole deli’s worth of cheese. I’m not just talking cheddar, there’s jalapeño and chilli cheese (good on nachos), Soft cheese (good on a bagels) and even a parmesan style cheese from Violife (good with everything!). For all you herbivores in a hurry Wicked Kitchen’s plant based ready meals can make your life a whole lot easier.
Two years ago this would never have been a possibility.
Two years ago if you asked for vegan cheese in a supermarket you would’ve received the same expression you get when you ask for aquafaba now. I still don’t understand what aquafaba is…
Sainsburys with the help of Quorn and Linda Mccartneys have built up a killer frozen section. It has allowed me to try fish fingers and sausage rolls for the first time but has also added 20 minutes to my shopping trip (definitely worth it). Whilst not everybody wants to eat meat or dairy alternatives, the option is now there, which is excellent.
Another thing which blew my mind is this jackfruit situation.
I thought this was just an exotic island treasure, but you trendy buggers catch on quickly. Not only is it in every hipster cafe, SAINSBURYS IS BLOODY SELLING IT!!! Their BBQ pulled Jackfruit really is revolutionary, so hats off to Sainsburys for bringing jackfruit curry back into my life.
On a sweeter note, we now have an abundance of vegan ice creams (when did VEGAN Ben and Jerrys happen?). Superstars of making the unnecessary suddenly seem very necessary, Waitrose have now got a huge variety. Not just the Ben and Jerrys good stuff, they’ve also got Booja-Booja ice creams which are insane if you haven’t tried them.
Every revolution needs ice cream,
Another revelation is that supermarkets have realised the importance of alcohol in a vegan diet. Plant-based boozers can feel re-empowered as Co-Op have promised to stock 100 vegan wines by the end of 2018. They’re all clearly labelled too, so they’re easy to find (even if you’ve already drunk a bottle).
The variety and quality (generally) of the products has grown beyond belief. Alpro have a great selection of desserts, yogurts and ice creams but their variety of plant based milk steals the show. From cashew to hazelnut, coconut to oat, they’ve definitely come a long way from soya milk! Violife have made cheese boards a possibility again and Cauldron are still rockin’ those falafels.
We’ve increased the demand so much that now the supermarkets are fuelling this vegan revolution. Vegan products are now widespread, well labelled and easy to find. Online there are clear vegan sections and recipes which makes it easier and easier to maintain a healthy and enjoyable vegan lifestyle.
It’s also stopped veganism being seen as a ‘extreme’ choice (which unfortunately for some people it is). Veganism is now in the mainstream, making it all the more likely that people will give up animal products. It’s making 2018 not just a vegan revolution but an animal revolution too.
The Vegan High Street
Eating out always used to be a pain. If you could pick the restaurant then you stood a chance but if you were going with non-vegan friends then I would always expect the worst and hope for the best. This isn’t the case anymore. Now almost all of the high street restaurant chains have a nice variety of dishes, if not a whole vegan menu! Whilst I always like to support independents, this vegan revolution is definitely moving if the big chains are listening.
The Italians love a revolution! Carluccios has a massive vegan menu, and Zizi’s serves great vegan pizzas (Make sure you check the vegan search option). Pizza Express have introduced a vegan pizza and Pizza Hut have also gone plant-based (even though they’re still not available for delivery, damn).
Outside of the pizza world, Wagamamas has got a bunch of mains and desserts, Yo Sushi has…..vegan sushi, and Pret a Manger is rockin’ a great selection of vegan lunches. Even Starbucks have released their BBQ vegan Jackfruit & Slaw wrap and all stores now stock soy, coconut and almond milk.
I seriously doubt these guys have changed to save Daisy the cow, but none-the-less, Veganism has now become profitable and in the society we live in, that can give us hope. I mean, if Forbes is saying you should turn your business vegan in 2018, we know we’re having a big impact.
Whilst I’ve already said that going independent is still definitely the best choice, the point is these big boy businesses are going green. They’re selling less meat and that’s positive no matter how you look at it. Now we can look forward to those meals out and wear our vegan badges with pride!
If you want a more comprehensive list of ethical eateries, check out Happy Cow, the vegan foodies holy grail.
The Public Behind the Vegan Revolution
Jeremy Corbyn is backing the vegan revolution!
Obviously us vegans love veganism but now non-vegans seemed to have really warmed up to us. The world is definitely changing and although Trump still seems to be denying global warming, newspapers, celebrities and public figures are backing the vegan diet. Moby the musical meistro has got his very own vegan restaurant, David Haye is a plant based bruiser and even Jeremy Corbyn has said he’s on the verge of going vegan too!
Veganism is on the front page!
Veganuary has encouraged people to try a vegan diet for January and with over 150,000 people signed up, it’s gone down a bomb. ‘Veganism is not just for January!’ I can hear you saying, I know. But with the lifestyle easier than ever to follow and the vegan community giving such support, i’ll bet a huge number will continue into the future! If they don’t, then at least we stopped 150,000 people using animal products for a month.
What I’ve also found so encouraging is all of the amazing content online. ‘Vegan’ is now a hot topic, type it in on Google and you’ve got everything you need to go 100% plant based. The Vegan Society and PETA now have all the resources and the amount of vegan blogs have sky-rocketed. The likes of Vegan Richa and Oh She Glow have recipes from across the globe and show that anybody can become their very own vegan chef.
- If you’re still suffering from the death breath, or you just want some extra motivation, check out this article!
2018: The Vegan Revolution
It’s unlikely we’ll win everyone over, unfortunately. There will always be those proud, argumentative meaties who seem to think that protein only comes from dead animals. But, when you come across them stand your ground, hit em’
straight in the mouth with the facts. Engage them with discourse and try to show them the light (if that fails then tell them they’re probably going to die from heart disease anyways).
For those of you who are still fed up, I feel your pain, It’s not a perfect situation but we’re going in the right direction pretty quickly.
I’ve been away for two years and after coming back, I can tell you, we doin’ gooooood. It’s vegans that are making this vegan revolution happen. People ARE buying less meat and people ARE moving towards ethical eating. You’ve got more support than ever and each week there are new vegan products on the shelves and more and more restaurants are stepping towards a conscious cuisine.
No longer will you be that creepy person hanging around the carrot sticks at the party on your own. Okay, you still might be hanging around the carrot sticks but at least now you’re going so with a bunch of other vegans (and probably a few more options too).
So whether it’s because celebrities have jumped on the bandwagon, people want to lose weight or they’ve just realised they care about animals and the environment, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that it’s happening.
The 2018 vegan revolution has definitely begun
Be proud that you’re part of a passionate and growing community. Be proud of the fact that in 10 years we’ve gone from 150,000 to over 500,000 vegans in the UK alone and be proud that everyday less and less animals are being killed!
Are you happy with Veganism in the UK? Is it different from your country? Let us know in the comments box!