Perusing the long list of hopefuls standing for election to the European Parliament this week, I was slightly disappointed not to be offered the option of a Vegan Party candidate. How can this be? Militant vegans are crusading zealots – not a day passes without a pronouncement regarding their rise in status and trumpeting their growth in popularity. Vegans are more successful at attracting converts than either the Brexit Party or the Greens.
In a very short space of time, veganism has gone from being a minority dietary choice adopted by true believers wearing ugly shoes and frumpy clothes, to a fashionable movement pumped up by a highly vocal PR machine. Every day we hear of new vegan successes as high street retailers and supermarkets rush to jump on the bandwagon. From Greggs to Marks and Spencer, hard-pressed food retailers can’t afford to ignore vegans. Pret a Manger has just announced they are buying the Eat sandwich chain as part of their expansion of Veggie Pret.
Eating less meat (as government health advisers have recommended) is not an option for the dedicated vegan – all meat must be shunned if humans are to save our planet. There are just over half a million vegans in the UK, the vast majority (42 per cent) of which are aged 15-34 – precisely the time in our lives when we care most about big causes, like saving the planet from man-made destruction, banning nuclear weapons and protecting endangered wildlife from extinction.
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