People have always had mixed opinions of vegans and if having a vegan diet is in fact a better way of living, however the number of vegans in Britain has risen by 360% in the past 10 years.
In the past decade a survey conducted by the vegan society said that veganism is now one of Britain’s fastest growing lifestyle movements. In 2016 it was recorded that 542,000 people over the age of 15 have adopted a plant based diet which is more than one percent of the population, up from 150,000 in 2006.
There are now over half a million vegans and over a million vegetarians living in Britain, the majority of which living in London. As London is now part of a vegan takeover and more and more meat and dairy alternative places are opening around London there is even a vegan finder app which tells you the vegan hotspots closest to you.
I spoke to the Manger of Arbour café located in Kentish Town about the daring decision to change the café to make it vegan friendly. The café used to sell a range of meat and fish with a vegetarian option available, however 2 weeks ago Manger Katherine Bailey decided to change the whole menu to vegan only. When I asked what the main reason for the change was she said, ‘it was mainly because the demand for vegan alternatives was growing. we were wasting most of our meat and dairy because they weren’t selling and it just seemed stupid to not make the change and then allow support all the people coming in asking for alternatives.’
I asked Katherine if the change has increased their sales and popularity, ‘it’s only been 2 weeks but I’d say so, if not it definitely will start to. we’re now able to start making really good vegan food and drinks and also not have to worry about any cross contamination. I think in London especially because there are so many vegan places opening and no one is stuck for choice now we need to make our menu different and because of the change we can focus on doing that.”
With veganism not showing any signs of slowing down London is beginning to adapt, there are now places like the Temple of Satan a vegan chicken fast food restaurant which is gaining more momentum and is inspiring more people to consider veganism as a manageable option now.
I spoke to Jessica Xian, a strict vegan for the past 4 years who said, ‘there is defiantly a change, it used to be difficult for me to eat out and now I can pretty much go anywhere and there will be a vegan option on the menu, I don’t have to travel far to find a good vegan place and I think that the number of vegans, especially in London is only going to keep increasing.’