You don’t have to look that far back to find a time when vegetarians were considered ‘unusual’ and vegans were a very rare find indeed.
But in the last 10 years, the number of vegans – who eschew all animal products, including meat, dairy, eggs and honey – has risen by almost 250 per cent to 500,000 people.
And it seems like vegans are often in the news. Famous bloggers are covering the internet with recipes tasty enough to tempt even a passionate meat eater. Forest Green Rovers has become the first league football club where the sale of all animal products is banned. No meat pies for fans there!
Celebrities are happy to vocalise why they’ve gone vegan – and it’s not just Gwyneth Paltrow, but people like Brad Pitt, Alicia Silverstone, Woody Harrelson, Liam Hemsworth, J-Lo, Tobey MacGuire, Pamela Anderson, Alec Baldwin, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus and Michelle Pfeiffer.
There’s even plenty of vegan sportspeople to look to for inspiration – especially for those worrying the change may leave them lacking in energy or protein. They include Venus and Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Jermain Defoe, Phil Neville, and looking back a few years the medal and grand slam winning Carl Lewis and Martina Navratilova enjoyed meat-free diets as they competed.
Young people seem to be driving the trend in particular, with 40 per cent of vegans aged 15-34.
The reasons for going vegan vary – animal welfare, environmental concerns, wanting to lose weight or improve health, cost-cutting and just a plain dislike of the taste of animal products are all common reasons.
But, in reality, for some people the choice doesn’t have to be cut and dry. Some try to eat vegan during the week, and are a bit more relaxed on weekends. Others are vegan, except for the occasional egg provided by a friendly free-roaming chicken in a neighbour’s garden. Maybe you’d love to be a vegan, but you just can’t give up cheese – well then don’t. There are no hard and fast rules, and people should be able to eat the way that suits them without feeling guilty. In fact, the term flexitarian was thought up for people who are largely vegetarian but occasionally enjoy a bit of meat.
If you are vegan, or you fancy trying out some vegan products, we have plenty in store at Hunters of Helmsley. Create a fresh and tasty salad from our deli bar, or why not grab a carton of Yorkshire Provender soup? We also sell coconut and almond milk – we’ve tried them all and we think the best are the Rude Health range. Upstairs we have crispbreads and crackers, pastas and rices, pulses and grains galore, along with chutneys, oils, vinegars, spices, herbs, sauces, preserves – everything you need to zing up a lunch or add a splash of flavour to dinner. We have jars of antipasti and pickled veggie delights and products from around the world to try.
We even have a dedicated dairy-free section, which is full of snacks and treats – so there’s no need to miss out on a biscuit, cake or sweets if the mood takes you.
So, vegan, vegetarian, meat-eater, pescatarian, flexitarian – whatever best describes you, you’re sure of a warm welcome at Hunters. And we’ll always find you something to make sure you leave our door excited to get home and eat!