As Greggs in the UK sees its shares double after introducing the vegan sausage roll, is meat avoidance finally hitting the mainstream?
Last night I was out with a few friends in London and decided to order a burger. They had a special offer on vegan mains; two-for-one on any option that didn’t include meat. I decided to try the Beyond Meat Burger, a water and pea protein-based alternative to the classic meat option.
What struck me immediately was that it tasted almost identical to the patties I’d been eating my whole life, textures and all. The only difference was the ingredients, and the added benefit of knowing that my meal wasn’t clouded in moral apathy. There was no death associated with my food which, in this day and age, is certainly a good thing.
Many of the arguments against veganism have typically been concerned with convenience. Creating a nutritious and balanced meal solely through fruit, veg, and other plant-based ingredients can be a challenge, especially to the less experienced cook. Yet here I was, in a pub in central London, munching down a vegan burger like it was the nearest McDonald’s quarter pounder.
As more and more companies, pubs, and restaurants embrace the increasing demand for plant-based alternatives, veganism is slowly shifting from conscious-eater-trend to a mainstream lifestyle, one that doesn’t mean compromising on fast foods such as burgers or baked foods. We’ve been ordering an unacceptably large amount of vegan sausage rolls to the office in the last few months, for example, which was practically impossible even just a year ago.
We’ve seen how climate change is becoming an increasingly worrisome and pressing issue, and the more of us that turn to plant-based diets the better. It’s not just a few selected places, either – more and more food establishments are turning to plant-based options in order to bring in more customers.