Veganism around the world: UK

Continuing our journey around the world of veganism, this month we’re going to check out the vegan situation in the United Kingdom, where apparently veganism has recently been on the rise and still continues to be! 

London bus with vegan foods
  • According to statista.com 15% of Britons are vegetarian and 5% are vegan. According to the Vegan Society the number of vegans in the UK has risen from 150,000 in 2006 to 600,000 in 2018! Pretty amazing if you ask us!
  • But what is the Vegan Society, you ask? It’s a group formed in 1944 (!) by a bunch of British people who chose to avoid consuming animal products and felt that the word “vegetarian” does not represent them any longer. Therefore, in addition to forming the group that would later become one of the main promoters of veganism around the world, their founder Donald Watson also coined the word ‘vegan’!
  • Veganuary, a British initiative to take a pledge to embrace plant-based diets for a month, has become super popular around the world with a record number of 500,000 people signing up in 2021. 150,000 alone were UK based.
  • According to market researchers Mintel, The UK market for meat-free foods was reportedly worth £740m in 2018, up from £539m only three years ago. McDonald’s has recently announced that it is looking to become a market leader in vegan fast food at its UK and Ireland stores by 2025 as part of its mission to become a net-zero business in the region by 2040. One example of what this move entails is how the Happy Meals at McDonald’s UK & I now only contain a soft toy, book, or paper-based toy, removing over 3,000 metric tons of plastic from circulation!
  • The UK food delivery service Deliveroo has reported that the number of vegan restaurants on its app more than doubled since last year, with 12,000 restaurants now offering vegan-friendly options!
  • A UK court has ruled in 2020 that ethical veganism is a “philosophical belief” that should be legally protected in the same way as a religion, which means that ethical vegans in the U.K. are protected from discrimination by law.

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