It’s been four years since the first Veganuary event, four years since I went vegan. But it feels like this year is the year it passed a kind of tipping point and really became embraced in widespread way. It felt refreshingly normal.
It felt like I was seeing reports every day last month, either in the news or on social media, about new vegan products, our outlets, or existing ones going vegan. It genuinely felt like it was becoming part of the mainstream.
Some of the highlights were (and continue to be) Tesco’s partnership with Wicked Kitchen for a range of sandwiches, wraps, salads, ready meals and pizza. Suddenly there wasn’t just one vegan option but so many that it became hard to choose! (Next, they just need to make the sandwiches and wraps part of the Meal Deal… :))]
Other supermarkets and food producers such as the Co-op and M&S not only introduced more vegan products but also made them easier to find – avoiding the ‘accidentally vegan’ nature of the past and making labelling clear so that you no longer have to scrutinise the ingredients listings.
There was the Spread Eagle pub in east London that went 100% vegan, and the Blacksmith & Toffeemaker in Islington, also with a 100% vegan pub menu. Other new places that have recently opened or are about to include: Hackney Downs Vegan Market, every Saturday; Cupcakes and Shhht in Elephant & Castle; Temple of Seitan in Hackney, and sister Temple of Camden halfway between Camden Town and Kings Cross; and Young Vegans Pies, in Camden Lock Market.
And bringing so much great stuff to our attention as always was the amazing @fatgayvegan, who also published an excellent book: ‘Eat, Drink and Live Like you Give a Sh!t’, which I was delighted to receive in my monthly VeganKind box in January.