chicken-and-egg - page 8

Chicken & Egg. Welfare and Food Together.
We are
what we eat
As the popularity of diets peak and trough,
two are consistently on the rise, namely
vegetarianism and veganism. Not diets
that necessarily bring weight loss, but both
rapidly becoming more mainstream. And as
these rise in popularity, more variations are
emerging with pescatarianism, vegganism
and flexitarianism all becoming necessary
terms for the waiter to learn!
A poll commissioned by the Vegan Society
showed that in 2016 there were three and a
half times more vegans compared with 2006.
This equates to 542,000 people in Britain
who follow a vegan diet, avoiding any animal
products including meat, fish, milk, cheese,
eggs and honey. The poll also calculated
that 3.25% of the population, or 1.68 million
people, are now either vegetarian or vegan.
Cutting back
Many who don’t want to cut out meat
altogether are making changes with around
a quarter of the British public cutting back
on meat whilst stating they would be willing
to pay more for ‘better meat’ if it was tastier,
healthier, produced to higher animal welfare
standards or provided better financial returns
to farmers.
Pescatarians have long been defined as
those who choose not to eat meat, but retain
fish within their diets whether for ethical,
health of simply reasons of choice.
As a result, a new breed of consumer has
entered the mix – the flexitarian. Before you
roll your eyes, the meaning behind the word
has merit as it describes a growing number
who eat mostly a vegetarian diet but include
a small amount of meat, perhaps once or
twice a week. True veggies may shudder at
the thought, but some people simply love
meat too much to give it up completely
and elect to take advantage of the growing
high-welfare meat and dairy products on the
market to demonstrate that they care about
animals. For others environmental concerns
are the catalyst.
Changing image
Veganism, once the embodiment of an
alternative, hippy lifestyle is changing its
image. Top athletes such as Britain’s David
Smith, who won a rowing gold in the 2012
London Para Olympics and celebs like
popstar, Ellie Goulding; actress, Natalie
Portman, and even ex-US President, Bill
Clinton, have replaced hippy with something
far more glamorous and aspirational.
The vegan trend is evident in our super-
markets with meat and milk replacement
options commonplace, and high street cafes
and restaurants also offering multiple vegan
choices. Pret a Manger’s recent foray into
a purely Veggie Pret outlet in Soho proved
so successful the company is considering
taking it a step further as the most popular
items ordered from the menu were vegan.
As some vegetarians have flexed into
flexitarians, so too have vegans morphed
into ‘veggans’ - those who eat eggs so long
as they are laid by hens kept or re-homed
as pets instead of being sent to slaughter.
Indeed the British Hen Welfare Trust has
many supporters who adopt its hens but
choose not to eat their eggs, instead giving
them to friends and family as a gift.
It seems barely a day goes by without yet another diet being thrust into the
limelight claiming to make you healthier, happier, 10lbs lighter etc. The Atkins diet,
5:2 diet, the Paleo diet, Juice Plus, not to mention the rise of celebrity diet plans,
each claiming to bring its own benefits.
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