Vegan is not just catching on here in America. Other countries are even more enthusiastic. According to a recent poll, 20 percent of people in Great Britain will prepare an entirely vegan Christmas dinner this year. One in five people surveyed said that they would prepare entirely vegan products this year, even if only one of their guests will be vegan.
While 2-3% of Brits are currently vegan, research shows that the number of vegans and vegetarians is growing rapidly, and they look set to make up a quarter of the British population by 2025. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Brits sign up for the Veganuary pledge to embrace plant-based diets for a month, and the numbers are growing rapidly every year with 72% of them planning to continue with a vegan diet even after Veganuary. The environmental message has really been taken to heart, and of course the British have always been big animal lovers, leading to a lot of interest in how to save both the animals and the Earth.
The side benefit to this is that they will also benefit their health as well. Come on America, we can do this too!
The Olympics this year are being held in one of the most veg-friendly countries in the world! In fact, the percentage of British who are vegetarians is double that of the U.S. The British have long been leaders and promoters of the vegetarian way. It was the British who first coined the term “vegetarian” in the mid 1800’s and the word “vegan” in the 1940’s.
The list of famous British vegetarians is long and wide-ranging. It includes famous scientists and mathematicians such as Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin; literary giants and influential figures such as Lord Byron, HG Wells and George Bernard Shaw; innovators such as Sir Isaac Pitman, inventor of shorthand; military leaders such as Chief Air Marshall Hugh Dowding, who led the royal Air Force to victory in the Battle of Britain; and religious and social leaders such as General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army.
In more recent times, we note with pleasure that noted vegetarians, Sir Paul McCartney of Beatles fame, and HRH Prince Charles, both took part in the Olympics opening ceremonies. And for the few who haven’t heard her accent, you may be interested to know that our president, Amanda, was born in England too!
Even London itself is becoming ever more veg-friendly. When the athletes want to go out for a meal, they’ll be happy to learn that, right ahead of the opening of the Olympics, two famous pubs, the Coach and Horses in Soho and the Smithfield Tavern in Smithfield’s Market, have just switched over their menus to become London’s first vegetarian and vegan pubs.