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Veganuary – Could you?

Published by Bootham School on Thursday 26th of January 2023

Celebrating good food and balanced nutrition is something Bootham takes very seriously. We ensure that all students are catered for, with vegetarian and vegan options available. In a boarding school like Bootham, food is particularly important.

With 3% of the population (rising from 2% in 2020) in the UK identifying as vegan and increasing awareness and acceptance, as well as an ever-increasing range of vegan products in supermarkets, restaurants and fast food venues, it is no surprise that the number of vegans have quadrupled in the last eight years. Long gone are the days of nut roast, plain salads, questionable veggie sausages and having to drink tea or coffee black due to total absence of alternative milks. Veganuary – could you?

The rise of vegan food

More people than ever are considering meat-free diets and with over 800 new vegan products launched for last January’s Veganuary, then it is no surprise than one of the biggest factors for the rise of meat free diet choices is of course the food itself.  In 1944, a handful of vegetarians who refused to eat dairy products and eggs petitioned the British Vegetarian Society to make some space on its newsletter for their lifestyle. Yorkshire born Donald Watson co-founded The Vegan Society, a Non-Profit organisation to support those who avoided all animal products and to promote a cruelty-free lifestyle(3).

In 2020, it was found that the UK buys a third of all the vegan alternatives sold in Europe (4). Plus, the UK’s purchase and consumption rates of vegan: milk, “meat”, butter/margarine, cheese, ready meals/food to go and “seafood” are the highest in Europe. “It was only a few years ago that Gregg’s made international headlines for launching its vegan sausage roll for Veganuary and since then we have seen Veganuary product launches from most high street food outlets – including Burger King, KFC and McDonald’s”, says Toni Vernelli, International Head of Communication and Marketing at Veganuary(5).

What exactly is Veganism?

The Vegan Society’s formal definition is: Veganism is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.” (2)

Veganuary – Could You?

The current top three reasons that make people choose veganism are to improve their health, saving animal lives, and helping the planet. 62% of past participants cited animal welfare as a motivating factor for taking part in Veganuary, and 98% would recommend taking part to a friend (5), with many of our students taking part in Veganuary each year, could you?

If you’d like to give Veganuary a go, but aren’t sure where to start then why not check out the Veganuary website which has some great recipe ideaseating guides and some great ways to get involved!

Veganuary – Could you? - Photo 1
Grace Education
Hazelwood School