1 and 8 individuals in the UK is either now vegan or vegetarian. Veganism has risen by 360% in the last 10 years.
What has happened? Why has this happened?
Well, it could be down to a number of things. After doing my own research, I feel one of the reasons is because of the investment into the documentaries, such as Cowspiracy and Earthlings, turning meat-eaters to vegans overnight, whilst bypassing vegetarianism. I’ve lost count the amount of vegans telling me there were a meat-eater until they watched one of them.
Another reason could be the volume of celebrities turning vegan. Many of them admittedly have done it for short spurts for health reasons but a larger amount have done it and maintained a vegan lifestyle.
Education has improved. There are even Consultants working in the education sector helping to educate teachers, children and parents about inclusion of vegans and encouragement to create forest schools and expose children to more ethical and sustainable things.
Employment law. Since the introduction of the Equality Act 2010 and veganism being a recognised protected characteristic, it has lead to less bullying in the workplace. It hasn’t eradicated it entirely, but it is reportedly less. There is an employment tribunal case that is taking place early next year and it will be the first case that has ever challenged veganism to be a recognised protected characteristic, in order to prove it, as well as there being a case to challenge unfair dismissal for being a vegan. If this case is won, it will lead to organisations having to make many changes, potentially vegan food being on menus, staff canteens having to provide vegan options and vegan milks, training for staff and beyond.
There is more support around the world. On the 1st November 2018, we had World Vegan Day. I witnessed five food establishments deciding to sell only vegan food on that day, which was a great success. I saw vegan businesses promoting special offers like it was ‘Black Friday’. It was a truly happy day to be on this planet. And of course, November, is ‘World Vegan Month’, so lets see what that brings us.
Demand for more vegan businesses
Vegans seem to be a very supportive bunch, especially in business. We launched the Vegan Business Exchange network and to date we have over 300 members across the UK, supporting, guiding and referring each other. Initially we started with network events being run once a month in Bristol. And now we have a demand in the Midlands and are running a monthly event in Birmingham. We are soon to be launching events in Edinburgh and London. https://www.facebook.com/groups/veganbusinessuk/
We all want to support vegan businesses and individuals are dropping non-vegan businesses they are working with in order to work with vegan and ethical businesses. The more support we give our fellow vegan business owners the more business they will get. The more vegan businesses that are trading the more the message is out there. Non-vegan businesses are changing their menus and the way they are buying, using less plastic and becoming more sustainable. This is all because the demand is there. I’ve even seen a cafe turn vegan most recently and we have all seen the stories in the press surrounding an American dairy farm going to a plant based farm.
I just can’t believe this is happening
In Jan 2018, I decided to specialise my HR Consultancy. I decided to work with businesses that shared the same values as me and now I provide HR services to eco, ethical, organic and vegan businesses. 5 years ago I never thought this would have been achievable. My business is successful and I get referrals to a new business or a failing business (due to staff issues) regularly.
If you look hard enough, you can find almost any vegan product or service. Check out the amount of vegan business owners that are listed just on LinkedIn.