Easy ways to go meat-free

London is going vegan and it’s easier than ever with so many fantastic plant-based cafes, food stalls, restaurants and retailers making amazing food, and clearly labelling them.

Club Mexicana © Annie Morris

Picture: Club Mexicana © Annie Morris

Published: 1 Nov 2018

From beetroot and bean burgers to seitan and jackfruit fast food, vegan wine, cakes and chocolate, you can now find plant-based versions of many of your much-loved faves.

World Vegan Day came to life with the founding of The Vegan Society in 1994. As is the way with great events, it gained momentum and mushroomed into a week and now it’s become World Vegan Month, celebrated in myriad ways around the world.

How to be a vegan

If you are new to veganism, why not give it a go for a day? Ask your friends to share tips and show you the best places to try a plant-based diet. A bit of advance planning will help hugely. Consider:

  • If you have cereal for breakfast or milk in your coffee or tea, could you try a plant-based milk substitute such as almond, oat or soya instead?
  • Using margarine or coconut oil instead of butter on your toast, sandwiches and in your cooking.
  • At mealtimes, lentils, beans and pulses are great, protein-packed meat alternatives that are versatile, inexpensive, filling and good for you! Think hummus, curries and dhals, veggie bean wraps and stir fries.
  • Checking – you’d be surprised at how many crisps, biscuits and dark chocolate are actually vegan.
  • Searching – for local cafes, shops and restaurants that offer vegan dishes

It’s not just about food – when you next shop for cosmetics and toiletries, look for animal-free products for your vegan lifestyle.

Vegans of the world, unite

  • Encourage your friends and family to try it for a day and help them explore the world of plant-based food.
  • Share your tried-and-tested recipes from blogs and cookbooks to show off what you can do with tofu, grains, lentils and pulses as well as fantastic seasonal veg. Now is the time for pumpkins and squash.
  • Bring in your favourite dishes to tempt your friends and colleagues – bakes are always popular!

Some of our vegan Urban Food Heroes

  • Made in Hackey is passionately plant-based, offering growing and cooking classes that will set you on your vegan way.
  • Odd Box is ‘fighting food waste one wonky veg and freaky fruit at a time by delivering produce direct from the farmers to your doorstep.
  • Mildreds, a veteran amongst London's meat-free eateries
  • The Spread Eagle, a Mexican-flavoured newer niña on the block

You can find our more, including how to take a plant-based pledge, on the Vegan Society’s website, and share your activities on social media using #WorldVeganMonth and #WorldVeganDay hashtags.

See also: