Veganism is very much in the fore, with what many considered as a fringe movement moving into the mainstream world. Veganuary has only compounded a shift towards veganism and it features strongly on social media and in the news generally.
But it is a topic that can divide people – with arguments being put forward by vegans on ethical grounds, sometimes in ways that isn’t always well received by carnivores.
Claire Rose opened Miss Claire Rose on Commercial Street, Harrogate in 2015 to sell ethical handmade jewellery and gifts, but it has now become a vegan shop.
When I opened it was about fair trade and working with smaller sources. Often it was about working with great talent that didn’t have an easy way to sell their product.
The development of the shop mirrors Claire’s own journey into veganism. As her understanding grew of the welfare of animals in the meat, poultry and egg industry, so did her belief that it wasn’t right to eat meat.
At one time I didn’t have the confidence to speak out about being vegan, it often caused a lot of confrontation with people. But things have changed now.
For me, I changed to being fully vegan after I looked at the dairy and egg industry. Perhaps many are aware of what goes on in an abattoir, but not in other areas. You need to educate yourself to be able to make an informed choice.
A lot of what we do is pre-programmed into us, but these days there are lots of different options.
For me it is all about eduction and understanding and you are open to something new then it could be for you.
But we do welcome all in the shop, from flexitarians, vegetarians to vegans.
For more information see www.facebook.com/TheOnlineVeganMarket
Traditionally British food can be based around a meat and 2-veg diet, so just dropping the meat can leave things a little wanting.
You can be a vegan and haveinteresting things to eat – gone are the days of it being about lentils and beans.
For instance there are at least 50 non-dairy milks on the market.
But there are lots of other products that can make things interesting, things like marinaded tofu is much more interesting than plain tofu and easier to cook with.
We always try to source what people want and have recently put a mock-meat duck in gravy on the shelves that people like.
The other factor is that you can save a lot of money – vegetables are just so much cheaper.
Generally we all need to be aware of what we are eating and how it affects us – there are significant health benefits in going vegan.
Susan Scarre was previously a meat-eater, but decided to embrace a change for January.
Susan Scarre said:
I’d thought about trying it for some time. I always considered myself an animal lover, but how could I put them through that often restricted, unpleasant and unnatural life and death just so I could eat them?
In the days of hunter-gatherers, at least the animals went about their normal lives until death. And the more we learn about animals – even fish – the more we know they’re intelligent, form attachments and feel pain.
As I know I can eat perfectly healthily on a plant-based diet, it seemed a no-brainer. But also, it’s the lobbying from the environmentalists that helped to sway me.
The deforestation due to cattle, etc. We may have different problems if everyone became vegan, but hopefully we can come up with environmentally and socially sound solutions.
Being a red meat and dairy lover, I thought I’d have real problems, but it’s been much easier than I thought. I bought a cook book and read up a lot on how to get the right nutrition.
The one and only thing I miss is cow’s milk in my tea – that’s it!