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Is Veganism Going Mainstream?
One of the main reasons to opt for a vegan lifestyle is for the animals – I stopped eating meat because I simply couldn’t reconcile with myself the idea that living, breathing, feeling creatures are commodities to be bought, sold, given away, and killed for human gain. I am firmly of the view that if you wouldn’t be unable to do to an animal yourself what is done behind the closed doors of an abattoir, then you should not reap the benefits of it.
Nonetheless, I’m aware that not everyone has this view. Research shows that health is the second biggest driver of veganism – cutting out animal products can also cut out cholesterol, lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Another reason to go vegan is to preserve the planet – veganism reduces pollution and saves water, energy, and wildlife. If animals and the environment aren’t your thing – how about people? Abattoir workers are ‘the meat industry’s other victims’. They are subjected to working in poor, dangerous conditions and are underpaid for this work.
On Saturday 30th September, Manchester Vegan Festival came to Salford’s Audacious Church. Vegans are pretty spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out in Manchester and the vegan fest’s food stalls did not disappoint – street food destination, Olo Kitchen offered a Polish taste of veganism with its traditional pierogi – or in their words: ‘the best dumplings in town!’ Got No Beef served up all of the classic burger toppings – fried onions, ‘bacon’, ‘cheese’, and tomatoes – with a side of the lesser known classic: humanity.
Sweet treats were provided by stalls such as Forgot the Eggs – who have mastered the egg-less meringue. Also on offer were T-shirts from animal-friendly fashion brand, ‘Wear Your Voice’, beautiful crystal-based jewellery from Rogue Gypsy, and skincare and make-up from Arbonne – all of which are available to buy online.
Unsurprisingly - since no one at the festival was screaming about their veganism - I couldn’t tell whether or not everyone attending was in fact vegan, but the buzzing atmosphere and six-people deep queues at each stall implied that there is definitely a demand.