A meat free year (and the growing evidence base)

I blogged last year about my steady drift towards a fully plant-based diet, and discussed some of of the key considerations and questions of doing so.

I’m happy to report that this drift has continued, and I managed to avoid eating meat for the whole of 2018. Well OK, that is not entirely true, as I had one mishap on the flight back from my own stag do in Porto, when I ate a bread roll with chicken puree which I thought was hummous. Hard to believe that my abstinence was broken, not for a juicy burger or Sunday roast, but a distinctly average airline snack. So anyway, I’ve chosen to overlook that one setback and continue working towards (and thoroughly enjoying) a fully plant based diet. As is tradition, the aforementioned stag do was closely followed by my wedding, and we kept it meat-free there too (see pic above). This was certainly met with a bit of scepticism in the build up, but we made sure that it was vegetarian (and mostly vegan) food done properly – in other words, beautiful to look at, but even more of a delight to eat. The feedback we had from our guests was almost exclusively really positive (you can never please everyone!)

Media coverage of vegan / vegetarian / plant based eating really is everywhere right now, and I genuinely can’t see it disappearing any time soon. The recent  EAT-Lancet report attracted plenty of coverage (and as ever in modern Britain, furious ‘debate’ too). This report was the result of a scientific review process to define a healthy, sustainable diet to support the planet and its growing human population in decades to come. Inevitably, the report recommends huge reductions in meat intake (a tiny 14g of red meat per day, for example), as well as tight restrictions on dairy too.

The report ruffled plenty of feathers and made many people uncomfortable, but the facts are getting harder to ignore with every passing month. Personally, I’m now at a stage where most meals are vegan, but I still eat the occasional portion of sardines or other oily fish, very small amounts of butter and cheese, and eggs that are from truly free-range sources…like the hens in my parents’ garden! I’m still very much of the opinion that the message of plant based eating needs to be spread positively rather than with angry or smug judgement, and that it is absolutely fine for anyone to make slow and steady steps towards achieving it.


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