I've been a vegetarian since the turn of the century. I always felt like I should probably be vegan but, you know, cheese is delicious.
Then, without warning, my body decided that producing the human lactase enzyme was for losers. Stupid body! No more cheese for me 😭
The UK has come on leaps and bounds in the last 20 years. When I first became a salad-aficionado, the vegetarian options in most restaurants was either a mushroom risotto or to go hungry. Nowadays, even the most ardently pro-carnivore establishment has a range of veggie- and vegan-friendly dishes.
I am a dietary vegan. Due to my health condition, I abstain from milk. I saw a Tweet the other day which made me wonder how many people in the UK will become economic vegans?
Lots about milk prices in the media. I looked at @MyAlertr* to see the price increase from June21 to now.
2pint, blue top.@Morrisons 🔼 58% (79p - £1.25)@Tesco 🔼 43% (80p - £1.15)@waitrose 🔼 34% (89p - £1.20)@sainsburys 🔼 43% 80p - £1.15)
BTW. We track hundreds of prices pic.twitter.com/vqcvlKdfeT
— Andy Barr (@10Yetis) August 23, 2022
The price of dairy milk is now at parity with oat-milk and soya-milk. Yes, I'm sure there are some things for which plant milk is unsuitable. But if you're a "splash of white stuff in my coffee" kinda person, or "drench my cornflakes with something wet and tasty" milk user, then a swap to plant-milk may make economic sense.
(Yes, most plant milks are fortified with the vitamins and minerals you'd get from bio-lactations.)
Even if you ignore all the environmental benefits of switching from cow-milk to plant-milk, it's hard to ignore the benefit to your bank balance.
The meat-substitute "Quorn" was originally part of a programme to prevent mass-starvation. Researchers foresaw a population explosion and a meat-protein shortage. Without a cheap and nutritious source of protein, people would suffer.
At retail, Quorn is about £6/Kg for 13% protein. Beef mince is about £4.50/Kg for 18% protein. Textured vegetable protein (TVP) is about £5/kg for 47% protein. Chicken breast is about £6/Kg for 30% protein.
So, depending on your needs and preferences, it may save you money to switch to a vegetarian/vegan source of protein. Of course, their prices also fluctuate.
But, yeah, change is scary. If you know that you like one specific brand, you'll be reluctant to change.
If you have sensory issues, it might be difficult or impossible to try something else.
And, sure, learning how to cook something new is complicated. But a veggie burger is cooked in exactly the same way as a beef burger. And sandwich filler is just thin slices of pink "stuff".
To be clear, I don't really care if you go veggie or not. I do it for my own reasons - mostly health and ethical. And I'm sure your reasons for staying omnivorous make perfect sense to you.
Anyway, next time you're browsing the aisles of your supermarket, take a look at some of the vegan alternatives. Chances are you'll find some things are cheaper than the non-vegan equivalent.