Cheesed off

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Try out a plant-based diet

If you’re looking to take a healthy bite out of your environmental impact, this is a big one. By choosing more meat-free and dairy-free meals each week for the next two months, you’ll really be doing something good for the planet - not to mention all those animals.

What’s more, cutting down on certain foods - like cheese and meat - could also help keep your heart ticking healthily.

And you’ll be in good company! Veganism has seen huge growth over the last few years, with a number of high-profile names, including celebrities, politicians and sportspeople making the switch.



For people

Eating too much cheese, ice cream and red meat is bad for us – particularly our waistlines and arteries. Meat and dairy is a main source of saturated fats in western diets, and their growing popularity is partly responsible for the huge increase in cases of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and bowel cancer.

If you want to make sure your nutrition is up to scratch, The Vegan Society is happy to help.

Cutting back on meat and dairy can have a really big impact on your carbon footprint and your health. Whole you're at it you’ll save money to allow you to buy higher welfare animal products when you do have a dairy treat, which are more likely to be grass fed and therefore have a lower footprint than their intensively farmed counterparts.

For planet

Cows burp. A lot. And pigs eat. A lot.

As the human population starts to eat more and more meat and dairy, we’re putting increasing pressure on our land, water, and climate.

The food we eat has a big impact on the climate - making up a whopping 26% of global greenhouse gas emissions, with animal products responsible for well over half of those emissions. This is mostly a result of increasing deforestation (largely to make space for growing food to feed the livestock), and the methane gas emitted from belching cows.

But what about all the soya that vegetarians eat? Doesn’t that drive deforestation too? Soybean plantations are a big driver of deforestation - but a vegetarian eats far fewer soybeans than a cow or a chicken does. In fact, 80% of the world’s soybean crop is fed to livestock.

Whether it’s a hamburger or a bean stew, everything we eat requires water to get to our plates. Our consumption of animal products contributes to more than one-quarter of humanity’s water footprint. The water needed to produce feed is the major factor behind the water footprint of animal products. It shouldn’t be a surprise then, that the overuse of water has been linked to worsening droughts in the USA.

However, we can’t ignore that many vegan protein sources (such as the beans in that stew) only use marginally less water than meat, sometimes even more. As ever, life is complicated. Fortunately, we believe veganism’s other benefits still make it a sustainable choice.

Our favourite quote from food writer Micheal Pollan sums it up nicely:

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”


Going vegan for a few meals a week isn’t tricky. All it takes is a few starter recipes and you’ll be well on your way. Here are some tips for making the transition, and here’s a handy guide to eating a diet that’ll keep you - and the planet - in tip top condition.

The Vegan Society have a good range of recipes that will get you started. Give their moussaka a try and let us know how it goes? Veganuary have also curated a great selection of vegan recipes from around the world. Yotam Ottolenghi's amazing cookbooks are among our favourites when it comes to vegetarian and vegan recipes - particularly his new Simple collection. If you’re looking for the ultimate list of vegan cookbooks, look no further.

Eating out doesn't have to pose a challenge - check out all the restaurants offering vegan-friendly menus

To make the transition that bit easier, why not have your fresh veg delivered to your doorstep? Veg box schemes like Riverford, Abel & Cole or Farmdrop (and many more) provide irresistible hampers full of delicious vegetables, which you can easily tailor to meet your household needs.


30 Vegan Celebrities 2020 - Famous People Who Follow a Vegan Diet

Cut meat and dairy intake 'by a fifth' says report

WWF Sustainable Food Production Soy

These are the worst ready-made sandwiches for the climate

Spedding, C.R.W., ‘Food for the ‘90s: The Impact of Organic Foods and Vegetarianism’, 1990 pp. 231-241

NASA Earth Observatory

The carbon and water data shown in the bar charts were prepared for our own footprint calculator by ERM, based on a combination of data from Defra (2006) Environmental Impacts of Food Production and Consumption; BDA - the Association of UK Dieticians Food Fact Sheet: Portion sizes; Defra Family Food 2017/18; and Audsley, E., Brander, M., Chatterton, J., Murphy-Bokern, D., Webster, C., and Williams, A. (2009) How low can we go? An assessment of greenhouse gas emissions from the UK food system and the scope to reduce them by 2050. WWF-UK.