Veganism is the most significant trend in food at this moment. It has led to the massive growth of meat-free brands and even own-label products. In reality, the UK is currently the country with the most vegan products that have been launched. Major news media like The Economist and Forbes declare 2019 as the “year of the vegan,” but the trend will remain a trend – about a third of people in the UK have already switched to vegan food. The UK is already removed or cut back on the consumption of meat.

Brands with a long history of success usually be the most well-known for redesigning their offerings into vegan products, and meat-free new products have proven to be extremely popular and sell quickly. This is an excellent thing since a reduction in the consumption of animal products is one of the ” single biggest ways” to address environmental issues like the destruction of soils, climate change, and loss of biodiversity.

Only 37 percent of our protein and 18 percent of our calories, eggs, aquaculture, meat, and dairy comprise 83 percent of the world’s land and include 57% of food-related emissions. The shift from animal-based food production to plant-based food production would aid in lower UK greenhouse emissions of greenhouse gases. It can also help address many of the primary health concerns affecting the public while meeting nutritional requirements for protein and calories.

Meat-free vs. Vegan

Yet, despite this trend toward vegan food, some meat-free products are offered in shops that are free of components derived from animals. Although “vegan” implies that products are 100% made of plants and are free of animal products, “meat-free” or “vegetarian” products can still contain dairy, milk, or other animal-based ingredients.

In addition to the rise of brand new products based on plants, In recent years, established companies that offer meat alternatives like Quorn, a meat-free company Quorn and the more traditional plant-based company Linda McCartney are re-structuring their products to provide a broader range of vegan options.

However, many other manufacturers that offer “meat alternatives” still rely on animal-based ingredients like eggs and milk. But, many existing and new ranges of products labeled and advertised as vegetarian are vegan. So, what’s happening here?

Vegans living in Great Britain quadrupled between 2014 and 2018. Shutterstock

Some manufacturers may be hesitant to advertise their products within the category of vegans – vegans are viewed as a safer alternative. It’s thought that 92 percent of meals made from plants were consumed by non-vegans in 2018. Vegans comprise only a tiny portion of those who purchase meat-free food items.

In terms of the products that people would like to purchase, vegan items are highly sought-after. Nestle’s meat-free line intended to “revolutionize the vegetarian category” was taken off British supermarket shelves after only two months. In addition, Linda McCartney’s pizzas that were topped by “fake meat” alongside dairy-based cheese were unsuccessful.

Environmental impact

If you look at the data and the numbers, eggs and dairy might seem less damaging than the meat industry; however, it has a substantial influence on the environment. More importantly, it is based on using the exact non-sustainable farming methods used in meat production.

Many products are advertised as non-meat-based and may contain animal-based ingredients as well. In the quest for better healthy products, new developments have led to the creation of a range of items that use by-products of animal origin. They could be fats or milk powders; however, they could also be by-products or products of slaughter, such as the animal’s fats and rennet, and collagen. Marks and Spencer, for instance, has the “Super Water,” which uses collagen from beef to increase protein content, much to shoppers’ dismay.

In light of the devastating negative impact of animal-based foodstuffs on the environment and the growing trend towards vegan products, would it not make sense to have all new vegetarian products be vegan?

The issue with vegetarians is that they are not healthy.

Traditional vegetarianism denounces meat as ethical for consuming the life of animals, while dairy and eggs are considered essentials and staples to healthy living. This belief goes back to the post-World War II period when factory farming was in its early stages and surplus milk was pushed through schools and public health campaigning for milk. In the modern age, industrial agriculture, dairy, and meat are two aspects of the same coin.

Major supermarkets have added a variety of vegan options to their stores this year as a way to meet the growing demand. Shutterstock

Even though vegans currently comprise only 3% of the UK population, there is a growing demand for plant-based products. The awareness of the ethical and environmental consequences of our eating habits is on the rise as well “veganism” provides a context to consider the issue in all its aspects. Consumers are also eager to experiment with their protein choices and are exploring the possibility of plant milk. Vegans can be comfortable with vegetarian items and other products like Crisps, sausages, meat-free sausages, and chocolate chip cookies made without eggs or milk as ingredients.

With the food industry continually innovating on the market, it makes sense for the label “vegetarian” to become redundant and substituted by “vegan.” This is because the “vegan” approach goes beyond the environmental aspect to bring light on factory farming practices and why it’s inhumane and a threat to all living things on the earth. In this way, vegetarian product launches and innovative products made without meat that use animal-derived products are an unsustainable step.