Interesting guest article by the knowledgeable Michelle D’Arcy Jewell from The Vegan Hub:

Being vegan might not necessarily seem to be better for the environment.

If you are used to buying your meat from the butcher without plastic packaging, and milk in glass bottles from the milkman you might think you are doing the best you can for the environment. Plant milk mainly come in tetra paks that are difficult to recycle. Lots of vegan meat replacements come in plastic packaging. However, you can easily follow a vegan diet and avoid that totally.

DIY oat milk

You can make your own plant milk at home, there are plenty of online recipes and with a bit of practice you can find one that works for you. If you use oats grown in this country then you can ensure you milk is made local and is plastic free.

Oat milk can be made at home from locally sourced oats available from farms or refill shops

Local fruit & veg

You can easily source seasonal vegetables grown locally from the various greengrocers in Shropshire. If you want to reduce your travelling time then there are companies that deliver to your door. Or if you use supermarkets most now offer unpackaged fruit and vegetables and tell you the country of origin.

Meat substitutes

The item that most people get worried about is meat replacements. You can get a fake equivalent of almost every meat these days but they all come in plastic packaging. However, there is no need to buy any of these. You can buy textured vegetable protein (TVP) and wheat gluten (used to make seitan) in paper bags or from zero waste shops. Or you can forgo the idea of replacing meat altogether and use dried or tinned beans and pulses instead. You can also buy unpackaged tofu from Chinese supermarkets.

Textured vegetable protein can be bought loose from most refill shops and is a great substitute for meat

When you also take into account the water needed to rear cattle, the pollution caused by animal waste products and the gases the cows produced then it is very easy to see how a vegan diet is the best for the environment.

Michelle D’Arcy Jewell – The Vegan Hub, Parade Shops, Shrewsbury

Caroline Talbot
Author: Caroline Talbot