Category Archives: Blog

Welcome to the Great Vegan Challenge blog! Throughout November people taking part in the Great Vegan Challenge will be posting their thoughts, experiences and advice here, so check back regularly for updates. If you would like to contribute to this blog, please email veganchallenge@animalaid.co.uk.

Welcome to the Great Vegan Challenge blog! Throughout November people taking part in the Great Vegan Challenge will be posting their thoughts, experiences and advice here, so check back regularly for updates. If you would like to contribute to this blog, please email veganchallenge@animalaid.co.uk.

Go vegan for the planet! By Tod Bradbury

Whilst most people – including myself – decide to go vegan to reduce animal suffering, the environmental argument is another reason to ditch animal products.

Animal agriculture is one of the leading causes of climate change.

According to the United Nations, rearing animals for food is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all of the cars, planes, trains, trucks and ships on Earth combined.

Animal farming is also a huge waste of water. It takes 1,000 litres of water to produce one beef burger, but just 167 litres to produce a tofu-based equivalent . You can also produce twice as much soya milk for the amount of water it takes to produce a litre of cows’ milk.


Intensive animal farming causes soil erosion and land degradation, and waste from intensive factory farms is one of the main causes of water pollution both in the UK and in other nations.  In fact it is the biggest cause of water pollution in the UK.

In South America, the rainforest is being razed to the ground, primarily to make way for cattle ranching and growing crops to feed farmed animals. I am often told that vegans are destroying the rainforest because of soya production. And whilst it is true that vast amount of rainforest, most notably the Amazon, are now being used to grow soya, more that 95% of it is used to produce feed for farmed animals.

Fishing trawlers, with nets the size of football pitches, rake the seabed, destroying entire ecosystems. Even world governments admit that our oceans are on the brink of environmental collapse, with commercial fishing fleets stripping them bare.

Some argue that fish farming is a sustainable alternative, but one in four wild-caught fish is used to make fishmeal to feed to fish on farms. Furthermore, pollution caused by fish farming produces a barren landscape on the surrounding seabed, as nothing can survive.

So by ditching animal products, you are not only helping to reduce animal suffering, you are also helping to protect the planet.

The backyard egg conundrum By Jordan Collins

Jordan is Animal Aid’s Supporter Engagement Officer.

Labels like ‘free range’ and ‘organic’ carry a lot of weight nowadays, especially as awareness of animal welfare as an issue is growing all the time. But these animals can still end up in cramped conditions with only limited access to the outside, and hens are typically sent to slaughter once they are no longer able to produce the amount of eggs demanded of them. You can read more in this previous blog. 

Regardless of the location of the hens from whom you get the eggs, they were bred into existence. And alongside them were bred male laying chicks who do not grow big enough or, fast enough to be considered viable for the meat industry, and neither can they lay eggs. So they are killed – a byproduct of the egg industry, whether the eggs you purchase are organic, free-range or from caged hens.

You may be tempted to try to avoid the entire conundrum altogether by purchasing ‘backyard eggs’, so called because they come from hens who are not necessarily kept for profit purposes, but perhaps as someone’s pet. At first glance, these eggs may seem ideal: they come from happier hens, who may have permanent homes.  And it is likely that these hens lead happier lives than their counterparts who live in cramped cages and overcrowded sheds. But there are some unavoidable factors that must be considered.

Laying hens nowadays have been bred to produce far more eggs than they used to: an average of 300 eggs per year, compared to the 10-20 eggs that their wild ancestors lay. This increased eggproduction takes a demanding toll on their bodies, which can result in calcium depletion, a myriad of reproductive diseases and early death. In order to make up for these lost nutrients, laying hens should have their eggs fed back to them.
Ultimately, there is no way to get around the egg conundrum. Instead, try new foods and replace the fats and protein you would get from an egg with nuts, seeds, whole grains and soya products. Added bonus: no bad cholesterol and you’re not purchasing or funding cruelty!

Beyond diet By Kate Fowler

Kate is Animal Aid’s Slaughter Consultant and former Head of Campaigns.

It is natural for those who become vegan out of concern for animals to go on to consider other animal issues, too. And the most natural progression from looking at the ingredients we put into our bodies is to look at the ingredients we put onto our bodies, and often that begins with toiletries and cosmetics.

Remember all that time you spent as a new vegan reading labels in the supermarket? Well, attempting to do the same with row upon row of shampoo bottles is a sure-fire way to bring on a migraine. For a start, some of that tiny writing is in Latin (why say ‘water’ when you can say ‘aqua’?) and that’s before we get onto the ten-syllable chemical names that offer no clue as to where all their molecules came from or what they are doing in there. It’s a minefield. Thankfully, there are plenty of companies who label which toiletries are suitable for vegans nice and clearly on their products. Superdrug is one you will find on most high streets but also look out for Faith in Nature, Jason and Noughty (all vegan) and Lush (which labels their vegan

products clearly). As for testing, cosmetics in the UK are not tested on animals by law, but the companies who choose to sell those same products into China must have them tested on animals. You may wish to boycott those companies, and stick to the good guys including those named above who neither test on animals nor emulsify their body parts into creams and lotions. As for make-up, Urban Decay has a vegan range and all of Kat von D’s range is vegan. For less pricey make-up, Animal Aid’s online shop is a great place to start.

Next, our attention may turn – if it hasn’t already – to clothes. Obviously, we know fur is bad, and that leather really is just fur with the hairs scraped off, and many new vegans will have a dilemma about what to do with their leather boots, jackets and lederhosen (come on, we all have a pair!). Some people will use them until they wear out but won’t buy leather again; others will feel uncomfortable in the skin of an animal who really should be wearing it themselves, and they’ll give them away to friends or charities. Whichever path is right for you is right.

What we may not think about so closely is wool. After all, our fleecy friends probably need a haircut in the summer months, and appreciate the cool breeze on their skin. Well, the meat and wool industry are inextricably linked and so all the suffering we know about with one is inherent in the other. Sheep are subject to mutilations. They are often left without due care to cope in extreme weather conditions, impregnated through surgical means (yes, really – sheep breeding is commonly conducted by introducing semen surgically via the ewe’s abdomen), and suffer a host of health problems including foot rot, scald, scrapie and mastitis. At the end of all that – and having their lambs taken from them – they may be transported long distances to slaughter. As for the shearing itself, that is a brutal and bloody business, too.

Some coats, duvets and pillows contain feathers, and if you think the companies that make them wander the lakesides looking for naturally-shed feathers to stuff into their jackets, you’re about to get a shock. If those feathers were not plucked from their slaughtered owners, then there is a good chance they were pulled out of them while they were still alive – a painful, stressful, terrible process. Thankfully, synthetic jackets, duvets and pillows are readily available, non-allergenic and a whole lot less scratchy, too. 

And what about pets? How can it be OK to buy animals on a whim, then abandon them, dump them or sell them to anyone who’ll have them in the same way we buy and discard smartphones or shoes? My nearest animal sanctuary tells me they have a list of people who no longer want the rabbits they bought, and that there are currently 200 animals on the waiting list, all in desperate need of the chance of a happy life. Most of them won’t get it. Instead, these sensitive, social, inquisitive animals will live and die alone in a hutch at the bottom of a garden. Sanctuaries are full of beautiful, wonderful animals who need beautiful wonderful people to love them and care for them. Perhaps you can help? 

Out in the wider world, we shouldn’t forget that circuses still tour the country with animals. Some even still display wild animals whose lives have been shown to be unnatural and tedious, and punctuated by often-vicious training. These companies will stop using animals when people stop paying to see them, and the same goes for zoos and aquaria. These are not natural habitats, nor are they really educational. Wild animals, you may think as we do, belong in the wild, and not in a cage or a pen while people laugh and point at them.

Our world once revolved around animal use and exploitation, with animals traded, bartered, butchered and abused as part and parcel of everyday life. Things have improved, thanks to the technological advances that have made some of those (ab)uses obsolete, and yet animals are still seen as commodities. People still rear birds just so they can shoot them out of the sky for fun or make a lot of money by charging others to shoot them. People still set traps and poison when unwanted wild guests come into their homes or gardens even when there are humane deterrence methods available. And people still visit dog tracks and horse racecourses, even though animals are raced to death on them every week of the year.

By becoming vegan – or at least starting out on your vegan journey – you will have learnt so much already about how animals are used for food, and you may start to feel the heavy emotional weight of the cruelty in the world. Please remember that none of us is perfect. We can’t know all the ingredients and production methods of the cavity wall insulation in our homes or every micro component of our smartwatch, for example. But we can do our best. If we use our wallets and our voices wisely – buying ethically and speaking up wherever we can – then the world will change for the better.

Vegan options in coffee shops By Tod Bradbury

It does not seem so long ago that ordering soya milk for your coffee at certain outlets without being charged extra was considered a luxury. Nowadays, though, having soya milk in your coffee usually comes at no extra cost, and in some cases, you can have a choice of different plant milks too!

As well as being pretty sorted on the drinks front, all of the major coffee shop chains now have vegan food options, making those catch ups with friends and quick stop-offs before work so much easier. Below we have listed the various food available at major coffee shop chains.

Costa
Helpfully, Costa does label its items as ‘vegan’ – though, unfortunately, those items are few and far between. However, you can still pick up a nice snack to go with your coffee with various biscuits, some crisps, fresh and dried fruit, as well as toast with peanut butter or jam, which is available on their breakfast menu.

Costa has two Christmas items; a vegan Christmas cake slice and a gluten-free, vegan mince pie! Perfect if you’re feeling festive.

Pret a Manger
Pret a Manger is well known in the vegan community for opening two fully vegetarian cafés in London. Veggie Pret offers a large range of vegan options, including vegan mac ‘n’ cheese – and the company has said that its top selling food items are vegan!

In their standard stores, vegan options are impressive. Sandwiches and wraps including the Super Greens & Reds, Avocado & Chipotle Chickpea, Curried Chickpeas & Mango Chutney and more. There is always a vegan soup, which is perfect as the cold weather comes, as well as a number of salads and snacks including an amazing dairy-free coconut bar, which is essentially a vegan Bounty.

Breakfast options include dairy-free porridge with jam, chia pots and dairy-free yoghurts.

Pret also offers coconut milk in its stores. All of their products are clearly labelled as vegan, which makes things so much easier!

Starbucks
Starbucks is a household name the world over, so it is fantastic that this chain offers vegan options. Starbucks has recently started offering almond and coconut milk for its hot drinks, and it has a number of vegan snacks and meal options.

For breakfast, you can have the five grain vegan porridge which is a relatively healthy option. It alsooffers a number of fresh and dried fruit options.

If you fancy grabbing some lunch, I highly recommend the Kale and Jalapeño Slaw wrap. You can also have the Grilled Veg and Grain Salad Bowl which is packed full of nutrients. 

Caffe Nero
Caffe Nero has really upped its vegan game in recent times, with vegan options readily available at all of its stores. For breakfast you can go for the soya porridge with jam – a perfect accompaniment to your coffee on these cold, dark mornings.

For lunch and when you’re feeling peckish there is a Falafel & Beetroot Houmous Wrap or if you fancy something hot, they have a Orzo Pasta & Mediterranean Veg pasta pot. Sweet treats include an Apple & Blackcurrant Crumble bar, a fresh fruit salad, dried mango, a dark chocolate bar and popcorn!

Felling festive? Nero also has a Falafel with Chestnuts & Spiced Slaw Wrap, which includes cranberry sauce! The infamous and glorious vegan Caffe Nero mince pie is also available again this year.

Peace and good will to all (animals) By Tod Bradbury

Christmas should be a time for peace and goodwill to all – and that should include animals. It has never been easier to have cruelty-free Christmas, with vegan festive food being widely available as well as the market for cruelty-free presents booming.

I was always told as child that Christmas Dinner was the ‘best meal of the year’, and that can still be true as a vegan in 2017. Let’s face it, we all like to overindulge at Christmas time, and being a vegan no way prevents you from doing so (trust me!)

The nut roast is the classic meat-free main. However, the days of the bland nut roast are over, with many ready-made ones available in supermarkets – such as this Tesco one – and amazing recipes online. This Jamie Oliver recipe is a particular favourite of mine.

You can also get faux-turkey style products in most places now too. Tofurky is an incredible brand that has taken the UK market by storm. The Tofurky Vegetarian Roast is amazing, and comes with a stuffing centre and herb gravy packet. It is available in health food shops, including Holland and Barrett.

The VBites Celebration Roast is another classic meat-alternative. It includes mock-turkey style slices, veggie sausages wrapped in vegan bacon, and a pack of gravy.

Another favourite of mine is the Fry’s Soy and Quinoa Country Roast; a delicious ‘meaty’ style roast with a great texture. It can be found in the freezer section of most health food shops.

Any of the above can be served with all the traditional trimmings, which are easy to veganise. Use vegan-butter instead of dairy butter, cooking oil instead of goose fat, maple syrup instead of honey, and you can even easily veganise Yorkshire puddings!

Now on to dessert. If you have room for pudding, and of course you will, there are a number of ready-made Christmas puddings in shops that are vegan friendly. You can find them in Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda, and Animal Aid’s online shop! Top with a plant-based cream, custard, or ice-cream of your choice.

Going vegan certainly doesn’t mean going without, especially at Christmas.

 

A helpful guide to awkward conversations By Jordan Collins

Jordan is Animal Aid’s Supporter Engagement Officer.

Once your friends and family hear about the decision you’ve made to try veganism, they will have questions. It’s only natural, especially if they don’t know anybody else who is vegan. Try not to be annoyed if you have to answer the same question multiple times at gatherings. If anything, their interest shows that they’re curious about veganism and invested in your life. That said, there are a few ways you can keep these conversations respectful and calm.

First of all, be gentle with the people around you. Forgive ignorance – after all, you didn’t always know everything you know now! Answer any questions you can and try your hardest to make conversations positive. Instead of focusing on the reasons you’re trying veganism (animal suffering, for example), talk about what you’re getting out of it: the exciting foods you’ve tried, people you’ve met, cool facts you’ve learned, how you’ve been experimenting in the kitchen, et cetera. This keeps people from getting defensive and prevents arguments, and it also presents veganism as an opportunity for fun.  

These conversations are easier if you have a bit of knowledge up your sleeve, so brushing up beforehand with interesting books like Melanie Joy’s ‘Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows’ can be helpful. That said, you don’t have to come prepared with facts and figures – you’re there to have fun with friends and family, and that should be the focus of your interaction, not getting in another fact about veganism.

Regardless of the way you frame the conversation, there may be someone who is determined to argue. They may feel attacked, may know someone in the animal agriculture industry or may just have a differing opinion. Gently make it clear that there is no need for an argument, and that you don’t want to risk the special relationship that you share by talking about these topics. The goal is to preserve relationships and if the topic is becoming divisive, try to shift the conversation onto something else. The same goes if you recognise that you are becoming upset: steer the conversation in a different direction. Remind one another why your relationship matters, and that your veganism should not affect it.

It’s not always possible to avoid difficult conversations, and in fact you may one day want to tackle the topic with someone you care about, but the key points to keep in mind are to stay calm and to respect the other person’s feelings and your own.

The Vegan Traveller By Kate Fowler

Kate is Animal Aid’s Slaughter Consultant and former Head of Campaigns.

There is something of a vegan revolution happening, and it is happening all over the world. Most cities worldwide have a generous offering of veggie and vegan restaurants, as well as health food shops and supermarkets that stock a wide range of animal-free products. Wherever your travels take you, take the Happy Cow app with you. It lists vegan, vegetarian and omnivorous restaurants where vegan meals can be found, and guides you to their doorstep.

In Europe, every city had plant-based options but some cities have become renowned for the wealth of vegan offerings; Berlin, Paris, Barcelona, Glasgow and Warsaw offer more vegan options than you could possibly eat on a two-week holiday, but don’t assume the little towns and cities elsewhere will be a wasteland. Check the app and you may be pleasantly surprised.

Some of the unsurprising top US cities for vegans include New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. Other cities with more than 100 meat-free restaurants include Boston, Baltimore, Atlanta and Austin. It’s true there are parts of the US where plant-based eating hasn’t quite taken hold but the chain restaurants usually offer something, even if by accident!

In Australia, Melbourne may be the best option but veganism is a country-wide phenomenon. In Perth on the west coast, we ate at a different meat-free restaurant over a 10-day period – it was the first time I’d been offered vegan pheasant and prawns. Honestly, neither appealed but the vegetarian burger chain, Lord of the Fries, which has outlets in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, is always a popular choice.

Around 30 per cent of people in India don’t eat meat with Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab having the most vegetarians and vegans per capita. In India – like the world over – it is easy to be vegan in the cities, but the country is both the largest producer and the largest buyer of milk, and dairy products get used a lot, so watch out for milk, cream and ghee. If you want choice, head to Chennai which has more than 80 vegetarian restaurants.

In Thailand, Chiang Mai is the place to be with dozens of meat-free restaurants in this beautiful city. In Taipei, you’ll also be spoilt for choice and you’ll be in the birthplace of the Loving Hut, a vegan franchise that has restaurants in Spain, Austria, Vietnam, Singapore, Russia, New Zealand, Canada and four restaurants in the UK. 

Of course, there are regions of the world where meat or dairy is found at the centre of every meal, and it is added to the soup, vegetables and sauces, too. A little bit of research and planning may be required before you arrive to ensure you won’t go hungry. Ask in online vegan groups if anyone else has visited that area and has any tips. Find out what the regional delicacies are, and how they are made. Make sure you know how Google translate works. And buy yourself a copy of the Vegan Society’s Passport – either the app or the paper copy. In parts of rural China and on the streets of Cairo, I played a lot of charades, made a few people laugh and got a good meal at the end of it. In some cases, I was invited by the laughing staff into the kitchen to point to the ingredients I wanted and didn’t want. But it should be acknowledged that it is much harder to engage with strangers and try to explain what you want using gestures, drawings and animal noises only, when you’re hungry so take some cereal bars with you. Hopefully, you won’t need them and you can bring them home again, but you will be glad you have them if things don’t go quite to plan.

If you’re going to a part of the world where you will struggle to find vegan restaurants, there is always the option of choosing self-catering accommodation so that you can make your own meals. Vegan ingredients are everywhere, even if vegan restaurants are not. 

But if a holiday is not a holiday if you have to cook, then you may want to check out one of the many vegetarian B&Bs and hotels here in the UK, and all over the world. Start with VeggieHotels.com but there are many more besides.

Is there such a thing as ethical milk, meat and eggs? By Kate Fowler

Kate is Animal Aid’s Slaughter Consultant and former Head of Campaigns.


People who feel uneasy about the lives and deaths of farmed animals may try to console themselves with the idea that, so long as those animals have a ‘good life and a humane death’ then there really is nothing too much to worry about. After all, don’t we have the highest welfare standards in the world? Doesn’t the Red Tractor scheme guarantee this?

The reality is that the overwhelming majority of animals farmed in the UK are kept inside factory farms, and that the Red Tractor scheme standards require little more than the bare legal minimum. Our conscience may prickle at this, and we may choose to buy only free range products, higher welfare meat, organic milk and eggs. But what about the sandwich we grab at the station, or the meal we eat at friends’ houses, or when we eat out at cafes, pubs and restaurants? It is unlikely anyone eats only higher welfare products but if they did, are those standards high enough to calm the qualms?

Some years ago, Animal Aid undertook an investigation into British goat farms. The unsavoury facts about the production of cows’ milk were hitting home, and consumers were switching to goats’ milk in
the assumption that – because they hadn’t heard anything bad about it – all must be well. Reader, it  wasn’t. Everything that was wrong with cows’ milk was also the case for goats, except that where some cows spend time on pasture all goats in the UK are factory farmed in zero-grazing units. On these farms, we found mutilations, overcrowding, the use of artificial hormones to manipulate reproductive cycles, and dead and dying animals. We found a kid huddled up to her mother who had been shot in the head.

There is no humane and compassionate way to produce commercial quantities of milk – organic or otherwise. Cows, goats and sheep must be made pregnant and the offspring are often no more than unwanted by-products. One goat farmer we investigated admitted he sent his unwanted kids to the hunt kennels.

As for male calves – the unwanted by-product of the dairy industry – they may go for veal production or be shot at birth. The free-range dairy pasture promise, which sounds like a high welfare initiative, actually allows the cows just six months outdoors, and therefore they must also experience six months in. Now, being stuck outside all through the winter wading through mud as the rain lashes down is no fun but if the only other option is six months stuck inside a barn wading through faeces, then something is wrong.

You may have heard of Ahimsa milk, or slaughter-free milk but this is not sustainable. The male calves will be kept at the farm, sometimes ‘put to the plough’ and the older females will retire and somehow the care for this ever-expanding herd of ageing, non-productive animals will be paid for by the sale of milk – a product whose price is in terminal decline. It looks a lot like the UK pensions situation – an ever-increasing older generation being paid for by a smaller proportion of workers, and we know that this model cannot work indefinitely. And there is no need to go to these lengths anyway. Pretty much every supermarket in the country stocks soya, oat, coconut, almond and rice milk – and those beans, grains and nuts lived free until they were harvested. Oh, and they’re delicious.

In recent years, battery cages for egg-laying hens were banned, only to be replaced by bigger cages. A cage is a cage, and none are nice places to spend an afternoon, let alone an entire life. But then free-range eggs should not be mistaken for a genuinely high welfare product either. Even under organic and high welfare systems, the millions of birds who happened to be born male and therefore unable to lay eggs will still be gassed as day-old chicks. The females are likely to join unnaturally huge flocks of tens of thousands of birds, once they have had the ends of their beaks cut off to prevent them harming one another.

The birds don’t need to actually go outside to be called free-range, they just need to have access to the outdoors. In such large flocks, weaker birds will be too frightened to cross other birds’ territories and so may never leave. Those who do get outside may find a scrubby patch of dirt is all they have. Far too many investigations have laid bare the reality of commercial free-range farming – birds in cramped, filthy conditions, the floor littered with rotting corpses. The images portrayed in adverts rarely match up to the reality. If they did, they wouldn’t sell many eggs. And, of course, productivity is everything. When egg numbers drop, the birds are gathered up by catching gangs, rammed into crates and sent off to slaughter. Where is the compassion in this high welfare system?

And what of meat? Is there ethical meat? Perhaps there is. It’s called roadkill. But an animal who spent a life of torment inside a farm – or even one of the very few who spent happier days on a truly free-range farm – will still have his or her life taken away. We know from our own investigations that there is no humane slaughter. Animals who were reared free-range, under the Freedom Food (now called RSPCA Assured) or Soil Association labels were battered and abused to their deaths inside British slaughterhouses every bit as much factory-farmed animals. Can there ever be a humane death for someone who does not want to die?


Those with a strong stomach can see how these ‘high welfare’ animals met their deaths here.

Go vegan to save money! By Isobel Hutchinson

Isobel is the Director of Animal Aid

As well as being kind to animals, environmentally friendly and good for your health, going vegan can actually save you money!

Animal products like cheese and meat are often very expensive, so replacing these with plant-based sources of protein can be a very economical choice.

I’ve always been keen to show that having a restricted budget needn’t be a barrier to going vegan. A few years ago my partner and I put this to the test by living on just £1 each per day, for five days. While the food did get a little monotonous (the cabbage risotto was a low point!), it was definitely possible, and we managed to get all the nutrients we needed.

I certainly wouldn’t recommend following the £1 per day diet long-term, but it certainly highlighted what can be done. With a few simple tips, a plant-based diet can really help cut your food bills.

  1. Cook from scratch when you can. It’s the processed foods that tend to cost the most, so using wholefoods like nuts, lentils and beans as protein sources can help to cut costs. If you have a bit more time, dried beans and chickpeas are even cheaper, but they do take much longer to cook.
  2. Get some inspiration! There are plenty of brilliant blogs and resources for plant-based cooking on a budget. The following useful blogs all have plenty of vegan recipes:

3. Go to the supermarket at the end of the day to take advantage of reduced-price fruit, veg and bread.

4. Grow your own, even if all you have is a few herbs in pots on your window sill.

5. Compare prices at different shops – some are better than others on particular products.

6. Bulk buy, if you can, to make the most of multi-buy deals and discounted larger packs.

Why not share your news about bargains and money-saving tips on the Great Vegan Challenge Facebook page?

Happy shopping and cooking!

 

Egg replacements By Tod Bradbury

Replacing eggs in baking and cooking is very simple. Whether you are baking a cake or fancy some ‘egg’ fried rice, there is a plant-based alternative available.

Egg production is cruel. Let’s briefly explain why:
Male chicks are useless to the egg industry as they do not produce eggs, and because they don’t grow as fast or big as broiler chickens who are selectively bred for meat, so they are disposed of – either by gassing, suffocation, or being ground up alive. The lives of laying hens are miserable too; whether caged or ‘free range’, Animal Aid investigations have found that these labels mean nothing when it comes to their well-being. And once they no longer produce the amount of eggs to be considered profitable, the hens are sent to slaughter – usually at about 16 months old.

You can see a brief video of Animal Aid’s investigations into egg farms here. Please note it does contain scenes that some viewers may find graphic and upsetting.

Egg replacements are very easy to come across nowadays.


Commercial egg replacers are also available from most health food shops and some supermarkets. Such as Orgran’s Egg Replacer, or Follow Your Heart’s Vegan Egg!

I have included a few recipes below, both sweet and savoury, for you – why not give them a try and let us know how you get on?

1. Coffee and Walnut Cake with Mocha Icing

2. Vegan Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

3. Tofu Scramble – a vegan scrambled egg alternative

4. Vegan ‘Egg’ Fried Rice – using chickpea flour