SUZANNE HARRINGTON: The sweet smell of success for vegans

You know something is starting to bite when it rattles the right-wing media. 

Just as Stop Funding Hate got Sun columnists in a tizz, Veganuary has been given column inches as a “gimmick” by the Daily Mail.

“Most of these ‘awareness’ campaigns are exploited by those who simply want to draw attention to themselves,” wrote a columnist, instantly drawing attention to himself by (a) being a Daily Mail columnist and (b) describing what he had for breakfast — bacon and extra thick salted caramel double cream.

Sounds like a desperate cry for help to me, from someone on the verge of a massive middle-age coronary. Sending thoughts and prayers.

Veganuary is growing bigger and faster than GM tomatoes — what started as a tiny idea in 2014 now involves 142 countries.

But meat eaters have more sex, counters the Daily Mail, citing a survey undertaken by a company that sells meat.

Really? Let’s look at research conducted not by commercial interests keen to flog sausages, but by actual academics.

For a start, vegans smell better.

Check out a study by an Australian university, Diet Quality and the Attractiveness of Male Body Odour, (yes, someone was funded to do this) which found that “greater fruit and vegetable intake was significantly associated with more pleasant smelling sweat with more floral, fruity, sweet and medicinal qualities”.

Mmmm. Get in.

And they live longer, according to Oxford University — going plant-based would reduce global mortality by up to 10%, and reduce greenhouse gases emissions by up to 70%.

Avoiding animal products cuts your personal carbon footprint in half — the land used to feed one omnivore would feed 18 vegans.

Who, by the way, have tons of sex, due to smelling delicious, being full of plant life, and not flopping listlessly on the sofa trying to digest half a cow.

The problem with vegans is over-enthusiasm. Unlike smoking or infidelity, nobody ever regrets going plant-based, other than to regret not doing it sooner.

Especially now as it is officially A Thing, and you are no longer regarded as a lone awkwardist, trying to navigate your way through mainstream restaurants and supermarkets, regarded by the majority as nuts or bananas. Literally.

It’s like tattoos — once a minority choice, everyone and her mother now has one. Or ten.

Same goes for plant- based, as the commercial world catches on to growing demand for normal tasty food that doesn’t contain animal — Hellman’s, Baileys, Ben & Jerry’s, Haagen-Dazs, Nando’s, Wagamama, Pizza Hut, and all the supermarkets do vegan as a matter of course.

No longer are you met with blank incomprehension when you ask for almond milk; no longer do you need to remortgage to afford it.

It’s going mainstream. Bakeries, butchers, delis. Croissants, pastries, fast food.

Which is why we are getting old-school opinions in old-school formats banging on about bacon.

But for more and more people, the only pigs in blankets we ever want to see is Babe in a fleece.


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