For the last decade, The Vegan Society has been asked on a weekly basis how many vegans there are, and all we've been able to say in recent years was that we thought numbers would probably have doubled since 2006. On occasion, I've also replied that everyone eats vegan food on a daily basis, but that vegans just eat a little more plant-based than others.
Up to a fifth of dairy cows in the UK are kept indoors in factory farms all year round, never feeling the grass beneath their feet or the sun on their backs. In Denmark 85 per cent of farms were grazing cows on grass in 2001, but by 2010 this had reduced to just 35 per cent . In the US the majority of dairy farms are industrial-scale indoor systems which can house tens of thousands of cows.
I'm standing in the middle of a pig shed. To my left and right, I see row after row of tightly packed sows and their squealing piglets. The building is a sorry sight - hard, featureless, sometimes barely visible in the dim light. I want to leave, except I'm not actually "there". Welcome to the curious world of virtual reality.