In an ideal world obviously I would love for everyone to be vegan, so I don't want this post to be seen as telling people with eating disorders to run off and bite the nearest sheep immediately. What I am saying is that if you are vegan or have a friend who has recently turned vegan, be sure to question it (especially if they have a history of eating disorders), and be fully aware of why that choice has been made.
Why has animal agriculture been brushed conveniently under the carpet? There is of course intense pressure from an extremely powerful meat and dairy lobby, the extent of which should not be underestimated. There also remains historical links between consuming meat and social status, and misinformation about the need for animal products in a healthy diet.
Whilst I will always argue that the motivation for asking such questions should be in the interests of the animals who we exploit, I don't think it hurts for me to make my next point. Which is, unless we can put aside our arrogance and realise we must exist alongside, rather than in control of, other species, chances are we'll be joining the endangered list soon enough ourselves.
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.
The great irony of Easter, a time of new life, is that we celebrate it with death; our culinary traditions at odds with spring's blooming plants and wildlife, lambs being born and chicks hatched. Society has normalised eating eggs. Very rarely do people question what they really are - hen's periods. Unfertilised menstruation. Not for me, thanks.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I'll keep saying it until people choose to listen. None of this is necessary. We have no need to use and kill animals for food, clothing, entertainment, or any other reason. To harm and kill another being without necessity is profoundly unjust, no matter how you paint it. There is only one way to bring this injustice to an end; and that is, my fellow animal-lovers, for each of us to be the change by being vegan.
When a succession of critics are happy to bemoan your dietary choices, it's easy for vegan foodies to lose hope. Well, plant-lovers of the UK, rejoice! We're only a month and a half into 2016 and news outlets have already printed a huge number of victories for dairy-free eaters. Here are the best stories so far.
As a society, we have fought against sexism, racism and bigotry. Today it's time for us to acknowledge another "-ism", one that's been around for a long time yet is still largely unrecognised: speciesism. Speciesism is the belief that all other animals are inferior to human beings and therefore humans are justified in exploiting them.