14/08/2018 11:45 BST

Veganism Is Just An Instagram Trend, Says Meat-Funded Board

'It has become a badge of identity.'

Snapshot of the Instagram page of food blogger Deliciously Ella.

Food bloggers and Instagram stars including Deliciously Ella and Fat Gay Vegan have helped grow the “trend” of veganism among young people, a meat industry-supported agriculture board has said.

In a report to farmers, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board said the rising popularity of plant-based food can be attributed in part to the “effective” use of Instagram to “share recipes and ideology”.

“Among younger people, veganism has become a badge of identity or a tribal marker, much like identifying as other youth tribes such as ‘gym bro’ or ‘craft beer nerd’,” the board said.

“By claiming their credentials as a vegan, young people believe this shows the world they are ethical, healthy and environmentally aware.”

The report claims more than half of vegans are under 35 years old, describing them as “technologically savvy”. “The online channel is critical to them for gathering information about their lifestyle choices,” it adds. 

Food blogger Deliciously Ella, real name Ella Woodward, currently has 1.3m Instagram followers.

The majority of her recent posts feature food and recipe ideas. Woodward describes her “food philosophy” as “all about celebrating what you can do with delicious, plant-based ingredients”.  

The Fat Gay Vegan Instagram account is run by Sean O’Callaghan, who has 63,100 followers. In January, he released a book titled ‘Eat, Drink and Live Like You Give a Sh!t’.

In response to the report, Dominika Piasecka, spokesperson for The Vegan Society, said: “People often wonder why vegans want to eat products like that; the truth quite simply is that vegans don’t give up animal products because they don’t like the taste – they do it because they don’t want their food choices to harm animals.

“By switching to vegan versions of chicken, fish, burgers and more, we can still enjoy our favourite flavours without supporting industries that treat animals like rubbish and pollute our water and air.”