The rise of veganism in Staffordshire – what’s all the fuss about?

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Dieting is nothing new.

Many of us seek out a more healthy lifestyle at the start of a new year.

But one diet seems to be gripping many in Staffordshire – veganism.

It has become one of the most popular options in recent years, as people look to ditch the meat and dairy and turn to plants.

But it’s not all lettuce-munching and seeds – there’s more to this way of life than ‘meats’ the eye!

And across Staffordshire, pubs and restaurants are now adding vegan menus to cater for the growing trend.

Vegan chef Seranne, from The Roebuck, Leek, said: “More people are turning to veganism than ever.

“Ten years ago only 150,000 people in Britain were following a vegan diet – now it’s 500,000 Brits!

“And it’s increasing every day.

“People are starting to realise the production of meat is unsustainable and are incorporating veggie and vegan dishes into a meat diet or even following a full vegan lifestyle.”

Nick Bradstreet, general manager of The Roebuck, introduced a vegan menu after one experience he had with a friend.

“I went out for tea with a friend, called the venue up and asked if they catered for vegans.

“They said yes, but the only option available was a tomato sandwich with chips!

“I’d recently employed Seranne in the kitchen, who was vegetarian and has now become vegan, and asked her to help me create a menu she and her friends would be happy with.

“The Roebuck Raw Menu has received a lot of praise since its release and we are already working on the next version of it.”

Stoke-on-Trent has its own “Vegan and Vegetarian Group”.

Members share ideas, recipes, reviews and events that interest people who are already vegan or just showing an interest.

Kay Murphy, 29, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, is a member.

“I’ve been vegan for about a year and a half,” she said.

“I became vegetarian at 18 after feeling like a hypocrite for claiming to love animals while eating them.

“I think social media helps to spread the message.

“Documentaries like ‘Cowspiracy’ and ‘Earthlings’ inspired me and are available via Netflix and YouTube.

“Supermarkets are now stocking more ‘free from’ and vegan food.

“It’s easier than ever to be vegan, eating out with lots of places introducing vegan menus.

“I really like Rawr in Hanley for coffee, juice and brunch.

“Capello Lounge in Newcastle is good for a quick bite.

“Klay in Hanley is great for a pizza and wonderful to be able to support an independent brand.”

But how easy it for people who love meat and dairy to switch to this way of life?

After all this vegan talk, we put one of our StaffsLive reporters, self-confessed carnivore Max McLellan, to the test.

His task – to eat a plant based diet only for four days, and to video the results!

You can see how he got on, below:

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