Veganuary 2018 initial results

Some of you may know I’m an analyst at work and love a bit of number crunching so I always look forward to seeing the stats come out after Veganuary and this year is no different, so let’s take a look!

Its great to see the overall participation increase year on year and a massive 183% increase on 2017! This only accounts for the people who sign up on so I am sure there are many others who take part every year without signing up.

It’s also nice to see people’s motivation for trying Veganuary, but whatever the reason the animals and the planet benefit from it! 79,000 were omnivores so that’s a huge number going cold tofurkey for the month!

Younger people lead the way as expected, but my age range of 25 – 34 are slightly leading the pack ahead of the 18 – 24 whippersnappers and the 35 – 44 crew don’t seem far behind them.

Women seem to be leading the way again with 84% of participants but men have increased to 14% from 10% in 2017. I think this is in part due to women more likely to sign up to the website so there may be quite a few more men taking part, they just aren’t in the official figure.

The dairy industry tried to hit back with their #februdairy campaign but as these search stats (courtesy of @vegandon on Twitter) show it paled in comparison.

So there you have it. I’m looking forward to seeing the six month results and how many people decided to stick with it. With all the options now available it just gets easier and easier to transition to veganism.

Did you take part in Veganuary this year? How did it go? Or are you a veteran of Veganuary and still going strong? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Veganuary 2018 initial results

Vegan Life Live 2018

My friend Maxine visited the Vegan Life Live event organised by Vegan Life Magazine in London this weekend and agreed to share her experience in this guest post, so I’ll hand over to her…

“Yesterday I went to the Vegan life live event at Alexandra Palace. The venue is conveniently located not far from the station and there is street parking as well as a car park. The location is beautiful inside and out.

On arrival we were greeted with a massive goody bag which included magazines, lots of samples, a bottle of water, protein and energy balls, a large pot of mayo and a packet of black Jasmine rice pasta which I’m eager to try out.

The stall holders were all on one levels, although some of the talks were held on the lower ground. There was plenty of seating area and of course most importantly “the food court”. I arrived early so to avoid the queues as it did get really busy just before lunch time. I had BBQ Tempeh ribs for lunch and a maple syrup waffle for dessert but the decision was a hard one to make as there was so many delicious options from Ethiopian food, Caribbean, Greek, Pizza, raw dishes, Mac n cheese, seitan steak sandwiches, wraps n burritos, pittas etc.. etc…

So many free samples were being given out. Lots of protein stalls, clothing, shoes, make up, jewellery, cakes, sweets n chocolate. We sampled raw cheesecakes, raw chocolate, gluten free peanut butter and jello cream cake, soups and much more.

Vida Bakery
Ms. Cupcake

The only disappointment was the lack of cheese and coffee stalls. Only one small stall selling a small selection of cheeses you can purchase in most supermarkets or Holland & Barrett and we only came across two stores selling coffee.

There was a tent where people were getting back, neck n head massages right next to the main stage where we saw some really great performers. Shout out to #JoshTom for his song “I don’t eat animals”.

We stayed a total of 6 hours but we did end up going around 3 times because there’s always something you’ve missed!”

Thanks Maxine, sounds like a great event, I’ll definitely have to try to go next year.

Did you go to Vegan Life Live? What did you think/buy/see? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Vegan Life Live 2018

Vegan Activism January 2018

I’ve really kicked 2018 to a great start in January with attending some fantastic activism events.

I’ve taken part in two Earthlings Experiences with Havering Vegan Action. We take to the streets of Romford for two hours on Friday nights and plant lots of seeds by showing farm and slaughterhouse footage and talking to people about their food options.

I took part in my first Chelmsford Cube of Truth with their chapter of Anonymous for the Voiceless. We now have four chapters locally, Chelmsford, Southend, Basildon and Romford. Basildon’s first event is taking part on 4th February and Romford’s first event takes part on the 11th February. I like taking part in these events as you can swap from showing footage to doing outreach speaking to people. We usually speak to around 70 people when we do these events and it’s great to see more and more chapters popping up to spread the message.

I attended my first Essex Pig Save which I wrote about here.

And lastly tonight I attended the protest at the annual Great British Greyhound Board awards organised by CAGED, I wrote about last year’s event here. There was a great turnout and luckily it wasn’t raining this year. I hope to attend more events at my local greyhound track this year and see more stadiums across the country close down.

So let’s see how I get on in February.

If you are interested in taking part in activism events I would recommend you have a look at events in your area on Facebook. If you have any questions ask away in the comments below.

Plumes x

Vegan Activism January 2018

Essex Pig Save

This week I took part in my first vigil outside a slaughterhouse with Essex Pig Save. The Save Movement started in Toronto and there was a famous case where an activist was arrested for giving one of the pigs some water. There are now chapters all over the world and many in the UK. Essex Pig Save hold vigils outside Cheale Meats in West Horden monthly. Obviously animals are sent to slaughterhouses every weekday but with most of the activists working or studying full time most have limited free time in the week to attend these vigils.

I attended with my friend Charlie who I met through activism and she gave me the low down on what happens. Lauren, one of the organisers gave us newbies an introductions to the proceedings.

The slaughterhouse is on a country road so there is no pavement and we have to be very careful regarding traffic. The police are present with a couple of officers and a police liaison officer. They are given a schedule of when the trucks carrying the pigs are expected to arrive and ask the trucks to stop for two minutes so the activists can bear witness to the animals and collect footage. After each truck enters the slaughterhouse a two minutes silence is held along the border of the property. We also hold up signs so passing cars can see why we are there.

We saw around 11 trucks go in on this particular morning. Some pigs were in better condition than others, the worse having terrible skin with lots of scratches over their bodies. Some were larger and older and some were smaller and younger. Some were ghostly quiet whilst others were inquisitive coming up to the bars to see us.

Some pigs had rings in their noses. The nose of a pig is very sensitive and they use it to explore their surroundings, by putting a ring in it, which is not only painful when it is done, it means the pig is prevented from displaying natural behaviours.

When I decided to attend this vigil I wasn’t sure how it was going to affect me. Understandably many activists get upset when they see the pigs in the trucks or from the noises we hear them make when they are entering the facility. I was glad I didn’t feel too overwhelmed and I know I will be back. I think it helped having other activists I already knew there. Everybody is very welcoming and supportive of eachother.

Photo credit – Charlie Gunner

If you are coming from the station you can message the Facebook event and someone will come and bring you back to the site.

I would encourage anybody to take part in a vigil if you are able to. It really strengthens your connection to the animals and your conviction in your activism. If you have any questions on the subject please ask in the comments below.

Plumes x

Essex Pig Save

Hackney Downs Festive Vegan Market

This weekend Hackney Downs Studios hosted Fat Gay Vegan’s three day Christmas Vegan Market extravaganza so we certainly couldn’t miss out.

My Sister-in-law Gemma decided to drive so we missed the pushing and shoving on the bus, tube and Overground and parked near the downs.

We started off with a mulled wine to warm us up. I’m more of a mulled cider person but this went down in a treat in my travel cup.

We were hungry so we quickly headed over to Temple of Seitan. They had two Christmas subs on, I went for the beef wellington with bacon, mushroom duxelles and mustard and Gemma had the chicken with stuffing, cranberry sauce and crispy onions. Both were delicious and the hot English mustard really cleared my sinuses!

After that we needed something sweet and I had been looking forward to having Vegan Delice’s fresh hot doughnuts. We went with one lot with chocolate and nuts and the other with raspberry sauce and both were fabulous!

I also bought my Husband an Oreo cupcake and I enjoyed this gingerbread person with a cup of tea later at home.

I’m already a convert to bamboo toothbrushes but Gem had to pick some up for her and my Brother. This enterprise started as a uni project and is now a full blown ethical business that plants a tree for each toothbrush sold.

She also picked up some make up as a present and was gifted a little extra too! I won’t show the items in case the receipient sees this!

Viva La Vegan were selling Eden Perfume on their behalf so I brought my empty bottle to get a refill (and a discount!), I went for 78 which is similar to Paco Rabanne’s Lady Million.

I also picked up a candle from Vegan Bunny. I had seen these as Gemma had got some for her birthday in October. I love rose scents so I had to go for the rose blossom variety, I also loved the jasmine scent which I might go for next time.

I also grabbed one of Fat Gay Vegan’s tote bags which I love as the text can be read up-side-down as well. I also caught up with the man himself and congratulated him on his recent appearance on the Chickpeeps podcast which I would recommend you listen to straight away!

We finished up with some cheese fries from Club Mexicana. These are gooey and crunchy but don’t leave you feeling heavy and greasy like dairy cheese does.

We had a fab time and it was lovely speaking to all the vendors and being introduced to some new ones.

Did you go to the market this weekend? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Hackney Downs Festive Vegan Market

Animal Aid Christmas without Cruelty 2017

On Sunday I attended the 25th (can you believe?!) Animal Aid Christmas without Cruelty fayre at Kensington town hall. I have been attending this event ever since I became vegan 5 years ago and I think it’s my favourite event of the year. The atmosphere is very relaxed and you get the opportunity to really talk to the stallholders. I also bumped into a few familiar faces which was really nice starting with Polly and Phil from LDN vegans who have also posted a video about the event on their YouTube channel. I had arranged to meet my Sister-in-law and as we arrived at lunchtime we needed some fuel before we hit the stalls! We both went for lasagne with salad which was nice and hot and full of veg to balance out the snackage we were about to partake in!

Here is a pic of my little haul and I’ll talk through everything I picked up.

My favourite chocolate ever has to be Solkiki. I have previously interviewed their founder Bob when I reviewed their chocolate earlier in the year here. I could listen to Bob talk about chocolate all day long and I was pleased to try some of their new flavours. I bought their peanut and coffee bar and their bright pink raspberry bar which I’m going to try and make as long as possible! 
My Husband’s favourite cake of late is Battenburg and as I’d rather him have a vegan version than Mr Kipling’s I picked him some up from The Vegan Cakery. I’ve had their cakes multiple times in the past and they are always delicious.

I bought a vegan take on a pork pie made with beetroot and a smoked houmous centre, wowzers was this good! I scoffed it with my lunch today and I wish I had another for tomorrow!

I also picked up some cakes from The May Bakery who I was previously unaware of. I picked up a carrot cake and black forest Viennese whirl which I enjoyed with a cup of coffee later in the evening. These really hot the spot and I’ll be seeking them out at future events.

I also picked up a couple of bits for my Sister-in-law’s Christmas presents that she picked out. A fab pair of dog socks from Greek Animal Rescue and a T-shirt from Black Star (don’t worry I also have a couple of surprise presents for her!)

Last but by no means least we have the obligatory Lush bath bombs but this time we got to make them ourselves and they were free! It was great fun making them and even better it was a free gift!

I spoke to the lovely owner of Greenscents who really sold his products and company, they are natural and organic cleaning products. I’m stocked up at the moment but I was interested to hear they are available at Ocado where I usually get my shopping from. Here’s some more information from their literature.

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Another great T-shirt company were Simple Animal and I really commend you check out their designs on their website.

I’ve been thinking about where to get my next trainers from once I wear out my current ones so I was interested to see Freet which are supposed to help you feet move more naturally, it’s my birthday in February so these might be going on my list!

We tried some delicious chutneys from Cheeky Food Co and some sprinkles my Sister-in-law tried on her soup, I’ll definitely be checking these out to go with my vegan cheese at Christmas.

I also bumped into Ian from The Vegan Option. I met Ian many moons ago at a London Vegan drinks event. Ian presents a podcast which charts the history of veganism, I’m a few episodes in and I’d definitely recommend you give it a listen.

Did you attend the fayre? Did you get any great treats, eats or Christmas presents? Are you planning on going to any other vegan Christmas fayres in the next couple of weeks? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Animal Aid Christmas without Cruelty 2017

Reducing plastic use

One of my goals for 2017 was to reduce my plastic use and it is one I have found very difficult as plastic is everywhere!

The thing I have most succeeded in is cutting my use full stop by taking my lunch into work most of the time so I am not buying any disposable packaging. I have also been using my re-usable travel mug as most disposable coffee cups aren’t recyclable due to their plastic lining to keep them water tight.


One area I have really succeeded in sourcing alternatives is the bathroom. I have long used bar soap to wash my hands and now have forgone shower gel in plastic bottles for soap as well. My Mum bought me a pack of soap ends (so they are reducing waste as well) from Bomb Cosmetics once and I have been working my way through these at bath time.

For shampoo I was tempted by Lush’s bars but was put off by the Sodium Laureth Sulphates so I found this alternative bar which is also free from palm oil.

Then we have toilet paper. I saw adverts for this Australian company Who Gives A Crap online. They sell toilet paper and kitchen paper which is either made from recycled paper or sustainable bamboo. Each roll is wrapped in recycled paper in funky colours and half of all their profits go to Water Aid to build toilets in the developing world. When ordering your toilet paper online you have to keep track of your supplies before you run out, but as the smallest number you can buy is 24 rolls it’s pretty easy to keep well stocked.

In the kitchen we get most of our vegetables in a Riverford veg box so they are naked and we order our shopping from Ocado. The shopping is delivered in bags with where the food goes labelled on it (fridge/freezer/cupboard) for easy unloading and they collect the plastic bags back including non-Ocado ones and take 5p off your shopping for each bag.

I have seen articles online about Hackney’s Bulk Market which I am tempted to visit, my only reservation being how much I would be able to carry back on the train!

I am always looking for more tips and hints about reducing my plastic use so if you have any recommendations let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Reducing plastic use