Should Vegan Food Look Like Meat?

There’s no doubt about it. Vegan cuisine is all the rage. From vegan restaurants to vegan markets, vegan burgers and even the vegan sausage roll from Greggs. Plant-based is definitely the new meat.

Sure, there have always been vegans, but an increasing number of people are now adopting – or attempting – a plant based diet. However, vegans are not a single homogenous group. People choose plant-based for a wide variety of reasons. They could be driven by a desire to lead a more healthy lifestyle, for animal cruelty reasons, or as an attempt to minimise climate change and protect the planet.

Whatever people’s motivation, the vegan market is a complicated one for manufacturers of vegan products to navigate. Many manufacturers – ‘Beyond Meat’ among them – market their products to look and taste like real meat. From their ‘Beyond Burger’ plant-based patties, to ‘Beyond Sausage’ shaped like, well, sausages, to ‘Beyond Beef’ in the form of ground beef. The ‘Beyond Meat’ website boasts that their burgers even ‘look, cook and satisfy like beef’. What’s more, they even ‘bleed’ like meat, thanks to the addition of beetroot juice. Anyone else find this just a teensy bit…. disgusting?

And let’s not forget Good Old Linda McCartney, the Vivera Steak and of course Tofurkey, to name but a few. Meat alternatives are everywhere, and of course that’s ultimately a good thing. For vegans, for omnivores, for animals, and of course, for the planet.

But I can’t help but wonder whether we need to look upon vegan food as a ‘meat substitute’? Does it have to be presented in the tried-and-tested meat+carb styles of ‘burger’ or ‘sausage roll’? In other words, do vegans really want their food to resemble meat?

Vegetables, nuts, pulses, (or whatever rings your plant-based bell) don’t have to be squeezed and processed into perfect cylinders or patties, encased in pastry or called a ‘steak’! We can celebrate the wonderful diversity of tastes, textures and colours that a plant-based diet offers, without pretending that it’s meat. Isn’t that (dare I ask), even part of the point?

Okay, anything which encourages more people to enjoy a plant-based diet – whether entirely or partially – has to be a good thing.

But let’s start eating, enjoying and judging vegan food on its own merits. And not just for how well it can imitate meat.

Thankfully, that’s one ethical question that vegan desserts don’t have to worry about. Our vegan fudge is suitable for everyone. You don’t have to be vegan to eat it, you just have to like fudge. Available in 20 delicious flavours, from rum ‘n’ raisin, to gin and lime, chocolate orange and Baileys Almande. All of our fudges are hand-made with the finest ingredients. And they’re suitable for, well, everybody.

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