Much like Christmas itself, it all started with a baby. Except this wasn’t a child wrapped in swaddling clothes surrounded by frankincense and myrrh, but Miley Cyrus’s Tofurky ‘baby’, modelled proudly under a big, baggy T-shirt and surrounded by giant silver balloons.
But with this image, Veganmas was born. Because this year, it’s not just Trump who’s pardoned the turkey – it’s us.
2017 was the moment that vegan swept – like clean eating before it – into the mainstream. Instagram’s new food porn is not meat glistening in its own juices, but comes worthily tagged with phrases like #plantpowered and #veganpower and via muscular sounding accounts like @bosh.tv and @templeofseitan.
And thus, veganism has made its way to our festive table: from meat-free pigs in blankets (yep, there’s even facon) to the pale, rounded, squint-and-it-could-be faux turkey crafted from tofu and served with all the usual (veggie) trimmings. But, with recipes involving substitutes such as jackfruit (great for mimicking that pulled, flaky, meaty texture), seitan (perfect for faking fried chicken) and, of course, tofu, now abundant on Instagram, it won’t end up as old dry nut roast.
Celebrity cook Gizzi Erskine, herself a former ‘avid meat eater’, has been cutting back because of poor animal welfare conditions and the impact the industry has on the environment. is new vegan enthusiasm has seen her making waves this month with her Tate Modern pop-up cafe, Pure Filth. Serving up indulgent animal- free food, she thinks the vegan rise is because of our growing knowledge of the implications of what we’re putting in our mouths. ‘Netflix has some great shows on the environmental impact of the industry like Cowspiracy and Okja,’ says Gizzi. ‘Also, Instagram accounts like Thug Kitchen make people take an active interest.’
‘My prediction is that in 2018, one of the biggest New Year’s resolutions will be to eat less meat,’ continues Gizzi. Which segues us neatly into 2018’s biggest New Year abstinence trend: Veganuary.
At least wine is #plantpowered.