This is your one-stop-shop for all vegan information. I’ve collected a list of documentaries, podcasts, social media accounts to follow, food brands, and clothing brands. Be sure to check back regularly for updates to these lists!
For those interested in getting as much information as possible.
The starting point for many when it comes to making the necessary changes to go from what we consider to be a “normal”, omnivorous lifestyle to a vegan or plant-based lifestyle, and for good reason, too. Any single one of the below documentaries and videos are a phenomenal resource in their own right and are often pivotal when it comes to making the change. They all have their own merits, but my favourites are Cowspiracy and What The Health. They all of course cover similar subject matter, but for those most interested in ethics and animal rights, I would recommend Earthlings. Similarly, for those most interested in the ills of the dairy industry, check out Conspiracy or for a briefer overview, Earthling Ed’s expert and succinct critique.
These should all be available wherever you cast your pods. Just search their name on your preferable app. I’ll spare you with my own synopses and leave you to read those written by the show’s producers, who will, of course, articulate their own ideas better than I would.
This one’s going to be really useful for you. I find out about most things vegan from the plethora of different accounts and people I follow on Instagram. Catering your feed to bring you the best in plant-based news, new vegan products, restaurants, cooking inspiration, brands and more is a surefire way of making the transition to a vegan lifestyle much more simple. Below is just a selection of some of the accounts I follow that have helped me immensely, and I’m sure will continue to do so. The first two are the best I’ve found for sharing all of the best new vegan products!
Popular Restaurant &Fast Food Options
Although my recommendation would of course be not to base your entire diet on fast food and eating out at various restaurants, it’s great to know what options there are for when you fancy a treat, don’t have time to cook, or when you just want to pig out a little.
Honestly, you’ll be hard pushed to find any sort of restaurant that has 0 vegan options nowadays, but it’s always useful to know what’s available at some of the UK’s most popular and common chains. The list below is by no means exhaustive, but it does include a selection of the more common eateries, ones that I think have great options, and some that I’ve heard have great options.
What this list doesn’t include is independent restaurants, cafes and small chains – these sorts of places are where I whole-heartedly suggest you spend your hard-earned cash, particularly the 100% vegan or vegetarian ones. Compiling a list of these would be near impossible, though, particularly since they usually only have 1 or 2 locations. They are also far more likely to have morals, ethics, and priorities that align with their vegan menu options. These values are certainly not something to overlook when you consider where you plan to buy your food.
To help you find independent gems, or if an exhaustive list is what you’re looking for, look no further than Happy Cow. It’s available on your Internet browser and as an app, and will show you all the food places with vegan options in your local vicinity using your location. It’s full of super helpful reviews, pictures, and menus. Think Tripadvisor, but only for vegan shit. What more could you want?
Aside from the obvious ones like their side salads, carrot sticks and fruit bags, McDonalds currently have: Veggie Dippers, the Vegetable Deluxe (ask for no mayo), Apple Pie and Fries or Hash Browns. Stay tuned, though, word on the street is that they’ll finally have more options in 2021.
They recently reintroduced Vegan Burger, using a Quorn chicken breast style patty, coated in KFC’s famous 11 herbs and spices. The corn and baked beans sides are vegan-friendly, too, but thus far, the fries are not – they share the same oil as the Popcorn Chicken when being fried.
Life’s pretty good for vegans in Subway at present. They now have a full menu including a veggie Meatball marinara, Plant Based Patty, vegan cheese, a range of breads and sauces!
There are no strictly vegan products at BK due to using the same grills and oil for both their plant-based and meat products. For those that are more lenient with their plant-based dietary choices, they offer the Rebel Whopper (ask for no mayo), Onion Rings, French Fries and Hash Browns, amongst other options.
You must surely know by now that Greggs have some rather enticing vegan options, with the Quorn Sausage Roll single-handedly increasing the company’s profits by 10% in 2019. They now also have a Vegan Steak Bake, vegan-friendly Donuts and Belgian Buns, alongside their Mexican Bean Wrap and other salad or potato-type products.
Although Wimpy may be seen as a thing of the past, there are still a number of locations around the UK and they’re certainly worth a mention, having just launched their own 100% Vegan Burger, using the brilliant Beyond Meat patty.
Arguably the UK’s favourite chain restauarant, Nando’s now has a host of vegan options, all helpfully labeled “plant-based” on their menu. The Great Imitator is a pea-protein based Peri Peri Chicken product used in their wraps. They also have a number of bean-based menu items and a whole host of sides and starters, not to mention the Vegan Perinaise.
These guys make it no secret that they’re more than happy to accommodate vegans in either their restaurants or in their customer’s own homes. The fist establishment on the list with it’s own vegan menu, they have no less than 4 vegan pizzas, all using Violife cheese. They also have other sides and even a couple of amazing deserts, including a delicious cheesecake.
On the subject of pizza, I should probably mention that the UK’s most popular pizza delivery brand has now entered the world of plant-based pizza. They may have fewer options than their pizza pushing competitors, but they have a secret weapon – a veganized version of their famous Garlic & Herb Dip.
These guys take the prize as far as vegan pizza delivery goes. See for yourself and sample one of their 6 vegan pizzas (including the Peta-certified “The Vegan Works”!), 4 vegan sides and 5 vegan desserts. Don’t you dare say that vegans have no choice in 2021.
The Italian-American style family favourites have no shortage of vegan options now, with a regularly updated fully vegan menu. Expect pizzas and calzones, pastas, fry-up breakfasts and desserts!
They may have plummeted in the opinions of many in recent years due to the questionable opinions of their prick-of-a-CEO John Hutson, but they’ve made efforts to accommodate for their vegan customers, with options as cheap as ever. Wetherspoons have now also included a Beyond Burger option on their menu and have a range of breakfasts, starters, mains and deserts, including their stupidly cheap sourdough base pizzas.
These guys are doing something a little different to the rest. Whilst they are a fast food chain, they have a much heavier focus on both healthy foods and plant-based foods, although not exclusively. Their LOVe burger, their plant boxes and their vegan protein shakes are all banging.
Being the UK’s most beloved coffee shop chain, they have a precedent to set for vegan options at cafes. The majority of their drinks, including their festive options have vegan counterparts if you simply choose no cream and one of their plant-based milks. As for food, you’ll always find a selection of pastries, cakes, cookies and sandwiches to satisfy your vegan needs.
As they say themselves, “being vegan doesn’t have to be boring!” Their options certainly attest to this statement, too. Their menu seems to change semi-regularly and at the time of writing this, their options are unfortunately not quite as varied for vegans as they have been in the past. That said, they do have a selection of brilliant pasta dishes, starters, pizzas and a lovely cookie dough and ice cream dessert.
With quite the expansive range of veganized authentic stone-baked pizzas, Pizza Express has enough to satisfy your Italian cravings in abundance. Their starters aren’t to be sniffed at, either, with a vegan version of their infamous garlic dough balls and garlic bread, as well as several deserts.
Yet another one to add to the list that boasts a full vegan/veggie menu, Harvester is doing a pretty decent job. It’s their “mains” menu that really does them justice, with the brilliant Moving Mountains burger, a Bean Burger and a Thai Green Curry, as well as multiple vegetarian options.
The holy grail of Japanese vegan options, you’ll find 25 to choose from on their groundbreaking plant-based menu. They kicked things off with the enigmatic vegan egg in their ramen and although this no longer features on their menu, you’re certainly not short of delicious options to choose from – more than you’d find at most restaurants in actual Japan.
Featured here due to their reputation as one of the UK’s largest pub chains, but also as their vegan options are quite representative of most pubs you’ll find anywhere, now. Although they’re currently lacking in the starter and desert department, their mains have enough to keep you going, with a Fish-Free Fillet and Chips, a pizza, burger, salad and a few other bites.
The go-to chain for a Sunday dinner, it’s reassuring to know that it isn’t just meat-based dishes that Toby Carvery offers at its restaurants, despite its namesake. They have an incredible Roast Mushroom & Ale Pie and of course a bunch of amazing veggies, also offering Apple Pie AND Crumble desert options, and a bunch of other great meals to choose from.
Taking the bull by the horns, so to speak, Slug & Lettuce also have a full vegan menu, championing the Veganuary pledge. Another chain boasting options in double-figures, you’ll find some amazing sounding dishes in the starters, mains and sides. They even have some vegan whipped cream topped cocktails!
As you may have hopefully come to realise, making vegan meals at home is indeed as simple as you want to make it. Similarly, you needn’t fret about vegan options when it comes to eating out at any of your favourite restaurants.
But, what snacks do you eat? Aside from pulling items from vegan and “free from” sections or checking the packaging of every product you pick up on a supermarket shelf, how do you know what to look out for? Well, well, well, lucky for you, there’s a rather extensive list below of many of the commonly found vegan snacks that you should be able to pick up from most supermarkets, or even at many convenience stores and corner shops!
- Oreos – all varieties
- Lotus Biscoff biscuits
- Jammy Dodgers – all products are now vegan
- Hobnobs – Original/Chocolate Chip
- Fox’s Party Rings
- Dark Chocolate Digestives (Aldi, Tesco – check the label elsewhere)
- Rich Tea
- Ginger Nut
- Crawford’s pink wafers
- Soreen – Original & Banana (not a biscuit, I know!)
Yes, you read it correctly – alcohol. The sort of intoxicating beverage you choose is indeed another consideration to take when investing in a vegan lifestyle. Fortunately for you, though, it’s one that is not at all difficult. Even if you’re 10 pints or Jagerbombs deep, you shouldn’t struggle. All you need to is pull out this easy list (if you can still see your phone) and you’re fucking set.
The list below is once again not exhaustive, but it does include the majority of vegan beer options available on draft in most British pubs. Its certainly worthwhile noting that many of the craft beers found in any supermarket, bar or pub are vegan. If unsure, however, always check the label or ask the bartender.
- San Miguel
- Stella Artois
- Brewdog Punk IPA (most others, too)
Clothing, Cosmetics, or Otherwise
Cruelty-free and vegan considerations don’t stop with the foods and drinks you put into your body. They also extend to the products you put on your skin and the clothes you put on your backs (and other body parts, for that matter). I’ll concede that out of all areas of information that you’ll find on this site, this is where my knowledge is most scarce and is something that I will seek to improve. You’ll find a list of amazing brands below that either exclusively produce vegan and cruelty-free products, or at least have a good range of them. Please also do your research on brands or shops that source their materials and products sustainably and ethically, even if animals aren’t involved. Stay tuned for more on this subject.
Peta’s website has an extensive database of vegan and cruelty-free brands of products here (https://crueltyfree.peta.org/).