Vegans in Vogue: The rise of more Ethical Eating

This must be the first and last time that I’ll ever been able to keep up with the cool kids, but right now, I’m part of a trend that is being talked about by one of the UK’s most style-savvy publications, Grazia Magazine. No I haven’t bought myself a pair of high-waisted disco trousers and a matching turban, I am talking about the fact that I am pretty much ‘semi-vegan’.

According to style bible Grazia, stars including Beyonce, Anne Hathaway, and Johnny Depp have all admitted to following a vegan diet – but only some of the time. Whether these so called celebrity confessions are actually true or not is anyone’s guess, but it certainly is great to see veganism (or at least it’s wayward half brother) being heralded as something cool and aspirational – rather than something that only hemp-wearing weirdos should pay attention to.

Semi-veganism is described by Grazia as being less restrictive and easier to maintain than a completely vegan diet, whilst still yielding many of the same positive aesthetic results such as weight loss and clear skin. The main thrust of Farrah Storr’s article explains in layman’s terms that a more plant-based diet is far healthier than diet rich in heavy, animal based foods. She also suggests that ‘eating vegan’ before 6pm and then enjoying a non-vegan evening mean can still change your appearance and wellbeing for the better. This kind of 70/30 approach is very similar to the one I try to take in life, and of course, in this blog.

Die-hard vegans may well see semi-veganism as a complete cop-out. It’s a fact that a semi vegan is not a vegan at all, but personally, I can’t imagine sticking to the restrictions of eating an entirely vegan diet full time, and have been living as a ‘semi-vegan’ for quite a while. I do this for a mixture of environmental and health reasons, and for me, this involves only eating high welfare organic meat every now and again, swapping dairy for plant alternatives like rice, nut and soy milk, upping the beans and whole grains, and limiting my intake of processed foods as much as possible.

Whilst the idea of cutting out processed food and cutting down on meat and dairy is certainly not news to a lot of us, I can’t help but be excited that it’s reaching mainstream publications and new audiences via magazines like Grazia. Only a couple of weeks ago, lifestyle publication Stylist Magazine also featured a great piece from Lizzie Pook, which looked at how and why to eat cleaner, unprocessed foods every day, and even included a foolproof ‘Seven Food Rules to Live By‘. These included eating less meat, buying fruit and veg in season, eating British lamb and choosing free range eggs.

With obesity levels on the rise year on year, I am thrilled that healthier and more responsible eating is starting to get the attention it deserves from mainstream media. Whether people are motivated to change their diet for ethical, aesthetic or health reasons, diets rich in the foods mentioned above yield positive results on every level. I can only hope that for publications like Stylist and Grazia that this isn’t just a passing celebrity craze, but instead an indication that an interest cleaner, leaner and more environmentally-friendly food is becoming less the passion of the few but the interest of many.


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