With over half a million vegans in the UK, more places are catering for those who adopt the lifestyle. It was once a struggle for vegans to eat out or get their hair done, but Nottingham businesses are making this a thing of the past.

The decision to cut out animal products from our diets and everyday life is a popular one, with a 360% rise in veganism in the last decade.

As more people become vegan, the food, hospitality and beauty markets are adapting to cater for them.

Saturday’s festival drew crowds of people interested in the vegan lifestyle

This weekend thousands of people attended the first vegan festival organised by the  charity Viva!, which campaigns to end animal suffering.

The all-day event at Nottingham Conference Centre was for vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, and aimed to show people the reasons behind becoming vegan.

“Going vegan is the best thing an individual can do”
Justin Kerswell, Viva! Campaigns Director

Justin Kerswell, Campaigns Director at Viva!, says that going vegan is “the best thing an individual can do to help the world around them.

“Individuals can save the world by saving animals, helping the environment, improving their own health and helping people in developing countries by eating more lightly.”

https://vimeo.com/216659099

Charity Viva! campaigned against animal suffering at the vegan festival. Music: ‘Clear Day’ by Bensound – http://www.bensound.com/index.php?route=product/search&search=clear%20day

Young people are the main demographic of vegans. Almost half of UK vegans are aged between 15 and 34.

Justin believes this is largely to do with the internet and social media making information more accessible.

Viva! Campaigns Director Justin Kerswell explains the effect of the internet on social media

Despite having over 100 food stalls, cookery workshops and a large food market, the festival wasn’t just about food. Cruelty-free cosmetics and health products were also available.

Plenty of vegan food was available from Nottingham’s independent vegan businesses

Animal-friendly health and beauty is just as important to vegans as their diet, and last month Nottingham’s first vegan hairdressers and beauty salon opened.

Bodhi Hair and Beauty, on Woodborough Road, is owned by animal- lover Natasha Wray and is the only salon in the city to solely use vegan products.

Natasha has had a ‘massive public reaction’ from Nottingham’s vegan community since opening the salon in April.

“You’re harming an animal for vanity which is even worse”
Natasha Wray, Vegan salon owner

She thought the fact the salon was vegan “would only bring a couple of people in, but most of the people who have come here in the last month have come just because it’s vegan”.

Treatments available include massages, waxing and manicures, and all use vegan products.

Natasha believes using animal products for vanity is ‘even worse’ than eating animal products.

Natasha Wray believes using animal products for vanity is worse than consuming them

The Vegan Nottingham Guide has an extensive list of businesses in the city for vegans, from cafes to caterers, breweries to beauty.

  • There are currently over 542,000 vegans in the UK, and it’s the fastest growing lifestyle choice
  • Vegans avoid all forms of exploitation and cruelty to animals
  • Veganism is a protected human right under Article 9 of the European Convention of Human Rights
  • Vegan diets exclude meat, dairy, eggs and by-products such as honey and any products derived from animals such as leather or bees wax
  • The average age for turning vegan is 24, but the most common age of vegans is 20