Conservative Vegan group launches with 10 MPs signing up for Veganuary

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Veganuary didn’t used to be an event that was high on the agenda for many Tory MPs.

But it seems that the all pervading march of veganism has encouraged a few Conservatives to give it a try this year.

There’s a new organisation called Vegan Conservatives which has a bright shiny new website here, and the group says that 10 Tory MPs will be giving Veganuary a go this year and you can read their personal statements at the bottom of the article.

The organisation’s spokesperson Andrew Boff, said: “At the heart of Conservatism is a desire to conserve and protect our environment. Moving towards a plant-based food system is critical if we are to prevent dangerous climate change, reduce pandemic risk, and protect animals. The modern vegan movement was born here in the UK, and as Vegan Conservatives we want to build on, and expand, this proud British tradition. We look forward to working with Party members, activists, councillors and MPs to champion the case for veganism, and to working with the Government to advocate for policies which help protect the planet, animals, and public health.”

It will be interesting to see how the MPs fare and whether they stick with a vegan diet. There is a small group of about half a dozen vegan MPs, of which the most outspoken has been Bristol East Labour MP Kerry McCarthy. 

In an interview last year Kerry explained how the Greggs vegan sausage roll even gained a few new fans a couple of Befaguaries ago

“There was an event in parliament when they had just launched and the vegan society was giving them away. And there were some MPs who were very, very suspicious of it. And then they ended up saying it is as good as the real thing. There was a member of the Democratic  Unionists Party from Northern Ireland (the DUP) who was really excited about it — he loved it.”

It will also be fascinating to see how Brexit impacts veganism. Will it be the catalyst that encourages more Britons to invest in home grown fruit and vegetables? And what also is the Vegan Conservatives takes on this.

Here are the statements

John Baron MP said, “‘I’m delighted to go vegan for January to help celebrate and support the launch of Vegan Conservatives’’

Mark Garnier MP, said, “I’m participating in Veganuary because I am keen to sample new foods, and try out a healthier diet. And it helps the planet as well!”

Henry Smith MP said, “I’ve been vegetarian for over 30 years because of animal welfare concerns during the meat production process and its impact on our global environment, contributing an estimated 15% of worldwide carbon emissions as well as destroying natural habitats. This January I’m going a step further by trying a vegan diet. Happy Veganuary!”

James Daly MP, said, “I’m looking forward to taking part in Veganuary to learn more about a plant-based diet. We know how important lifestyle changes are to tackling climate change and I’m hoping to learn some new culinary skills too!”

Dr Ben Spencer MP, said “I am looking forward to trying a vegan diet this January and learning how to cook great vegan food. While many people (including me) may find it difficult to go full vegan, even small lifestyle changes can make a big difference to our health and also help protect our environment”

Christian Wakeford MP said, “I’m delighted to be taking part in Veganuary this year. I am very pleased to have been asked by Vegan Conservatives to be involved and am looking forward to adopting a plant- based diet, which I am told is delicious!”

Dean Russell MP, said “I have had several constituents and friends tell me they have tried a vegan diet over the past year or two. So I’m keen to walk in their shoes to see what the challenges are and the health benefits. While I’m not expecting a eureka moment to convert to veganism permanently, I do think it’s important to try new experiences and be more mindful of the food we eat, so I’m going to give it a go and hopefully I’ll get some health benefits too”

Matthew Glover, Co-founder and Chair of Veganuary, said “It’s inspiring to see our policymakers taking personal action to protect the planet, reduce the suffering of animals and help prevent future pandemics. Their leadership will hopefully encourage many more people to make a positive change in 2021 and try vegan this January”


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