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Is Brexit bad news for Vegans?

We take a look at how we will be affected

Politica

For the past few years, the leading headline in the news every day has been ‘Brexit and the UK’s decision to leave the European Union’. Whether you voted to stay or go, the wheels have been set in motion following the referendum result in 2016 to leave. The results of this saw ‘leave’ receive 51.9 per cent of the votes, and 48.1 per cent wanted to remain part of the EU. The turnout was 71.8 per cent, and over 30 million people voted. The impact of Brexit will be felt for generations to come, but how will the vegan community be directly affected, if at all?

BREXIT AND TRADE

Whilst much of the impact of Brexit is speculative, what is known is that there will be a serious impact on many businesses and, eventually, consumers. One of the main concerns is the imports and exports of goods. At present, with the UK being a member of the EU, we have free trade with other countries, and import fees are not implemented. As a country, we import 79 per cent of the food and drink that we consume in the UK, due to the huge deficit of fresh produce grown in the country. Given the amount of food that we buy into the UK, rather than grow ourselves, many people have been concerned about the cost of food, and the availability of certain goods, as a result of Brexit. A report from 2015 stated that the imports of fruit were valued at £3.1 billion and vegetables at £2.1 billion; in comparison, exports were only valued at £199 million, which is less than 4 per cent of the value of imports. On reflection of these statistics, can the UK ever become self-sufficient? The short answer is no. Meurig Raymond, president of the National Farmer’s Union (NFU), said: “We will never be self-sufficient in food production in the UK. The population is rising and there is huge demand for crops that cannot be grown here, society has grown used to so much being available all year round. Can we increase self-sufficiency? Definitely.”

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About Vegan Life

Welcome to our December issue. Christmas is a time of year that is steeped in tradition, and whilst there is comfort and enjoyment in the familiar ceremonies, I think it’s time for some things to change. For vegans, Christmas can be a source of upset and stress, as we spend time with friends and families who don’t share our beliefs. In the lead up to Christmas around 10 million birds are killed — that’s almost equivalent to the population of Portugal. So to keep the peace, and cruelty off our plates, we’ve put together some timeless festive recipes that will satisfy everyone. There won’t be any complaints or grumbles about missing out, especially not with our vegan cheeseboard ideas. Research has shown that, in the UK alone, over £5 billion will be wasted on unwanted Christmas presents. It’s a shocking statistic and I, for one, am vowing to only buy considerate items this year, to try and put an end to the cycle of gifting and re-gifting. We’ve put together a guide of things we think fellow vegans will really like to receive and also some charities you can make a donation to — why not sponsor an animal in a family or friend’s name? Lily Woods has written a thoughtful piece about why companion animals are so often given as presents at this time of year — The Dogs Trust revealed that they receive a call every five minutes in the weeks following Christmas from people wanting to give up their dogs. If anyone you know is considering an animal as a gift, make sure they read this first. Finally, I'm so excited to announce that we won Best Vegan Magazine at the VegFest UK Awards 2018! Thank you so much to everyone who voted for us, we're so grateful for your support. From all of us at Vegan Life, we wish you a happy and peaceful Christmas. See you next year

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