A record number of Australians will be tucking into ‘cruelty free’ Christmas feasts this year as demand for faux meat hits an all-time high.
Sales of fake roasts, sausages and burger patties have skyrocketed, with some stores reporting a massive 50% increase in demand in the lead-up to the festive period.
Increased availability of tasty non-meat products and rising awareness of animal suffering have been pegged as the main reasons for 2.1 million Australians now following a 100% plant-based diet.
More than two million Australians will be indulging in cruelty free Christmas feasts like this ‘Vegie Roast’ this year which can be bought from Coles and Woolworths for about $8
‘There has been a huge increase in demand for vegan meats and cheeses this year, it’s been quite remarkable,’ Cruelty Free Shop owner and founder Jessica Bailey told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Demand is up 50% on last year which is unprecedented. People are increasingly becoming aware of the terrible suffering involved in the production of meat and changing their habits accordingly.’
‘Vegan options are a far cry from the boring nut roasts and tvp (textured vegetable protein) of times past and are now every bit as tasty and satisfying as their meat equivalents.’
Australia’s first completely vegetarian butcher, Sydney-based Suzy Spoon’s, has also reported its busiest pre-Christmas period yet.
Sales of fake sausages, burger patties and roasts like this one from Suzy Spoon’s Vegetarian Butcher (pictured) have skyrocketed. This large decadent treat serves six people for $60
Australia’s first vegetarian butcher, Suzy Spoon’s, reported its busiest pre-Christmas period yet with its popular sausages (pictured) flying out the door for around $14 per pack of six
‘It’s been growing every year we’ve been operating. And yes this year is our biggest year with wholesale, retail and online orders,’ employee Tracy Smith said.
The business has already out-sold last year’s most popular Christmas product, the vegan festive roast, and has introduced a special vegan gravy, which was ‘selling like hotcakes.’
Owner and veggie meat craftswoman, Suzy Spoon, said she had long surpassed the 800 festive roasts sold last year, having already got 1000 out the door and a seemingly endless stream of orders still being taken.
‘The orders keep rolling in, we’ve stopped taking delivery orders but we’re doing pick-ups still,’ the busy butcher said.
Business is booming for suppliers of cruelty free meats, including the Cruelty Free Shop which sells the Field Roast Hazelnut Cranberry Roast (centre), serving six people for about $33
Owner and veggie meat craftswoman, Suzy Spoon (pictured), said she had long surpassed the 800 festive roasts sold last Christmas, having sent far more than 1000 out the door
This year, more so than any year prior, had also seen customers stocking up on bulk quantities of other plant-based products including sausages and burger patties.
The trend has been steadily increasing throughout the past five years, according to Ms Spoon, which she credits to people being more aware of animal cruelty through the internet.
‘More and more people when they find out the reality of factory farms, make their own decision (to avoid meat), and most people are compassionate,’ she said.
‘Going vegan is a repercussion of having information we’re interested in at our fingertips, it’s difficult to ignore when you have access to that information.’
Cruelty Free Shop owner Jessica Bailey has seen a ‘huge increase in demand for vegan meats and cheeses this year’, including for Field Roast’s Celebration Roast which sells for $14
The Cruetly Free Shop is making sure vegans don’t miss out on a hearty feed at the Christmas table, with it selling a variety of non-animal meat products like the decadent hazelnut roast
Mel Conroy will be celebrating her first Christmas without animal products and happily attests to the variety of vegan alternatives available.
She’ll be heading for lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant with plenty of faux meat, rice and vegetarian options, then prepare a home-cooked meal with all the trimmings for dinner.
‘For Christmas day I am thinking a fruit platter, hommus and veggie sticks for snacks and veggie delights roast and roast veggies will be the way to go for dinner,’ Ms Conroy said.
‘I have found it fairly easy to find options if I want to cook it all myself.’
The Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute has proven the perfect centerpiece for a table full of cruelty free festive cheer – serving between four and six people for just over $33
Veggie Delights is just one of the plethora of companies supplying plant-based alternatives to mainstream Australian supermarkets. They also prove an economical option at just $2 a serve
First-time Christmas vegan Brooke Portelli lives in the remote Victorian town, Kyneton, but is still confident she’ll be serving up some festive deliciousness.
‘I live on a farm so I grow a lot of my veggies and things here so I’ll probably serve up some killer salads, a nice risotto and fruit salad,’ she said.
‘I also have a very supportive family who will be ensuring that I have some vegan options around their Christmas table. And for that I’m very lucky.’
Sydney resident Luke Nancarrow is heading into his second vegan Christmas and says it’s ‘an absolute breeze’ filling the dining table with delicious cruelty free treats.
‘There are countless amounts of options like vegan roasts, cakes, Christmas puddings, not to mention all of the vegan alcohol!,’ he said.
The Cruelty Free shop also has dessert covered with a variety of sweet treats, including this vegan apple cake from La Panella Bakery in Melbourne which serves about four people for $4
Sprout and Kernel can keep cheese lovers happy at the Christmas table, with a variety of flavours available for around $12 a pack. The 120g portions are also soy-free and gluten-free
‘Vegans don’t miss out on anything anymore because there are just so many options, And the alternatives aren’t even that expensive.’
Vegan meat manufacturing company, Life Health Foods – which supplies Vegie Delights products to Australian retailers – revealed it would be recording its third consecutive year of rapid growth.
‘The trend toward increased plant based consumption is clear and consistent in Australia,’ General Manager Dean Epps said.
‘Life Health Foods Australia is experiencing double digit year-on-year growth of the last three years with no sign of letting up.
Mr Epps said ongoing growth was driven by the availability of more information on ‘the health, environmental and animal welfare benefits’ of plant-based eating.
‘Millennials in particular embracing more of a plant based lifestyle – eating in that demographic is on its way to being the new normal.’
It’s easier than ever to put on a full vegan Christmas spread with the plethora of meat alternatives now available in both major chains and specialty health food stores
Damona’s selection of cheese will fool fans of traditional flavours with its totally vegan, palm-oil free products. Dairy lovers can satisfy their cravings with plant-based cheeses for about $12
VEGAN CHRISTMAS LUNCH IDEAS
Suzy Spoon’s Festive Roast – $60, serves six people
Vegie Delights Vegie Roast – $8, serves four people
Field Roast Celebration Roast – $14, serves five people
Field Roast Hazelnut Cranberry Roast – $33, serves six people
Oven roasted vegetables: carrots, corn, brussel sprouts, potato, pumpkin, onion, asparagus, broccoli
Potato salad with vegan mayonnaise (Praise Fat Free $1.70 for 410g)
Fresh vegetable salads
Baked dinner buns
Vegan apple cake from La Panella Bakery – $4 for four people
Homemade pavlova using liquid (aquafaba) drained from a can of chic peas
Sprout and Kernel cheeses – $12 per 120g pack
Hummus – $2 for 200g
Alcoholic beverages: most wine, beer, cider and spirits