It may currently be an oxymoron, but in a corner of north London, a gleaming new butchers has just opened - and it doesn't sell any meat.
Rudy’s has all the trademarks of a traditional butcher. The only thing it doesn’t have? The meat. Britain’s first permanent vegan butcher sells meat-free versions of traditional products such as baycon, soysage and turk’y.
Demand for vegan products has surged in recent years in Britain, with increasing numbers of people cutting out animal-derived ingredients completely, while others reduce the amount of meat and dairy they consume each week. “People understand what it is that we’re selling,” co-founder Matthew Foster told Reuters. “It’s all designed to emulate meat. It tastes like meat, it’s got meat-like texture.”
The team behind the butcher, including co-founder Matthew Foster, started with a vegan deli in 2017 and after seeing the high demand for plant-based goods, expanded to open their full vegan butcher with meatless meats that taste and feel like the real deal. So what actually goes in the meat? The realistic alternatives are made from soya and seitan.
As an interesting side note, law firm EMW reported a 128% jump in new trademarks registered for vegan food in the UK last year, with both large and small companies registering such trademarks as vegan ice cream and pastries.
As more people embrace plant-focused diets, we are likely to see more and more of these shops popping up. In the meantime, if you're not based in north London, you can order online from Rudy's.
A plant-based diet may make for a healthier lifestyle but it can also go a long way in preserving our planet’s health too. Milan was an early mover in this philosophy and decided to reduce its CO2 emissions by lowering meat consumption in the city’s school canteens. Five years after tweaking cafeteria menus, the Italian city managed to achieve a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions - the equivalent of taking about 13,000 cars off the road.