Half a million Australians are shifting to a meat-free Christmas as the plant-based industry booms and swathes of supermarkets and retailers have responded to the rapid demand for plant -based options.

Suzy Spoon, owner of Suzy Spoon’s vegetarian butcher in Sydney’s inner-west, said people were swapping the traditional ham and turkey in favour of vegan and vegetarian alternatives.

Ms Spoon, who makes an assortment of meat substitutes such as sausages, burger patties and schnitzels, said she is preparing for her busiest December rush since she opened the business seven years ago. “The growth in this industry is massive”‘ she told Tom Elliott from 3AW. “There’s definitely been growth this year, even just the last few months the growth is totally noticeable.”

Ms Spoon has matched the traditional Christmas centre piece with her own festive roast- a crunchy-outer layer roulade filled with Seitan, mushrooms, nuts, cranberries and traditional herbs.

She said more people are choosing to reduce their meat intake for various reasons. “So many people I speak to are just eating less meat. They’re not necessarily all going vegan or vegetarian but almost everyone you speak to is for some just eating less meat than they used to.” the plant chef said.

Director of Vegan Australia Greg McFarlane attributes the rise of the vegan population to an increase of knowledge about the health benefits and meat industry through documentaries and social media. “A lot of people go vegan for health reasons. Netflix documentaries like Dominion and Game changers have made information more accessible” he said. “With social media there is a way of side-stepping the mainstream media to see what is really happening in the meat, dairy, and marketing industries.”

It is estimated by Vegan Australia that there are as many as 500,000 vegans across the country.

Original source: www.dailymail.co.uk