Remembering Arthur Ling, a vegan pioneer

Looking through some old issues of the OxVeg newsletter I came across this ‘editorial’ in the issue dated 23 January 2005:

“Anyone who has ever used a non-dairy milk owes a debt of gratitude to Arthur Ling, who died on 18 January 2005, aged 85. Arthur is best known for his work at Plamil Foods and the Vegan Society. From his association with the Vegan Society in the 1950’s he joined a group interested in producing a non-dairy milk, which eventually became Plantmilk Ltd, later changing its name to Plamil Foods Ltd, of which he was the managing director for many years. In 1965 the company produced the first widely distributed soya milk, a true achievement and far ahead of its time. Indeed, Plamil pioneered vegan alternatives to several foods normally manufactured using animal ingredients, and their products are still to be found in health food stores throughout the UK.”

It is hard to believe that it is already 10 years since Arthur, whom I was honoured to count as a personal friend, passed away. Plamil Foods are still producing non-dairy milks and other vegan foods under the management of Arthur’s son Adrian Ling, and their products can now be found in supermarkets as well as health food stores, a move that Arthur long opposed, feeling that Plamil should remain loyal to the health food movement that supported the company in its early days. However, I am sure that Arthur would be impressed and delighted by the wide range of plant milks to be found in shops and supermarkets today: not only soya milks, but also almond, coconut, hazelnut and oat milks (to name a few), in both sweetened and unsweetened, fortified and (unfortified) organic varieties. The vegetarian/vegan movement has come a long way since the 1960s, thanks in no small part to the pioneering work of Arthur Ling (1919-2005).

Paul Appleby


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


Oxfordshire's local veggie group

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: