Has National Vegetarian Week had its day?

National Vegetarian Week (NVW) takes place later this month (16-22 May; http://www.nationalvegetarianweek.org/). Organised by The Vegetarian Society, this year’s sponsors of NVW are Cranks, health bar producers Good Full Stop, makers of frozen and chilled products Strathmore Foods, and supermarket giant Tesco. The latter seem an odd choice of sponsor as Tesco stores are hardly a haven of choice for veg*ns, and the company only recently discontinued the sale of live turtles (for slaughter at home or decapitation on the premises) from their stores in China following an 8-year campaign by Viva. Cranks were a long-established vegetarian restaurant chain (they only have one restaurant now), and I have never heard of Good Full Stop. As for Strathmore Foods, their “best-selling range of McIntosh Macaroni Cheese ready-meals” sounds like a throwback to vegetarian cuisine of 50 years ago.

I cannot help feeling that with so many campaigns and events promoting the vegan diet, such as Animal Aid’s annual Great Vegan Challenge (http://www.govegan.org.uk/) and Viva’s Veganuary initiative (http://www.veganuary.com/), NVW has had its day. Probably the biggest related event taking place during this year’s NVW is the Bristol Vegfest (21-22 May; http://bristol.vegfest.co.uk/). Ironically, the Vegetarian Society is not listed among the stallholders.

Paul Appleby

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