Campaign Urges Rail Companies To Get On-board With Vegan Food

The Vegan Society’s #VeganOnTheGo Campaign Is About To Make Your Next Train Journey More Delicious

train through countryside woodlands
Train companies are playing catch-up when it comes to vegan food. Image: Pexels

It’s a common occurrence for many vegan commuters to be surrounded by train passengers devouring food from the passing buffet cart or the dedicated train cafe.

Long Way To Go

A recent survey by the Vegan Society found that almost 80% of vegan passengers go hungry aboard trains. Most of us will have experienced difficulties when attempting to find vegan-friendly food on the go aboard planes and at service stations. The situation worsens when it comes to rail travel. Of the 11 train companies surveyed, only two have confirmed that they are able to offer vegan options on board their trains. The best of the bunch? Virgin Trains, who are able to offer both hot and cold vegan options as well as plant-based milk for tea and coffees.

Virgin trains vegan breakfast
Virgin Trains offer a hot vegan breakfast bowl option for vegans: mushrooms, hash browns, baked beans and spinach. Image: Virgin Trains via Facebook

#VeganOnTheGo

vegan society vegan on the go
The Vegan Society’s #VeganOnTheGo campaign is set to diversify railway cuisine. Image: The Vegan Society

Launched in 2017, Vegan On The Go is the latest campaign by The Vegan Society, which aims to make food and drink options more accessible to vegans when commuting and travelling. Initially, the campaign urged high street retailers to up their game and produce more pre-prepared vegan meals with great success, reflected by a boom in the availability of plant-based sandwiches, wraps and ready meals. The next phase of their #VeganOnTheGo campaign is set to encourage rail companies to include more vegan options aboard their trains. Supporters of the Society are contacting rail providers via email and sending in tweets to help raise awareness of the issue.

Talking to the Guardian, head of campaigns at the Vegan Society, Louise Davies, adds:

We’d love to see at least one savoury and one sweet vegan food option, as well as plant milk being offered onboard trains, and we’re more than happy to offer advice and resources to companies wishing to improve their vegan offering.

A Step In The Right Direction

virgin planes palm oil removal
Virgin announces a removal of palm oil and reduction of beef for onboard meals. Image: Pexels

A company taking a step in a more sustainable direction is Virgin. In the Virgin Atlantic 2017 Sustainability Report, it was announced that their in-flight meals would follow more ethical guidelines, including “fair working conditions and pay for suppliers and workers…and reduced deforestation-risk food.”

The statement continues to explain:

 Virgin Atlantic has focused on removing food which contributes to deforestation such as soy, palm oil and beef. All menus from the Caribbean now use rapeseed oil which saves 100 tonnes of palm oil per year.

Whilst it is not yet clear how, or indeed when, Virgin Atlantic is set to remove certain unsustainable ingredients from their catering menus, this is an extremely encouraging step for veganism and sustainability in terms of food on the go. Whilst Virgin acknowledges that air emissions are a contributor to global carbon output, animal agriculture is one of the largest contributors to pollution and environmental damage. Therefore, plans to reduce the airline’s use of such ingredients must be encouraged.

Blogging about his conscious decision to drop beef from his diet, Richard Branson, owner of Virgin, explains:

I feel healthier, more active and by making my diet more varied I never feel like I’m missing out on anything. Stopping eating beef has also had a knock-on effect on the rest of my diet.

Help make vegan food options mainstream by supporting The Vegan Society in their #VeganOnTheGo campaign. 

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