2018 may be the year veganism goes mainstream but be warned if you’ve just entered a new relationship or work in an open plan office, the bangers are explosive. I’m two weeks into my new vegan life now and despite the odd ‘nowhere to hide’ whooper, I’ve never felt more filled with purpose or indeed gas.

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I now understand why vegans may have come across slightly smug and self righteous in the past. It’s because they or should I say, we, are smug and self righteous with good reason. Can’t you see what you’re doing to the planet you bunch of wheezy, meat chowing, dairy swilling morons?

Watch Cowspiracy on Netflix for goodness sake! Inform yourselves.

You’re well able to check your ever rising blood pressure and cholesterol, so you must have some smarts. If the world’s biggest meat suppliers, like Tyson and Cargill are joining business magnates Bill Gates and Richard Branson in investing in meat and dairy substitutes, there’s something afoot.

In a recent article for Virgin.com Branson wrote:

‘In 30 years or so, I believe we will look back and be shocked at what was the accepted way we killed animals en masse for food. I think that in the future clean and plant-based meat will become the norm, and in 30 years it is unlikely animals will need to be killed for food anymore’.

With the meat and dairy substitutes industry predicted to be worth €33 billion euro by 2020, expect major investment in this area. Even Forbes.com is encouraging readers to hop on the vegan train as they follow the money and the trends for clean eating.

With the arrival of the first game-changing veggie burger in the US, that smells, tastes and even bleeds, like meat, the turnabout could be sooner than expected. Created by Impossible Foods, a company backed by Bill Gates, the burger is already available at 1,300 restaurants across the States and counting with White Castle being the first fast food chain to offer it to its customers.

It’s made from protein, coconut oil, potato protein and heme. According to Geek Wire, ‘The Impossible Burger uses 75 percent less water, generates 87 percent few greenhouse gases and requires 95 percent less land than conventional ground beef from cows. There are no hormones, antibiotics, cholesterol or artificial flavours’.

Irish Vegan Influencer: Former Miss World Rosanna Davison Image: Instagram

Let’s not underestimate the power of social media or celebrity in this seismic shift in consciousness. The vegan diet photographs very well on Instagram. No filter needed. Our Irish vegan influencers also happen to be the owners of some seriously hot bods, from The Happy Pear twins, Dave and Steve Flynn to our former Miss World, Rosanna Davison.

They quite simply don’t look constipated

Gassy maybe, but not in a stinking, rotting meat, foul smelling way; more a light quinoa and kale aroma. They also seem to be full of energy. Some might say too much energy in the case of The Happy Pear twins who start their day backflipping into the Irish Sea, hail, rain or snow, followed by a gravity-defying yoga session.

Irish Vegan chefs: The Happy Pear twins, Dave and Steve Flynn Image: The Happy Pear

Their enthusiasm for life knows no bounds. There’s nothing puny or sickly about these vegans. They seem to be getting all the vitamins and minerals they need from plants. Internationally, vegan superstars like J Lo, Ariana Grande and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke are raising awareness. ‘I was concerned, as many people are, about that you’re not going to get all the things you need in your diet, you’re going to get sick all the time‘, said Thom Yorke, ‘But the exact opposite happened to me, so I never looked back.’

Dabbling with veganism: Beyoncé went vegan ahead of her historic Coachella performance

This Veganuary (Vegan January) Beyoncé and Jay Z gave it a go with a recent post from Queen Bea’s featuring none other than, wait for it, avocado toast and the caption “44 days until Coachella!! Vegan Time!!”. Cue self righteous eye roll. If saving the world or our animals aren’t enough, vanity will always be the ultimate driver for change. 

You can read Aisling O’Loughlin’s column weekly in The Irish Mail on Sunday Magazine.