Vegetarian Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn may be stressed from a potential no-deal Brexit but is finding solace in falafel.
Corbyn delivered a short speech at the seventh annual British Kebab Awards earlier this week, acknowledging the irony in his love for meat-heavy shops. “It’s strange really, as one who chooses not to eat meat and chooses not to drink, I love kebab shops for what they do,” he said.
“I love having a falafel wrap in a kebab shop. I was [once] ridiculed for talking about falafels at the Kebab Awards. Hands up those who like a falafel,” he continued. The few boos from the crowd were drowned out by cheers, the Evening Standard reports.
“Big swing towards falafels in the past two years…,” the 69-year-old politician added, a nod toward Brits’ embrace of plant-based food in recent years. The UK launched more vegan products than any other nation last year while meat-free restaurant options increased 237 percent, according to Mintel data. A record-breaking 3 million pledged to ditch animal products for Veganuary. More say they are taking a flexitarian approach to eating for health and sustainability.
The vegetarian politician professed his love for falafel before a crowd at the 2016 British Kebab Awards, per the Independent. “Vegetarian aficionado of kebab shops, I hope I’m still welcome. I’m always very pleased whenever I get to any kebab shop to enjoy a good falafel,” he said.
Is Jeremy Corbyn Vegan?
Corbyn is a vegetarian of nearly 50 years, having cut meat out of his diet at age 20 when he worked on a pig farm. “I got attached to the pigs,” he said.
Since becoming a member of Parliament in 1983, he has used his platform to speak out on animal welfare issues including vivisection, animal testing, foie gras, the dog meat trade, fur farming, badger culls, hunting, and wild animal circuses. The Labour Party also supports the appointment of an Animal Welfare Commissioner to oversee the enforcement of the 2006 Animal Welfare Act and promote better treatment of animals.
Corbyn revealed at a Lush event in September 2017 that he’s been including more vegan food in his diet. Praising how plant-based options have improved in recent years, he added, “I’m going through a process, alright? I won’t go any further than that.”