The number of British vegans has risen to more than half a million so there are more and more people seeking out plant based meals, snacks and beverages than ever before. PETA is celebrating some of the favourite products available in supermarkets and specialist shops with its fourth annual Vegan Food Awards.
PETA extended this year's awards to 24 categories. Here are a few of the winners:
Best Dairy-Free Cheese: Nutcrafter Creamery's Extra Aged Gomasio Cheddar Style
This sharp cheddar is made using the same process as dairy-based cheese, except it contains animal-friendly nut milk instead of cows' milk.
Best Faux Meat: Sgaia Foods' Streaky Rashers
These strips of "bacon" are salty and smoky with a hint of maple syrup and are perfect for any vegan breakfast, from a full English fry-up to a stack of fluffy pancakes.
Best Vegan Pizza: Zizzi
This chain offers vegan cheese on all its delicious pizzas and seals the deal with refreshing vegan gelatos.
Best Vegan Sandwich: Pret A Manger's Chana Chaat Flat Bread
Pret a Manger not only opened up its first all-veggie store this year but also nabbed a PETA award for this Indian-inspired wrap featuring chickpeas, fruity mango compote, and tangy coconut yoghurt. Yum!
Best Vegan Menu: Gauthier Soho's Menu Les Plantes
Gauthier Soho first offered a 100 per cent plant-based menu for World Vegan Month last year, and it was such a hit that the London restaurant decided to make it permanent with this exquisite eight-course menu.
Vegan Street Food: Foodie Travels From India to Indonesia (Best Vegan Cookbook)
Inspired by her travels, Jackie Kearney's cookbook is an exploration of Asian cuisine, filled with whimsical recipes and exotic flavours. Whether you're an old hand or a novice at vegan cooking, this collection of recipes will have you whipping up delicious creations in no time.
Follow Your Heart Vegenaise (Best vegan mayonnaise)
With its appealing creaminess and slight tanginess, this product is a dead ringer for its eggy ancestor, and its origins are far more palatable. It's perfect for spreading on sandwiches, dolloping onto garlic potatoes, or whisking to make delicious salad dressings.
The Railway Hotel "Fish" & Chips (Best vegan fish)
A quirky pub and music venue with a devoted following, The Railway Hotel puts Southend on the map for vegan diners. Its "Fish" & Chips don't shrimp on style or flavour, and visitors can enjoy a British classic with a clean conscience.
Tofurky Italian Sausage (Best vegan sausage)
With so many vegan sausages on the market these days, it was difficult to choose just one, but these Tofurky sausages are hard to beat. With their authentic Italian flavours of basil and sun-dried tomatoes, these are perfect in pasta, as a pizza topping, or straight off the grill! Nom.
Fry's Chicken-Style Burgers (Best vegan chicken)
Consistently fabulous Fry's has done it again - these Chicken-Style Burgers have received rave reviews from vegans and meat-eaters alike and can be stored in the freezer to be whipped out for quick and delicious meals.
Clive's Mexican Chilli Pie (Best vegan pie)
With organic fresh veg, kidney beans, sweet corn, tangy tomatoes, and a wholemeal pastry case, Clive's Mexican Chilli Pie makes for a wholesome meal. A kick of spice and lime brings all the flavour of Mexico to this humble little pastry, and you'd never guess this perfect flaky crust is gluten-free, too.
Amy's Vegetable Lasagna (Best vegan ready meal)
Amy's has teamed up with Daiya for this gorgeous ready meal which offers the creamy decadence of melty dairy-free cheese as well as the rich tang of tomato sauce over layers of vibrant veg. It's vegan comfort food made easy. You'll want to keep your freezer well stocked.
Tesco Chocolate and Hazelnut Filled Mini Churros (Best vegan dessert)
Tesco saves the day with these soft, crispy, and chocolaty churros, with a hint of hazelnut. Shaken in cinnamon sugar, these mini desserts will delight any sweet tooth. ¡Muy sabroso!
Swedish Glace Strawberry Sticks Made With Soy (Best vegan ice cream)
Swedish Glace has raised the stakes for non-dairy ice cream. This creamy strawberry ice cream encased in a shell of chocolate is perfect for hot summer days - and all year round, for that matter!
Booja-Booja Almond & Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Truffles (Best vegan confectionary)
As their packaging suggests, these stylish cubes really are as delicious as they look. They are dusted with soft cocoa powder and will melt in your mouth to reveal a core of sweet and salty caramel truffle. These raw chocolates make a perfect gift or just a luxurious treat for yourself.
Alpro Pineapple-Passion Fruit & Peach Soya Yoghurt (Best Vegan Yoghurt)
Rich in protein, these convenient little pots also pack a punch of flavour, with the sourness of passion fruit and pineapple offsetting the creaminess of the yoghurt. The peach pot is an equally delicious treat, loaded with fruity goodness.
Vegetarian Caviar Club Black Caviar (Best vegan luxury food)
This caviar makes the perfect party piece, proving that indulgent flavours don't have to come from cruelty. Enjoy it with champagne for a dinner party starter that will definitely get people talking.
Follow Your Heart VeganEgg (Best vegan egg)
Follow Your Heart's innovative VeganEgg can be transformed into a delicious omelette, quiche, or even scramble at the flick of a whisk. The ingenious packaging makes this product a great gift for new vegans.
JD Wetherspoon (Best Vegan Curry)
Long a UK institution, JD Wetherspoon pubs are now also a popular destination for vegan-friendly dining. Their expanded vegan menu includes our top pick - a delicious sweet potato, chickpea, and spinach curry with vegan naan bread to sop up every last drop.
Linda McCartney Foods (Best Vegan Burger)
The newly vegan recipe for these quarter-pound burgers is a real showstopper. Grilled, barbecued, or baked, they retain their meaty texture and succulent flavour. Flip them into a soft bun with all the trimmings and tuck in.
Club Mexicana (Best Vegan Street Food)
This London-based street truck serves up totally vegan Mexican delights like pulled jackfruit burritos, dairy-free cheesy nachos, and "fish" tacos. And for those with a sweet tooth, Club Mexicana even offers its own chipotle chocolate truffles - need we say more?
LEON (Best Vegan Salad)
LEON puts the "super" in "superfood" with its Vegan SuperClean Quinoa Salad. For a fresh and healthy lunch on the go, this salad is hard to beat. Semi-dried tomatoes and mint bring depths of flavour to the dish, and pomegranate seeds top it all off with bursts of sweetness.
Le Pain Quotidien (Best Vegan Cake)
This fudgy cake, filled with fresh pear and cocoa, is perfect for an afternoon tea. It is not too sweet, has a sticky glaze on top, and has the perfect level of gooeyness in the middle - we wouldn't change a thing.
Koko Dairy Free (Best Dairy-Free Milk)
Coconut fans will go wild for this delicious plant-based milk. Besides the delicate coconut flavour, Koko gets extra points for being high in vitamins and minerals, as well as providing a great source of calcium. It even works in tea!
"From the corner shop to luxury restaurants, businesses are jumping to feed the public's hunger for healthy, humane plant-based food", says PETA's Dawn Carr. "Since winners include all-vegan bacon, eggs, aged cheddar, and even caviar, PETA's Vegan Food Awards show that ethical fare is more diverse and exciting than ever - all without harming a single animal."
In addition to sparing animals daily suffering and a terrifying death in today's industrialised meat, egg, and dairy industries, vegan meals are greener, as the United Nations has said that a move towards a vegan lifestyle is necessary to offset the worst effects of climate change. People who go vegan are also less likely to suffer from heart disease, strokes, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.
Interest in vegan living is at an all-time high, and Google Trends reports that UK residents are searching "vegan" in record numbers. Numerous reports support the buzz, including a recent Mintel survey which found that a staggering 20 per cent of 16- to 24-year-olds have chosen to ditch animal-derived foods. Many celebrities - including David Haye, Joaquin Phoenix, Ellie Goulding, and Alan Cumming - also praise the benefits of vegan eating.
To read about all the winners, please visit PETA.org.uk.