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Almost a quarter of Brits (24 percent) will be catering to vegans and vegetarians this Christmas, according to data released by The Vegan Society.

The Society says that 15 percent are looking forward to it as it ‘gives them a chance to experiment more in the kitchen’.

In addition, eight percent say they will be trying a meat-free Christmas for the first time, and a further eight percent say they’ll eat fewer animal products this year because of the social pressure they may face from their guests.

Merry meat-free Christmas

Despite the growing number of vegans, veggies, and flexitarians, 16 percent of respondents confess to feeling awkward about inviting guests with specific dietary requirements.

In a bid to help people replace meat, dairy and eggs with vegan alternatives, Instagram and YouTube star and vegan chef Gaz Oakley has created a wealth of vegan recipes for the festive period.

Many are available in his best-selling cook book Vegan Christmas: Over 70 Amazing Recipes for the Festive Season, which features a centerpiece of roast Wellington and a stuffed squash.

Not boring

“I realized how important Christmas – and the festive period in general – is to people,” Oakley said in a statement sent to Plant Based News.

“Being vegan, people think you’re going to have a rubbish Christmas filled with boring food, but that’s so untrue.

“The main centerpiece in my book is butternut squash stuffed with pan-roasted mushrooms, charred peppers, and of course, all those classic Christmas flavors.”

Christmas without harming animals

Dominika Piasecka, spokeswoman for The Vegan Society, added: “It’s really great to see more businesses offering vegan products, making it even easier for people to enjoy Christmas in a traditional style but without harming animals.

“The festive season should be a time of joy and kindness, and those values can only hold their true meaning if we extend them towards all beings.

“It’s easier than ever to create a cruelty-free Christmas experience with all the wonderful products on the market and amazing recipes out there available to us.”