FLIPPING vegans though. No wonder no one likes them.

Vegans, with their desire to protect animals, lessen their environmental impact and ease the burden on our overstretched NHS.

They're probably saving a bit of money too, the beggars.

In the last 10 years the number of people following a vegan lifestyle has risen 340 per cent. It is no longer the preserve of the sandal wearing hippy but is becoming an increasingly mainstream, popular choice.

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Yet disgust towards vegans is socially acceptable. Eye rolling, insult flinging disgust.

Take your cow-loving morals and shove them. Where does this come from?

Well, veganism is a moral choice and no one likes to be reminded that they are making immoral or indefensible choices.

Our planet is in dire trouble and farmed livestock accounts for 14.5 per cent of all manmade greenhouse gas emissions.

If everyone went vegan the world’s food-related emissions would drop by 70 per cent by 2050.

Yet people really like eating meat and don't like making sacrifices so instead, they become angry at the site of someone who is "better" than them because they perceive their existence to be a judgement on their own poor choices.

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This is why there's a simmering resentment towards cyclists. They remind us, as we sit in our petrol guzzling, environment wrecking cars, that we've taken the lazy option.

No one likes to be subconsciously reminded of their laziness.

It's why we speak of eco warriors in dismissive terms (sandal wearing hippy). Our overconsumption is wrong. Our reliance on disposable plastics and penchant for fast fashion is wrong.

Environmentalists remind us of our profligacy and no one wants to feel greedy and wasteful.

I stopped eating cow, pig and chicken products about 20 years ago. Not for ethical reasons but as a childhood rebellion to annoy my mum.

In hindsight, she was fairly fortunate. I never came home high, drunk or pregnant, I just made mealtimes tricky.

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I started eating chicken again a few years ago because a staff member in Toryglen Asda saw me looking at Quorn products, sidled up and told me there were "roast chuckens" reduced to 50p.

She was quite insistent, brought one to me and put it in my basket. I bought it because 50p was a bargain price to make her leave me alone.

All the way home in the car it smelled incredible and so I sat on the sofa with it on my knee and ate it with my bare hands. It turns out I love chicken.

There is no better pair of words in the English language than "with cheese". I cannot conceive of life being worthwhile without Stilton.

I plan to cut right back on meat but I'll never be vegan but because I recognise the benefits of veganism, I'm grateful to all of those who are.

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I'm grateful to vegans, cyclists, environmental campaigners - all the people doing things that will help balance out some of the harm caused by the rest of us.

There should be a National Eco Warrior Day where we make them aquafaba meringues and massage their feet with hemp oil by way of gratitude. Or just give them the day off work.

Andy Clark and his partner Kirstin McLean appeared in the Evening Times last week calling for Glasgow City Council to make more vegan choices available for vegan children like their three-year-old daughter.

They received fairly short shrift online.

One such complaint was that they, and other vegan parents, are forcing their beliefs on children who can't choose for themselves.

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But we readily accept the notion a child automatically assumes the religion of its parents when religion is arguably more harmful, leaving some with a sense of guilt that hangs over them the rest of their lives.

Another is that they are making an imposition of themselves for frivolous reasons.

It might be the case that three-year-old Frida will have to make do with just one menu choice a day at nursery and count herself lucky but we're going to be hearing more and more about veganism as it enters the mainstream.

So dismissing it as a dietary fad seems increasingly out of step with reality. Unless we find a way to make organic, ethical meat affordable for everyone and not just the middle classes.

Whether by campaign pressure or necessity, are we steadily moving to a place where there will be more meat-free options on menus than meat?

Yes. I'd bet the farm.