Speaking on BBC Breakfast today, the Prime Minister was asked to address rumours that he had decided to go vegan for the month of January to lose weight. “No, I am not,” Johnson laughed. “I had thought of it but it requires so much concentration.”
Johnson added that he is impressed by those who can follow a plant-based diet. “I take my hat off to vegans who can handle it and manage to avoid all non-vegan products, I mean, you can’t eat cheese, can you, if you’re a vegan?” Johnson asked.
“That’s just a crime against cheese-lovers.”
Johnson’s comments have tickled the internet, with viewers swiftly sharing their thoughts on social media. Many viewers also took issue with Johnson’s pronunciation of “vegan”, which he pronounced “vee-ganne”. As of 2019, approximately 1.16 per cent of the UK population (600,000 people) followed a plant-based diet, according to The Vegan Society.
A study conducted in June 2018 by researchers at the University of Oxford concluded that following a vegan diet is the “single biggest way” to reduce your environmental impact.
“Cutting meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint by as much as 73 per cent. A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,” said lead author Joseph Poore.