It is a lifestyle choice that has become anything but a fad. No matter which way I turn, what restaurant that I’m in, or what Twitter post I’m reading, the word Vegan is showing up more than ever before. The cabbage culture is also massively popular on the Isle of Wight. Question is: Should I feel bad because I’m not a vegan?

First things first: I’m a terrible cook. I try and I try and I try, but ultimately I fail miserably, and I’m left with nothing but anger and failure. I come up with aromas you’d smell on an industrial estate and produce the sort of stuff you’d usually find floating down a canal.

It’s fair to say that I have the temperament of Gordon Ramsay and the cooking ability of a wheelbarrow.

So, naturally I just give up, and, because I’m also quite lazy, I opt for a takeaway with my housemate, which normally involves something so disgustingly expensive and meaty, that it would sooner rather destroy my wallet, pump saturated fat around my veins towards a premature heart attack, and grease my forehead quicker than a baking tray.

It would also probably destroy any welcoming invitation to the vegan club.

Ahh, vegans, those mythical creatures who thrive on a belly full of beansprouts and broccoli, how on earth do they do it?

I used to have the perception that vegans were all the same. I used to think that they were pretentious, self-righteous people in bright, hippie-coloured clothing who would bang on about ethical facts and statistics, judge non-vegans, and clog up your Facebook news feed with pictures of innocent piglets next to a heart (and gut) wrenching quote of some sort.

There’s that old tiresome joke: You’ll always know if you encounter a vegan: they’ll always tell you. And it’s true; most of them do go on. And on. Go vegan they said, I’m off to McDonald’s I replies. No thanks, not for me.

So, why should I go vegan?

Let’s get one thing straight, vegan virgins: it’s not all salad and bean sprouts for breakfast. There’s a lot more to it than that.

You see, vegans choose their diet for a variety of reasons. Many abstain from animal products because they find factory farming cruel and also, quite inhumane.

Veganism is lifestyle choice that avoids all animal foods such as meat, dairy, eggs and animal derived products such as leather; and, as far as possible, products tested on animals.

Many people also become vegans simply for environmental reasons, and others choose the diet purely for its health benefits.

I’ll be honest and admit that I didn’t know vegans could get all their nutrients without animal products.

Veganism on the Isle of Wight is also becoming more popular than ever before with many restaurants now serving vegan options, creating a new and exciting dining experience.

The Isle of Wight’s first all-vegan restaurant, Pulse, opened its doors in Ventnor back in May, and I recently read in this very paper that a vegan themed night took place down at the local Quay Arts centre, and that it was a massive success.

ADA Meze Kitchen, in Carisbrooke, is also a popular restaurant with vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Wherever next?

So, how can I stop feeling guilty about my love of burgers and expensive leather jackets?

Or, should I feel bad at all?

Personally, I could never become a vegan. Or rather I could, I just don’t want to. But that’s my choice. I admire anybody with the aspiration to protect and preserve planet earth, as long as they don’t try and force a courgette down my throat and make me wear sandals and beads.

Everybody is different.

One personal recommendation I would make to vegans and vegetarians is to be compassionate too all humans too, not just all animals and plants.

I believe that you don’t have to be a vegan to protect the planet and that you can love animals and still eat them.

That is, unless you’re a trophy hunter, who in my opinion are the worst people on the planet.