A meat-free ‘butchers’ opens in London today

Serving up plant-based burgers, sausages and more

Updated on 21 June 2019 • Written By Eamonn Crowe

A meat-free ‘butchers’ opens in London today

London’s (and possibly the world’s) first meat-free butchers has opened its doors today.

The pop up butcher shop will be open from today until 23 June, and will offer customers an array of cuts and joints derived from 100 per cent plant-based alternatives. Visitors to the butchers will be able to purchase the likes of ‘shroomdogs’ and plant proteins, replacing the traditional finds of pork sausages, beef burgers and mince.

Opening its doors in Bethnal Green, the butchers features over a dozen high-quality fresh foods to choose from, and it’s eco-friendly too, as customers buys will be weighed and wrapped, before being taken home in their own bags and containers.

The ‘meaty’ products in-store, which will include cuts, joints and strings of sausages, will swap out meat for the likes of mushroom, jackfruit and even pea protein. A butcher will be on-hand in store who is specially trained in plant-based cooking, and can share recipe advice and tips to customers, especially those who are newer to a vegan diet.   

The temporary butcher shop has been created by the supermarket Sainsbury’s, as part of their celebrations for World Meat Free Week. The annual week aims to encourage people to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diet, eschewing meat and animal products.

There has been much discussion in the last few years about the harmful effects of meat production on the environment, and a recent Future of Food report issued by Sainsbury’s predicted that a quarter of all British people could be vegetarian by 2025, up from one in eight Britons today.

Despite a significant shift towards people consuming less meat, the concept of the meat-free butchers has drawn criticism on social media. Some users have simply pointed out that it is misleading to call a shop a butchers when nothing is in fact being butchered, while others have passionately spoken out about the economic impact of veganism on farmers, who face losing their livelihoods if the majority of the population move towards a meat-free lifestyle.

The Meat-Free Butchers By Sainsbury’s will be open to the public from 21-23 June and can be found at 146 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 6DG.

Do you want to dabble in ditching the meat? Check out these 22 delicious vegetarian dishes at London restaurants