Inspiration for Veganuary in London

If you're kicking off the New Year by attempting Veganuary, we have some amazing small businesses to recommend - from cool takeaway places offering meat-free alternatives to beautiful cafes. So whether you're going the whole hog (excuse the pun) or keen to reduce your meat consumption, please scroll down for inspiration.

According to the Guardian, 125,000 people in the UK pledged to eat a vegan diet in January last year - though the numbers of people actually doing it are thought to be much higher. Beyond the obvious animal welfare arguments, there are apparent health benefits of going vegan (some studies claim it reduces the risk of developing certain cancers and type 2 diabetes and reduces the pain of arthritis).

There's also a strong environmental argument for drastically reducing meat and dairy consumption. Animal agriculture accounts for around 18 per cent of greenhouse gases and meat consumption is thought to be one of the leading causes of modern species extinction. Animal agriculture accounts for most of the destruction of the rainforest. Large scale fishing is also having a devastating impact - according to Peta (The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Foundation) - for every kilogram of fish sold, another five kilograms of marine life is discarded as by-catch.

Here, without further ado, are some brilliant local companies offering meat-free alternatives!