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Meat Free Revolution Catches on in Nigeria

In Nigeria, none of the major restaurant chains offer meat substitutes and meat consumption is growing, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. A survey by market research company Street Bees said just 14% of Nigerians were confident they could give up meat. But there are green shoots. Activists say Nigerians are becoming more health conscious. Clashes between cattle herders and farmers in central Nigeria’s “Middle Belt” are drawing attention to the impact of beef production. And companies are creating affordable meat replacements. In the leafy garden of the Veggie Victory restaurant in Lagos, two dozen people gathered on a steamy Saturday evening to eat vegan food and exchange recipes. Restaurant owner Bola Adeyanju, 40, said she had gone from giving away food in 2013 to sceptical passers-by to delivering dozens of meals daily to paying customers. Adeyanju and her husband created an affordable soy-based meat substitute called Vegetarian Chunks, designed to mimic local favourites such as suya – a spicy, chewy barbecue – and nkwobi, a dish usually made with cow leg.