People who moaned — in anti-vegan reactionary newspapers such as the Daily Mail — about using vegetable spread rather than butter in the plant-based scones served at National Trust’s cafes have ended up red-faced when they learnt that the famous scones had been vegan for years.

The cafes of many of the National Trust sites, the major UK landowners owning historical buildings and parks, have been serving traditional scones (a kind of traditional British sweet bread baked on a griddle or sheet) for centuries. Currently, more than three million are sold every year, including those served with cream teas at its 300-plus tearooms.

However, some people feel that perhaps since the National Trust banned trail hunting on its land in 2021, this British institution has gone “woke”. A recent complainant who was a longtime National Trust member from Bury St Edmunds, told the Daily Mail, “I can’t stand the taste of the new scones. They are not like traditional ones at all – they are flatter, drier and have an unappealing texture.” Another one said, “It makes me wonder what will happen next – will they stop selling Madeira cake because of historical events in Madeira? There’s far too much wokery going on at the National Trust; this is just the latest example.”

These people may now be embarrassed when they read the reply of the National Trust. Celia Richardson, the National Trust’s director of communications, said on X: “The culture warriors have reached the gates of the citadel. Now our scones are ‘secretly woke’. If you come for our scones you’d best not miss. (National Trust scones have been made without butter for many years and we publish all our recipes).”

A National Trust spokesperson said to The Guardian, “National Trust cafes serve millions of customers a year and we work hard to accommodate dietary needs and allergies. Our scones are made with vegetable-based spread. This means our iconic plain and fruit scones can be enjoyed by those with dairy allergies, and vegans. However, all scones can be enjoyed with butter or cream.”

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.