To beef or not to beef? That is the question for Carlisle United fans this afternoon.

On the pitch United face Forest Green Rovers. And in Brunton Park's boardroom and Foxy's restaurant, vegan food takes on meat.

Owner Dale Vince has made Gloucestershire's Forest Green a vegan club. This did not impress Carlisle's chairman Andrew Jenkins on his visit last month, when Carlisle won 1-0.

Jenkins is a confirmed carnivore who owns Pioneer Foodservice, which is renowned for its meat. Expecting the 81-year-old to change his ways was clearly steak pie in the sky.

In his programme notes earlier this month Mr Jenkins wrote that he found it "strange" to visit Forest Green: "Each to their own, and although I never eat much on a match day, I couldn't pull myself together to sample the food on offer.

"What would happen if, when vegetarians came to our club, all we could offer was an all-meat menu."

Dale Vince responded with a Facebook post saying: "How many years will it be before we all look at families that made their living or fortune in the meat trade - in the same way that we now look at families that did the same in the slave trade. Not long in my opinion.”

Strong words. But United appear not to be stewing over it. Today, for the first time, the club is offering vegan options in the boardroom and Foxy's.

Sales and marketing director Phil King said: "We've had some home fans in the last few weeks asking for vegan options.

"I know Forest Green serve exclusively vegan food. We've thought ahead and offered their directors a vegan option for the boardroom.

"We thought this would be a good match to offer a vegan option in Foxy's as well. We always have a vegetarian option there but this is the first time we've had vegan."

Club caterers ABM have prepared roast red pepper and tomato soup with herb croutons, vegetable and chickpea curry with steamed rice, and chocolate ganache tart with a sour berry compote.

United are also providing falafel burgers for Forest Green fans in Brunton Park's away section.

"We're quite open to putting something different on when fans ask for it," said Phil. "We'll do vegan food for this match and see if there's demand for it.

"There are always vegetarian, though not vegan, options for fans on the terraces and in the stands, with veggie burgers and cheese pasties."

Lisa Earl is ABM's head chef and catering manager. She said: "The vegan dishes are very similar to cook. It's just the ingredients that are different.

"Our soup is always vegetarian. When it's vegan you can't put cream in. With curry, a lot of the pastes are fish-based so obviously this one isn't. And for the dessert I couldn't use cream. I've used coconut milk.

"Hopefully people will give it a go."

United already have a vegan in their ranks. Full-back Tom Miller stopped eating animal products last summer, saying: "Originally I said I'd do it for a month and if it felt bad, I'd go back to normal - but it felt great, so I've continued it."