It’s very safe to say that veganism is on the rise. In my four years of being vegan, I’ve certainly noticed a big increase in the amount of vegan products that are readily available. This isn’t just in health or alternative food shops either, big chain supermarkets and restaurants are recognising and acknowledging the growing demand and are making positive changes. There’s also a massive increase in literature, documentaries, youtube videos, recipe books and festivals promoting veganism.
As a vegan person, it’s easy to get frustrated at omnivores and even vegetarians. Especially ones who dip in and out of a plant based diet. However annoying it may be to see someone go back to eating meat, fish, eggs, dairy etc., it is worth remembering that people are taking small steps to make positive changes to their lifestyle. And it is these small changes, which are being recognised. Of course, in an ideal world, everyone would be vegan. Unfortunately they’re not, but in my opinion, things like Veganuary are really vital. Although not everyone will stick to their new lifestyle, I like to think that it will inspire most people who try it, to really think more carefully when cooking or eating out and opt for more fully plant based meals, after the vegan month has ended. And at that the end of the day, one less animal being slaughtered can only be a good thing.
I’ve seen lots of different eateries (both chain and independent), advertise, offer more vegan dishes during Veganuary and really push for their vegan options to be chosen. This makes it really easy for people who are trying Veganuary. If these omni restaurants are seeing the demand, if people (both vegans, non vegans and people trying Veganuary) are supporting these vegan dishes, changes will be made.
For example, take this small independent deli/ cafe in Brighton called Larder which is located in one of the busiest lanes in Brighton. They offered a new full vegan menu for the whole month of January 2017. They had such a successful month and positive reviews, that they decided to remain a fully vegan deli. I mean, how awesome is that? I’ve seen other vegan street food stalls who now have ‘taken over’ kitchens in pubs and venues and only serve vegan food.
Larder (Gardner Street, Brighton)
Living in Brighton, with many vegan places, means it’s really easy stick to our favourite fully vegan places. But, it’s important to check out other places too. I suppose the aim of this post it to say, support your local/independent stores than have vegan products, eat at small vegan places, eat at big vegan restaurants but also, support the big chains that do offer vegan alternatives, support chain restaurants which offer vegan dishes too. Supply and demand really does work!
I personally wouldn’t get food from heavily ‘meaty’ places (like Mcdonald’s, Burger King or Nandos) where something is vegan if you ask it without cheese or mayonnaise etc, as I think EVERYWHERE should offer at least one fully vegan option. However, I understand that I might have economical differences to others (though there are PLENTY of cheap vegan to eat out!) and that I have a privilege of living in a very vegan friendly city and am not socialising with non vegan people who may go to these places etc. I can see the positives of vegans going here as if there is enough demand, eventually a vegan option may eventually pop up.