The world is going vegan with a vengeance!
By Anuradha Sawhney Sep 01 2016
Tags: Leisure Writing
It’s good to be back. I had gone on a little holiday, to very far off lands, including the land of Santa Claus. I visited Rovaniemi in the Arctic Circle and yes, I met Santa Claus! So what if it’s not December, he was busy getting things ready for Christmas. It was a very cold holiday and yet it was enlightening in many ways. I discovered that it was possible to get vegan food even in remote Finland. But more than that, I discovered that the world is going vegan with a vengeance. And I say that with pride, believe me.
Whenever I travel, I am always scared that I will have to eat only salad leaves and breads, because I am vegan. This trip I had the added challenge of being gluten free! Now I know that if I were to visit any Indian restaurant I could always get a vegan meal and a gluten free meal, too. But I like to try out other cuisines, not just eat Indian food. The good news: I was able to stay vegan and gluten free throughout a three-week trip, no problems at all.
Every city we visited had at least five vegan restaurants, with some, like Malmo in Sweden which had nine vegan eateries, including an all vegan pizza café, a vegan bar, a vegan roadside stall and a vegan mobile food van. It was such bliss finding vegan food to eat so easily. And in Vienna there was an entire vegan supermarket selling only vegan products, from staples, to chocolates, to frozen goods, to ready to eat products to cosmetics and even a café running in the store!
Even in regular supermarkets, I found entire areas dedicated to selling vegan foods, like fake meats, vegan butters, vegan cheeses, vegan soups, even vegan cakes. The number of people frequenting vegetarian restaurants is on the rise too. There was a vegetarian restaurant in Prague, whose owners were inspired by our very own Osho, which had a waiting time of two hours, every meal, every day. They served cuisines from around the world and could veganise most of their dishes on request. Bliss!
I spoke with many of the vegan café owners and they all said that they were doing well. That this year especially has been the year when there has been a boom in their sales. And they feel that a lot of it is to do with the growth in awareness of not just the cruelty that animals face in the food industry but also the awareness of the fact that unless everyone turns vegan, soon there will be no food for the growing world population. Youngsters could be seen leafleting at festivals and informing people about the dangers ahead for the survival of the world if we continue with our meat eating habits. Interestingly, all the café owners thought that good health played a big part too in people wanting to eat vegan and vegetarian food!
In every city, you could find vegan ice cream so easily! There was an outlet dedicated to selling different flavours of vegan ice cream! And I don’t mean only gelato, I mean actual creamy ice cream! Try this simple sugar free ice cream, it takes a minute to make and yet it’s so tasty.
(The writer is a vegan chef and author of The Vegan Kitchen: Bollywood Style!)