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Vegan Police Officer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I often wondered whether I was just imagining things that veganism is unheard of in Switzerland. And I have found a study done by the Swiss Office of Statistics. The figures date back to 2002, but I reckon they have not changed that much.

The figures concern people over the age of 15.

87.9 percent are omnivores who eat all the types of animal products available.

8.5 percent do not eat fish.

1.6 percent do not eat meat.

0.9 percent do not eat dairy products.

0.2 percent do not eat fish nor dairy products.

0.9 percent do not eat meat nor fish.

Less than 0.1 percent are vegans. In other words, there are about 3000 vegans in Switzerland!


Talk about being a Vegan Freak in a Non-Vegan world.

There is WORK to be done!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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I'm not surprised by that. I was in Geneva on holiday a couple of weeks ago and discovered that the houmous they sell in supermarkets has cheese in it...
 

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You'll never get the Swiss to give up their cheese -- it's like a national identity. It would be like asking them to hand over their army knives -- they just won't do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Sun View Post

You'll never get the Swiss to give up their cheese -- it's like a national identity. It would be like asking them to hand over their army knives -- they just won't do it.
More likely like asking them to hand over the army rifles. All army rifles are kept at home by the soldiers. And that means they keep them for about 20 years, because we have a most curious conscription system here. (It's sort of between a militia and regular army.)

The Swiss are a most peculiar ethnic group. It's time they learned what Veganism is.
 

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Hey, I'm about to move to Switzerland. Any advice on being vegan? I'll be in the German speaking part, so words to look out for and places to find things would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You will be able to find plenty of wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables. No problems there, and if you shop at the Coop, their organic food is of a good quality. You can find tofu at all supermarkets, but that's about all the pre-processed vegan food you can buy. Also you can buy soy yoghurt but it's better to go to the big stores (Migros or Coop) for a good variety.

Forget about vegan "cheese" and stuff like that. You can find them in the organic shops which are often called "Reformhaus" in the Swiss German part of Switzerland, but they're too expensive and one can live without. In these Reformhauses you can also find some "patties" and vegan "burgers" if you're in a hurry and need to cook. That is also where you will find miso and other such lovely goodies.

Finding good vegan shoes is just about impossible. I order mine from the UK. There is a shop in Berne apparently that sells some shoes for Vegetarian Shoes in the UK, but I don't know it.

For vegan soap, there are some Lush shops and there's always the great old Savon de Marseille to turn to which has definitely not been tested on animals.

If you're used to being vegan in the anglo-saxon world, and expect things to be as simple, then you're in for a shock. But if you're prepared to have an open mind, hunt, search and learn how to cook great vegan meals without expecting to just open a pack and chuck it into the micro-wave, then you will enjoy yourself.


It's just these damn shoes that are a problem.

You're welcome to PM me when you get to Switzerland if you need some help.

And if you're wanting to do some animal rights activism, I would be happy to give you any contacts that I may have in the region you are moving to.

And if you're a nice person, I would also be happy to meet up with you. As you are a vegan, that's already a good point in my books.
 

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Yeah, I think I'll be shopping at coops, at least from what I've seen online. I'm not sure exactly which town I'll be living in yet, but they seem to be my main option in the area (probably Sargans or Buchs(SG)), which sounds like it will work out fine.

I don't really eat many pre-processed foods... I do drink a lot of chocolate soy milk at the moment, but I was hoping to lose that, since it's nearly all sugar, anyway. The main thing I've been sort of worried about is houmous, which seems to be hard to come by, and since I'm not even in the metropolitan areas, I might have to get a food processor and give it a try myself.

I don't really go for things like vegan cheese or sausages. It seems to me like there's something wrong with trying to directly substitute foods, like you've got meat-eater envy or you're trying to blend in with that which you say is wrong; strikes me as semi-hypocritical. That's neither here nor there though...

I was planning to pick up some new shoes before I left (I'm in the UK at the moment), so I guess I will have to make sure I do that.

I'm not an open-pack and chuck in microwave vegan (or a PB&J vegan for that matter... I actually knew a Triscuit and tomato sauce vegan once... that was clearly an interesting diet...), so I'm not worried about the cooking, just the product availability. I do make a good guacamole, so hopefully I'll be able to perfect a good houmous as well. Aren't some things like Tahini and flax seeds hard to come across? I doubt they have things like hemp bread (there's this great hemp bread they make in Minneapolis (USA)), but that doesn't really matter either. I'm pretty confident I can find my way, my German is still pretty rusty but I imagine I can figure it out. Oh, how about things like cous cous and falafel? Any chance of finding those around? Can you get peanut butter and strawberry jam in switzerland? I realize this is ironic given my earlier comment, but it's a better meal than starving.

I'm not sure how good my internet access will be once I'm there, but I will keep the offer in mind, thanks!

Once I get settled in, I would be interested in seeing what animal rights activities are available.

Sure, I'd be happy to meet you sometime. I can say that I know at least one other vegan in Switzerland then!

Also, do you know anything about the Schweizerischen Vereinigung für Vegetarismus?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Obot: You can find plenty of peanut butter and all sorts of jam, including strawberry jam. The Hero make is the best (a bit more expensive than the others, but the quality is superior). Tahini, flaxseeds and such-like you will find in the reform houses (although flaxseeds you may also find in the supermarkets, can't remember off-hand now). Hemp bread you may also find in the reformhauses. But don't worry about bread. Switzerland has many many many bakeries and you will be blessed with wonderful vegan bread - more than you can eat. Couscous you find everywhere. Falafel mix you will find in the Reformhauses.

I agree with you absolutely and completely about the odd need for people to substitute meat with stuff that looks and tastes like meat. Sounds like you and me are on the same wavelength. Do you also dislike faux-fur and pleather for the same reason?

Humous you can find in the Migros and the Coop but the idiots put milk products in it sometime, so be very careful. They even put MILK PRODUCTS IN THE GUACAMOLE!!!!! The reason is I think is that there is such a surplus of milk in Switzerland due to the bloody subsidies they give to millk farmers, that they don't know what to do with the damn stuff. (Like they couldn't let the mothers feed it to their babies!!!!!!!! Bloody murderers.)

The Schweizerischen Vereinigung für Vegetarismus are nice people. There are also some vegans there, and aspiring vegans. The vice-president is a vegan. And in their magazine they make sure there are also recipes for vegans and sometimes articles on veganism as well.

Yes, do pick up some shoes. You can find canvas shoes, but they are not warm enough for the winter, and also they are unlikely to have been made by people who are getting correct salaries and working conditions.

I live in the French speaking part of Switzerland.

(You can also find chocolate soy milk in the Reformhauses. I don't know what kind of salary you'll be getting, so maybe shopping there will not be a problem for you...)

Oh and by the way, eating in restaurants is VERY difficult. I've given up and don't bother anymore.
 

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Thanks for all the help Diana! It sounds like I will be able to transition alright.

I definitely dislike fake fur and fake leather, but I admit I do have a pair of fake leather dress shoes. I figure it's a necessary evil in business... at least until I gain some clout. I hope that the good I can do through the job outweighs the faux-support I might be lending. I really dislike compromising, but alas.

I've actually seen milk in the guacamole in the US. I think they do it to thin it out inexpensively while still retaining some thickness to the dip. Regardless, it tastes absolutely disgusting (I tried it and then realized it was tainted). I can only assume that houmous with dairy in it is terrible as well, which makes it an absolutely idiotic additive, without consideration of ethics.

Yeah, the Schweizerischen Vereinigung für Vegetarismus was what I saw online for Swiss vegans. I wasn't really sure if it would be a useful group to join or not. If there are ~3000 vegans in Switzerland, do they know or ever see each other?

Yeah, I was thinking of just picking up some New Balances, which I have been led to believe are vegan, but I suppose it's not really the best idea if I'm going to be walking around in snow. I don't really like boots though... I'll have to give this some more thought, haha.

Do you only speak French and English or do you also know German? My French skills are essentially non-existant.

Really, England is so expensive, I doubt I'll be that shocked by the prices, but I guess we'll see.

Yeah, restaurants are always the big problem. I used to enjoy eating out quite a lot, but I'm used to the idea of not eating out. It's a lot cheaper anyway and I at least know I'm going to like what I make. Of course, it also makes it that much sweeter when you find a place that is vegan and you can enjoy a meal out. If we do ever meet up, perhaps we should do so in Bern or one of the few places that supposedly has vegan restaurants like Luzern or Basel. It seems like most of the places that are vegan-friendly are only buffets, what happened to solid vegan meals? A lot of pasta dishes are vegan or at least easily converted to vegan. Can't you get good Indian, Thai, or Middle Eastern food in the cities? I wouldn't expect it elsewhere, but you'd hope for a little variety in the cities... oh well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
No, the SVV is not really for vegans, but for vegetarians. So I rub shoulders with them, but most still happily eat their cheese and drink their milk so I usually have to brush my shoulders after having been with them so as not to be too tainted by the blood.


Naaah... just kidding.

They're having their annual Vegetarian Day on December 3rd in the town where I live. They've agreed that we can give a short presentation of our animal rights group, which is jolly nice of them, and we will distribute some of their information in return when we have our stand up in town for the International Day of Animal Rights (which is December 10th).

Oh shoot... .walking around in snow is hard when one is a vegan. There's usually a problem with the waterproofing in vegan shoes.

(I speak some German, and can follow a conversation if it is being held in Swiss German and I'm trying to learn Italian.)

When are you moving to Switzerland? Before the end of the year?

Yes, we could meet in Berne. They are at LAST going to move the bears out of their GHASTLY bear pit into a park. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3993455.stm

Otherwise we could have done some protesting and leafleting at the same time as our meet-up. But as they have finally seen the light, we can go and have a nice cup of coffee instead.


If we meet, I'll come with my son. He's a vegan and an AR guy as well (he's 15 going on 16).

No, vegans don't normally meet up. But that's only because no-one has taken the initiative to start up an association.
 

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Sounds like you've got some good weekends coming up. I don't know that I'd be up for this 'Vegetarian Day'... celebrating half-assedness, hahaha, just kidding vegetarians... you could be worse.


Yeah, I start work on Dec 1st, which is probably also when I'll be moving in, if not on the 2nd. I'm leaving things until the last minute... so it goes.

I actually don't drink tea or coffee (sacrilege to some, haha), but I'm sure we can figure something out. That's cool that your son will come along. Then I'll know 2 vegans!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Okay, then I look forward to hearing from you. (I'll try and bring along another vegan, then you'll know three!!!!)
 

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Sounds like I remember veganism to be like in Germany.

They had some yummy soy pudding and vegetable spreads in their special health food shops.
 

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So, things are going pretty well in Switzerland. I'm working too much, but I like my job and otherwise things are good. I unfortunately don't have internet at home, so this is why it has taken me so long to respond. Also, I couldn't logon until today for some reason...

I'm actually going to be living in Germany for quite a bit of this year, but I should spend a couple weeks in Neuchatel (hopefully in August) that shouldn't be so busy. I was thinking maybe we can meet up then since I'll be more in your area.

Sound like a tentative plan? I haven't met any other vegans here yet!

By the way, the Reformhaus has worked out quite well for me, thanks for tips Diana!
 

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Crazy numbers

Wow, those numbers are crazy! Would have never thought that! I'm not yet fully vegan, but it's a working progress (you can follow my journey here: http://wholesomestef.com).

I also work for a local start up detox company called Fit 'n' Tasty (http://www.fitntasty.ch/de/). Detox companies didn't exist in CH a couple of years ago, and I think it's great that they are slowly popping up!

xx
 
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