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From what little I know, Europe seems much more accomodating to veg*ns than the US (or Australia, as far as I know). I've seen it reflected many times here on VB, for instance Loki saying the following about Skittles and Starbursts ...

Quote:
In europe, if they make them vegetarian, they'll get more customers
... which implies a much greater interest/awareness about veg*nism than exists here in the United States.

Is this mainly due to BSE (mad cow disease)? Anyone have stats on the percentage of veg*ns in Europe vs. the rest of the world? Just curious.

BTW, I can no longer donate blood in the US because I lived in Europe and visited the UK during the prohibited periods. A tad discomfiting. Whenever I have a mental slip, I say, "Oh, it's just the mad cow kicking in." Well, I have a sick sense of humor.


Also BTW, The Economist has done several excellent articles about BSE over the last decade.

I wonder what the discovery of BSE in Canada will do for veg*nism over here in North America?
 

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Norway is not very vegan-friendly. We have only one vegan restaurant, and a few vegetarian places. You can't get any vegan products in any normal store here.

I haven't been a vegan in Sweden yet, but it's supposed to be an entirely different story across the border. The vegan movement has been in the media frequently there.

I shop at Turkish import stores, which have vegetables at reasonable prices, and of much better quality than in the supermarkets. They've even got soymilk! At $4 per litre..

I found the US to be a LOT more vegan-friendly than Norway.. I don't know how it is compared to France or England and such..
 

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In Denmark and in France you can get soymilk in regular stores, here in Norway only in HFS's (and the occasional well-equipped supermarked). Also, I always buy soy-desserts (puddings, yogurts....) when I'm in France, in regular supermarkeds. There's a lot of soy-products in the stores In France, and they are also much more widely known, the marked's not mainly made up by veg*ans, but health-conscious people (mostly women).

While vegetarian speciality products are not available in most supermarkeds, there's always an HFS nearby wherever you are, where you'll find frozen veggie meals (fake meats, lasagnas, veggie pizzas ++) , but most are ovo or lacto-ovo. (I'm not a vegan myself, just avoiding dairy & eggs) Then there's soy icecreams, desserts etc, non-dairy "milks" , fresh non-dairy alternatives, grains, dried fruts and generally the regular HFS fare.

I buy a lot of my foodstuff in immigrant shops in the city ; grains, beans, legumes, tofu (much cheaper than in HFS's), exotic fruits and vegs (allthough the selection in most supermarkeds is quite good, even the cheapest ones ).

I can't say much about restaurants though, as I hardly ever go out to eat (not because I'm a vegetarian), but I've noticed that there are quite a few veggie-friendly restaurants in the city, reading menus and reviews.

Today I bought my first coffee with soymilk to go in this coffee-shop I always pass by when walking down from uni . To celebrate that my Italian-exam was over
 

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Oh yes, and Martin, - I'll agree that that the vegan movement is much more widely known in Sweden, but there's also a whole lot of negative connotations linked to the concept of being vegan, so while I'm sure it's a good thing for some, it also has its downsides. I'm sure a majority of Swedes will immediatly think of aggresive neo-punk diehard animal-rights activists (*let me catch my breath here...heh*) upon hearing the word "vegan", while most Norwegains'll simply go "huh..?" *grin*
 

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I doubt that there is a high percentage of vegans living in Germany, but there are a lot of vegetarians, though that has nothing to do with BSE (people stopped eating beef for a few months, but now it's all back to normal). I have never seen a vegetarian restaurant,neither have I ever looked for one because all my friends eat animals.

I think that it is easy to be veg*an in Germany, because there is a very very strong trend towards organic, non-processed food, and transparency as to where what comes form and how it has been treated.

Just by looking at the list of ingredients a veg*an knows what he/she can eat or not, no need to call up companies. Most companies that were using gelatin in their products replaced them where possible (yogurts, ice cream...)

You can buy organic products at health stores and any bigger grocery stores for very reasonable prices. A carton (1L) of organic soymilk is about US$ 1.50, a carton of organic cow's milk is under US$1, vegan bread spreads can be found for a dollar in even the cheapest grocery stores.

As much bad as the green party (called "The Greens") has done to Germany, at least they are strong when it comes to consumer rights and organic farming.

Sorry for the long post!
 

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The cheapes soymilks around here cost about $ 3, veggie spreads (neither those are available in regular stores here) are from $ 2.50 and up. But at least organic (dairy) milk is the same price as the regular ones.

When it comes to organic products, Norway is waay behind most countries, Denmark, almost a neighbour, is considerably better when it comes to this, Sweden too I assume, allthough I'm not to sure what the situation is like there.
 

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Wow, sounds like Germany not so long ago. I am amazed myself, but out of a sudden you have all that vegan stuff everywhere. I don't know if you guys have Aldi "up there", but even they are selling those things over here!
 

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Aldi is a very very VERY convenient grocery store that only offers a limited number of products, which is the reason why they can offer competitive prices. You can find Aldi stores on every continent in this world, but it all started with two clever German brothers in the sixties or seventies.

So what I am saying is, if EVEN ALDI sells that stuff, it means we have come a loooong way!!!!
 

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Aldi sells specialty vegan foods? They don't in my corner of Ohio, USA!

Does anyone know anything about the veg-friendliness of Spain? In particular, Barcelona?
 

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ireland is sorta but not much - i reckon scotland is quite.

In a sandwich carryout place they had vegan sandwiches with chick pea humus it was delish! (in glasgow - anyone who want to go there it's called Pret-a-manger and it is near the buchannon galleries
)
 

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I don't know Aldi, but I'm familliar with what I think is a similar kind of store : Lidl, also German. I think they have invaded (uh-o bad choice of word....*grin*) most of Europe, at least I've seen it both in Spain and France, and just lately they've set up a store here in the city.

About veg-friendliness in Spain : I lived in Spain with my family for one year two years ago, in southern Spain, that is. They sell soy milk (not fortified) even in the most basic chain-supermarcets (like "Mercadona"), it's not really considered a speciality product, thus the price is refreshingly low (less than $ 1 a carton , at least then). Other than that, I don't think I've seen any kinds of products specifically designed for veg*ans, but while we were living in Spain, allthough also then a vegetarian, I never really bough veggie products , not even in HFSs, with the exeption of in the very beginning of the year, and the very end, I mostly opted for a very low-cal diet, thus not voluntery buying any kind of filling food *sigh*

However, the really big supermarkets (like Alcampo) carried quite a lot of such products, soy dessert, frozen ready meals, soy ice cream (I think..). I remember buying a completely vegan frozen lasagna,- really good-, once....yum..

Beans and lentils are widely available, canned, at very low prices, as is all kinds of dried fruits and nuts, and of course fruits and veggies, fresh and canned.

Beware of cakes and cookies, though, the Spanyards have a nasty habit of putting lard in those, especially the cheap ones. Hrm.

OOooo my post is long.
 

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England is quite veggie-friendly. Even in the white-trash stench hole known as Blackpool is good for vegetarians.

Pretty much every restaurant you visit in England will carry something vegetarian. There are a lot of vegetarian speciality products available in most stores, and some companies will bend over backwards to make their products vegetarian. There is a lot of voluntary labelling as well, with products which say "Suitable for vegetarians" This is widespread.

Veganism in England is slightly different. It's lower profile, and there is some voluntary labelling, which has been adopted by some chains such as co-op, and amongst a few brands, many vegan products don't actually openly advertise the fact that they're vegan, though this is starting to change. It's much harder to get vegan food in omni restauants, sinc emost of the vegetarian options are cheese based. Being an avid cheese hater has made me realise how hard it is to get vegan food in most restaurants. The main supermarkets sell all the staples, and soymilk is readily available. I can even find it in the local kwik-save which isn't all that veggie friendly. It's $1.30 a litre. However, in larger supermarkets, you can get crapper soymilk at cheaper prices. i heard thatt he record is asda soymilk at 64p a litre or something like that. In contrast, a litre of cows milk is about 50p. Most supermarkets carry vegetarian speciality foods. Since the linda mccartney range sold out and most of it isn't vegan anymore, (This is what I like to describe as "corporate arseholery") you'll probably have to go to a HFS to get vegan specialities, although you can get all the staples, assuming you don't shop at kwik save or somerfield.

During the BSE and foot and mouth crisises, vegetarinism shot up like a firework attatched to a space shuttle. It's waned off a bit, but the numbers are still quite high. My mum noticed that whilst the foot & mouth crisis was going on, the supermarket shelves for vegetarian foods were quite bare, since people were purchasing more fake meats and vegetarian food than usual.

Also, there is a general attitude against meat. Most people will accept vegetarianism and will subconsciously not eat meat. A few of my friends will mainly eat meat in the form of hamburgers. Another friend doesn't care for meat all that much, though she's not vegetarian. I read somewhere that about 70% of vegetarian speciality food is purchased by non-vegetarians.

generally, vegetarianism is accepted by the masses, though these masses still want their meat & 2 veg.
 

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I live in Bergen, and no, I'm not active in any organizations.

I subscrive to Vegetarian Times. Does that counts ?


edit : where's the post I was responding to
 

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What is the name of the vegan restaurant in Norway? I heard of a place called "Kill Your Ego", but never found it. "Spisestedet" has had vegan food (too) in Oslo for over 30 years, and even Krishna's Cuisine have a vegan meal now. Mother India makes vegan stuff if you ask for it, and so does a few other places.

Anyway, Norways isn't that bad considred it's really small population - 4,4 million people (the capitol has 750.000 inhibitants).

But London is better. There is a book called "Vegetarian London" or something, which lists around 100 places to get veggie food, of which A LOT will give you great vegan food. But then again, London inhibits more than 7 million people.

Regarding veg'n restaurants, if they can make tasty make meals that are vegan, they will make life easier for themselves. Becaue these meals can be sold to both vegans and vegetarians (and people with milk allergy, lactose intolerant people etc), whereas lacto-vegetarian meals cannot. I guess this is the reason that several of the vegetarian places in London pretty much have only vegan meals anyway.
 

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Austria is quite good. Soy products are generally pretty big so you have soymilk, yogurt, and desserts. Also a lot of meat substitutes. There are a few health food stores. Restaurants can be a problem, but there are many ethnic restaurants and also a few vegan ones. Overall you can live pretty well as a vegan.

Hungary is still far away from veg*n friendly. Meat meat meat. Although you CAN seek out veg*n products, and there ARE vegan or vegan friendly restaurants, at least in the capital. But you shouldn't be surprised if you're openly told to be an idiot, right in your face. People (including many doctors) are grossly misinformed about veg*nism.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Azalea

I don't know Aldi, but I'm familliar with what I think is a similar kind of store : Lidl, also German. I think they have invaded (uh-o bad choice of word....*grin*) most of Europe, at least I've seen it both in Spain and France, and just lately they've set up a store here in the city.
Yeah, I have even seen Lidl in Romania! Over here, Lidl is good, but Aldi is better, because the variety of products Aldi sells is constantly growing.
 

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I know what you mean Oatmeal. The first time I went to visit Romania,I shocked everybody with being a vegetarian! I think that my family was constantly waiting for me to have a breakdown or something, and they were quite amazed that I was still healthy after 2 weeks!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Loki

During the BSE and foot and mouth crisises, vegetarinism shot up like a firework attatched to a space shuttle. It's waned off a bit, but the numbers are still quite high. My mum noticed that whilst the foot & mouth crisis was going on, the supermarket shelves for vegetarian foods were quite bare, since people were purchasing more fake meats and vegetarian food than usual.
You know what's funny, Loki, I was in England in 1995, when BSE was on the news every day. The beef products were marked half price at the supermarkets, and people were buying like CRAZY!!! I mean literally filling up their shopping carts with that stuff. I never found out whether they did not KNOW why the beef was reduced, or whether they did not CARE. Incredible.

Back then I was addicted to "Too Good To BE True" icecream and ate it every day. It was only later that I noticed it was made with gelatin, I have little hope I'll survive that!
 

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The BSE crisis is what started me out on vegetarianism. I guess it started a few others out as well. But I know that our family continued to eat beef (Except me) so we probably took advantage of the reduced priced beef.
 
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