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The widespread popularity of veganism results in more vegan options on restaurant menus!

Heather Suhr
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For people following a vegan plant-based diet, one of the biggest struggles may be the limitation of being able to go out to a nice restaurant. In the past, restaurants have had limited vegan suitable options. Finally the trend appears to be changing, and more restaurants are becoming vegan-conscious.

More people are becoming vegan

According to a Harris Interactive study conducted by the Vegetarian Resource Group, approximately 5% of Americans are vegetarian and about half of those are vegan! (1,2) This data was collected in 2011, so one wonders about the growing rate of that number today.

Many determined vegetarians and vegans were unwilling to miss out on the fun of social eating with their family and friends; they had to learn to work with restaurants in order to accommodate their needs.  It was always a relief to find a restaurant that had vegetarian- and vegan-friendly options already on their menu. (3)

Creative ways non-animal eaters have found to ‘make do’ include: knowing how to choose restaurants wisely, selectively find food items that are easy to veganize, not being afraid to ask questions, being clear and polite in conversing with the wait staff, and being grateful for the restaurant’s extra effort. (3)

Today, vegan options at restaurants are the ‘new normal’

Once, it was only certain parts of the world that had a vegan-friendly atmosphere. However, today, it appears that more and more restaurants are becoming aware of the differences in people’s preferences. (4)

Restaurant choices aren’t just limited to certain genres of food; even BBQ joints and greasy spoons are now offering vegan options. Michelle Kretzer, a vegan-dining columnist, says, “I’m telling you, restaurant ‘segregation’ is over. You can get vegan meals almost anywhere now.” (4)

Actors, talent agents, and the ‘average Joe’ are being attracted to veganism, especially with the surging popularity in the media toward this plant-based diet realm. Restaurant owners are embracing the vegan / vegetarian group. In fact, Tony Yanow, an influential beer entrepreneur, says, “I’m not the food police, but I like opening the vegan door for people. People will order food like that because it tastes good.” (5)

Check out the restaurant guide to find a few of the many vegetarian- and vegan-friendly restaurant options near you! (6)

Sources for this article include:
(1) www.vrg.org
(2) news.therawfoodworld.com
(3) veganbackpacker.com
(4) www.huffingtonpost.com
(5) www.nytimes.com
(6) www.peta.org

Image source: flic.kr

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