The Difficulties of Going Vegan


Andrew Carroll looks at how going vegan in Dublin is even more difficult than you would think

Going vegan is no longer just a trend and Dublin City is slowly waking up to this fact. Some simply refuse to see it as the lifestyle choice that it is while others have wholly embraced it as a way the way to a healthier and more environmentally friendly way of living.

Veganism can help reduce a person’s intake of fats, sugar and salt while maintaining the amount of vitamins, carbs and protein a person needs to stay fit and healthy. Like any dietary plan it can lead to ill health when done wrong but veganism is more than just a set of rules to do with food.

Vegans believe in following a lifestyle of refusing to eat meat, dairy and other products from animals. They also refuse to wear clothing made from animal skin or fur as well as avoiding entertainment and other products that involve animals and animal testing.

All of these things can make it hard for vegans to decide what to wear, where to shop and most importantly where to eat. Dublin has many of Ireland’s best restaurants and eateries and these places have a duty to provide for their customers whether they be meat eaters or vegans or somewhere in between. While most Irish restaurants have a vegetarian option, significantly less have vegan options and there are fewer vegan restaurants as a whole throughout the city.

“We’re all from the north side so definitely some 100% vegan restaurants are needed on this side of the city”

Many vegan cafés are located on the south side of the city centre leaving any vegans on their lunch break north of the Liffey high and dry. “Of course it would be great to have more options all over the city in order to promote veganism and make it more accessible”, said a spokeswoman for the vegan account Veghuns.

Veghuns have noticed the lack of north side vegan amenities as well saying: “We’re all from the north side so definitely some 100% vegan restaurants are needed on this side of the city.”

Outside of vegan specific restaurants and cafés more and more fast food outlets are adding vegan options giving the term fast food a healthier twist. Stores like the ever-popular Chopped and even burger focussed restaurants — making some minor adjustments to menu items — such as the Gourmet Burger Kitchen, are opening their doors to the rapidly expanding vegan market.

As veganism expands and begins to touch all areas of Dublin City it’s clear that more is necessary to cater for Dublin’s expanding vegan population. Not only do restaurants, cafés and fast food outlets need to up their game but so too do producers and suppliers of premade food. As the Veghuns spokeswoman put it “It would be great to be able to pick up simple things like sandwiches anywhere too.”

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