“Maybe we could have one day a week where we eat vegetarian together?” he said while ingesting one last slice of bacon. When my partner, the most carnivore being I know, wants to do “meat free Mondays”, you know something is underway.
It is not just another trend that will come and go, it is happening. Slowly, I will grant you that: the percentage of vegetarians is still under 3% of the population for most European countries, but surely. A SVD online article today shows that people’s habits regarding meat and greens consumption are changing and that more and more are aware of the impact the meat industry has on the environment as well as the ethical questions it raises.
According to Djurens rätt’s website, more than 1 Swede out of 5 claims to have diminished his/her meat consumption the past year. A survey for Nestlé this year shows that 37% of Swedes have increased their vegetable intake in the last 5 years whereas the Swedish Board of Agriculture observes a drop of almost 2% of the meat consumption per person in the first quarter of 2016.
I will stop right here with the percentages. Not only because there is only so many % signs one can take before moving on to something else, but mainly because you do not need to bury yourself in surveys and statistics to see proof; just look around: every other cooking book or blog is now about “healthy greens” or an “environment-friendly diet”. Just here in Stockholm you cannot go too far before stumbling upon a vegetarian/vegan café or a restaurant! Matapoteket, Chutney, Hälsocafét, Sthlm Raw (to name a few…and yes, I am a Södermalm islander).
In short, Sweden (and Stockholm) in general is slowly turning into a paradise for vegetarians and their slightly more uptight but just as lovable vegan friends. Being one of them myself I am personally thrilled and even though I am not so fond of proselytising, I consider it my duty, as a food lover, to share the following piece of information:
November 1st is World Vegan Day (since 1994 believe it or not), and it is the starting date for the Vegan Vikings week in Stockholm, a great concept aiming to share vegan food with the masses and show people that vegans are not rabbits disguised as humans trying to take over the world and force everyone to eat raw carrot salads. They teamed up with Yelp! and several places in Stockholm to offer great deals throughout the week for anyone to enjoy. The week will then finish in style with the Vegovision fair organized by Djurens rätt in Sweden, a weekend of workshops, presentations and tastings showing that there is so much more to vegetarianism and veganism than raw carrots!
Photo: Vegan Vikings, Vegovision and Tuukka Ervasti.