Wherever you are on your vegan journey, similar everyday situations can present themselves, but Katie Hainbach has a few secrets to help…
1. Cheese Please!
Some restaurants are embracing vegan cheese. However, some cheesy individuals bring along their own grated vegan cheese in a zip-lock bag. Many restaurants will use it on your pizza if you ask them nicely when ordering. If the vegan options at the restaurant leave much to the imagination, then you can use your cheese to jazz up salads, sandwiches, pastas etc. Just don’t forget you’ve got a bag of cheese tucked away in a handbag or pocket!
2. There’s no point seeing a menu, we’ve already Googled it at home!
“Would you like to see our specials menu?” There’s often no point in us even seeing a menu because you can bet we’ve dissected it online beforehand! I use the app Happy Cow to find vegan-friendly restaurants. If I’m going somewhere new I do a bit of online investigation of the menu beforehand, enabling a good inspection of the vegan options.
If I can’t see a suitable meal, I can ring ahead to discuss what can be ‘veganised’. Most restaurants are accommodating if you give them a bit of notice and it’s better to call in advance than be stuck eating plain boiled rice with green salad.
3. Got Milk?
With so many plant milk options available, many of my non-vegan friends have been tempted to experiment with them. I take advantage of this by taking plant milk to friends’ houses to add to my tea and often to theirs.
Sometimes I sneakily leave an unfinished carton in their fridge, hoping they develop a taste for it. According to my friend you can now buy powdered plant milks such as coconut, which is easily transportable.
4. Leaving on a Jet Plane
Forget packing your passport and suncream, vegans often have a picnic pre-packed and ready for travelling. Planes and trains are becoming more vegan-friendly – it helps if you like houmous and falafel wraps (which seem to be the vegan standard).
Sometimes I want something other than falafel though, and it’s awful being stuck on a long-haul journey with nothing to eat, so I usually bring a sandwich and snacks. It’s worth investing in good reusable snack containers.
5. Come Vegan Dine with Me
When we invite you round to dinner, we probably have an ulterior motive. We’re plant-pushers through and through, and we know that by showing you how amazing vegan food can be that we are sowing the seeds of change in our friend’s hearts and minds.
I make a point of inviting non-vegan friends over to cook them delicious vegan meals. Just wait to see how impressed they are when they realise you can have a hearty meal made from plants! I also use these opportunities to introduce them to my friends Ben and Jerry (the vegan variety of course) and other vegan goodies.
6. We Want Sweet Treats Too!
Often at events such as weddings the vegan dessert option is fruit. As much as I enjoy fresh fruit, it is sometimes nice to have something a bit more exciting at the end of a meal. I’ve been known to sneak in some vegan chocolate to satisfy my sweet tooth.
7. We Make Mistakes
No one is perfect, vegans included! It’s easy for others to feel like as vegans we put ourselves on a pedestal, particularly when the Vegan Police can be quick to attack those seeking advice or admitting they’ve accidentally consumed something non-vegan, but the reality is we all make mistakes – but it’s how we deal with them that really counts. Use these slip-ups as a learning experience, and remember to extend kindness and helpful advice to others who also own-up to their shortcomings. Life is a journey after all!