Nottingham falls short
Nottingham almost got a new vegan cafe today, but pesky and harmful dairy made it on to the menu.
Such a shame.
Today marks to grand opening of a new food provider, The Bluebird Vegetarian Café. This café is operated by Adrian and Kate, two vegans who (according to their website) were able to achieve their dream of opening The Bluebird thanks to the help of family, friends and Freecycle donations.
As happy as I am for the vegan community of Nottingham to have another location to dine out on plant-based food, I am puzzled as to why a vegan of more than 20 years (Adrian) would open a cafe with dairy on the menu in 2014.
The menu is filled with tasty-sounding comfort food including pasta, soup and brownies but several of the dishes are marked vegetarian with a vegan option available.
I know a lot of people think I verbally bash vegetarians on this blog, but a vegan cafe done well in Nottingham has just as much chance of survival as a vegetarian cafe and I think that needs to be highlighted. It is time for vegans to take the leap and not cave in to the perceived societal and financial threats of omitting dairy. We are not living in the 1970s where veganism is unknown.
Plant-based milks are one of the fastest growing areas in the freefrom industry and the general public are used to them. Take the option away and do vegan versions of everything in a way that people will not miss anything.
Take Cookies & Scream as an example.
You can get ice cream with brownies, a whole manner of teas and coffees as well as cookies, muffins, pie and milkshakes. It is all vegan. Vegan is not one of two options, it is the only option. The bakery does not compromise on this stance and they are never short of customers because what they do is world class. Ms Cupcake is another example. Mellissa Morgan has turned her love of cake into a huge enterprise promoting compassionate eating via a shop, wholesale supply, cooking classes, international speaking engagements, cook books and public appearances. Nothing she offers comes with a dairy option.
I understand a start up business is a frightening prospect and people want to eliminate financial risk, but as vegans we are in the business of being the leaders of harm reduction. We lead by example. Our vegan business owners can demonstrate to customers that café food without any cruelty is a reality.
This blog post isn’t just directed at The Bluebird. Longstanding vegan favourite Cafe Kino of Bristol serve cow milk on request. It boggles the mind how this award-winning food provider doesn’t believe it will still thrive without this one offering of dairy. The same can be said for inSpiral Lounge of Camden.
We are vegan to reduce harm to animals and most of these businesses are serving animal-free food for the same reason. The dairy industry is one of the biggest causes of animal suffering, resulting in multiple forced pregnancies, cows suffering from degenerative bone diseases, calves taken for the veal industry, lacerated udders from milking machines and the death of cows at the end of their milk lives. Dairy is not an acceptable foodstuff for a compassionate café to serve.
It is time for these otherwise vegan cafes around the UK to ditch the dairy and be at the forefront of compassionate food service.
Reach out via Twitter and let your local vegetarian café know how much you would love for them to remove dairy from their menu and how devoted you will be to them when they do remove it.
The Bluebird in Nottingham on Twitter
Cafe Kino in Bristol on Twitter
inSpiral in London on Twitter
The Old Hardware Shop in Liverpool on Facebook
For further information on the horrors of the dairy industry, visit this resource by Viva! Campaigns.