THE LONG LINE OUTSIDE THE ENTRANCE TO SLAGTHUSET BORE WITNESS THAT VEGAN IS ALMOST MAINSTREAM TODAY.
Perhaps it was a sign of the times that the venue for the vegan fair hosted by Djurens Rätt (Animal Rights) was a former slaughterhouse. With a pink armband visitors were greeted by a pink pig and a fox, a lure for children to visit the children’s corner of the fair. Another draw for children (and adults) was ice cream handed out by two chipper girls in the Magnum booth. Frankly had it not said vegan I would have not known the difference.
And that is the key, the flavor and consistence which today closely emulate the meat containing products of the past. Restaurants (including steakhouses) which do not offer meat alternatives and purely vegan options are risking their livelihood today. At the fair a plethora of alternatives was on offer, burgers, sandwich spreads, jams, dairy free chocolate and latte made with milk substitute made from peas and more ice cream just to name some.
The audience was mostly Gen X and Millennials who will have to live with the consequences of past decisions by multinational food producers. But not even the vegan industry is a saint as in South America large swaths of the world’s lung, the Amazonas rain forest are being cleared for soy bean production. Most of it for cattle feed but some also goes into the tofu and other meat substitutes as a protein rich food source.
Behind the fair is Djurens Rätt who offered a VR tour of the life of a broiler chicken and invited visitors to make Instagram statements at their photo booth. Cooking classes and interviews about how to get vegan food into mainstream school lunches is a hot topic in Sweden and some of the drivers were on stage.
There were plenty beyond food such as eco fashion, makeup and tattoos (vegetable ink?) lining the exhibition halls. In short life can be meat free and Vegovision is for everybody who wants a livable planet.