/' http-equiv='refresh'/> Vegan Outreach Lincoln and East Midlands: Travelling as a Vegan


Travelling as a Vegan

Apologies for the delay in posting new blog entries but we have been busy planning lots of new and exciting things for VOLE, joining up with likeminded groups and looking into lots of outreach opportunities.

A lot of people we talk to seem to have a belief that veganism outside of the home is difficult and that it means giving up enjoyable parts of life such as eating out and travelling, which begs the question why aren't they at least vegan at home? Regardless in the following blog post we hope to counteract this misapprehension by showing in reality just how easy it is.

We have just returned from the Yorkshire Dales, staying very near the Lake District. It's absolutely stunning and if you like nature and the outdoors we cannot recommend it highly enough (just bring a raincoat!). The UK truly is a beautiful country and so many people forget what diverse places we can visit on our doorstep. Back to the point, travelling as a vegan. Ruth has been vegan for almost five years now and in that time she has lived in Hong Kong, travelled to South Africa, Zambia, Namibia and all over the UK. She has never considered eating animal products and has found being vegan to be achievable no matter where she's been.

If you live in the UK there is NO reason to complain about veganism being hard. All the major supermarkets sell a selection of "milks" made from soya, almond, coconut, hemp etc. Sainsburys and Co-Op label their products vegan. You can get vegan toothpaste, washing up liquid, washing powder, cleaning products etc from the co-op that are labled as free from animal products and not tested on animals. It's the Co-Op own brand and well priced. We happened to forget our toothpaste (whoops!) and were staying in a small town with no Co-Op or health food shop so chose to use the old vegan version, bicarbonate of soda until we found one. We have to admit it tasted very strange and but it was a cruelty free method of cleaning our teeth and that's all that matters.

When on the road, do as the vegans do...

When travelling first start by doing some research. What is the local diet like? Do they have dishes that are vegan by default? What is the word for vegan in the language they speak? We also carry The Vegan Passport, a very handy little booket, it's only £2.50 from The Vegan Society and explains in many languages what a vegan is, very useful when there isn't a direct definition available.

Happy Cow is a fantasic reasource for finding restaurants that offer vegan food, it lists whether they serve animal products so you can choose the vegan one over a vegetarian one where possible. It also lists health food shops for getting specialist ingredients. It is international so you can find shops and restaurants all over the world and they are graded by price and user reviews which is handy.

Colleen Patrick Goudreau puts out a fantastic free vegan podcast called Vegetarian Food for Thought which is the first podcast Ruth ever listened to. Colleen's very compassionate and has an amazing way of putting across ideas and lots of useful tips. She has created many podcasts on travelling as a vegan that are well worth a listen.

The best advice we can give for travelling is to always plan ahead. Have suitable containers available for packed lunches and snacks. Even look out for nature's own bounty, we found some wild garlic, which makes a delicious pesto. Contact places you will be staying and let them know you are vegan and exactly what that means, so many places bizarrely think that fish bodies, cow's milk, chicken bodies etc are acceptable.

Even when you've covered these bases it's always best to have some back up food handy. One time in Namibia when Ruth was a vegetarian, staying at a lodge who had been informed that she was vegetarian. When she arrived however there was nothing available, in fact she was told (quite seriously) "you can eat the carrots". This could have been a serious issue but she had planned ahead and had a can of baked beans in the car and they had potatoes so the good old standard baked potato and baked beans made for a quick, nutritious meal. Easy when you want it to be!

Please email us if you have any questions or comments on travelling as a vegan.

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