It’s getting easier and easier to be vegan, right? I mean, there are tons of vegan restaurants out there now, loads of vegan products in stores – being vegan is more accessible than ever. Well yes and no.
There are certainly tons more vegan restaurants; they are popping up all over – I’ve even seen one right next to a steakhouse – mmm pleasant….gak! Grocery stores are chock full of vegan products – and I don’t mean just fresh fruits and veggies. Vegan cheeses, salad dressings, ice creams, yogurts, milks, butters, whatever you enjoyed as an omnivore you can pretty much get plant-based now.
It would seem going vegan is as easy as saying: I’m vegan.
But I have noticed one anomalie. I daresay other vegans have too, but I haven’t really heard anyone mention it yet.
What’s with all the fucking “Beyond Meat” products going into our fav fast food outlets and coffee shops BUT NO ALTERNATE DAIRY OPTIONS?
There are signs up at our local Timmies (Tim Hortons Donuts) advertising a vegan Beyond Sausage patty sammich. “VEGAN” it says plastered in bright red across the top, but I can’t get soy milk in my coffee because THEY DON’T SERVE IT! So I can buy a breakfast sammich but not a coffee (unless it’s black). What the actual fuck?
That’s not even just a vegan option, peeps; many people are lactose intolerant. It’s not a choice for some people, it’s a necessity, but there is no non-dairy alternative. Unless you want to go to Starbucks and pay $25 for a gigante latte frappe with soy and a sprinkling of garbanzo beans…..whatever…. I can’t afford that joint. A lot of people I know can’t either. So if you’re poor but have a conscience OR a health condition, you can get a meat substitute sammich but not a simple coffee or tea.
Non-dairy alternatives should have happened years ago, long before anyone even knew about Beyond Meats. They should be on every menu. It’s not more expensive. It’s not hard to get. It’s not unnecessary.
But no. A meat substitute is the very first plant-based option on fast food menus. MEAT.
Why? Why did meat substitutes become the first thing to be adopted at these places and not a non-dairy beverage? Long before plant-based was a thing people were lactose intolerant. Why was this issue never catered to?
I’m confounded, peeps. Appalled and confounded.
I have no answers either. I think it has to do with money. Let’s think about this: (uh oh, she’s thinking again!) The vegan movement is growing; awareness of the abuse of animals and the negative impact of animal products on our health and environment are causing a lot of people to be awakened to reality. There is more money to be made off a meat sandwich than a cup of coffee, so obviously that is targeted. But also, the Beyond Meats are causing such a sensation at the moment EVERYWHERE anyone in the food industry would be a fool not to follow suit and include it on a menu. The meat substitutes may be single handedly converting many omnivores to plant-based, something soy milk can’t brag to have done. (Nut milks aren’t an option: allergies and all that.) Soy milk isn’t making headway in our propaganda machine the same way meat substitutes are. Soy milk just isn’t exciting, peeps.
Soy milk is like the Mary Ann to Beyond Meat’s Ginger (Gilligan’s Island reference for all you millennials. Google it.)
But I am so freaking frustrated! All I want is a coffee with non-dairy alternative! Is that so much to ask? I ask for it in every Timmies to which I go. Finally, one of our shops here started serving soy milk. I was so excited! They probably had to turn their head phones down when I whooped. They are owned by the same people as the other shop up the street, so I checked there too, but that one doesn’t have soy milk. The clerk didn’t even know what it was – and yet when I explained, she said “oh well we have the Beyond Sausage patty. That’s vegan.” I said, “I just want a coffee tho…” and she simply didn’t understand my point. I told her to perhaps mention it to her employer and she gave me a dirty look and shut the window.
OMG What the actual fuck again? Same owners, same actual street, but no soy milk.
When will the world realize the Mary Anns of this world are the foundation the Gingers have used to soar to their pinnacle? That without the Mary Anns, the Gingers would have broken a nail or two in their ascent to stardom?
So, all this to say, in some ways, no it’s not that much easier to be vegan in a meat-eating world. When all you want is a coffee with non-dairy alternative – something that is not strictly vegan even – it shows the disconnect with which we still have to live.