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I would like to know what an ordinary person can do to increase the proportion of vegan-oriented products in shops and of vegan meals in restaurants.

While in bigger cities and/or countries with larger vegan and vegetarian populations this problem can be tackled by visiting specialized places, there are many of cities which lack these options. I am interested in answers beyond the obvious supply and demand considerations.

6

One method is to ask for veg* options, even if you know they will say "no". By the number of requests the managers of the restaurants will understand that there's a demand for veg options and will increase their offer.

Recently the Brazilian Vegetarian Society opened a position for a campaigner in charge of counseling restaurants and fast-foods on how to include veg options to their menus.

Also another way is to spread information about the benefits of serving vegan options in menus: they are valid options to people that are allergic to eggs and dairy, and good for people that suffer from cardiovascular diseases, obesity and diabetes. This implies talking to the managers or the owners of the restaurants.

7

We had this colleague who never wanted to go to a restaurant with us because she was Vegan... Someone told her to bring her own food and still come with us and she did. Whenever a restaurant refused her to get her own food out of her back-pack, we all got up and left.

If the restaurant pointed out they had Vegetarian options, she educated them what they could do to make these Vegan and she still got her own food out of her back-pack.

We kept doing this for quite a while and our first success came one day when the local Italian had changed his menu to have some Vegetarian menu items have a Vegan option as well. (Naturally when our Vegan colleague was not present). We went back of course and she now takes some of her Vegan friends there too when we're not necessarily around and the chef actually thanked us for letting him know how easy it is to add Vegan options to his menu!

In the mean time, we've given up on the restaurants that are hard-core anti-Vegan and even go to a Vegan restaurant every now and then and then some of us get their meat out of their backpack to sprinkle the Vegan dishes... :-)

Note: She's a raw Vegan...

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    This is a very interesting example, thanks! – Alexander Rossa Feb 4 '17 at 19:59
  • @AlexanderRossa Come and visit us in chat – Fabby Feb 4 '17 at 20:01
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    If the people on the table next to me in a vegan restaurant would put meat on their food, I would be offended. – Turion Feb 4 '17 at 20:47
  • Hah! We're protected by very cute Vegans and go under the motto "Live and let live"... The Vegan Chef finds us amusing... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ – Fabby Feb 4 '17 at 20:50
  • I accept the right of others to choose to eat meat, but I have a pretty intense disgust response to it by now, and going to a vegan restaurant is a refuge from that. If it were my vegan restaurant, I wouldn't allow people to bring their own meat, for the comfort of my vegan customers – Zanna Feb 5 '17 at 4:39
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Social Media is, in my opinion, the most powerful tool in this regard.

Either through mass organisation by online Vegan communities (like the ones on Reddit/Facebook/Instagram etc.) or just a couple of lone Vegans constantly poking a company over Twitter to provide an option, I've seen it work so many times. It may attract some anti-Vegan trolling in the replies but it's always best to ignore and keep posting and promoting others posts until a change is made.

If you're not a fan of this approach, writing a letter may work if it ends up in the right hands and argues points advertising the potentially profitable business aspects (mentioning how quickly Veganism is growing etc.)

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