Is it reasonable to expect restaurants to serve both vegan and non-vegan options?

clorose

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Hi all. I was just wondering if its really reasonable to expect restaurants to serve both vegan and non-vegan food options.

Would the "contamination" risk (e.g. foods touching each other) be too high?

Is the food truly vegan if its served and prepared alongside non-vegan foods?

As a vegan, is this something you worry about?

I would love to hear your opinions!

Thank you in advance
 

Sax

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If kitchen staff can prevent contamination of cooked meat with uncooked meat, and accommodate people with allergies safely, then they can prevent contamination of vegan food. And it's not like my throat's gonna seal up if my fries touched some beef.

I don't worry about some incidental contact that I might be unaware of. But if I can see or taste an animal's body fluids on my vegan food it's gonna gross me out and **** me off.
 

Lou

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I absolutely think it's reasonable for restaurants to label food vegan as long as it doesn't contain meat or dairy.

I know many vegans who hate the idea of their food being cooked alongside meat. I an not one of them. And I suppose if you are one of them you aren't going out to anything but 100% vegan restaurants. In my general vicinity, there are no vegan restaurants. the closest is 30 miles away. And I imagine it's even worse for most people.

I even order food that is vegetarian in regular restaurants. A vegetarian meal can be turned vegan by just getting it without cheese. Most Asian cuisine doesn't contain cheese anyway. And they have tofu.
 

Lou

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It is entirely reasonable, IMO.

We have just had a new 'pub' open across the street from us and there is absolutely nothing there that we could eat other than maybe some sweet potato fries and a garden salad. It is very disappointing.

Emma JC
I love sweet potato fries. and hey, it's a pub. what did you expect? Beyond Meat?
 
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Connie

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There are plenty of restaurants that serve something that is vegan here in Australia, often with a choice of a couple of things . If it's a one off visit to somewhere like a club restaurant (as in southern cross club which is the Aussie version of a UK pub, at least so they think ) then I'd ring up first and earn then 2 vegans were visiting. similarly with the works Christmas lunch which was a meal on a cruise boat on the city lake, they actually returned to port to collect our hot dishes (we saw them handed over and jokingly said it was our meals... The pilot confirmed that they were !). There is even a service station chain that has roughly 1/2 of its menu vegan advertising it as a healthier option and nothing is fried. It is often busy when we go in.
There's also a good supply of vegan restaurants or vegan cafes serving food in most major cities (in Australia).
But it's a didn't matter entirely with cafes. They'll have a wide range of choice of milks but often lack even 'long life' vegan snacks. I just sit there an eat my own now. I don't both trying to hide it if I've tried to buy something and they've not got anything. I've always got a small snack living in the bottom of my rucksack.
I'm actually not looking forward to coming back to the UK in (your) summer because of the issues with eating out. We don't eat out often but not living of (vegan ) chip butties had become quite nice!
 
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Nekodaiden

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If a restaurant is serving Vegan in addition to non-vegan, it is reasonable to expect they know, from a dietary perspective at the least, what this means.

Since non-vegans (at least many I have met) often seem to be confused about what is or is not vegan (thanks, habitual cheagans), the management should inform chefs that absolutely no dairy, eggs, fish and other meats, including in flavorings and sauces, should be part of Vegan dishes. It doesn't matter if Joe or Sally, who called themselves vegan, were "ok" with a little cheese or some bacon bits in the sauce. So serve them what they want or are ok with, just know you'll get hell if you actually come across a real vegan who expects no animal products and gets served them. Your reputation is likely to be tarnished as well and you may lose the vegan market share to some extent in your area.

Another reasonable expectation if the place advertises Vegan friendly is that there are Vegan options that are actually filling and count as a satisfying meal for vegans. If salad and some fries/potatoes is all you have on offer, don't expect the Vegan market to come flocking, especially if it's just salad.

As for cross contamination, for cooked meats I wouldn't be nearly so worried about the utensils handling them as I would be about preparing raw meats and vegetable foodstuffs with the same utensils and in the same areas. I'm pretty sure this is a basic hygiene requirement anyway for most countries, but you never know if it's being implemented. A bit of blood from a raw animal carcass dripping onto a Vegan meal because they were prepared in the same area is not acceptable in my eyes.
 

Rosco917

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I go to vegan restaurants exclusively. When I go to a non-Vegan establishment, like with friends, I generally go for "the big Salad." Or I'll take the opportunity to consider the occasion a cheat day and maybe have a piece of salmon. A piece of fish a few times a year won't kill you. Just get back on the horse ASAP.

This isn't a competition or an addiction we're dealing with here. It's a choice. I'm in control of me.
 

Sax

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I'll take the opportunity to consider the occasion a cheat day and maybe have a piece of salmon. A piece of fish a few times a year won't kill you. Just get back on the horse ASAP.

This isn't a competition or an addiction we're dealing with here. It's a choice. I'm in control of me.
It's great that you almost never eat animal products. So I have to ask...why make the occasional exception?

I don't think the concept of a cheat day is appropriate for veganism. When your choices involve hurting others - human or animal - you're required to consider their interests as well as your own. The small, temporary pleasure or convenience you get from ordering a piece of salmon just isn't a good enough reason to hurt another living being.
 

veganDreama

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Yes, I think it's reasonable to serve vegan food although I prefer vegan (or at least vegetarian) restaurants that don't deal with animal matter.
 

Connie

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I go to vegan restaurants exclusively. When I go to a non-Vegan establishment, like with friends, I generally go for "the big Salad." Or I'll take the opportunity to consider the occasion a cheat day and maybe have a piece of salmon. A piece of fish a few times a year won't kill you. Just get back on the horse ASAP.

This isn't a competition or an addiction we're dealing with here. It's a choice. I'm in control of me.
I don't agree with the idea of an off day just because they don't have anything obvious on the menu that meets your dietary requirements . Most dishes, especially salads which usually are made in house, can be amended to remove dairy/egg/meat/fish etc. You just have to ask and sometimes make a point of being overheard by other customers . If you don't keep asking, don't keep trying ,restaurants won't change their menus .
.
 
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Connie

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although I prefer vegan (or at least vegetarian) restaurants that don't deal with animal matter.
I think that goes for all of us . If my husband and I eat out alone, it's at restaurants that are entirely vegan (bar one which had a dedicated vegan menu and even appreciates that vegans still don't want fish sauce in one of the dishes changing it out for soy sauce or just omitting it entirely (they always ask).)
 

Emma JC

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We just spent a few days away from home and in a hotel and I took food with us (oatmeal, dates, nuts, fruit, pre-cooked potatoes, snacks) and I found a couple of restaurants that had a vegan option however most had vegetarian with the only vegan option being salads. That is frustrating although I was happy to see the vegan options where there were some.

We asked for a microwave on arrival and so I was able to make oatmeal in the mornings and it was delicious and set us up well for the rest of the day.

Many of the vegan restaurants, in the area, closed on weekends or by 5 pm which was very annoying. A new chain Copper Branch was not open on weekends and it is a full vegan restaurant. grrrr

Emma JC
 

alleycat

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O.H is a chef and always has at least one vegan dish in entrees, mains and desserts. He always has a range of foods available for people with allergies too. Not having alternatives just means disappointed people will not be back. When we occasionally go out I always ring to make sure they have something suitable for me . The town we live in considers itself the beef capital of Australia and they can be very rude to people who dare to ask for something different
Don't know how common it is anywhere else in the world but allergies to mammal meat are becoming more common because of tick bites.
https://www.mydr.com.au/allergy/mammalian-meat-allergy
So it's just one more reason not to eat meat.
 
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LoCo

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I think it's perfectly doable. I'm lucky living in the UK, because the majority of restaurants have at least one vegan option, and it's labelled as such. I'm loving the appearance of vegan burgers in most pubs now. Chain restaurants have strict guidelines to follow, with plating up and storage etc, so if the food is of a high standard somewhere, I'd say that cross contamination is at a much lower risk level.
 
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Forest Nymph

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If a restaurant is serving Vegan in addition to non-vegan, it is reasonable to expect they know, from a dietary perspective at the least, what this means.

Since non-vegans (at least many I have met) often seem to be confused about what is or is not vegan (thanks, habitual cheagans), the management should inform chefs that absolutely no dairy, eggs, fish and other meats, including in flavorings and sauces, should be part of Vegan dishes. It doesn't matter if Joe or Sally, who called themselves vegan, were "ok" with a little cheese or some bacon bits in the sauce. So serve them what they want or are ok with, just know you'll get hell if you actually come across a real vegan who expects no animal products and gets served them. Your reputation is likely to be tarnished as well and you may lose the vegan market share to some extent in your area.

Another reasonable expectation if the place advertises Vegan friendly is that there are Vegan options that are actually filling and count as a satisfying meal for vegans. If salad and some fries/potatoes is all you have on offer, don't expect the Vegan market to come flocking, especially if it's just salad.

As for cross contamination, for cooked meats I wouldn't be nearly so worried about the utensils handling them as I would be about preparing raw meats and vegetable foodstuffs with the same utensils and in the same areas. I'm pretty sure this is a basic hygiene requirement anyway for most countries, but you never know if it's being implemented. A bit of blood from a raw animal carcass dripping onto a Vegan meal because they were prepared in the same area is not acceptable in my eyes.
I'm interested in your self righteous critique of chegans whilst you defend leather shoes, fish wine, and deride "super VEGANS" who won't use non vegan face cream or etc. How do ethically separate yourself from both "chegans" who might eat mayonnaise on a restaurant burger or make no argument about goat cheese at a friend's party, while you loftily also hold yourself above vegans "too strict" who wear vegan shoes and drink vegan beer. What an interesting and seif absorbed place of rationale. Be one or the other.Strict in all areas or forgiving, not this stupid bias on food but laughing at those who extend care to clothes, hygeine and booze.
 

Nekodaiden

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I'm interested in your self righteous critique of chegans whilst you defend leather shoes, fish wine, and deride "super VEGANS" who won't use non vegan face cream or etc. How do ethically separate yourself from both "chegans" who might eat mayonnaise on a restaurant burger or make no argument about goat cheese at a friend's party, while you loftily also hold yourself above vegans "too strict" who wear vegan shoes and drink vegan beer. What an interesting and seif absorbed place of rationale. Be one or the other.Strict in all areas or forgiving, not this stupid bias on food but laughing at those who extend care to clothes, hygeine and booze.
I do not defend leather shoes or fish wine, face cream or goat's milk. I don't use any of these and have no intention of doing so. I also don't laugh at those who are conscious and abstain from those things. I don't hold myself up above those who abstain from things like animal clothing. However I do say that if they are eating animal products, they aren't vegan - which is why I think you take such an issue with it.