Search

Editor’s comment: I hope vegan pub can break stereotypes

PUBLISHED: 15:30 17 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:09 17 January 2018

The Blacksmith and Toffeemaker pub in St John Street, Finsbury, has gone completely vegan. Picture: Ewan Munro/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

The Blacksmith and Toffeemaker pub in St John Street, Finsbury, has gone completely vegan. Picture: Ewan Munro/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Archant

When I gave up meat as a first-year student, I did so not just because of nascent first-world guilt about the environment and factory farming, but because it was cheaper.

Four years later, I thought I was entering a world of bulk-bought lentils and Vitalite, not exclusive menus and social capital.

I lived in Manchester, and was lucky enough to be surrounded by budget cafes that catered well for people who didn’t eat animals. I remember with mouthwatering affection Glossop’s Globe Inn, where a largely vegan menu was dished up at £3 for a main course and where I first heard the word “seitan” (swiftly followed by “and ale pie and chips”).

The point I’m making is that while I’m delighted to see a pub relaunching with a vegan menu to a degree of fanfare – The Blacksmith and the Toffeemaker in St John’s Street – it’s important that it does its best to attract the people who might have drunk there 10, 20 or 30 years ago. Islington is a mixture of old and new communities, council estates and private developments, families and young professionals. Veganism is no longer a hairshirt-y cult, but what it has lost in one stereotype it has gained in another: vegan shops and restaurants are too often now a sign of gentrification.

Veganism is gaining a reputation for being exclusive when it should be the opposite: everyone can eat meat-free food but not everyone can eat meat. Which is why I’m encouraged not just by the fact a boozer or two is ditching the pork scratchings, but by cheap and cheerful offerings like the Nag’s Head’s burgeoning vegan market.

Chapel Market’s fruit and veg stalls were vegan long before cashew cheese was invented. Veganism isn’t just for judgemental elites: it’s for everyone.I hope vegan pub can break stereotypes

Related articles

Latest Islington Stories

Yesterday, 21:10

The Arsenal U23, now led by Freddie Ljungberg, took on Brighton U23 at the Emirates. Read on for Layth Yousif’s on-the-whistle match report.

Yesterday, 20:57

Arsenal U23s led by Freddie Ljungberg took on Brighton U23s at the Emirates on Monday evening. Read on for Layth Yousif’s PLAYER RATINGS

Yesterday, 18:35

A fine bowling display from Northamptonshire’s seamers forced Middlesex to follow-on at Wantage Road on the second day of their Division Two match.

Yesterday, 17:22

“Gutted” kids at a Stroud Green primary school were left empty-handed when their yearbooks failed to turn up – due to a dispute between parents and the printing company.

Yesterday, 17:02

Some “incredibly insensitive” electric car charging points will be removed from a Highbury street because they take up too much pavement space.

Yesterday, 13:52

Installation of new “fire safety” doors on a Highbury estate has been halted in the wake of government safety tests – amid links between the contractor and Grenfell.

Yesterday, 11:30

A former police office and Stoke Newington RAF cadet is now serving his country in another way – after his call handling start-up app was given permission to be contracted by the government.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

A man in his 40s is in hospital after being stabbed in Stroud Green this morning.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now