After fossil fuels, the food industry – and in particular the meat and dairy sector – is one of the most important contributors to climate change. After being vegetarian for 20 years I decided to go vegan as it is one of the main things we can do as an individual to help combat global warming. A lot more places are starting to cater for vegans now and I’ve been visiting quite a few places lately asking businesses what vegan food they offer.
Today, my mum wanted to go for a meal at the Swan Inn, in Pontfadog, near Llangollen. At first, I was going to suggest somewhere else – somewhere I knew offered vegan food (I knew the Swan usually offered a vegetarian option but not vegan). But, I knew my mum really wanted to go to the Swan so I decided to go along and to ask if they had milk alternatives so that I could at least have a coffee, and to ask about the chips and whether they were vegan (a lot of places will cook sausages etc in the same fat as the chips).
When I asked about milk alternatives the lady taking the orders said she wasn’t sure and she went to check. I’m sure I saw someone go past the window to the shop next door, and when she reappeared she informed me that she had oat milk (my favourite) available and she could make me a filter coffee to go with it. Perfect! The chef then appeared and I asked him about the chips and he assured me they were vegan. He disappeared then came back and said, “If you like I could do you a cauliflower and red pepper curry with rice and popadoms – all vegan”. Yes, please! He disappeared into the kitchen again then came back and asked me if I liked cashew nuts. I said that I did and he asked if I’d like some in my curry “to add some protein to the meal”. Could this really get any better? When the food came it was wonderful – see the picture – it tasted as good as it looked. A second coffee finished off a lovely meal though I’m sure that if I’d wanted a pudding he would have rustled up something delicious. Not only does this lovely place offer home-cooked food but a lot of it is also organic and locally sourced. There were other customers there and the personal service was wonderful – something that’s lacking in a lot of businesses today. I can’t find a website for them but they have a page on Facebook here. To find them head down the Ceiriog Valley road (B4500) out of Chirk and as you enter Pontfadog you’ll see them on the right next to the shop/Post Office. It’s a lovely drive down the valley too.
You don’t have to go vegetarian or vegan to make a difference: cut down gradually and become a ‘flexitarian’. By reducing your consumption of animal protein by half, you can cut your diet's carbon footprint by more than 40%. Next time you eat out though, why not try a vegan meal? Don’t be put off if there’s nothing on the menu – remember that the sign of a good chef is someone who can adapt the meal to suit the customer. Asking about vegan meals also raises awareness both in the business and in you – when you realise how good vegan food can taste!
I’ve decided to challenge myself to do something every day for 21 days to show how living a more conscious life can help us heal ourselves and heal the earth. If you join me in the challenge please use the hashtag #heal. Will you join me?
If you want a more personal and in-depth challenge that makes you question your level of consciousness and beliefs, join me on my 21 Day Conscious Living Challenge. It starts on the 21st of July and there are still a few places left. Are you up for the challenge?