Historically, Ireland has been a country where beef is one of the largest produced foods. However, in recent years, this trend has seen a large shift. A growing interest in healthier diets and more sustainable dietary practices has made for an increase in vegetarians in Ireland today.
In recent years, as vegetarianism has become more popular, there are more vegetarian restaurants and takeaways that offer good vegetarian options such as veggie burgers and more. Even supermarkets are offering more meat-free options and alternatives, making it easier to prepare food at home. However, even with these changes, what is it like to be a vegetarian in Ireland and especially in Dublin?
Shift in Society
One of the reasons why Irish vegetarian lifestyles have become more accepted is a greater awareness of the negative effects of meat and dairy on the environment. Eating meat is a major part of Irish culture and any change does take time. Especially as we were all brought up on the meat and two veg model!
However, these news stories and the likes of Jaime Oliver are creating a greater awareness of what it means to lead a vegetarian lifestyle. Instead of facing constant scrutiny about getting adequate protein, vitamins, and minerals in their diet, many Irish vegetarians feel as though they have a greater acceptance, even among people who still eat meat.
There have been two major changes in society that have caused a greater number of vegetarians and greater understanding. Unlike the older generations who are used to family farming, most animals today are raised in feedlots, battery chicken, and pork sheds. These environments are considered cruel and concern people who have an interest in animal cruelty. The second change is a concern that meat companies are one of the primary contributors to pollution today. For a younger generation that wants to play a larger role in going green, limiting or avoiding meat consumption just make sense.
Despite these changes, society still has a long way to go. One of the areas that is still concerning for vegetarians is finding a variety of restaurants that offer vegetarian options. It used to be that the only option would be a salad or side dishes that weren’t tasty or balanced.
Finding good vegetarian burgers, for example, can be a challenge, especially if you’re not a native of the area. With the rise in technology, there are good resources for vegetarians to find options in their area. A recent Just Eat Best Veggie Burgers in Dublin post lists some of the best veggie burger restaurants in Dublin, helping both locals and visitors to Dublin find the restaurants and takeaways to cater to their taste.
Gone are the days when vegetarians couldn’t go out and enjoy a balanced meat-free meal. Dubliners especially are happy to notice that they have options in their area that are both enjoyable and compliment their lifestyle.
In the coming years, expect to see vegetarian trends continue and it’s likely that many more people will be changing their diets to either reduce meat or even become fully meat-free. Today, vegetarian cuisine is seeing a surge in Ireland and it’s not going away anytime soon.