Bishopston leads the way for ethical food

May 26 2016
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Bishopston leads the way for ethical food

By Zuzana Pouloudkova

WE don’t live in a perfect world, but we may have one the largest concentration of ethical food options in our neighbourhood of Bishopston.

Both the Black Sheep cafe and Scoopaway Health Foods on the Gloucester Road have led the field in vegetarian and vegan food as well as many other nearby eateries than now offer ethically sourced food.

At the end of May, Bristol hosts one of the biggest vegan events in UK and the whole of Europe, Vegfest, which is taking place at Bristol Harbourside. Organiser, Tim Barford, has been vegan for more than 30 years and for him the plant based diet ticks all the boxes of ethical, sustainable and healthy approach to life.

You may have less choices, but as a resident of Cotham, he says that in our area alone we have the biggest concentration of vegan and health food places in the world.

He said: “Vegan eating has become really cool, especially among young people in recent years, with 42% of all vegans aged between 15 and 34 according to Vegan Society. There has been a huge influx of vegan options. Nearly all places in Bristol now serve vegan food and there are quite a few specialist vegan cafes and restaurants.”

I joined more than half a million vegans in UK almost a year ago and living or working in Bishopston the whole time, I’m adding our high street to the easiest places to have sustainable lifestyle.

We are very lucky to have wide range of fresh fruit and vegetable shops, local bakeries, wholesome food stores and ethical cafes, where you can choose the best our current food industry provides and there isn’t even a need to wrap it up in plastic.

The trouble for me comes when I leave Bristol. Coming from the Czech Republic, where the traditional meal is built around meat, not many people seem to care that livestock farming produces more greenhouse gases than all the transport combined.

Half of the world’s grain is fed to livestock, 80% of all antibiotics sold in USA are for livestock, and there is a whole issue about the effects on biodiversity, oceans, land and about conditions of people working in slaughterhouses.

It is not easy to get into conversations about my diet choices, some saying I am stupid, but it is very easy to live my choices, especially here.

Tim said: “For most of us it is about a day to day choices. We don’t live in a vegan world. If you don’t always achieve being vegan 100%, don’t give up and don’t be discouraged, just keep seeking out for the options and the support. Don’t let anyone to put you off.”

For more information visit vegansociety.com or Veggie Vision TV which provides education and entertainment for crueltyfree living.

Visit the society’s facebook page, Bristol Vegans, which has over 2000 members, vivahealth. org.uk is a registered charity that provides a major resource on vegan health and nutrition or Bristol Animal Rights Collective blog bristolar.wordpress.com .