I felt pretty alone when I started my vegan journey two years ago in Denmark. I didn’t have any vegan friends or relatives and my options in the grocery store were very limited (soy milk, low-quality tofu, veggie burgers). When I moved to Berlin I was delighted to find that they have all things vegan everywhere! Vegan grocery stores, restaurants, clothing stores, and much more. Now that I’m back in Denmark I’m happy to say that, although not as abundant and progressive as Berlin and The United States, we are making progress. Vegan cafes are sprouting up all over the country and many fast food chains have added a vegan option to their menu.
Unfortunately, our collective social attitudes leave much to be desired. Most of our population is brought on a spoon-fed diet of pork, gravy, and dairy products. Although often billed as a progressive paradise by many outside nations, we are very resistant to any type of lifestyle change or to usurping our outdated traditions in any way. When I introduce myself as a vegan to someone from Denmark I am often bombarded with prejudice and ignorant questions. My boyfriend often calls Denmark the Alabama of Europe and, after numerous encounters with narrow-minded, uneducated Danes, I am somewhat inclined to agree with his sentiment.
Not all hope is lost though! My international friends are much more supportive and my family cooks a vegan meal every night for dinner. I see big changes in the future with veganism becoming more and more mainstream. It’s only a matter of time!
(I love Denmark and the Danish people!)