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Image for Guide: V for Vegan in Berlin (8 images)

Guide: V for Vegan in Berlin (8 images)

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Default profile picture Angela Therain

Refuse to eat meat out of concern for animal welfare? Or does quality bother you? You can always find adequate food in most cities throughout the world. However if you eat no animal products at all, including eggs and milk products, it's best to go for a city that caters for your tastes. In the German capital French photographer Laura Tangre discovers innumerable possibilities, between the first vegan university canteen, veggie fast-food or complete vegan meals prepared in the squats or Hausbesetzung

Where do Berlin's vegans hang out?

Who exactly are these strange specimens who have made the decision to no longer eat meat, fish, eggs or milk products? (Image: ©Laura Tangre)

'Bandito Rosso'

The first vegans - who unlike vegetarians eat no animal products - that I cross are sitting in a self-catering restaurant in the Mitte (central) area. According to this peaceful corner called the Bandito Rosso, it is simple and easy to be a vegan. Customers help themselves directly in the kitchen. The vöku or main meal is in the process of being prepared, and it's entirely vegan - just vegetables, soya, tofu and numerous cereals. For three euros (£2.43) the menu no meat, and no eggs, milk or butter. Throughout the city there are about twenty such menus of this kind, mainly served up in the 'Hausbesetzung' (Image: ©Laura Tangre)

Respect and quality set vegan pace

On the menu this evening, it's vegetable soup made with cabbage, beans, onions, leeks, pumpkin and thyme. As tasty as my grandmothers’. It's followed by pasta with peppers and usually apples with cinnamon to finish. You won't go hungry with the generous helpings. The Berliners didn’t wait for American writer Jonathan Safran Foer’s best seller Eating Animals (2009) to stop going to fast food places or the butchers. Their combat is as much out of respect for animal life as for a higher quality way of eating. They too loved sushi, steak and grilled chicken but have decided to limit their diet to be in keeping with their convictions (Image: ©Laura Tangre)

Bandito Rosso, Lottumstr. 10a, 10119, Berlin. Prenzlauer Berg

First organic vegan canteen in Berlin

In spite of what one might imagine, Berlin is THE place for vegans. The very first European organic vegan canteen was established here for the Berlin open university students who can choose either a meat or a vegan menu (Image: ©Laura Tangre)

Freie universitat, street tram Lichtefelder Ost, in the district of Lankwitz, Marienfelde

Fake meat

Don’t get the idea that these meals are insipid or tasteless. Our German friends know how to make steaks, sausages and hamburgers using tofu or fake meat – foodstuff of non-animal origin that has the flavour, the look and the same protein value as meat (Image: ©Laura Tangre)

Vegetarian restaurant Yellow Sunshine, Wienerstrasse 19, metro stop Gorlitzer Bahnof, in the district of Kreuzberg

German vegans, German gourmands

Around these canteens, vöku and veggie fast-foods the Germans have re-invented a healthier, creative and more convivial way of eating. It's more natural too because there are no artificial flavourings or antibiotics. A particular mention goes out to the delicatessen Cupcake in Friedrichshain that sells vegan cupcakes that are, in my opinion, simply delicious and sweet and creamy enough to satisfy anyone’s Sunday afternoon cravings for sugar (Image: © Laura Tangre)

Krossenerstrasse 12, 10245 Berlin. Metro stop Samariterstrasse


Organic sausages

Whilst visiting several Berlin organic markets I come in contact with a number of wurst (the national sausage) supporters. Yorg, pictured, sells organic sausages made from his own stock of pigs raised on his traditional farm south of Berlin. In Brandenburg, the state which surrounds Berlin, the portion costs 2.50 euros (£1.96) , including the usual ketchup and cheese trimmings. Yorg considers himself a meat-eater with no intention of becoming a vegetarian. So, yes, we can continue to eat meat from time to time as long as we are prepared to pay extra for quality rather than a product from a long suffering animal. It’s just a question of 'reasonable consumption' (Image: ©Laura Tangre)

Organic market, Lausitzer platz, metro stop Gorlitzer Bahnof in the district of Kreuzberg. Open on friday afternoon

All but 'why botherists'

These people are the complete opposite of 'why botherists'. They consider that every new vegetarian is a step gained towards a sustainable ecology and respect for animal life. They refuse to become a link in the chain of battery farming and the sanitary and ecological problems it engenders to say nothing of the earth’s pollution. According to Greenpeace, just under 80% of the deforested Amazon is now used for cattle grazing (Image: ©Laura Tangre)

Vegetarian market, Chamissoplatz, metro stop Platz der Luftbrucke

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Translated from Virée dans la communauté végétalienne de Berlin (8 photos)