Being vegetarian or vegan is very much a way of life for thousands of people across Belfast.

But as a result of their personal feelings about the eating animal products many people like belfastvibe reporter J’aime Rachelle find they are sometimes left out when it comes to dining out with friends.

By J’aime Rachelle

J'aime Rachelle

J’aime Rachelle

I’m a vegetarian because I feel the torture and brutal murder of animals is unfair.

I believe all animals should be treated with the same respect as we would want, what gives us the right to cause such suffering and fund a trade founded on murder an selfishness? And to non-veggies, the answer is NOT the food chain.

There is no need to consume flesh in 2015- we can live without, not to mention how good it feels to know that you’re making an impact and ultimately saving lives!

My boyfriend, John, is a vegan, that means that as well as being vegetarian, he also doesn’t eat eggs or dairy.

Although recently he’s not been as strict with dairy and eggs, and will eat them the odd time, he feels that if there were more vegan options available it would be easier to live a completely vegan lifestyle.

He said: “I became a veggie over 2 years ago now, first of all it was for ethical reasons, I thought it was cruel that animals were kept just for their meat, but then I started to look at the environmental impact, that kinda took over for me as being my main drive to stay veggie.

“Obviously I still care about animals just as much, I could lie and say I care about my health and I did it for that but the well being of the environment affects all life on earth!”

Many people have reasons to go vegan, personally I would find it a challenge but not impossible, and even John struggled at times and had to give in because if we were at a restaraunt and he asked what was vegan, they’d be like “What?!”

There are a few places in Belfast, however, that do cater to those who choose cruelty-free.

Boojum, for example, also Falafel and of course Warzone hosts Giro’s, Belfast’s only all-vegan café.

At Giro’s you can have a starter, main, desert and a cup of tea, and still have change from a fiver. The food is all homemade and super healthy, not to mention how delicious it is. And as always, BYOB!

Here’s what other people had to say:

photo 2Alessandro Rocco: “Although I’m not vegan I find that there are plenty of places that serve awesome vegan and vegetarian food and I’ve found myself regularly eating vegetarian food instead of meat.

“Places like Slim’s Healthy Kitchen and Build-a-Burger offer delicious vegetarian food”

photo 3Emily Lamley said: “Black Bear in Stranmillis has loads of vegan & veggie stuff. Its beaut!”

photo 1Phil Cassidy: “Think an honourable mention needs to go to Kitch who have an entire vegetarian menu the equivilent and length of their meat menu.”

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