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Thread: Vegan in the Netherlands

  1. #1
    Eat Y'self Fitter's Avatar
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    Default Vegan in the Netherlands

    This isn't so much for me but I'm trying to get some advice for a friend. A friend of mine is studying abroad in the Netherlands. She wrote back to me telling me how she's had to cheat on her diet because of language barriers etc... She's traveling a lot through Europe as well, so I don't know if anyone here has any advice at all I could give her.

    she's mainly a dietary vegan and I don't know how serious at that, but she was my inspiration for becoming vegan and its sad to hear this.

  2. #2
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    Maybe she could try and get hold of a copy of the "vegan passport" http://www.vegansociety.com/catalog/...roducts_id=231 to help with the language problems? Mind you everyone in the Netherlands seems to speak English so the problem there may not be so much linguistic as conceptual

    I haven't been there recently but I remember Amsterdam being fairly vegan-friendly but some other parts of the country less so. Southern Europe is often a bit easier because they have a lot of vegetable-based dishes and are less stuck on putting dairy produce in everything. Carrying emergency snacks like dried fruit and nuts is always a good plan.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    hm, yea I know what you mean by conceptual, she calls herself vegan but she wears a lot of leather still. I've even seen her eat pizza when she was really pissed. But I get drunk all the time and its obviously not hard to control yourself.... But alas if she's gonna call herself vegan she's going to get some shit from me, I'll be sure to send her that link!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    Do you know which city she's in? I'm studying in Utrecht (a bit south of A'dam) and figuring out what I can and can't eat. To be honest, almost everyone speaks English so it shouldn't be a problem figuring out if something specific has animal products in. Otherwise I'd say if she's looking for places to eat out, there'll be veggie cafes in most cities (A'dam especially, and there's a nice vegan one here), and if not there are quite a few Vietnamese/Indonesian restaurants which often have some veggie dishes. Oh and check Happy Cow for info on shops and restaurants.

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    Ananas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    I'm a native dutchie in which city is your friend studying?
    and it is true that a lot of people speak english here, but unfortunately it is true as well that hardly anyone knows what vegan is... When asking if something is vegan, and the answer is yes, it turns out to be not vegan when i start asking for specific ingredients.

    But anyway, maybe i could help if ur friend needs some help with translation.

  6. #6
    Jippia
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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    I am a Dutch vegan (and I 'know' Ananas from a Dutch forum) and I was amazed when I read about your friend. Being vegan in the Netherlands does not have to be hard, especially not in the big cities. There are universities in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Tilburg, Nijmegen, Delft, Eindhoven, Leiden, Groningen, Maastricht, Wageningen and Enschede. Most of these cities have numerous supermarkets from different chains and two or more health food shops as well as weekly markets, so doing your vegan grocery shopping will not be a problem there. As Ananas said, it might help to ask for specific ingredients rather than whether it is vegan or not. Eating out might not be a problem either when there are Italian, Indonesian, Chinese, Turkish or Lebanese restaurants. Just ask if they want to omit the cheese if there are only vegetarian dishes with cheese in them. Also pancake restaurants know how to make an egg-and-dairy free pancake, as they often cater to families with children. Everyone here speaks at least some English and can help you translate menus and ingredients labels. A vegan passport helps and also a small language guide/dictionary.
    Last edited by Jippia; Apr 14th, 2009 at 11:55 AM. Reason: correcting info

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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    Yea honestly I think its a lost cause. I find this really amazing you say how easy it is to be vegan in the Netherlands and the amount of english that is spoken. She's just making excuses then. She probably was referring to other European countries she is visiting. Whatever she never was a very good vegan, wears leather etc. She's home in about a week in a half so I'll be sure to guilt her back to veganism.

  8. #8
    Jippia
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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    It does differ from country to country, the amount of English that is spoken and how easy it is for vegans to find something to eat and drink and wear, but in general, it is pretty easy to be a vegan here, especially if you stick to self-catering as much as possible.

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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    Hoi! I don't know if this is the place to announce it but in two weeks, on 16-18th october, we'll have a 'dierenbevrijdings weekend' in Utrecht with anti-fur demonstrations, a vegan food giveaway, hanging out and watching films, maybe making a zine... Anyway it's going to be good fun so anyone in the Netherlands should come along! Message me for more details, or check www.respectvoordieren.nl

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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    Quote Ananas View Post
    I'm a native dutchie in which city is your friend studying?
    and it is true that a lot of people speak english here, but unfortunately it is true as well that hardly anyone knows what vegan is... When asking if something is vegan, and the answer is yes, it turns out to be not vegan when i start asking for specific ingredients.

    But anyway, maybe i could help if ur friend needs some help with translation.
    Is anyone near Achen or Heerlen?

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    Default Vegan in Amsterdam?

    Hi
    I am heading to Amsterdam for 4 days in October and will be staying with my brother who is living near the Artis Zoo.
    Does anyone know of any good vegan resources near there, or in Amsterdam as a whole? Places that might sell soya milk? Places to go out for a meal?
    I will have my copy of the vegan passport. I am trying to learn a little Dutch, but I am finding it very hard. Pleased to hear so many people speak English.
    Really looking forward to the trip, and hope someone can help out with some recommendations.
    Thank you
    V

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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    I lived in the Neds for 8 years. I am Celiac, so gluten is out of the question for me, and I honestly waited to go 100% vegan until I moved to the US recently, because it was just impossible for me to eat out 100% Gluten free and vegan at the same time.

    There is a fab restaurant in Utrecht, Cafe Deeg, it's a bit pricy, but it was the only place I had any luck.

  13. #13
    Jippia
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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    Where in the Netherlands did you live? Did you eat out a lot during those 8 years or did you also do some cooking yourself as well? There are allergens that are mandatory to indicate at any product. They are gluten/wheat, peanuts, sesame, nuts, egg, cow's milk/lactose, mustard, sellery, fish and shellfish. But it is true that soy burgers may be a problem as well as eating out. Even vegans without any allergies or whatever may end up with a bowl of lettuce or a pile of bland vegetables sometimes, especially in classic, European cuisine restaurants.
    You should be able to find things in healthfood stores and supermarkets going to the dietary food section, but it varies by chain and by store. There are things that are both vegan and gluten free, like fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, pulses and beans, soy milk and tofu available at any store and supermarket. But it is not like what you would find in the USA and in the UK, I suppose.

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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    Hi Jippia,

    I lived in Utrecht. To be honest, I did not eat out a lot apart from places that I knew were safe for me as a Celiac. That is why I waited to go vegan until I moved back to the US.

    Gluten was not labelled in most supermarkets as an allergan. Wheat would be labelled, but not gluten. The only one I could trust was Albert Heijn.
    Flesh eating is unprovoked murder. ~ Benjamin Franklin

  15. #15
    Jippia
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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    True. Albert Heijn is usually very precise in naming gluten and allergens. They even mention aroma's with milk or egg or something as a carrier. I have been in a youth group for six years and one of the other girls was Celiac, but she was not vegan or even vegetarian and she already had a hard time finding something to eat, so she often brought something along just in case.

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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    hey, does anybody know if there are any vegan coffee shops in amsterdam?
    the last time i was there i was vegetarian, so i had no problems eating muffins or brownies, now i wanna try the same thing, only vegan.

  17. #17
    Ananas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    I'm looking at the happycow site, maybe this is something for you: http://www.pristinefixedgear.com/lunchroom/
    i'm studying in amsterdam but haven't eaten there yet.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    thanks a lot, i'll check it out

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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    Hi there,

    I'm going to Netherlands at the end of August for a bit more than 6 months via Erasmus - does anyone happen to know any vegans from Wageningen or surroundings? I would be happy about any tips about food, vegan/AR groups and last but not least - accommodation (that's been a real pain in the arse ). I would be very grateful if you had some tips and contacts to recommend (you can also PM me ).

    Thanks a lot!
    Life is about having to change ... Taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    Hi Anouk!
    I know one vegan girl who studies in Wageningen. Her name is Sabine. I shall PM you her mailaddress
    Me myself, I never go there... so I wouldn't really know. There's a great Dutch vegan forum at http://www.veganisme.org/phpBB3/, but yeah it's only in Dutch... From there, they just founded a vegan youth cooking group in Utrecht, which is about 30 minutes by train from Wageningen.

    You can add me on facebook if you like, my name's Chantal Alynda. I could at least help you with supermarket products and stuff

    Hope you will have a good time here!

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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    Yay for vegans and vegan forums!

    Ananas, thanks for the prompt reply - I added you (at least I hope I added the right person - see if you got any friend requests from a girl named Nika ) and the girl you suggested I contact. I already got myself previously suggested Vegan Passport, hehe, but any other "real life" tips are very welcome (either about products, dining places or potluck dinners). Again, thanks, I really appreciate it We'll be in touch!
    Life is about having to change ... Taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.

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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    Hey! I'm studying in Groningen at the moment and would love to meet the vegan community here. Is there anyone who knows any vegans in Groningen? .)

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    Hey! Are you by accident the girl who just subscribed to the Dutch vegan forum? I think its been mentioned there as well, there are monthly vegan potlucks in Groningen, organized by Jasmijn. I've been there once, there were lots of people and the food was delish! I'm not sure when the next one will be though, Groningen is so far away for me. I could add you to the facebook group for dutch vegans if you like?
    By the way, there will be a vegan Halloween potluck on sunday the 30st it's in Utrecht, not so close to you but you might want to join us

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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    in fact, I did just create an account in that forum 2 seconds ago .D my username there is Piret. I'm just starting to scan that forum through, with the help of Google translate...
    yes, i would love to be added to the fb group, do you need any details from me? and thanks for the invitation to Utrech, I have to consider it! .)

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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    I think I remember the nick Ananas being mentioned on FB recently

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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    Still looking for folks that are Vegan in the Limburg area. Just to have someone point out a good place to buy tempeh would be great. I have found dining out to be challenging as I also need to be concerned about low fat in my diet. In general, the Greek restaurants serve well. I am just never sure about what bullions are being put in the cooking. So if you are in the Brunssum or Sittard area, I would really like to hear from you.

    -charlie

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    Marzipan, of you add me on facebook i can add you to the group. You can find me as Uma Menina. It is not a public group, so you couldnt find it by search.

    I see your reply now in the Dutch forum, its funny, just a while ago someone from Groningen joined so I though it might be you.

    @ Charliko, unfortunately I don't know vegans from Limburg. you can usually find tempeh in a health food store or toko, can you find those in sittard? maybe you can find other vegans at the dutch forum at www.veganisme.org/forum its no big deal if you post in english
    Last edited by Ananas; Apr 6th, 2012 at 10:25 AM.

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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    I've just moved to Rotterdam, and am looking for information on meetups where I can connect with other vegans in the area, I'm still learning Dutch so I'm not sure that I've turned up everything on Google that's out there. The Facebook group sounds fantastic, and please let me know about any other resources or feel free to drop me a message. As for a little bit about me, I'm 30, a yoga enthusiast, and moved to Holland to be with my Dutch boyfriend.

    Being vegan in Holland has been very easy for me, at least compared to the US anyway, as people tend to be more understanding and more tolerant about what a vegan is. I familiarized myself with a few key words to look out for such as melk, eiwit (though tarwe-eiwit is ok, it's wheat), eiren, kaas (though pindakaas is peanut butter so also ok) gelatine, vlees, vis, bouillon, etc. Also, none of the meat replacement products from Albert Heijn, with the exception of tofu, are vegan, but the natuurwinkels have a great selection of meat replacer products as well as cheeses. Another quick way on many products before diving into label reading is to check the back of the packaging for "melkvrij", which is under "allergie-informatie" and usually has an icon of a glass of milk with a line through it. I used this a lot when I was in the very beginning stages of learning Dutch.

    When eating out, I've found that more times than not if there's nothing on the menu that is vegan, the chef is willing to come up with something for me. With Indonesian food, sambal usually contains trassi, which is a paste made out of shrimp, though I make a very nice homemade rijsttafel using sambal oelek, which is vegan. Many Asian restaurants will also add egg to the rice by default, so I now make a habit of asking them to leave it out.

    All in all, it really isn't that hard, if you can cook then there's plenty of suitable ingredients to cook with. And when being vegan somewhere where you're not (yet) familiar with the language, it is so important to not be hard on yourself. Slip-ups are bound to happen, but then again, being vegan is about doing the best you can in an imperfect world, regardless of where you live or what language they speak.

    And since I've lived here, I'm discovered a new use for kale thanks to the stamppot!! :-D

  29. #29
    Ananas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    Visje, I tried to PM you, but it didnt seem to work out. But maybe you can still find me on facebook, i did change my facebook nickname though - now its Uma Menina or you could apply for our new vegan-in-NL-group over here https://www.facebook.com/groups/353681744682224/
    I know another vegan in Rotterdam and she's eager to meet you, there dont seem to be so many vegans in that city somehow

  30. #30

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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    This is a new german-nederland-spanish vegan group, with very good videos and info to spread: https://www.facebook.com/groups/VEGAN.vegetarische

    - - - Updated - - -

    This is a new german-nederland-spanish vegan group, with very good videos and info to spread: https://www.facebook.com/groups/VEGAN.vegetarische

  31. #31

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    Default Re: Vegan in the Netherlands

    Ecomobisostrans,

    that group looks a bit odd, half of it seems to be dedicated to "German School Barcelona" and the other half to animal equality.
    Interesting mixture

    Best regards,
    Andy

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