Plenty of nostalgia and lack of plant-based meals
In December 2022, I visited my hometown in Germany. Two weeks of returning to old habits can quickly replace changes one has worked on for the entire year. In my case, maintaining a plant-based diet for the most part.
This year I’ve entered my 4th year of living in Sweden. Time felt as fast as it had been standing still during the pandemic.
When I came home to Germany for Christmas, it was the first time where I felt out of place, out of habits, out of routine. Even though I’ve always experienced this to a certain extent, I always adapted quickly to my old habitat and accompanied my loved ones in their daily routine.
This year felt more extreme. I went grocery shopping to get what I would have considered ‘simple ingredients’ but couldn’t find any. I thought this year was the year where I wouldn’t have to eat meat while staying with my family, as it was soon the year of 2023. Even my hometown should’ve adapted by now.
It was in a restaurant on my 2nd day of stay when it hit me: apparently not yet. There was one vegetarian dish on the menu, that included what felt like 2kg of cheese and 1kg of beans (which I sadly can’t eat). Reluctantly, I gave in to a meat-dish, anyway. This was only the first of many situations in which I ‘cheated’ on my eating habits and ate meat instead of a plant-based option.
However, there is a trend going upwards. Even though smaller restaurants have not yet updated their menu choices to include more vegetarian meals and implement vegan alternatives, several individuals I’ve talked to were open to the idea of trying a vegan dish. Vox writes that Germany’s meat consumption has been decreasing fast these past years with a 12.3% decline from 2011. Most of that decline took place in the last few years only, according to Vox (2022).
As I’ll keep visiting my hometown, I look forward to seeing the vegetarian and vegan menu options rise, as I’m sure it won’t be that long until restaurants will adapt to the sustainable (and necessary) food trend.