#TBT | How a Halifax Burger Told Me Things Were Getting Better

Vegan Burger at Flip Burger in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Over the past week or so, I’ve talked a bunch with people about how veganism has grown since I first decided to make the changes in my own life. From the improvements in vegan cheese options to the number of restaurants and products one can find in some surprisingly small cities and towns, I like to think that things are getting better and better for all of us.

Attending the first St. John’s VegFest back in my home province of Newfoundland and Labrador last month and seeing how many people came through the doors was another sign of the shift that I think has been happening in regard to how vegans are perceived. On top of that, being able to check out the Dublin VegFest last Sunday after an earlier scare in the day that it was sold out only helped to cement this notion.

Places around the world are catering more to a vegan diet, whether it be under a different label or simply by accident, and people seem more willing to check out just what us vegans are up to when we hold vegfests, bake sales, beer festivals, and so many other events.

Of course, you’re probably wondering what that has to do with a burger, right?

Well, the particular star of this Throwback Thursday is a burger that I enjoyed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Several times.

Sure, a veggie burger is no big deal in most cities, but when you take into consideration the options that the port city had when I first went vegan (and started publishing vegan lit), that delicious little menu item in a local burger joint means a lot.

For an idea of what was available back ten years ago, you can check out the Halifax vegan dining guide that T.O.F.U.’s other Co-Founder published just before we started the magazine. Overall, the guide is filled with a small number of options in a handful of places, and some of them involve asking for substitutions or omissions, which I’ve never been a big fan of having to do. Sure, Halifax had better options than back home in Newfoundland, but there’s also a reason why I eventually moved away to Winnipeg, Manitoba with its fabled vegan restaurant and numerous veg options (side note: I still love you Winnipeg, and always will. Mondragon forever!).

However, over the years as I came back either to live or to visit the city, things started to change and that delicious burger was one of those changes. On my last trip there, Halifax had an established VegFest, numerous vegan or veg restaurants, and plenty of options in the other places around the city. For all intents and purposes, the seaside city of less than a million people is now a good spot to be vegan.

In fact, if this list is to be taken as any indication, Halifax has just as many must-visit veg restaurants as Vancouver does. I’d argue that said list is missing a lot and maybe shouldn’t have included some places, but that’s what these things are for, right?

So, as much as I had originally intended to just post a picture of a great burger that I wish I had right now (sorry, V Revolution, but you didn’t quite cut it in my books), somehow it grew into a whole post. In a way, I guess that’s fitting since I’m writing about how things have grown so much in the city where I first started even considering that cheese wasn’t that hard to stop eating.

More importantly, as I continue to travel and talk with people, it seems this story can be applied to many other places around the world. From local grocery stores carrying new vegan products to vegfests happening for the first time, that burger is just one of many meals that people such as myself have been able to enjoy because veganism is growing.

Here’s to many more!

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