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West Lancashire Vegan Fair coming to Lancaster

Chris Satori

This year the West Lancashire Vegan Fair will be held in Lancaster on Saturday 12 May from 11am - 5pm, at the Friends Meeting House next door to Lancaster train station. It is set to be an even bigger success this year, because there are a lot of vegans and vegetarians in Lancaster.

The difference between a vegan and a vegetarian is that a vegan will not consume anything sourced from animals - this includes eggs, milk, cheese and, for some, even honey and isinglass (a fish product used to clear many beers).  Most vegans will not wear or use leather goods either.  The reasons for these choices may be personal, ethical, religious, political or environmental. Dairy and beef production in particular have a very heavy carbon footprint and many believe that moving our diets towards veganism is one way to begin tackling this problem.

Whatever the motivations, they need to be strong as it can be difficult to get foods that contain no animal products at all when away from home. It is remarkable how eggs, dried milk or animal fats sneak into everything. One spends a great deal of time reading labels and groaning. Or interrogating indifferent waiters, barstaff and bakery assistants.  Few places provide balanced meals with non-animal protein.

But Lancaster is indeed one of the easier places in the UK to be a vegetarian and one of the few places where a vegan stands a chance of eating out regularly on real meals. Everywhere else it is all  jacket potatoes and baked beans - if you are lucky.  The city has one entirely vegetarian and vegan cafe, (the Whale Tail), one entirely vegetarian and vegan caterer at the open air market, another cafe (Bohemian Wraps), with many vegetarian and vegan options, and a community centre with many vegetarian and vegan options, (the Gregson). Lancaster also has five wholefood / health food shops. Vegetarianism is common enough that most eating establishments offer vegetarian options. Most local restaurants will shape up reasonably well on the vegan front  if they get advance warning when you book (make sure they understand the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan, and that a mushroom, even a big one, is not a meal for an active adult).  You can even eat vegan in Wetherspoons.

And if you ask at the vintage 'Sunset Ices' ice-cream van on Morecambe Prom you can even get non-dairy ice-cream!

Attractions a this this year's Vegan Fair include: 50+ stalls over two floors; Free vegan food; Vegan cookery demos; Speakers; Films; Free recipe booklets; Vegan cafe; Children's area; Aftershow.

Vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores are all welcome.

For more information, please go to the website at:
Or you can 'phone Roddy on 01253 895271, or email

For more about veganism visit: The Vegan Society website at