What Is A Vegan Butcher Shop?

A vegan butcher shop is what its name suggests. It's a specialty shop or delicatessen devoted to selling vegan products that look butchered animal meat. As the BBC reported in April, may very well represent the "logical" continuation of vegan foods' permeation of the market.

Currently, the most accessible vegan meat products are found in a special section of the supermarket. However, Vegan Society member Francine Jordan believed the appeal of Faux, a vegan butcher shop that opened in Nottingham to massive success, lies in the idea of going to a specialty shop and choosing what type of vegan meat you would have that night. It's arguably the difference between buying ground beef from Trader Joe's and going to a regular butcher to pick out what fresh meat you want that night.

The idea has also found roots in the United States with the opening of Grass Fed. Grass Fed, VegNews reports, is a kosher delicatessen that serves plant-based meats, meaning meatless equivalents to pork can be bought by people who keep kosher. These stores might very well be around for the long haul due to the touted environmental benefits of plant-based meat. Deutsche Welle points to the fact that alternative meats produce lower emissions than animal meat. While it also notes that other proteins like lentils are even more environmentally friendly, for a public that might want to transition to a lifestyle that places less strain upon the planet, vegan butchers may come as a godsend. 

The problem with vegan meat

Deutsche Welle's caveat touches on the real issue of alternative meat, that in their production they become highly processed and lose much of what would make them nutritious.

A feature in The Guardian goes further, detailing how alternative meats are falling into the same issue as regular meats. They're processed with similar additives to the point that you cannot really consider them a healthy addition to one's diet. Suffering stomach pains after eating a Beyond Burger, the writer began to investigate ingredients, listing them as "pea protein isolate, expeller-pressed canola oil, refined coconut oil, water, yeast extract, maltodextrin, natural flavors, gum Arabic ..." While these ingredients agree with many people's stomachs, the burger wasn't something the writer would have eaten unless they were looking for a meat alternative. 

The take Jill Nussinow, a vegan dietitian, gave HuffPost was that eating alternative meats is an improvement over eating animal meat, but it should not become a wholesale substitute. Rather, a trip to the vegan butcher's should be considered a treat to eat from time to time or on special occasions. The rest of your diet should consist of less processed foods.