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Dietary Restrictions? No Problem Here

For the last few years, I have struggled to go out to eat or even shop in grocery stores, for while I have always been vegetarian, I made the leap to vegan a couple of years ago.  Luckily, the United States is known for variety, and many more vegan options have become popular for me. I can finally go out to eat without worrying too much, and there are plenty of stores, such as Trader Joes, Earth Fare, Sprouts, and Whole Foods that provide an entire vegan section within their store.  Many food brands have also started to offer vegan, or at least dairy-free, options, so products like ice cream and milk are easy to find wherever I go. I also developed a nut allergy within the last year so these varieties and options are essential to me. I was extremely worried that my options would be limited greatly in the UK, for I was not positive how progressive they were or how many options they had.  However, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of food they had available for me. Every restaurant had amazing vegan meals, and they even offered delicious desserts for me as well, which is rare to find even in the U.S. I ate more than I have ever eaten on this study abroad trip because they had so many different dishes that aren’t common in the States. I cannot wait to go to the UK again and experience more of what they have to offer.  As a vegan, I felt accepted and normal, and food options were available everywhere I turned. I thought the U.S. was ahead, but Europe is definitely ahead in the veganism department. It was simply nice to see it treated as a normal situation. I didn’t have to find specifically vegan restaurants or go to specific stores. Every restaurant was ready for someone like me, and the feeling of acceptance was nice.