Nutrition student, Rodrigo Lagrasta talks to Veganuary about the increasing awareness of veganism in Argentina.
How long have you been vegan?
I have been vegan for 2 years now.
Why did you decide to go vegan?
Before I became vegan, I tried a ovo-vegetarian diet because I read that it was good for my health. One year later, I watched a speech by Gary Yourofsky and it dawned on me that there was no logical reason to keep eating animal products. With further research, I discovered what was happening in every slaughterhouse and farm across the world, and I became vegan.
How do you say “I’m vegan” in your language?
Soy vegano (male) / vegana (female).
What is the vegan scene like in your city/country?
Like in the rest of the world, veganism is growing in Argentina too. More people are getting to know and understand what veganism is, especially as the activism scene is growing here, and there are more and more vegan options available.
However, there is still a lot of work to do! Argentina is famous for its beef, especially ‘asado’ which is barbecued beef. It is ingrained in our culture to eat meat.
Do you have any tips for vegan travellers to your city/country?
If you are staying in a big city, it is easy to find vegan restaurants just by using Google or Happy Cow. You can also ask restaurants to make a vegan dish for you, but in smaller cities you may have to explain more about what vegans do and don’t eat.
There is also an app called ‘AptoVegan’ that lists the vegan products that you can find in supermarkets here.
Through Facebook or Instagram you could also contact a local activism group and ask them for advice (and maybe join in some activism events too!). For example, Mar del Plata Animal Save, which is one of my local activism organisations.
Is there any local accidentally vegan food they should try?
‘Mate’ is a traditional drink in Argentina that is also vegan.
Any restaurants or supermarkets you recommend?
I recommend ‘La Reverde’, a 100% vegan restaurant located in Buenos Aires. You can get vegan ‘asado’ there – it’s super tasty and very similar to the real deal! There is also ‘Loving Hut’ in Buenos Aires.
If you travel to my city, Mar del Plata, I recommend ‘Veg&Soul’.
In most health food stores, you can also find vegan ‘alfajores’, a typical sweet treat from Argentina.
Is there a traditional dish from your city/country that can easily be veganised?
‘Locro’, a traditional white corn stew that we eat on holidays can easily be veganised. Instead of meat you can use vegetables such as beans and pumpkin.
What do you think the future holds for veganism in your country?
I believe that veganism in Argentina is going to continue to grow, like it is worldwide, as people are becoming more conscious about what they are eating. With the help of the internet, social networks, and the media, the truth about animal exploitation can no longer be hidden and the message of how easy it is to go vegan is getting out there to more and more people.
Sign up now to give vegan a chance with Veganuary – or share the link with a friend who should try!