2014年5月20日 • Food & Drinks, Health

ヴィーガンであることを人に伝える時、食べられない食べ物のリストを挙げなければならない。 “ヴィーガン”とは肉類や動物性食品をとらない完全菜食主義者のこと。牛乳のような動物性食品がOKのベジタリアンとは違って、ヴィーガンの私は魚もチーズも卵もとらない。ヴィーガンが何かを説明するのは慣れているけれど、私の食生活が貧しくて寂しいことに見られているのではないかと、悲しくなることもある。実際全然そんなことはないのに! ヴィーガンになって早7年、その前に7年ベジタリアンだったこともあって、おいしく食べられる食材やレストランとたくさん出会った。そして何より心と体が健康になった。



世界中どこにいても、HappyCowのサイトにいけば、ヴィーガン向けレストランを見つけることができる。ユーザーが常に情報をアップデートしてくれるし、専用アプリも安価で手に入るので、近場にあるレストランを探すこともできる。HappyCowで見つけたレストランに、銀座、新宿、池袋でベジタリアン・ヴィーガン料理を提供しているAinSoph、玄米、野菜、大豆など食材の味が楽しめるBrown Rice Cafe, 動物性食品を一切使わない東京駅構内のラーメン屋T’s たんたんなどがある。飛騨高山では年配の女性が自宅のキッチンを使って料理を提供する小さなマクロビレストラン、富士山の麓ではオープンエアのファンキーなレストランを見つけた。




Title: Eating Healthy and Animal-Free
When I tell people that I’m vegan, I usually do it by giving them the list of foods I don’t eat. No meat or animal products. Yes, that means no fish, no cheese, no eggs. It is different from being vegetarian, which is also no meat but which allows animal products like milk. I’m used to giving this sort of explanation, but at the same time it makes me a little sad. Explaining being vegan by giving a list of all the things I can’t eat makes it seem as if being a vegan is a lonely, deprived life. That’s not true! Since I became vegan more than seven years ago, after being vegetarian for seven more years before that, I’ve discovered so much good food, eaten at so many cool places, and I feel better and healthier.
Vegan food is not automatically healthy–for example, plain white bread with no nutritional value is perfectly vegan. But it’s easy to cook your own healthy vegan meals. Also, because I think vegan restaurants want to appeal to a lot of people, not just vegans, they are often make creative and delicious food that appeals to meat eaters too.
Despite its reputation, Japan is an easy place to eat animal-free. Tokyo has a huge number of vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants, an annual vegan festival, and a monthly vegan dinner group. When I’ve gone traveling, even to tiny towns like Hida Takayama and Shibu Onsen, I’ve found at least one vegan restaurant. And Japanese cuisine has a number of “accidentally vegan” staples. For example, all traditional Japanese sweets, like anko and dango, are vegan. is my go-to resource for discovering vegan restaurants anywhere in the world. Users keep the site updated with new information, and for a few yen you can also buy a smartphone app that will search for nearby vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants based on your location. Through HappyCow I’ve found the AinSoph chain of restaurants, which serve macrobiotic food in Ginza, Shinjuku, and now Ikebukuro; Brown Rice Cafe, which puts together beautiful bento boxes full of whole grains and vegetables; and T’s Tantan, a vegan ramen shop right inside Tokyo Station. I also used the website to find the tiny macrobiotic restaurant in Hida Takayama, run by one old lady right out of her home kitchen, and another at the base of Mount Fuji in a funky, open-air space.
Even if you aren’t interested in being vegan full time, vegan food can make you feel lighter, cleaner, and happier for one meal. And if you find one of Tokyo’s or the rest of Japan’s many vegan restaurants, you’re sure to have a fun and unique experience.


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