Veganism is very much in the fore, with what many considered as a fringe movement moving into the mainstream world. Veganuary has only compounded a shift towards veganism and it features strongly on social media and in the news generally. But it is a topic that can divide people – with arguments being put forward by vegans on ethical grounds, sometimes in ways that isn’t always well received by carnivores.
Claire Rose opened Miss Claire Rose on Commercial Street, Harrogate in 2015 to sell ethical handmade jewellery and gifts, but it has now become a vegan shop.
"When I opened it was about fair trade and working with smaller sources. Often it was about working with great talent that didn’t have an easy way to sell their product.
The business has evolved from then and become the only dedicated vegan shop in Harrogate. We have also set-up an online vegan shop."
The development of the shop mirrors Claire’s own journey into veganism. As her understanding grew of the welfare of animals in the meat, poultry and egg industry, so did her belief that it wasn’t right to eat meat.
Claire said: "At one time I didn’t have the confidence to speak out about being vegan, it often caused a lot of confrontation with people. But things have changed now.For me, I changed to being fully vegan after I looked at the dairy and egg industry. Perhaps many are aware of what goes on in an abattoir, but not in other areas. You need to educate yourself to be able to make an informed choice.A lot of what we do is pre-programmed into us, but these days there are lots of different options.For me it is all about eduction and understanding and you are open to something new then it could be for you. But we do welcome all in the shop, from flexitarians, vegetarians to vegans.
You can be a vegan and have interesting things to eat – gone are the days of it being about lentils and beans.
For instance there are at least 50 non-dairy milks on the market.
But there are lots of other products that can make things interesting, things like marinaded tofu is much more interesting than plain tofu and easier to cook with.
We always try to source what people want and have recently put a mock-meat duck in gravy on the shelves that people like.
The other factor is that you can save a lot of money – vegetables are just so much cheaper.
Generally we all need to be aware of what we are eating and how it affects us – there are significant health benefits in going vegan.
To find our more about Claire Rose' shop and read the rest of the article, please go here, to The Harrogate Informer website.
The shop is located on Commercial Street, Harrogate and Claire's online shop can be accessed here.