Denmark is a land in love with dairy. The 133rd biggest country in the world, it’s one of the world’s top five dairy exporting countries. Meat too is popular, in the traditional meat and potatoes sense, but dairy is on a whole ‘nother level. Yogurt and milk are consumed at high levels, and at popular music festivals people drink nearly as much chocolate milk as beer.
But on the other hand, factory farming hasn’t set in yet like in North America, and there are efforts from Dan Jørgensen, the minister of agriculture, to further reduce it. What’s more, Denmark has banned ritual slaughter of live animals, with Jorgensen declaring that “Animal welfare takes precedence over religion.”
And so it’s not as hard to be a vegan here as I might have thought. Vegetables are cheap (especially if you shop at a market like Netto or Aldi) and pastas and rice are readily available. In my experience, tofu was difficult to find, and forget other faux-meat products, but cooking at home was easy and, for Scandinavia, quite affordable.
Eating out is another story, but Copenhagen does have some great vegan places. Most of the popular vegan places now skew toward the raw and the expensive, neither one of which I’m entirely down with, but I did get to try out two really good places. The Swedish chain Astrid och Aporna (which means something like “Astrid and the monkey”) offers burgers and sausages and a really good jackfruit wrap. The relishes here include things liked sliced cucumber and cashews and it’s about 8-9 USD for a burger. Not far away, Express Pizza looks like your average pizzeria but has a secret “vegan” menu if you ask for it. They were out of the kebab pizza when I was there, but would be great to try next time.
With lots of cheap veggies and a growing number of vegan restaurants, the dairy-friendly Denmark isn’t nearly as challenging for vegans as you might think.