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Vegetarian Butcher Shop Chain Grows in the Netherlands as Meat Demand Drops


by Jennifer Mishler September 19, 2011
Categories: Eats, Lifestyle, Vegan.
Photo: The Vegetarian Butcher/De Vegetarische Slager

As the citizens of the Netherlands look for meat alternatives, a very different chain of butcher shops is looking to meet that demand.

The Vegetarian Butcher is a butcher shop, but you won’t find any meat there. The stores offer a wide selection of “faux meats.” According to VegNews, the chain now includes 30 stores which offer “chicken, bacon, gyros, sausage” among other vegetarian and vegan products. Founder Niko Koffeman says the company is looking to provide alternatives to meat from animals but also food that is more sustainable. “Animal cruelty is one reason, but also a growing concern for sustainability,” Koffeman says. “After all, meat production is highly inefficient.”

According to Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 75% of people in the Netherlands no longer eat meat daily, which may account for the reason The Vegetarian Butcher has grown so rapidly. The first store opened in October 2010, and less than one year later, 30 stores are in business. Koffeman says that he believes 80% of their customers are vegetarians or vegans, but he hopes to attract customers who are still looking to reduce their consumption of meat or eliminate it. He just might do it…”The display counter of these shops is a visual challenge because the fake meat products look so much like the real thing that just a glance at it makes many a carnivorous stomach grumble.”

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About Jennifer Mishler

Jennifer is an animal advocate and activist. She is a volunteer coordinator with The Girls Gone Green, a nonprofit organization advocating for animals rights, veganism, and environmentalism. She is also an Onshore Volunteer with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and a volunteer with CJ Acres Animal Rescue Farm, a nonprofit that rescues and rehabilitates farm animals. Along with writing for Ecorazzi, she writes about veganism and animal rights on her blog, A Dog’s Eye View. She lives in Jacksonville, FL with her husband and their three animal friends. Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @jennygonevegan

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