These days, however, the vegan way of eating has exploded in North America. Vegan products are now common in small-town grocery stores, and new plant-based foods come out practically by the month. The meat- and dairy-free consciousness is so prevalent now that restaurants that once offered an occasional vegan option now provide a page of vegan choices, and this goes for the sandwich shop as well as the high-end restaurant. Moreover, dedicated and award-winning vegan restaurants are popping up in major cities, where skilled chefs turn out culinary art that even omnivores embrace. We also see the emergence of the vegan “butcher” shop, where top-quality, organic, non-GMO vegetables and plant-based meats are prepared as prime cuts for the discriminating shopper.
Most well-stocked supermarkets offer rows of vegan milks made from almonds, cashews, and soy sitting right next to cow’s milk in the dairy case, just as Earth Balance, a vegan buttery spread, perches alongside dairy butter. Tofu varieties abound, as do nondairy ice creams, cheeses, and other dairy-free products, including yogurt, sour cream, and cream cheese.