In honor of British Mother’s Day, popular London-based café The Fields Beneath removed dairy—its remaining animal product—from the menu today. When the café opened in 2012, the menu included items such as ham, cheese, and milk which owner Gavin Fernback tried to source from what he then thought were “humane” producers. Fernback and his family adopted a vegan diet in January 2016 upon seeing popular YouTube video by animal activist Erin Janus entitled “Dairy is Scary”—wherein Janus explains the inherent cruelty within the dairy industry in a snappy five-minute clip. Fernback began removing animal products from his menu shortly thereafter and decided to initiate several campaigns to engage customers in the transition rather than just making the café vegan overnight. Fernback launched a “30 dairy free coffees for 30 quid” promotion in January that has so far gained the support of 150 customers. Fernback also placed signage in the café that informed customers of his choice to remove all dairy products and directed them to the influential video that changed his own mind about milk. “I felt I needed to start the conversation with customers before simply switching,” Fernback tells VegNews. “I wanted them to come along for the ride, and felt if we just dropped milk overnight, we’d lose business.” The now veganized café is in good company with newly opened vegan establishments including chicken shop Temple of Seitan and kebab joint What the Pitta successfully operating nearby.
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