Gone Vegan

Lindsay Hutton discovers the politics and pragmatics behind a meat and dairy-free diet.

Applications for smartphones are the new techie cottage industry. Aren't you glad the bespectacled technocrati set didn't forget us veggies? 

Browsing through the more than 35,000 available iPhone apps; there's something for everyone. I even found an app designed to time women's contractions during labour. Though, as my mother said, she's pretty sure that would have been invented by a man: anyone who has been in labour likely has little patience for handhelds anywhere from two centimetres dilated, and in all probability wouldn't be too psyched at witnessing her partner fiddling around with an iPhone during the Wrath. 

Back to business. Even if you aren't a veggie or vegetarian, taking of note of these handy apps is sure to put to you in the good books with any soymuncher in your circle of friends. 

Vegan Xpress: This one's especially convenient for the vegan minstrel or roadtripper accustomed to eating on the run. It features regularly updated listings of vegan menu items at popular chains as well as snack foods. Unfortunately, Cheetos will never be found on this list, no matter how many shots of tequila you imbibe.

Veggie Passport: Again, ideal for the vegetarian/vegan world traveller, this app translates veggie-oriented food conundrums into 33 different languages. For example, imagine yourself in, say, Finland. You're wondering of your bowl of Hernekeitto has any dairy in it. The waiter either can't understand your hand gestures mimicing the milking of cow udders or is enjoying your making a perfect ass of yourself. Basically you type in your conundrum, show your iPhone screen, and voila, you'll either get your answer or offend the natives by deigning to question the ingredients of a culturally significant foodstuff. But at least you'll know. 

VegOut: Wonderful for the vegan or vegetarian restaurant buff. This app is brought to us by the lovely folk at HappyCow.net and boasts the largest directory of vegetarian, vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants in the world. Price points, mapping and other restaurant info included. 

Food Additives: Though this app may seem to be a bit of a bummer, this one's great for anyone with dietary restrictions. It offers a huge list of food additives and corresponding info. Not just recommended for vegans; people with allergies may do well to check this one out. 

In other news, I'm preparing to spend the weekend in Toronto. I'm excited to review several vegan restaurants and shops and need some pointers. Please leave a comment below as to your favourites! 

And, if you're in the Big Smoke this weekend, don't forget to attend the Green Living show at the Ex!