For Immediate Release:
6 October 2016

Former Gold-Rush Town Now Has a Rush of Vegan Food

Castlemaine – Central Victoria’s Castlemaine has proved that cruelty-free living can be a cinch outside big cities – which is why PETA has named it the most vegan-friendly small town in Australia.

The former gold-rush town earned the top honour with at least nine vegan-friendly food stops. Stand-out meals include the vegan Busta Shroom at The Governor’s Cafe (pictured below), the Vegan Breakfast at Saffs Cafe, Daikon Fritters at Naam Pla Thai Kitchen, and Vegan Dumplings at Taste of the Orient. Those looking for vegan sweet treats can find them at The Conscious Caravan or the Castlemaine Artists’ Market on the first Sunday of each month. Run Rabbit Run and The Bridge Hotel always have vegan fare available, and Australia’s only all-vegan bed and breakfast – Bed and Broccoli – is just down the road.

Interest in plant-based living has exploded in Australia over the last 12 months. Recent research found that more than 11 per cent of the population is now vegetarian, and more than half of Aussies agree that they’re “eating less red meat these days”. Australia is also the third fastest-growing market in the world for vegan packaged food, and according to Google Trends data, Australians search for “vegan” more than any other nation.

“Castlemaine proves that small towns don’t have to miss out when it comes to dishing up delicious cruelty-free meals”, says PETA Associate Director of Campaigns Ashley Fruno. “Businesses here realise that it’s always the vegan who chooses where the group eats.”

Rounding out the top three vegan-friendly small towns are Denmark in Western Australia and Kingaroy in Queensland.

Restaurants and cafés aren’t the only businesses vying for a slice of the vegan pie in Castlemaine, as retailers such as Green Goes the Grocer, IGA, and even Coles and Woolworths are also stocking up on delicious vegan cheeses, chocolates, milks, meats – and Castlemaine Dips, of course! Vegans can also easily pick up fast food at Subway and Domino’s.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” – notes that vegans are less likely than meat-eaters to suffer from heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. What’s more, every person who goes vegan spares many animals daily suffering and a terrifying death every year, and vegan meals are also greener, as the meat industry is a leading producer of the greenhouse-gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

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