It’s always such a treat to visit an all vegan store. It’s not everyday us vegans have the chance to walk into a shop and turn off the part of our brain that’s usually making a guess about whether or not a product contains animal ingredients and judging if it’s worth flipping over to read the label. In a vegan store, we can shop for food without examining the fine print and get excited about spotting cute shoes without having to worry about the possibility of leather insoles. Everything is fair game. And it’s such a lovely feeling! This is why we made a special trip to Vega-Life, Amsterdam’s all vegan store.
Coming from Canada, squatting is a new concept for me. As far as I know, it’s illegal in Canada. You can’t just find any old abandoned building, break in, change the locks, set up a table, chair and bed, and call the local authorities to notify them you’ve moved in. In Europe, it’s different. However, laws seem to be changing and squatting is becoming an endangered lifestyle in some countries.
Many squatters seem to claim large properties, with ample space for living as well as community projects. In Amsterdam, there’s a legalized squat in the former Netherlands Film Academy (OT301) building. It’s now home to a vegan cafe, music performance/rehearsal space, cinema and gallery where [sub]cultural activities take place. When we heard about it, we knew we had to visit.