Interview with the co-founder of Kiwi Vegan Café – the first vegan place in Tbilisi
10 December, 2018
Interview with the co-founder of Kiwi Vegan Café – the first vegan place in Tbilisi
Behind the Kiwi Vegan Café stands a group of activists who wants to raise Georgian’s awareness for animal rights and welfare. Soroush Negahdari is one of the co-founders of the first vegan restaurant in Tbilisi that was opened in 2015. In an exclusive interview with Georgian Journal, he explains why for him animals are not there to be exploited and why some people have an aversion for the vegan movement.

Georgian Journal: Who did you want to address with your café
initially, Georgian guests or rather international expats and tourists?

Soroush Negahdari: Probably both. We knew that expats and tourists would like the place, but I think the main goal was to serve Georgian people and make them more familiar with and aware of the concepts of animal rights, veganism, and environmental issues related to them. We also thought that there was the need for a friendly social gathering space for people to get together and host their events for free in Tbilisi.

Read more: Best low budget accommodations in Tbilisi

What kind of people are coming to your restaurant nowadays?
Different types of individuals, groups and families. The majority of them, I would say, are younger people, people who want to hang out in a social meeting space, those who care about animals and/or their health, and those who simply want to enjoy their meal in a friendly and relaxing café.

geotv.ge
Kiwi Vegan Café is equally popular among foreigners and locals

Are your guests vegans generally?
Not really. Although we have vegans/vegetarians visiting us all the time, the majority of the guests are not vegan or vegetarian. They are there for various reasons including being interested in the concept of the place, the food we serve or those people who go to Kiwi.

Are the people behind Kiwi vegans?

Yes, all of those who help with the main responsibilities. Vegetarian friends and animal lovers also help us and are supportive of the cause.

geotv.ge
The first vegan café in Georgia wants to be a place for eating, sharing and discussions

Why are you a vegan?
There are several reasons. First, for products like milk, eggs, and meat billions of animals are killed, tortured and mistreated. Second, for health reasons. Various studies and researches show that a plant based diet is healthy and nutritious for every age and stage of life and it can help or prevent health issues like obesity or heart disease. And last but not least, meat and milk production produce huge amounts of greenhouse gasses (more than all transports combined) and they waste unbelievable amounts of drinking water. I believe that we don't need to be a part of this in this modern era which plant based food provides us with all we need to stay healthy and happy.

Read more: Kazbegi National Park is to be substantially expanded


How is it to be a vegan in Georgia, where meat is a very important component of the traditional cuisine?
It is not that easy as veganism is not popular in Georgia yet. However, there is fasting meals that in most cases is equal to vegan food and, especially in summer, it is easy to buy tasty and healthy fruits and veggies in Georgia.I believe the situation has got better since we opened the cafe and there are a couple of new places focusing on the needs and demands of vegans in Tbilisi.

geotv.ge
The people behind the café are all vegans themselves

You are a group of about 10 people who are involved in animal welfare and veganism. What exactly do you do for the cause of veganism?

Apart from providing vegans with vegan food and vegan ingredients which is an important and basic part of our activities, we hold movie screenings and discussion sessions about animal rights and the environment, and we share information about veganism. We also help shelters and animal rights advocates with getting food and medications for street animals. Furthermore, we encourage local producers to make more vegan products by buying in bulk from them or connecting more buyers to them.

Read more: The future is bright for electric cars in Georgia


What do Georgians think about you and veganism?
From what I know, there are many who support us and like us knowing what we do. Most of our experience has been nice and positive, but there is a very small group of people who do not like us at all. There are different reasons for this. Probably one of them is the fact that they are against the concept of equality and passion for all people and all animals. Or they simply prefer their old ways. We have always welcomed minorities and those who are not welcome in many other places. So maybe this is another reason why some people do not like us very much.

geotv.ge
Delicious food without any animal products in it

Do people in Georgia care about animal welfare?
In my opinion, most people that I know are very kind hearted and friendly towards animals – at least the ones that they do not eat. However, due to lack of financial resources, information, and education on the subject of animal rights, we believe that a lot of work needs to be done before the situation gets really better in the country.

Do you think, people in Georgia will become more sensitive about this subject in future?
I hope so! I believe things are getting better as we see more people are talking about animal rights and a larger part of the community is becoming concerned with the issue, if you compare it to the past. Unfortunately, though, the progress is very slow and we need to work much harder to make it better and faster.
Print
Other Stories
Georgian business associations establish Georgian Tourism Industry Alliance
Business associations representing various sector of the hospitality industry in Georgia agreed to establish Georgian Tourism Industry Alliance (GTIA).
IMF approves $200 million for Georgia
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund has approved US$200 million financing to Georgia to address the effects of the COVID19 pandemic.
Georgia will be one of the first to open tourist corridors, Economy minister vows
Georgia’s Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Natia Turnava pledged that Georgia would be one of the first countries to open safe tourist corridors with other countries.
Georgia’s GDP may contract 4%, the worst in the region amid pandemic
International Monetary Fund forecasts a 4% contraction of Georgia’s economy, which very much depends on tourism and money transfers.
Georgian retailers fight for survival as coronavirus pandemic continues
Pandemic has affected everyone worldwide, but one of the most vulnerable are retailers, those who depend on consumers and their spending.
Georgia remains the fifth in terms of budget transparency
According to the 2019 Open Budget Survey (OBS), conducted by the International Budget Partnership (IBP), Georgia got 81 points out of 100 in state budget transparency, the Transparency International Georgia said on Wednesday.
Georgia to receive €1.16 million for agriculture development
Within the GRETA project, the EU, Sweden and Austria launched the Local Development Initiative (LDI), to create great economic opportunities in the organic agriculture sector for farmers, farmer groups, cooperatives, processing units as well as other actors along various organic value chains.
Products rotten amid nationwide lockdown in Georgia
Food chain security is becoming more and more important as lockdown stays in place and farmers cannot transport their products from one place to another.
Georgian government to spend GEL 3.5 billion within crisis management plan
Georgian government has introduced a crisis management plan that consists of different stages. GEL 3.5 billion will be spent to cushion economy but this amount does not cover the post-crisis recovery period.
Georgia to receive €183 million from EU to fight Coronavirus
Due to the economic crisis caused by the pandemic of the coronavirus disease COVID-19, the EU has proposed a new package of macro-financial assistance.
Air traffic to be halted until May 22, GCAA says
Air traffic in Georgia will stay halted until May 22, 2020, Georgian Civil Aviation Agency says in a statement.
Georgian PM discusses support packages from ADB, EBRD
Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia held a video conference with the presidents of the EBRD and ADB regarding the possible assistance and financial resources to be allocated to Georgia due to the challenges associated with the global pandemic.
EBRD to provide €1 billion to Georgia, other countries
The EBRD and Georgia are stepping up cooperation as the country's economy faces the challenge of the coronavirus outbreak – says an official statement published on ebrd.com.
Government closes ski resorts in Georgia over COVID-19
The season at the ski resorts of Georgia closes ahead of schedule, the Prime Minister’s spokesman, Irakli Chikovani, said at a briefing.
Georgia will export armored vehicle Didgori Warrior
A new Georgian armored vehicle Didgori, equipped with a 120mm mobile mortar module, will be exported under the agreement signed between the Military Scientific-Technical Center Delta and one of the countries of the Middle East, the Ministry of Defence said.
Korter: Reliable housing property data in Georgia
It's not a simple job to find fresh homes. But when you use the estate choice service Korter, everything becomes distinct.
Rent a car in Tbilisi – Parent.ge
Are you thinking of booking the best vehicles for your next trip at a very reasonable price? If yes, then this is one of the best decisions you can ever make for yourself.
Pleasant Sunday for the whole family – Renewed Sunday’s brunch at The Biltmore Tbilisi Hotel
Summer, the season of endless fun and vacations, has ended and Tbilisi has become a usually crowded city.
GEL devalues, officials show optimism though
Devaluation of the national currency has sent shockwaves among citizens in Georgia. Officials think that the trend will return to its normal frame, though.
ProCredit Bank’s 20 years of challenges and successes in Georgia and what it means to be a responsible bank
“The bank’s 20-year long presence in Georgia was marked by many challenges and success stories.
Comments on alarming GEL devaluation
The National Bank of Georgia set a new exchange rate, according to which, dollar price became GEL 2.9507 on Tuesday.
Euronews and Silknet sign an MOU to launch “Euronews Georgia”
Euronews and Silknet, Georgia’s leading telecommunications company, are announcing the signing of an MOU in view of launching Euronews Georgia, a news channel and digital platform aimed at a Georgian-speaking audience.
Green Diamond starts to hand over flats to owners as second stage of construction finishes
Second stage of construction of Green Diamond living apartments by MAQRO Construction has finished and process of hand over of flats to owners has started.
Georgian wine tasting in the US came off excellently
Georgian wine tasting in the main cities of the US, New York, Chicago, and Boston went off excellently.
The most wanted fruits from Georgia
The fruit exportation has decreased in Georgia. According to Geostat (National Statistics Office of Georgia), this year, up until May Georgia exported 25 939 300 USD worth of fruit – 6 771 300 USD less than in 2018.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
04.06.2020
05.06.2020
USD
1
USD
3.0416
2.9841
EUR
1
EUR
3.4087
3.3422
GBP
1
GBP
3.8294
3.7394
RUB
100
RUB
4.4290
4.3130
Other Stories
Recently Toyota rolled out Global Campaign under this slogan that reflects the Olympic and Paralympic Spirit of Encouragement,
A couple from Switzerland combines Swiss tradition and technology with Georgian products. Their cheese is made in the Georgian mountains and sold in local stores and hotels.
It has been more than five years since the residents of Lilo village, near Tbilisi, cannot open their windows.
63 000 GEL was received by the Georgian Agro Export Group which is just a small part of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agricultural and Rural development.
Georgian entrepreneur Guka Tavberidze, who runs his own business in the UK and does it quite well, has been invited by BBC
The grand opening of 7-star The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi took place in Georgia’s capital on July 31.
DUSHETI, Georgia – The Georgian government and the World Bank will allocate USD 5.6 million (12 million GEL) to fund
A new Georgian clothing brand named Person has emerged in Georgian market.
Georgia is in the midst of an economic maelstrom, Euronews reports.
Situation at Georgia’s mineral water market is interesting: over the last year, the volume of export has grown by 56 percent. According to “GeoStat”, over $114 million worth of mineral water was sold
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.9841
EUR
1
EUR
3.3422
GBP
1
GBP
3.7394
RUB
100
RUB
4.3130
June 2020
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30