In what feels like a plot from a Portlandia episode, there's now a vegan controversy surrounding Happy Dog, the veg-friendly home to hipsters. Wienergate!
The Happy Dog Facebook page erupted with comments from angry vegans in recent days after someone said that while the veggie hot dogs are vegan, the bun surrounding it was not. Prompt the angry social media posts. You've been lying to us!!!!!
Admittedly, Happy Dog's flippant response was not the best damage control tactic, and further, it was incorrect. There are no eggs in the bun — just flour, water, and yeast. But someone thought yeast was a problem for vegans, so voila! the buns became non-vegan and vegans took out their wrath.
Happy Dog has since clarified on its Facebook page, apologizing for its response and promising better indicators in the future for ingredients on its menu. Our food writer reached out to the Happy Dog folks and this is what she learned:
According to Eric Williams, Co-owner/Chef of Happy Dog, they have always claimed to have a vegetarian offering. The vegetarian offering consists of a hot dog that is vegan and a bun that is not considered vegan to some in the vegan community. The bun is made of water, flour and yeast. They feel that they have wrongly been accused of being misleading.
Sam Watterson another co-owner of Happy Dog is trying to study and learn all he can about vegan diets. What he has found is that not all vegans consider yeast to be forbidden. They are prepared to extend the same offer to vegans that they offer to their gluten free customers: if you are one of those vegans who does not eat yeast you can bring your own bread to Happy Dog and they will provide the hot dog.
The assumption that the hot dog bun was vegan is where the problem lies. According to both owners they only described the hot dog as vegan. They have gone to many websites and it is difficult for them to come to any definitive conclusion as to weather yeast is or is not acceptable to the entire population of vegans. It is analogous to a religion that has differing sects. It is a problem that they are working to resolve. They appreciate hearing more information from vegans in this community as they continue to address their dietary restrictions.
Where's Carrie Brownstein when you need her?