Horizontal in St Petersburg is promoting vegan anarchism – “veganarchism” – by cooking up delicious vegan food. The Takeaway restaurant holds a meeting for it’s 8 group members once a month where they tackle all grievances, discuss how the menu can be updated and vote on any changes they may want to make. This time their point of discussion was mainly discussing whether they should change their location as the the complex they’re currently based in holds shows featuring captive animals, which they obviously believe to be cruel and exploitative.
All of them have equal say in the decisions although some of them have been working there for longer than others. They detest hierarchies and have no managers. Varya, 26, who has been at the restaurant the longest says that every person in Horizontal is equal and that is why the name, every person who joins our restaurant is on the same horizontal level. They adhere to the principles of anti-racism, feminism, LGBTQ+ rights, the abolition of borders, and animal liberation.
Horizontal is a space where anyone’s preferred pronouns are respected. Currently their restaurant serves vegan burgers, hot dogs and nuggets on the go and the wall outside serves stickers that promotes anti-fascism, anarchism, and other vegan outlets in the city. They have a meal deal offer called “the anti-business lunch”, opposing the common Russian term a “business lunch“.
The group has planned to compose a manifesto that will state its values so that any new starters are on the same page. Varya says, “For us, it’s important that people who join us hold similar ideology, that they share our views, and that they understand what ‘veganism’ really means to us.”