Often times, people wonder whether or not, as a vegan, they will ever be able to go out to eat again. Some even ask whether or not they can trust omni restaurants to listen to their questions and requests and prepare food accordingly so as to avoid eating undesirables and getting physically ill. Some may even make an excuse not to become vegan because, given the lack of vegan restaurants/vegan options in comparison to vegetarian options in other restaurants, becoming vegan would be “socially awkward.” For them having to ask questions or make requests about their food would be “too much work”–all in all, some might think veganism would slap a wet rag on their social lives.
If it comes down to rejecting animal use and not participating in the suffering of innocent beings or looking like a socially awkward and needy customer, I’ll take looking like a socially awkward pariah in a heartbeat. We can (and should) ask ourselves honestly whether our social lives or the appearance of being “like everyone else” or maintaining that “I’m a vegetarian, ohmygosh because vegans are so extreme!” ever justifies the enslavement and death of billions of nonhuman animals every year. It doesn’t.
The good news is: vegans and wannabe vegans don’t have to worry. It’s no surprise, but 100% vegan restaurants are popping up all over the country. And some have been quietly hiding close by for years (as you’ll see when I take you to New Hampshire). Veganism has come a long way in that respect. Thirty years ago an all-vegan restaurant was unheard of. Now, most vegans you meet can list off a few of them, if not name all the cities that have restaurants they want to go to.
I’ve visited a few of these US vegan dining meccas and I plan on continuing this oft traveled road. I’ll be doing these “travel food blogs” a few times this year as I’ll be traveling quite a bit and eventually moving. I hope you’ll decide to help out these wonderful restaurants by dining in. Many of these places are small and not as profitable as omnivorous or vegetarian restaurants, and it’s not because the food sucks–on the contrary, the food is delicious–it’s because, sadly, veganism is not the status quo and people are afraid of trying food that seems “different.”
Often, entrepreneurs open up vegetarian restaurants, instead, so as not to seem “extreme,” and to ensure that they’re profitable by being “unoffensive” at the expense of perpetuating the myth that dairy, eggs, and other non-flesh animal products are ethically justifiable and harmless. Unfortunately, it begets the whole issue of giving your money to places that think dairy and eggs are justifiable uses of animals. If it can be helped, I say, choose 100% vegan all the time! Of course, you don’t have to eat out at all to enjoy good food or be vegan, but if one or more of these places are at your disposal, do yourself a favor and help out your fellow vegan small business owners, whether you’re vegan or not: grab a seat!
Let’s start in the most likely place. It’s so nice they named it twice…