I was saddened to hear today that two of L.A.’s most beloved vegan restaurants announced that they would be closing shop. I wonder how much of their downfall was due to vegans spending their dollars at non-vegan restaurants. This week, Quarrygirl.com posted that a popular non-vegan restaurant serves tortillas with lard and possibly “vegan” cheese with casein. The chatter in the vegan community was quite high. Was this true? Which location? Can we really trust them?
I responded with a yawn. You mean to tell me that a restaurant that puts vegan options on their menu to try to attract more money to their establishment doesn’t take our ethical decision to not use animals as seriously as we do? Shocking. You mean to tell me that businesses that exploit animals for profit might not be careful about sourcing their ingredients? Might not be careful about cooking your vegan foods on the same grill as the corpse of a once living being, in the same oil as a dead chicken? Might accidentally put a little butter, cream or cheese in your food? You might find a small piece of a body part in your food?
In L.A., we have 35 vegan restaurants to choose from – quite a lot of choices. It’s tough enough for those 35 restaurants to compete for our dollars, but when we spend our dollars outside of the community, well, we have two great restaurants go out of business. You may not be as lucky as we are in L.A. in terms of the amount of choices that you have, but it is worth the effort to support them.
Ultimately, it’s up to all of us to make a decision about how we spend our money. I hope that we will take these two closings and the latest non-vegan restaurant serving vegans animal foods seriously, and reconsider those choices.