Tip 24: If You Can’t Say Anything Vegan: “I Don’t Support Restaurants that Serve Animals.”

veganmofoPosted as part of VeganMoFo (The Vegan Month of Food) 2014

When vegans are involved, things get a little tricky – for all of us. For non-vegans, that often looks like defensiveness or hostility due to the perception that vegans are telling them their food choices are unethical or wrong. For vegans, it often looks like self-righteousness and snobbery. So, I’m using the Vegan Month of Food – a month during which vegan blogs are celebrated and aggregated in one place – to teach non-vegans and vegans how to be nice to each other. If you can’t say anything vegan, don’t say anything at all.

“I Don’t Support Restaurants that Serve Animals.”
Vegans and vegetarians, please stop saying this.

This is, of course, just my opinion. I think it’s really effective to be vegan out in the world, where people can see you. We vegans should be eating at non-vegan restaurants, asking for more vegan options and interacting with non-vegan business owners. If we’re vegan but we hide out in our houses and vegan restaurants, the more “mainstream” restaurants will never change. They’ll continue offering lame-o obligatory veggie burgers and thinking that’s a great option for vegans. Even though those veggie burgers have egg in them. Get off your high horse (metaphorically, obviously) and go mingle with the commoners! You might be pleasantly surprised at the difference you make.

What are some alternatives?

  • “I’d love to accompany you to dinner. We can go someplace you choose, and we can hit up Watercourse next time!”
  • ” I prefer vegan restaurants because the options are so tasty and abundant.”
  • Don’t say anything at all.

5 thoughts on “Tip 24: If You Can’t Say Anything Vegan: “I Don’t Support Restaurants that Serve Animals.”

  1. ”I prefer vegan restaurants because the options are so tasty and abundant.” That’s my problem. There are so many vegan restaurants in Denver that I simply don’t know what to do with myself.

  2. I don’t find it difficult at all to dine at mainstream restaurants & have dedicated my blogging life to proving it’s very VERY easy. 🙂

    I think it’s the easiest and fastest way to prove to meat eating naysayers and cynics that you can still eat at your stupid restaurants (with the exception of Applebee’s) and be vegan.

    • Haha. Yeah, I go back and forth between wanting to make sure people see that veganism is accessible anytime anywhere, and wanting the most delicious food at all times (which often means vegan or very veg-friendly restaurants).

  3. After nearly 7 years of trying to help “veganize” San Diego’s downtown eateries, I’ve come to a different conclusion.
    • Non-vegan eateries add vegan options in the hopes of luring groups that include a token vegan. Their desire is to increase profits, not promote veganism. The bulk of their sales continue to harm animals.
    • Vegan options eaten by a token vegan yield no net benefit to animals—the vegan would have ordered a cruelty-free meal regardless. Animals are saved only if the omnivores in the group ordered the vegan option.
    • With animal products on the menu, omnivores rarely, if ever, choose the vegan option. With no ethical or health compulsion to avoid animal products, why choose a “mock” dish over the real thing?
    • A dollar spent in a non-vegan restaurant is a dollar not spent in a vegan restaurant. If vegans, for social reasons or the “desire for variety,” use their money to eat in non-vegan eateries, vegan restaurants suffer.
    • A vegan wouldn’t think of attending a dog, cock, or bullfight where people entertain themselves by watching animals. So how can a vegan justify dining with people who are hurting animals by eating them?
    • Non-vegan restaurants are sanitized extensions of the slaughterhouse. And patrons are the reason. If no one ordered animal products, no animals would suffer and die. You can’t have one without the other.
    • “You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
    • Brave vegan restaurateurs willingly accept reduced clientele and profits for ethical reasons.
    • Omnivores invited to dine in vegan eateries are often surprised by how “normal” the food tastes.
    • Omnivores experiencing a tasty vegan meal are more willing to eat vegan again.
    • Even if eating vegan doesn’t instantly convert omnivores, no animals were hurt for those meals.
    • The money spent by omnivores helps keep the vegan eatery in business.

    I continue to support well-meaning efforts to add vegan options into mainstream restaurants—the more the better! But this only benefits animals if the vegan options are so enticing that omnivores order them!

    From “Do Vegan Options Promote Veganism? Or do they just siphon dollars away from vegan eateries that do?” http://www.maxlearning.net/HEALth/VeganCityBlog.pdf

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