Per the New York Times, everything’s coming up vegan in Los Angeles!  »

Creamy corn ravioli with tomatoes at Hatfield’s

You know how we can’t shut up about Los Angeles having better vegan options than the Bay Area? Turns out, the New York Times totally agrees with us:

In fact, from power tables in Beverly Hills to pubs in the San Fernando Valley, the surging popularity of plant-based diets is drastically changing the dining landscape. That shift is under way in various cities around the world, but it’s happening in an explosive way in and around Los Angeles: at the elite gastronome-magnets, at casual gathering spots and everywhere in between.

And then Jeff Gordinier goes on to list some of the many amazing vegan foods available in L.A. There’s also a slide show that makes me want to move down south at ONCE. I love San Francisco, but where is our creamy raw pea soup? Where is our giant sandwich with deep-fried avocado? Where can eat creamy corn ravioli and shamelessly ogle celebrities?

If you like to torture yourself with all the amazing L.A. vegan food you can’t have, there’s always our pal Quarrygirl. She knows how to live.

[Photo by Anais Wade and Dax Henry for the New York Times]


"Is Veganism for Everyone?" A New York Times debate!  »

You guys, the NYT is all over veganism lately. We’ve made it! Or is this a rehash of every other “fad diet debate” the media have ever had? Let’s decide together.

Today, Room for Debate asked some people* to discuss veganism and YOU. (Not “you,” of course, everyone else who isn’t vegan.) Repping for the vegans are Rip Esselstyn, hot-stuff author of The Engine 2 Diet; and Brian Patton, author of The Sexy Vegan Cookbook. Other debaters include scare-mongering vegan-parent-hater Nina Planck; scare-mongering author of The Happiness Diet Drew Ramsey; ex-vegan and known jerkbag Rhys Southan; and author of A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss blog Erika Nicole Kendall.

What are their conclusions? Esselstyn is proud to have helped convert Lance Armstrong to a part-time vegan diet, and Patton notes that transitioning to vegan eating can pose more cultural than dietary challenges. Ramsey warns that “vegans are often vitamin-deficient!” (which, what are the stats on omnivores and vitamin deficiency, buddy?) and Planck begs vegan parents to THINK OF THE CHILDREN before forcing their poor helpless offspring to eat vegan food. Kendall points out that meat and dairy are vectors for disease, and Southan is very concerned about the guilt that vegan diets can induce. Fully half of the debaters focus on weight loss aspects, which is fine, I guess, considering they’re discussing a vegan diet, rather than a vegan lifestyle.

Look, we welcome all vegans! Even deliberately eating vegan part-time is better than doing it never. Still, it’d be nice if the national coverage of veganism included any of the other aspects of veganism besides “quick and easy weight loss” and “not being such fat fatties.” It’s not just a way of eating. We don’t change what we put on our bodies or how we stock our bathrooms out of concern for our cholesterol levels. It’s great that eating vegan makes us healthier, but there’s more to it than what we eat, and I worry that focusing so hard on the “vegan diet = perfect body” argument trivializes the work we all do to live a cruelty-free life. Besides, it’s not true!

This Room for Debate really should’ve been called “Is a Vegan Diet for Everyone?” which would’ve allowed all the participants to make the same arguments without glossing over all the non-food issues a vegan lifestyle addresses. What do you guys think?

*Our feelings are a little bruised that we weren’t asked to participate, but seeing as how your Vegansaurus is staunchly anti-diet, we understand why.

[photo by Charles Roffey via Flickr]

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