What is veganism?
Veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.
How did veganism begin?
The term ‘vegan’ was coined in 1944 by Donald Watson when he co-founded the Vegan Society in the UK. He defined it as follows: “veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practicable — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose”. Mr. Watson was inspired by vegetarians who had already been eschewing meat for ethical reasons but still used dairy products and eggs. At the time he saw no reason why humans should consume these animal products when plant-based alternatives were available. Society grew steadily throughout the years with more members adopting the vegan lifestyle. In 1979, the first-ever International Vegan Festival was held in Orono, Maine (USA) with just over 200 attendees. By 2016 that number had jumped to over 5500 attendees from 60 countries!
So what do vegans eat?
While there are many different types of vegan diets, most include fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes (beans and lentils), nuts and seeds. Some also choose to include dairy alternatives such as soy milk or almond milk and mock meats made from tofu or seitan (a wheat gluten product). It’s important to note that a vegan diet can be healthy or unhealthy depending on what foods are included; just like any other type of diet.
For example, someone who lives on french fries, soda and Oreos would technically be considered a “vegan” but this certainly isn’t an ideal way to live healthfully! Likewise, someone who consumes a varied plant-based diet including whole grains, fresh produce, beans , nuts, seeds and water will likely be much healthier than the fast food vegan. When done right, following a vegan diet has been shown to have numerous health benefits including lower rates of heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. Of course – as with anything – moderation is key; too much of even healthy foods can lead to weight gain so it’s important not go overboard!
In addition to being delicious and nutritious, plant-based eating has environmental benefits as well. Because raising livestock requires large amounts of land, water & feed – plus energy for transportation & processing – it contributes significantly more greenhouse gas emissions than producing plants does.
What’s more – according to the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – animal agriculture is responsible for 70% of global freshwater use; 38% of total land use; and 19% of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions!
So if you care about reducing your impact on the planet – going vegan is one powerful way you can help make a difference. Not only does consuming less meat save resources – but growing vegetables uses far less land than raising cattle does. In fact – 2 1/2 acres can provide enough calories through vegetables for 20 people whereas that same amount of land produces enough beef for just ONE person!
That means we could potentially feed 10 times as many people per acre by switching from beef production to vegetable production! If everyone went vegetarian we would need only HALF as much farm lands we currently use while still feeding everyone adequately. How cool is that?
There are vegan restaurants around the world
There are an increasing number of vegan restaurants around the world as the popularity of plant-based diets grows. Here is a list of some of the best vegan restaurants in various cities across the globe.
In New York City, there is By Chloe, which serves American comfort food that just happens to be vegan. They have several locations throughout the city, so you can easily find one near you. Their menu features classics like burgers and mac and cheese, as well as more unique items like avocado toast and a quinoa taco salad.
If you’re in Los Angeles, Native Foods Café is a great option for vegan fare. They have all sorts of delicious dishes, from salads and soups to pizzas and desserts. They also have a kids’ menu, so it’s perfect for families. Another great spot in LA is Mohawk Bend, which has an extensive beer selection to go along with their creative vegan cuisine.
For those in San Francisco, The Herbivore Kitchen is not to be missed. This casual restaurant serves up healthy and flavorful vegan food at reasonable prices. They have both breakfast and lunch options available, plus a wide selection of baked goods for dessert. Another excellent choice in SF is Shizen Vegan Sushi Bar & Izakaya – as the name suggests, they specialize in sushi made with plant-based ingredients.
Moving over to Europe, there are plenty of great places for vegans to eat in London too. One such restaurant is Tibits, which has an all-you-can-eat buffet-style setup with tons of different hot and cold dishes to choose from – including many international options beyond just English fare. For something a bit fancier (and pricier), check out Vanilla Black – they offer gourmet three-course meals where every dish is completely free from animal products. And last but not least on our London list is The Gate – here you’ll find fine dining level cuisine that just happens to be 100% plant-based… even the wine!
If Paris is more your speed then head over to Le Potager du Marais where organic produce takes center stage on both their savory and sweet dishes alike. If you want something lighter (and less expensive) then L’As du Fallafel should definitely be on your radar – they serve up massive falafel sandwiches stuffed with all sorts of fresh veggies… Yum! Lastly no trip to France would be complete without stopping by Brasserie L’Atmosphere for some classic French bistro style food that just so happens to be totally vegan – from onion soup gratinee to chocolate mousse for dessert, they’ve got you covered!
How to find a job in a vegan restaurant?
When it comes to finding a job in a vegan restaurant, the process is not too different from finding a job in any other type of restaurant. However, there are a few key things to keep in mind that will help you secure a position in one of these establishments. Here are some tips on how to find a job in a vegan restaurant:
- Start by doing your research. As with any industry, it is important to research the vegan restaurant scene before applying for jobs. This means familiarizing yourself with popular vegan restaurants in your area, as well as understanding the overall culture and atmosphere of these types of eateries. Additionally, take the time to read up on the latest news and trends within the industry; this will make you more knowledgeable and impressive to potential employers.
- Consider your experience level. When applying for jobs at vegan restaurants, be honest about your experience – both with food preparation and customer service. If you have significant experience working in restaurants, highlight this on your resume and during interviews; if you are new to the industry, be upfront about this as well and explain why you are passionate about working in a vegan establishment specifically. Either way, having an understanding of what it takes to succeed in a fast-paced environment will put you ahead of other candidates who may not have considered this aspect as carefully.
- Take advantage of social media. In today’s day and age, nearly all businesses – including many vegan restaurants – use social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter to advertise open positions. Be sure to follow any relevant accounts so you can stay up-to-date on current openings; additionally, don’t hesitate to reach out directly to inquire about opportunities that may not be publicly posted. Many times, simply expressing interest and demonstrating enthusiasm can go a long way towards securing a position.
- Attend industry events. Another great way to network and get your foot in the door at Vegan restaurants is by attending various industry events such as trade shows or conferences related specifically to plant-based eating. These types of gatherings provide an excellent opportunity not only learn more about what it takes to work within this growing field, but also connect with like-minded individuals who may be able assist you with your job search down the line. Who knows – you may even meet your future boss at one of these events!
- Check niche job boards such as this one.
There are many vegan restaurants around the world. Here are some of the most famous ones.
The Vegan Diner is a popular vegan restaurant in New York City. The menu features classic American diner food, but all of the dishes are vegan. The restaurant has been featured in several magazines and newspapers, and it was even voted one of the best new restaurants in NYC by New York Magazine.
Another famous vegan restaurant is Vedge in Philadelphia. Vedge specializes in creative vegetable-based dishes, and it has won numerous awards, including being named one of the best new restaurants in America by Bon Appetit magazine.
If you’re looking for a fine dining experience, check out Crossroads Kitchen in Los Angeles. This upscale restaurant serves gourmet vegan cuisine, and it has been praised by celebrities and food critics alike. Oprah Winfrey even included Crossroads Kitchen on her list of “Favorite Things” for 2015.
For something different, try Vege-Way in Tokyo, Japan. This unique restaurant offers an all-you-can-eat buffet of delicious vegetarian Japanese food. And if you want to stay overnight, Vege-Way also has a small guesthouse where you can sleep after your meal.
Famous vegan dishes
There are many delicious vegan dishes enjoyed by people all over the world. Here are just a few of the most famous vegan dishes:
Black Bean Brownies – These brownies are made with black beans, cocoa powder, and other healthy ingredients, and they’re completely dairy-free and vegan.
Chickpea Curry – This curry is made with chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, and spices. It’s a hearty dish that’s perfect for a winter meal.
Vegan Lasagna – This lasagna is made with layers of pasta, vegetables, and a tofu-based ricotta cheese. It’s a hearty dish that’s sure to please everyone at the table.
Eggplant Parmesan – This dish is made with breaded eggplant slices, tomato sauce, and vegan mozzarella cheese. It’s a delicious alternative to traditional chicken parmesan.
Vegan Macaroni and Cheese – This macaroni and cheese is made with dairy-free cheese sauce and elbow noodles. It’s a comfort food classic that’s sure to please vegans and non-vegans alike.
Why it’s worth it to become a vegan?
A vegan is someone who does not eat or use animal products. This means that a vegan does not eat meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, or honey. A vegan also does not use leather, wool, silk, or any other product made from animals.
There are many reasons to be a vegan. The most important reason is that it is the only way to live in harmony with all animals. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, habitat destruction, and ocean dead zones. It is also a major contributor to climate change and human health problems. Factory farming practices are cruel and inhumane, and animals raised for food are routinely subjected to horrific conditions. By choosing not to participate in animal agriculture, vegans can help reduce these problems.
In addition to being more ethical, veganism is also healthier for both people and the planet. Plant-based diets have been shown to be beneficial for human health, reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. They are also better for the environment than diets that include meat and dairy products. Livestock production uses large amounts of water and land resources while contributing significant amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. A plant-based diet requires far less water and land than a diet that includes animal products.