Yesterday was a gorgeous warm, sunny day so I decided to pull myself out of my funk and walk to my local Co-op to stock up on my bulk items. Being in the sun, and seeing the leaves which are starting to change really worked, I couldn't help but feel a little more chipper. Then as I entered the Co-op parking lot, I noticed they seemed to be adding on to the building. I asked an employee, and he told me that they are adding on to the café!! He also said that they'll be rearranging the store, and adding some new stuff woot woot! On my walk home I was thinking about it and I realized that this expansion is great news for the animals! While the café is not entirely vegan, it is almost all vegetarian, with two or three seafood items. It has many vegan selections, and pretty much anything can be made vegan, as they have daiya cheese, and cream cheese etc. I had a tempeh wrap that had smoky tempeh, lots of fresh veg, and some kind of vegan sauce that was to die for! And the café makes a cashew cheese that is absolutely the best vegan cheese I've ever had. That is always my one splurge item that I allow myself when I go there. And there are always tons of people sitting in the café eating, so that always makes me feel good. But anyway back to the expansion, this is excellent news because the café obviously needs to expand, due to demand. That means even in this Mc city I live in has an increased demand for vegetarian/vegan food. That really made me feel some hope that animal's lives are being saved regardless of the reason, health, ethics, environmental concerns, curiosity, whatever. My ex-boyfriend who was an enthusiastic carnivore, also loved the mystery tempeh wrap, A LOT. I hear a lot of people mentioning Dr. Oz, which leads me to believe people take him seriously, even men, and I know Dr. Oz is a part time vegan at the least, and I know he promotes the diet, and respects both the ethics and health aspects. So if someone around here decides to take his advice and cut down on meat, and they try something from the Co-op, I know it will be delicious, and I'm sure that word will spread. I think that is what will most help the vegan movement is dispelling the myth that vegan food is not weird, bland, texturally unappealing, or unsatisfying. I think people want food that tastes good, and is satisfying.
My parents know this woman who is lets leave it at neurotic, and she is obsessed with health food, made some kind of vegan chocolate dessert, and she used spirulina as an ingredient and I think she traumatized them for life!! I still laugh at the look of horror on their faces when telling me the story. But because my parents know nothing about vegan food, and already had the standard pre conceived notions, this dessert helped seal the deal in their minds that to eat vegan means to give up all things delicious. Here and there I try to sneak in a vegan treat, like the vegan whoopee pies that the Co-op bakery makes. I've never had a non vegan whoopee pie, but I can't imagine that they are any more delicious than these. And my dad begrudgingly admitted they were good. People are stubborn especially when it comes to food, and to the idea of a serious diet overhaul, so we have to take whatever baby steps we can take.
That's also why I get annoyed by vegans who poo poo various vegan meat and cheese analogues. Who cares if they are processed and non organic? Then don't buy and eat them. But if you care about animals at all, you should be happy that these products exist, and that each one taste better that the next. If a carnivore tastes a particular brand of vegan chicken mcnugget, tender type of thing and goes oh yea, I can make that switch, that is progress, and that's what we need!
So to wrap up this unexpectedly long all over the place ramble, I would like to thank my little local Co-op for adding some much needed optimism back into my life, and to say congratulations to the Co-op, the animals, and the planet, and to mcpeoples tatebuds!