Friday, 1 August 2014

One Of Those WTF Moments; Vegan Meet Ups in Non vegan / Non Vegetarian restaurants.

Ever joined a vegan meet up? You got them everywhere, all the big cities from Hong Kong to New York hold them.

Vegan Meet Ups are a great way to meet with like minded vegans who share the same ethics as you, and together enjoy  a vegan meal in a vegan restaurant.

Isn't that what you would except from a vegan meet up? Meeting other vegans? Eating vegan food? In a vegan restaurant?

Reality is that many vegan meet ups hold their meet up in a non veg restaurant, and not for sound reasons.

If you live in a city that has vegan or vegetarian restaurants, wouldn't you just love to have your weekly or monthly meet ups in one of these veg restaurants with real vegan vibes and food? So why does your organizer settles for non vegan restaurants? Maybe you should ask your organizer. Maybe your organizer will tell you that the vegan restaurants cannot accommodate such a big group and that is why he/she chooses for a non veg restaurants. Maybe you are a complete fool and believe it, in that case I suggest you contact your local vegan restaurant and ask if they can accommodate to your vegan meet up group, yes or no?

If there are veg restaurants in your city, most likely the reason why your organizer holds the meet ups in non veg restaurants, is because the organizer gets a nifty financial kickback from the restaurant.

Now you might be a nice vegan and say “so what? Organizing a meet up takes time and energy, I don’t mind that my organizer gets a little bit money.” In that case you are missing the point.

The point is that if an organizer makes his decision only based on which restaurant gives the most money to him/her (not openly but in secret), he/she will, as we unfortunately see, many times choose for a non veg restaurant. Seriously, if you can choose, what do you like best, to have your meet up in a vegan restaurant or in a regular non vegan restaurant where the people at the next table are munching on a steak?

IF you think your organizer deserves a financial reward, the only honest way is that YOU give it directly to him/her. Openly, and never take money from restaurants. In that case the organizer has no secret financial strings anymore with non vegan restaurants, and his/her decision where to hold the meet up, will be based NOT on money, but which restaurant is THE MOST SUITABLE for a vegan meet up.

Ten Reasons Why holding your vegan meet up in a vegan restaurant?

-       - Are you thick??? Vegan restaurants are the BEST restaurants EVER! The ONLY restaurants that share YOUR ethics and lifestyle. WHY For Fucks Sake should you EVER willfully choose to go eat (and enjoy???) in a non vegan restaurant?

-      -  Only vegan restaurants can serve real vegan food.

-       - The restaurant business and competition is very hard. If even WE VEGANS don’t support our own vegan restaurants, WHO does?

-      -  Do your mathematics!! How many people attend your weekly? Monthly? Meet ups. How  many money each spends? Calculate. For any small or medium sized vegan restaurant that IS A LOT OF MONEY. That money can mean the difference between being open or going out of business, between surviving or thriving. Between a happy vegan owner or an owner with worries.

-      - Imagine, you are the proud owner of a vegan restaurant. As with most vegan restaurants, you were so brave enough to invest YOUR OWN MONEY (because banks are not lining up to hand out loans for veg restaurants.) Guess what, the local vegan meet up group holds its meetings not in your vegan restaurant but in a non veg restaurant. Basically your vegan meet up group says “Fuck You” to the vegan restaurant. Are you offended by my rude language?

-      - When your organizer has found a non veg restaurant that gives a sweet financial kickback, he/she will stick to that place. That means many meet ups are AGAIN in the same old same old non veg restaurant. To that I say BORING. What about organizing exciting meet ups, try to hold a meet up each time in another vegan restaurant, let the owner have a little talk, and when there is a new veg restaurant in town, that is where the first up coming meet up is going to be!! Be part of the vegan scene in your city, be a vegan community builder, and spend your vegan pesos in a real vegan restaurant.

Think about this: how about an Italian Food Lovers Meet Up group that holds it's meet ups NOT in a fine and authentic Italian restaurant but in Pizza Hut because the organizer gets money from Pizza Hut. Absurd and laughable, nobody from that meet up would tolerate that. We vegans we do, we hold meet ups (and enjoy it) in non vegan establishments.

We vegans are supposed to be mindful people, as opposed to the mindless consumer who don’t care about animals, the environment, etc, WE carefully read the ingredients on the label, we mindfully decide not to eat animal products, when we buy cosmetics we search on the label to check if it is animal tested or not, we nag the staff with our annoying vegan questions, when we buy shoes we mindfully shop around and ask around until we find shoes that are made from non leather.

We vegans CARE, right?

So why should we suddenly become mindless sheep and not give a shit where we hold our vegan meet ups? Be mindful, use your mouth, ask your organizer to organize next time the meeting in a vegan restaurant. Don’t be sap when the organizer claims that is not possible or why it is better to have a meet up in a non veg restaurant. Don’t be afraid to talk with your fellow table guests at the next meet up but talk about it. Better, individually email each meet up member and asks his opinion.

The issue where we should spend our vegan pesos and that it is only normal that we support our vegan restaurants and so support our vegan community, is an important issue, I think. Love to hear what you think about this issue and your personal experience...

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