HAS VEGAN GONE HOLLYWOOD? IT’S NOT A ‘LUXURY’..
Right from day 1 since the peak of time, I was vegetarian. 16 year old me – decided to do more research into the dairy industry and I quickly after transitioned into becoming vegan. My mother raised amidst the non-popularity– she used to make homemade baby food out of a blender and always found quirky ways to show me how cool it was to be vegetarian and explained how I wasn’t missing out on anything. She didn’t force me growing up to stay vegetarian but because talking about the environment, meat farming and so forth was always open for discussion I knew I wanted to take a step further.
She always and still stresses the benefits of making your own food at home and bringing it with you, no matter how much you have in the bank. It doesn’t only expand your knowledge in cooking and what actually goes into your food but can be eye-opening to really how much a restaurant can over-charge an enormous amount for the same thing you can make on your own – in bulk, same quality and or be supporting local vegetable farming. So has veganism gone a little Hollywood since the OG parents raising vegetarians/vegans? A little spoiler – yes, yes it has and I will explain why.
At the time I became vegan I was a summer in recently moving to Toronto. Moving from a city that was smaller than the 6ix I was really looking forward to trying different spots, on the weekends or for special occasions. Over time I noticed it seemed like veganism was turning into the look of a rich woman/man’s game. To a non-vegan on social media, it portrayed and still portraying that a herbivorous human ‘shops all their fruits/veggies at high-end grocery stores. We take frequent trips to a tropical resort to try out all the luxurious tropical fruits and for the ladies, our skin is glowing from the gods from being oh so beachy/sun-kissed” – which is farthest from the truth. I still breakout. People always ask “ How are you vegan Sadie?” “ Isn’t it expensive?” I do it simply by how everyone else lives. You check out different markets in the city ( I go to Spadina for fruits/veggies if you’re interested in an economical place for quality goods) I then make a checklist of non-earthy food I need – since your saving A LOT by not purchasing fruit/veggies at a local grocery. This way you can splurge a little on fun items you see at health food stores.
Though because everyone wants a taste of luxury, and ‘mainstream insta vegans’ are now a group and in demand, it’s painless for owners of joints to take advantage of the easily persuaded community. Restaurant prices are becoming ridiculous for vegans. It logically should be at least cost-effective because one would think you’re not importing fine meats, – but your paying for much more than that. Yes, you can cut the bill down by not having a drink or dessert but your really up-keeping the aesthetics of the restaurant, how trendy cool it is and the certain pieces in the restaurant that sucks you in to want to hear/try more. For a parent that has a vegan kid, that is not attainable in this generation/world. There are few and far between I do go to that are not overpriced and I will always be that way – but they are not getting the same treatment/or not publicized enough compared to chain hubs or mass following – which then leads them to go out of business. I’m not here to offend anyone and their vegan lifestyle choices or where they put their money because I do the same occasionally, but for vegan restaurants to be putting luxurious first is not weighing out – we should be opening more spots that are economical first, and than slowly grow into having a few higher end spots for those that do like fine dining. It’s giving the wrong image when we have a long way to go and I can understand how some can believe only certain people can afford that lifestyle.
I do love however how many celebs are promoting veganism and the benefits of it – but again let’s make sure we let everyone know diamonds don’t come on top of your milkshake float.
NO food lifestyle SHOULD be luxurious – or at least showcased that way especially in infancy stages! You don’t need a Las Vegas light up sign with a guy named Jim playing the fiddle outside your restaurant and EDM club flooring for people to come to your restaurant.
If you’re so confident in your food, you wouldn’t need to have ‘aesthetic’ overbear what you put on the table. I am not paying for your light up chairs! The price doesn’t always match the quality either, organics/quality produce can be searched if you roll your sleeves up a bit ( take it from a human who’s childhood was growing up in the restaurant business)! Please understand you do not need to show Sally on Instagram you can afford to eat expensive shit all the time. Let’s build a community and showcase how rad it is to be vegan just like most parents raising my generation of vegan/vegetarians. The coolest people I know make everything from scratch ….including my mom ( hey girl) It’s important for people to understand it’s okay to not afford a $50 meal when out with your partner/kid or can purchase all of your groceries from a higher end supermarket. That’s not what being veganism is about.
It’s not a real-life hashtag. It is for the animals and health right?
Check out our new Bat Cave Food Review for this month, This series we will try to do as frequent as possible so Torontonians/and visitors can dine comfortably on a budget!