070 Talkin’ Bout Cafe Gratitude
The princesses tackle the Cafe Gratitude scandal, trying to bring some calm and rationality into the conversation after being disappointed with the vitriol they were seeing online.
In This Episode
Nichole and Callie were hesitant to weigh in on the Cafe Gratitude scandal, but after seeing so many vegans calling for blood they felt it was important to step in with their unpopular opinion on the matter.
Though Cafe Gratitude announced well over a year ago, via a blog post, that the founders were “transitioning” from vegetarianism to raising, slaughtering, and eating animals on their farm; everyone seems to have just heard about it and is calling for boycotts, ostracization and even violence.
While the girls understand the intense disappointment and disgust with the founders, they don’t think it wise for the vegan communities reaction to such matters to be intense hatred and calls for punishment. We see this mirrored in so many other ways in our society – from shaming drug addicts to assuming everyone in prison is guilty and worthless – that it’s an impulse that Nichole and Callie feel should go away. We need to find compassion and rationality, even in the face of such a sad and awful announcement.
The princesses also make the point that calling for boycotts and the closure of the restaurant will lead to a significant increase in non-vegan meals being consumed by the general public. Many patrons of Cafe Gratitude and Gracias Madre are not vegan, and would simply end up eating somewhere with animal products, thus supporting a business that serves animal products regularly, unlike CF and GM, which do not.
With the furious reaction, we are also confusing the rest of the world about our motivations, as highlighted by the L.A. Times article titled, Cafe Gratitude: Why are L.A. vegans eating their own? Carnists won’t understand the fury and it makes it seem like dipping your toes into veganism is to step into a minefield.
This is not an easy topic and it was not an easy one to talk about. We did our best and are very very very encouraging and welcoming of respectful discussions around this issue.
Links and Information
- HSUS President Talks Veganism with Bill Maher (VegNews)
- 10 New “Hipster” Whole Foods Locations Announced (VegNews)
- The Humane League Launches ‘Fast Action’ Network! (The Humane League)
The eleventh issue of T.O.F.U. will focus on the topic of veganism and physical health. Going beyond the facade that veganism is the path to perfection, the issue hopes to provide a space for people to talk about their battles with declining health, chronic illness, and disease while maintaining (or questioning the end of) a vegan diet. Ideally, this will then lead to dialogue regarding our relationships with food, and mental health (including disordered eating), in future issues.
As always, submissions don’t have to deal with the focus specifically. In fact, a number of submissions have already been made for the focus, so priority may be given to ideas that would fit better in the D.I.Y., Life, or Activism categories of the magazine.
Deadlines: May 16 for ideas, and May 30 for final drafts
For more details, go to their call for submissions page here.