February 15, 2018
Here is the link to a fun magazine article http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=3228&catId=5 my husband and I were featured in 7 years ago which summarizes how we met, how he secretly proposed and our eventual vegan-catered wedding on a place called Forbes island in the SF Bay. Before I became vegan, I was a major hedonistic foodie and insatiable omnivore… I thought there was seriously NO way I could ever give up consuming animal products. Especially coming from a very meat-heavy Filipino upbringing, the concept seemed entirely foreign (and mildly annoying) to me. Before, I thought veganism seemed boring, restrictive, and my limited impression was vegan people were weird, preachy, granola-types. Looking back, I was quick to judge and my perspective has dramatically changed with understanding, education, and discipline.
There are so many amazing vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants in San Francisco which I have had the luxury to enjoy that made my transition easy. Plus, the sheer number of vegan products on grocery shelves has been absolutely explosive! It boggles my mind how each day, I see or read about a new creative and healthier vegan cheese, milk, meat, or other animal product substitute. Public perception of veganism is changing fast. It’s no longer an extreme lifestyle, it’s easier and accessible. As consumers become more savvy about the reality of the factory-farming industry and the health implications of meat and dairy products, the movement will only continue to rise. Adding to the momentum of this trend, is the fact that the number of high-profile vegans is growing every month (fashion designer Tom Ford is the most recent).
I will be the first to admit that I am not a perfect vegan. Further, in meeting and talking to lots of people, one of the biggest challenges in a shift towards a plant-based diet, is the overwhelming notion that one has to be an “all or nothing” vegan, otherwise, why bother. Especially for new people coming into the fold, the pressure of having to make the complete 180 switch to carrying the “vegan” title, for some feels very radical or boxed-in. If you’re one of the millions who have thought of trying a vegan diet but fear it’s too monotonous or unfamiliar, or simply don’t want to give up the foods you love to eat – know that you can still be flexible and help support all the positive causes associated with reducing animal product consumption. By just gradually incorporating more vegetables into your diet or being a part-time vegan as Mark Bittman ascribes in his VB6 (Vegan before 6pm) book, you have made a difference.
In the meantime, I will not judge you regardless of your food choices because my overarching motivation to becoming vegan is compassion-based. I believe alienating or judging those who choose to eat animal products only drives them away as I would have felt before I embraced a vegan lifestyle.
Here are some of my all-time favorite vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants in San Francisco:
Frena Bakery https://frenabakery.com/
Golden Era http://goldeneravegan.com/
Gracias Madre http://www.gracias-madre.com/
Nourish Café http://www.nourishcafesf.com/