Although the vegan and vegetarian diet has become somewhat of a cultural revolution of late, and is changing the restaurant industry as a whole, vegetarianism has actually been around for centuries, dating back to a time before recorded history.
Contrary to popular belief, many anthropologists believe that early humans primarily ate plant foods, being more gatherers than hunters.
Up until the 1900’s, Americans ate far less meat than they eat today. The cost of meat was prohibitive, refrigeration was scarce and distribution was challenging.
Things changed dramatically with the coming of the industrial revolution.
Vegetarianism got a big boost in 1971 from Frances Moore Lappe’s book “Diet For A Small Planet.” In the mid 80’s, John Robbins’ book “Diet For A New America” launched the vegan movement and introduced the world to the massive environmental consequences of animal agriculture.
In the 90’s, the American Dietetic Association published a paper endorsing vegetarian diets, and the rest is history.
Today’s acceptance of vegetarianism is at an all time high. We now know that a vegetarian diet improves your general health, reduces your environmental footprint (more than a Tesla and for less money) and greatly lessens the suffering of animals.
Are we becoming a vegan nation? Hardly. However, Israel may soon become the first vegan nation. Approximately 1 million of the 8 million Israelis no longer eat meat, and another 13% are considering going either vegan or vegetarian.
We restauranteurs are increasing the percentage of vegan/vegetarian dishes on our menus to satisfy this demand.
We have just added a whole new selection of vegetarian and vegan options at The Sunset Restaurant. Come in and enjoy a meat free meal with us!
By Franco Simplicio, owner of The Sunset Restaurant and Beach Bar
6800 Westward Beach Rd., Malibu 310-589-1007
Follow the Sunset Restaurant: @sunsetatmalibu
Photos by Linda Atkinson of Red Ink Brand Creative Agency