November 18, 2013

Help Make Your Town As Vegan-Friendly As Dallas -- Yes, Dallas!

dallas_skyline.jpgYou might be surprised to learn that Dallas, Texas, is very vegan-friendly. Yes, Big D has several pizza places with vegan cheese, bars with vegan menus, a delicious raw vegan restaurant, and even a vegan soft-serve at a gas station convenience store. And let's not forget the vegan donuts, great vegan brunch spots, and incredible all-vegan diner and bakery. But things haven't always been this way.

How has Dallas become so vegan-friendly, and what can you learn from its success that could help make your town vegan-friendlier? The answer is a tribute to the difference that one dedicated activist can make: meet the amazing Jamey Scott.

Local Veg Website

In 2008, Jamey Scott launched DallasVegan.com, which has become the go-to resource for veg happenings in DFW, including a veg-friendly restaurant directory and blog promoting local veg goings-on.

JAMEY.jpg Monthly Vegan Drinks Night

A year or so after it hit the scene, Dallas Vegan held its first Vegan Drinks Night, a popular monthly community gathering welcoming both longtime vegans and people new to veg eating.

What makes Dallas Vegan's Vegan Drinks Night so special? The meetups are held at a different bar each month! Jamey reaches out to bar owners to see if they will accommodate a big group of vegans. Knowing a good business opportunity when they see one, several bars have actually created special vegan menus for the night. With the great success of these new food items, some bars have even added them to their regular menus.

Restaurant Outreach

Rather than sit and stew over the lack of veg offerings in his area, Jamey talked with restaurant managers, introduced them to new vegan products, and sold them on what a great business opportunity it would be to add vegan items to their menus. The expanded vegan offerings have made it far more easy and delicious to be vegan in Dallas.

Veggie Fair

By far the most labor-intensive and newsworthy of all of Dallas Vegan's outreach efforts, the annual Texas Veggie Fair is now in its fourth year. This October Jamey and his crew put on a wildly successful event with over 7,000 attendees, great speakers, dozens of vegan food vendors, nonprofit organizations, and tons of family fun, positioning vegetarianism as cool, accessible, and delicious.

Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 11.02.52 AM.pngWith people like Jamey on the case, it's no surprise that demand for meat is declining!

There are so many things we can all do to help animals, and making your town as vegan-friendly as possible is a great one. Whether it's planning a Vegan Drinks Night or veggie fair in your area, meeting with local restaurant owners, or starting a local veg website, all of us have a role to play. Getting involved with MFA's outreach efforts is yet another great way to do your part to help animals. For even more ideas on what you can do, check out MFA's Action Center.


 
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