Vegan Week kicked off this past Saturday and extends throughout the remainder of the week.
Special to Mustang News
People, animals, planet. These are the three elements veganism is concerned with, according to Vegan Week organizer Gregg Cobarr.
The week-long event began Saturday, and continues through the week at participating restaurants and vegan companies in the San Luis Obispo area.
According to Cobarr, Vegan Week seeks to create greater awareness of veganism in San Luis Obispo County, as well as giving people information about how they can live a vegan lifestyle.
Vegan Week had its kickoff Saturday at Bliss Café in downtown San Luis Obispo. Local manufacturers of vegan products were invited to the event to showcase their wares. Cobarr, who organized the event, was pleased with the turnout.
“Vegan is one of the biggest lifestyle movements at this time,” Cobarr said. “It’s not just about the food, it’s about no harm to animals.”
Bliss Café was chosen as the kickoff venue because of its location downtown and the role it plays in San Luis Obispo’s vegan community, Bliss Café Manager James Harkin said.
“A lot of people in the community associate us as a growing place for vegans to come and eat.” Harkin said.
Harkin, who has been vegan for six months, said more restaurants in San Luis Obispo are starting to offer vegetarian and vegan dishes, but food options can still be limited.
“I think that if I’m going to go out, my choices are limited in SLO, as opposed to San Francisco or Los Angeles where there would be more variety,” Harkin said. “There are choices here, but not much variety.”
Cobarr hopes to get Cal Poly students directly involved with next year’s Vegan Week. Members of some of Cal Poly’s agricultural clubs attended the event and expressed interest in being involved next year, Cobarr said.
Cobarr plans to extend the event countywide and get national manufacturers of vegan products involved, as well as continuing with local companies.
Although some people think vegan food is tasteless, Cobarr said there are many vegan foods that taste very good.
“When people find they can be vegan with great-tasting food,” Cobarr said, “they say, ‘I’m in!’”