Supporting Your Local Veg-Places

So this blog isn’t just about sex and sexuality, though those are the topics I most frequently address.

I want to talk about the importance of supporting businesses that are vegetarian- and vegan-friendly. Even if you aren’t vegetarian or vegan, by keeping places like that in business, you make it much easier for people who ARE to have places to go. You make it so that EVERYONE has easier access to vegetarian/vegan products, and for some people, this is really really important; these are ethical, not just dietary, choices they are making.

Often, I’m of the mind of “CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP! SAVE MONEY!” but one SHOULD put ethics and different types of value (it’s not just about the money, folks) before the cash. My primary partner lives like this. He doesn’t often splurge on goods, especially while living on a meager Americorps salary, but you’ll never see him at, say, a Wal-Mart. He makes purchases from business that somehow align with his ethics, as much as he can manage to do it.

So while my first instinct is to dive into bargain bins and immediately go for the cheap stuff, or go to stores with crazy sales, this summer I have been (and hopefully will continue to be) more discerning, especially since I have my family’s economic support and can afford to do so. When I have to support MYSELF it shall be another issue, since I’ll have to be dealing with my own finances, but for now, this is my plan. Because I hope to stay true to my ethics, though, I’ll try my best to put my money where my mouth is even when I’m the sole breadwinner in my life.

That’s great and all, but how do I know which places are veg-friendly if I, myself, am an omnivore? Well lucky for you, I’ve compiled a list of awesome places you should support! Now it should be easy-peasy.

Suggestions for vegan/veggie-friendly food-places in Rhode Island (mainly in Providence, unsurprisingly):

  • FOO(d) – The AS220 CafĂ©
    • Super inexpensive AND delicious (one of my favorite things to get is their crispy chickpeas appetizer). Their priciest dish is only $10, and they have a bunch of vegetarian and vegan options. The atmosphere is fun, though it can get loud when bands are playing in the AS220 performance space. If you like a hip joint with cheap and awesome food, definitely go. One of my favorite places in Rhode Island, hands down. The free WiFi is also nice, and there’s a bar located in the restaurant space too, if that’s your fancy. Depending on when you go, it can be a nice place to read and chill out. They also have outdoors seating, which is great when the air is cool.
  • White Electric Coffeehouse
    • American deli style, with a sweet artsy vibe. Some of my favorite items on the menu? Cranberry-walnut bread, hot chocolate, and cheddar/avocado sandwiches. Om nom nom. Also very decently-priced, and there’s free WiFi! Another great place to go to get some food and catch up on your reading. It’s fairly small, though, so it can’t seat large groups or anything.
  • Fire+Ice Grill & Bar
    • Mongolian BBQ place where you choose your own raw ingredients (vegetarian ones are marked with a green label, and the staff can fry your stuff in a separate pan), put them all in a bowl, and then see them stir-fried right before your eyes. You can also taste the sauces before committing to one for your dish. It’s a fun place with bright colors, and it’s decently-priced. Mondays are college-nights and dinner is $10 with a valid college-ID. This place is good for big groups because it’s huge (seats 326!), unlike most of the others on this list, which are more medium/small-sized. 
  • United BBQ
    • Cheap food, with a variety of vegetarian AND vegan options, all in the style of a typical BBQ place. Check out their menu! If you hate the idea of BBQ places because, well, they do offer meat, maybe skip out. Otherwise, I recommend it.  
  • Julian’s
    • One of my favorite places in Rhode Island, hands down. SO GOOD. SO DELICIOUS. There’s something for every price-range (e.g. dinner stuff ~$8-$28), the restaurant itself is charming and artsy, and the bathroom (yes, the bathroom) is adorable. Everything about this place is awesome. JUST GO. TRUST ME. They serve brunch & dinner, and they have a bar. GO GO GO.
  • The Garden Grille
    • A small, casual restaurant that serves “American” vegetarian food and has vegan options. They’re also a juice-bar, if you’re into that. It’s one of the more expensive v-friendly restaurants in Rhode Island, but many say it’s worth it. Their priciest entrees are ~$15.
  • The Like No Udder ice-cream truck (you can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook)
    • An adorable purple ice-cream truck with none of the dairy and ALL of the flavor. They serve smooth, smooth soft-serve (vanilla and/or chocolate, with a variety of toppings), shakes, floats, candy bars, and nachos. Everything is vegan AND kosher, and they don’t use any hydrogenated ingredients used. Be aware, though: they only take cash!
  • Nice Slice Pizzeria
    • If you’re looking for a place that serves tasty, tasty vegetarian/vegan pizzas and has a super friendly staff, you’ve found the right place. Nice Slice offers vegan cheese and faux-meat toppings (“chicken, bacon, sausage, steak, and pepperoni”) for their pizzas, and they also serve vegan sandwiches. Awesomeness all-around, plus they deliver and stay open late.
Also, remember that many Indian and Middle-Eastern restaurants are vegetarian-friendly! I’ll specifically mention Kabob N’ Curry on Thayer St. because, not only is it fucking DELICIOUS, but they have a sweet meatless buffet on Saturday mornings (11AM-3PM or so) for ~$9.

    Herbivores are Sexy

    Sometimes I have nightmares in which I find myself eating meat. 

    The day after I “officially” became a vegetarian, I dreamt I was at a supermarket back home, and that I was eating rotini, and that the rotini SOMEHOW TURNED INTO SHRIMP. And then I freaked out because I was eating an animal, and then I doubly freaked out because I wondered if anyone had noticed–now no one would believe I was honestly becoming a vegetarian. Ever since, I’ve had the occasional dream where I eat meat and flip a shit. It’s not SERIOUSLY a big deal if I accidentally eat meat (in the non-dream world), but it still makes me really uncomfortable. Apparently enough to fuel nightmares, even!

    Anyway. SO. For those sexy vegetarians, vegans, and animal-rights activists out there, caring about what’s in one’s food is NOT the only worry. Vegetarians not as much, but vegans REALLY have to watch what they eat, wear, and buy in general. As I’ve previously mentioned, there are animal products and byproducts everywhere. And one of these places is the realm of pleasure: there are many sex-toys and safer-sex materials that are not vegan friendly.

    But fear not! That’s why The Sensual Vegan, a store that sells sexy vegan goodies (everything from candles and razors, to condoms, strap-on harnesses, and anal-sex books), is here! And it is not only awesome because it caters to animal-rights activists and veg-heads, but also because it donates 5% of all sales to Scarleteen, a sex-positive sex education resource site aimed at young folks. Good stuff all around, and from what I can see, it carries quality items–not cheap-o novelty item crap that will leave your sexy bits covered in creepy chemicals.

    Also, another website worth checking out is VegPorn. With a tag-line like “titillating tofu-eaters,” who wouldn’t be curious and click on the link? The color scheme is really pretty (not like those neon sparkly pink porn sites, with all the glitz and glamor and Photoshop-happy airbrushing, or the really intense red and black ones). Every model has a little bio, and it’s a happy bunch that looks, above-all, REAL.

    Finally, porn-related, but not veg-ism related, I wanted to link to this (NSFW, obviously) video, featuring sassy and adorable Milla Monroe making an apple pie and then…well…masturbating in the kitchen. But the important part is not the sexual part–it’s the fact that she’s so friendly, pretty, and cute. I thought she was fantastic. Check out more of her videos. They’ll probably put a smile on your face.