One in three restaurant owners will say that they’ve made the decision to go vegetarian.
In fact, this is one of the biggest challenges facing the city of New Orleans, as the population has grown to nearly two million.
However, some restaurant owners say the move was a no-brainer.
“It was the best thing that ever happened to me, I have so many good friends that are vegans, they don’t know, they think it’s a sin,” said one of them, David Kaczorowski.
“And I just couldn’t imagine that a city like New Orleans would be so friendly towards people who are vegetarian.”
We just really couldn’t believe it, and we were blown away.””
We were overwhelmed by the kindness and the love and the support that we received.
We just really couldn’t believe it, and we were blown away.”
Some of the restaurants that went vegan in New York City are not vegan, but they have a message for others to follow.
“Vegans are not the problem, we’re not the ones that are causing all the problems in the world,” said Lillian Haines.
“There’s so many people that are just trying to make a living, they’re doing it on their own time.
And I don’t think they’re as passionate about the cause as the people that make them.””
Vietnamese food is amazing,” said Michael LeBrun, who opened his first restaurant in 2005.
“The Vietnamese food is phenomenal, I love the food and the atmosphere.”
He’s now owned by his wife, Stephanie, and she’s vegan.
“There are so many beautiful dishes out there and I’ve learned that the best way to tell them apart is to cook with a fork,” he added.
“That’s what I do, that’s how I tell my family and friends.”
“I just couldn to go to any restaurant in New Mexico,” said Kim Johnson, a chef and owner of Kneeboard Café in New Las Vegas.
“I just really wanted to see if it was possible.”
Johnson said that she would love to return to the US to work, but she’s also a vegetarian.
She said she can’t wait to make her own lunch.
“I would like to make it in the best tradition of what I learned at Kneboard,” she said.
She says that there’s a huge difference between the vegetarian and vegan communities.
“The food is vegetarian and the environment is not,” she explained.
“It’s not the same, but I think there is a lot more compassion, a lot of caring.”
For LeBun, it was the community that inspired him to take a step in a new direction.
“My dad was in the military and he was really into it and I just got in touch with him, and I told him what I was doing, and he said, ‘I want you to make your own restaurant in your town,'” LeBren said.
He said that the restaurant he opened in New Vegas, Knebooms Cafe, was inspired by his experience.
“This is where I learned that I’m a vegan and that I could do something different and I could make a change for people that were just struggling with this,” he explained.
LeBrun says that he’s always been an advocate for animal rights, and that’s what drew him to start his restaurant.
“Veganism is a religion, it’s about being kind to animals,” he says.
“So, when I see the animals suffer, I feel it, I think about them, and it’s important to me to help people to have compassion.”
“A lot of people are not ready for that, but the world needs it,” he concluded.
“You need to be able to give back to the community in a way that people are more comfortable.”
For those who choose to go the vegetarian route, the restaurant they choose will depend on the chef.
For Kaczyowski, the choice to go veggie was a personal one.
“One thing that we didn’t really know was that people were just not comfortable with it,” Kaczyk said.
The New Orleans chef has since taken his vegan restaurant to other areas of the country.
“As I moved around, I would find that it was very difficult to make sure that we were not going to be seen as anything other than a vegan restaurant,” he told FourFourtwo.
“And so we ended up being in different cities where people weren’t quite comfortable with us, so we just decided to go elsewhere and try something new.”