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Supporting Omni-owned (veg) businesses (crossover)

This came from the SF vegan caterer thread (old), and I think its important, but may not get much attention in its current topic. This is copied and pasted from the thread:

Do not support Herbivore - it is owned by omnis!

I don't believe this is true. I met Adham (only once), the owner of the Herbivore restaurants, at the VegNews Author Speaker Event at Millenium restaurant for Jeffrey Mason, author of The Face On Your Plate. I heard him identify himself several times as a vegan, quite sincerely, it seemed to me, and even proudly introduce his brother as a new vegan of only a few weeks.

I'm just curious why you think Herbivore is owned by omnis? There are 3 locations in the SF bay area, I've only been to 2, but several times each, and I've always been delighted with the setting, the servers, and the taste and quality of the 100% vegan food! But please, do tell.

My response is this:

The veg restaurants in Asheville are owned by omnis as well. I don't think it makes sense not to support them. It's all we've got and they are doing a good thing.  Their cooking still saves animals and helps people eat healthier, even if they don't practice it in their personal lives. We still shop at gas stations, clothing stores, grocery stores, and farmers markets that are run by omnis, don't we?

Not supporting them puts them out of business, and what good will that do us?

Isn't there a saying that goes, "shooting yourself in the foot to save your face?" or something like that?

I do admit I was disappointed when I found out, but in the end it really doesn't matter that much (to me).

What do you guys think of this?
Am I the only one who thinks its counterproductive to not support veg businesses, even if owned by omnis?

all the veg restaurants that i've been to have been owned by veg*ns, but even if they weren't, i'd still eat there because, like l2a said, they're doing a lot of good by having that restaurant/store/etc.

why they would open a veg restaurant when they're not veg themselves? beats me, but still, they're giving me yummy vegan food so i say yay! lol


I remember some sort of argument like this from before... not about restaurants, but vegan products. If one company's owned by vegans, and one's not, should you preferentially support the vegan one?

:/ I think it's good to support veganism period (whether or not that means supporting a vegan), but I guess if the market was flooded with products (& restaurants?), I might choose to go with the vegan and vegan-owned company.


:/ I think it's good to support veganism period (whether or not that means supporting a vegan), but I guess if the market was flooded with products (& restaurants?), I might choose to go with the vegan and vegan-owned company.

I agree.

I guess something I would wonder about (in terms of the restaurants) is if the person in charge isn't vegan, he/she might not be aware of all things that are/are not vegan. I imagine it would be hard (and very rare?) to run a vegan business, and not practice veganism.

I got the feeling that not everyone (or maybe even the majority?) of people working at the Herbivore that we frequented were vegan (judgment!), but I don't know anything about the owner.

I would definitely rather go to a vegan restaurant/store than have to order something vegan at a non-vegan restaurant, or buy things at a normal store. I mean, we all have to do those things, anyway (the store, at least), so it's the better of the two.


I don't think we have the freedom to around shunning non-vegan establishments, not even in a city like San Francisco.  And actually, even if all establishments were equally vegan friendly, I can't say I'd support the ones with vegan owners over others.  I'd support the ones with the best services and products.  Period.  Unless that company was a major key player in the dairy/meat industries. But even then, I don't think the message would surface.  The take home message is more likely to be, "Wow, people are sure buying a lot of this particular vegan product," regardless of who makes it.

Whats the logic in shunning a vegan restaurant owned by non-vegans?  That diverting money from the owners' pockets is going to send them the message that they shouldn't be omni?  Like, "Oh, that will show them!  Now they have less money to spend on grilled cheese sandwiches!"  It just doesn't compute.  Putting an omni out of business will not turn them vegan.  If anything it will turn them the opposite direction.

I guess if vegan food outlets were to become so abundant that pushing one out of the market would not be detrimental, then that would make sense.  But at this point I think we should support all well-run vegan food establishments equally.  We need all of them!  

I support non-vegans every day.  I don't care!  Just because I happen to agree with other vegans doesn't mean that I need to support them at all costs, or that I need to stop supporting omnis.  I support actions which I think contribute in a positive way.

The only foreseeable effect of boycotting an omni-run vegan restaurant is, to me, running that restaurant out of business, and sending the message that "Jeez, no one really wanted that vegan restaurant there anyway."  Nope, not worth it.

As soon as you send the message that omni's are not worthwhile people, you've lost everybody's ears.  I just think that's snobbish.

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