Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Sebastopol, Berkeley, etc.

This weekend we spent time in Occidental at our "country house" as my New York City originating husband likes to call it. After a delicious meal at a restaurant in Sebastopol called SLICE OF LIFE, I pondered the following: How do veg conscious towns and cities come to be? My smarty pants B.F.F. Michelle said that its usually a college town thing. I agreed, but its not always the case. Obviously a location like Berkeley falls into that category. What about the towns that are unique for no apparent reason, not housing a college or sporting a city vibe? Some country towns are seriously lacking restaurants in general except for maybe a Denny's or Applebee's but others are very thoughtful in their choices of what is acceptable to grace their land. Sebastopol fought to keep McDonalds out, sadly unsuccessfully.
I want to know why certain towns are so diverse and down to earth. Why is Healdsburg a meat haven with so few choices for vegans, when Sebastopol is a goldmine for those wanting a meal that never mooed or clucked? If anyone knows why this is, please fill me in. Recommend a book or something because it is so interesting to me!

1 comment:

EcoLarry said...

Hi Keri...

I subscribed to your blog via green LA girl, after reading your comment/link to Siel's post, “Vegan’s un-eco sometimes, don’t you think?” (thanks for that great link).

RE: How do veg conscious towns and cities come to be?

I've often wondered this myself. I live in Redwood Valley, Mendocino County ("Mendoland"), but Ukiah is the closest city/town that I identify with.

Ukiah is the county seat of a very politically progressive county (1st no GMO law in North America; votes Green at higher levels of gov't; most organic farms per size; etc.), but has not had a successful veggie (word I use for all plant-based eating)in the over 20 years that I've lived here (a few have tried and closed).

We have the first certified all-organic brew pub/restaurant in the US (Ukiah Brewing Co.), but it has a very limited veggie menu (imho), their main focus being on their organic beer and "free-range beef." (they are wonderful people tho and I love them despite their menu...LOL)

We have activists of all kinds here, but veggie-ism is not one of the main issues here. Among them are animal rights activists who are waging a probably winning campaign against the development of a slaughterhouse, but they downplay the veggie/compassion aspect so as win over more folks (love them too). I would hope that with all us committed social change activists in Mendoland, there would be more veggie activists amongst us.

I would agree about the college point to some extent, and feel that if there were a 4-year college here, there would probably be more veggie places, or at least ONE...LOL

I'm rambling here (running out of time), but identified with your post, and want to return later to share some more thoughts about it.

Oh, I've started and ran 2 veggie cafes in the past (in the 70's in Fresno, CA), and if I were a bit younger and not dealing with a health challenge, I'd be doing another one here in Mendoland.

Oh #2: An issue I see with veggie eating places is that going green, greening their operations, is not a concern. Eco and Diet should go hand-in-hand. There's an organization (veggie, I think) that promotes Restaurant Greening (in San Diego?), but don't know much about them.

Great blog you have Keri, btw!

Peace and Compassion,