Could 2014 be the year of the vegan?

by, Kelly Behr

Native Foods Cafe



There is no mistake that vegan diets have continued to rise in the ranks of popularity. Most people have heard the word and might even know a vegan, “yeah my mom’s friend’s niece is now vegan.”


Beyonce and Jay-Z declared they were going on a vegan diet for 22 days and her Instragram pictures including the ones she snapped at Native Foods got hundreds of thousands of likes.


Mainstream grocery stores are now carrying vegan products like Tofutti and Vegenaise. I saw them both at my local stores in St. Louis, the Midwest of all places!


We do five reasons to vegan every week that feature cool new products that make vegans everywhere smile with the rise of vegan companies, but this week I thought with the new year here I would do, what I feel, are the main reasons to vegan.


1.)  Animal Welfare

This is my number 1 but that doesn’t mean it has to be everyone’s. But they do not call it a compassionate diet for nothing. The PETA website declares that a vegan saves up to 185 animals a year! That is a good enough reason to vegan in my book.


Native Foods Cafe uses this picture courtesty of Harper Smith Photography. 

This is my friend Harper's pig and pug showing that it does indeed seem odd that you would choose to eat one of these for dinner.  



2.)  Health

This is what our, In the Spotlight, Skinny Bitch author wrote an entire book about. There is just no denying the health benefits of a plant-based diet. I never knew giving up dairy could make you feel so good, but it can. Just be sure to do your research and make sure you are eating a balanced diet of grains, veggies and legumes. It might sound boring but you would be amazed at all the cool and delicious foods you will find within these categories. Our menu is a testament to that. Next time you are at the grocery store really look at the produce, pick something you have never tried and cook with it, it is a fun way to open your palate to a whole new adventure.



Native Foods Cafe uses this image courtesy of

 This is a jackfruit. If you haven't heard of it you need to try it. It is a fruit that can be used as a meat susbstitute, mind blowing right? It's flesh takes on a meaty consistency that molds into whatever flavors you are using. It is even an excellent crab replacement in crab cakes. Native Foods has gotten pretty creative over the years with the beloved jackfruit, I urge you to do the same! 


3.)  The Environment

I do not think people realize the true impact the factory farming industry is having on our planet. We are slaughtering so many animals every year that our waters are being tainted with their waste and our air with the emissions that are being produced. The website, Do Something, has a list of startling facts about how our environment is truly affected everyday by these factory farming practices.


4.)  Being vegan tastes good!

Like I mentioned before there are delicious vegan options of everything. My holiday consisted of making 10 different appetizers for my family that came over for Christmas Eve. We had things like spinach artichoke dip, jalapeno poppers, mushroom turnovers and a myriad of other tasty treats. My family raved at how good everything tasted and not how good this was for being vegan but that it was just good food.



5.)  It’s cool,  it’s awesome,  it’s rad,

I mean come on, what is cooler than saving the planet, yourself and animals just by choosing different food items? If you put it this way it seems crazy not to be. That is why we feature new products every week to show how easy and fun it is to be compassionate. From food to fashion, vegan really is the new black. Watch out 2014, we are coming for you.


 Native Foods uses this image courtesy of

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