PETA has up and screwed the pooch again, ranking our hometown only ninth among the 10 most “vegetarian-friendly” cities in North America. While that might sound reasonable, note that Washington, D.C., placed third, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, fifth. (Does Albuquerque even qualify as a city?)
New York’s low position comes as something of a shock, since the metropolitan area probably has more vegetarian Indian restaurants alone than all the vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Washington, D.C.; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Portland, Oregon, combined. Another irony: The Village Voice coined the term “vegetarian-friendly” 16 years ago to denote places that offer vegetarians not just the usual single app and entrée, but instead offer them plenty of choices.
Here’s PETA’s rank ranking:
1. Washington, D.C.
2. Portland, Oregon
3. Albuquerque, New Mexico
4. Atlanta, Georgia
5. Seattle, Washington
6. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
7. San Francisco, California
8. Los Angeles, California
9. New York, New York
10. Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Thanks to Eater San Francisco for pointing out this ridiculous list, and for bitching about San Francisco (where vegetarian dining was practically invented by hippies) being so low on the list.
One tip-off about how stoopid the list is, lies in the examples of vegetarian restaurants that the list offers, only three, and all of them antiquarian, as if the other boroughs don’t exist. All these places were open 10 years ago, and it’s obvious no one from PETA has eaten here in years.
Here’s the text on New York City from the piece itself, and it’s a shameful bit of tepid prose:
They may live in the city that never sleeps, but Big Apple residents are clearly using those extra waking hours to think up more great vegan stuff to eat. With choices like the pumpkin noodles with sautéed vegetables at HanGawi, a marinated and grilled Bamburger or spaghetti and “meatballs” at Red Bamboo, and spinach omelets, pesto noodles, or Unchicken Nachos at the all-vegan Caravan of Dreams, no wonder Gothamites are staying up nights!
Next time you want to tell New York vegetarians and vegans where to eat, go find some people to throw red paint on instead!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 20, 2010