Guilt In The Eye Of The Beholder

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A raspberry dessert at Café Gratitude in Hollywood. Credit Monica Almeida/The New York Times

A few days back I was struck by a post on this site about lab-grown foods, and wanted to continue the thought exercise by sharing a few comments on a brief article I had just read elsewhere on the intersection between performance art and food issues. Two more cents to add here, by way of a few excerpts from this fascinating, if alarming, article:

Eschewing a Vegan Lifestyle at Home, but Still Embracing It at Work

The threats have subsided, and now there is little sign of distress at their restaurants in Southern California.

Servers continue to take diners their entrees accompanied with an ever-changing daily question. They have asked, “What is your gift to give?” and, “What brings you joy?”

The implication is that the restaurant is a sliver of nirvana. There are messages of joy etched on the water pitchers, and the women’s bathroom mirror announces, “I adore myself and everyone else.” (Do I really? I could not help but wonder when I stopped in for lunch, unable to decide whether I should love the place for its good food or despise it for its too-precious attempt at happiness.)

What is most remarkable about Café Gratitude is its unabashed attempt to create a kind of animal-free utopia. There are no spaces free from its brand of positive thinking. …

…If the messages on the plates and menu are not enough to offer some kind of precious inner peace, the community bulletin board is filled with offerings for meditation challenges, courses in new science and consciousness, bhakti yoga festivals, the “I am Renewed” juice-cleansing program and tantra immersion retreats. It’s enough to make even the most blissed-out, vegan Angeleno cringe…

Read the whole article here.

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