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You don't have to be a vegan to eat vegan! 

I adore vegan food, but I could take or leave most vegans. OK, before you send the hate mail, I am just kidding. Partially. I have plenty of vegan friends, including one of my best and oldest buddies. My husband once was one in his youth (now he's the biggest Jocko's Steakhouse groupie you'll ever meet, although he still prefers to eat plant-based meals most days of the week). While I enjoy eating vegan intermittently for its benefits to the planet, deliciousness, and positive affect on my health, I don't really like talking about "veganism." At least not in polite company. This has nothing to do with politics for me; it's just downright tedious, leading to one never-ending cyclical conversation. I liken it to two Los Angeles area people deeply engrossed in a conversation about what freeway they arrived on, what detours were had, and what accidents caused what traffic. We get it. Being vegan is difficult and all-consuming! And I agree: It should not be. Being vegan may be even harder in SLO County, where there are far fewer full-blown vegan menus to choose from, although that is slowly improving. This is where SLO Vegan comes in. I first noticed this group's dedicated work on Instagram, and I applaud their mission of making vegan eating a little easier in a town of beans and tri-tip sandwiches. Check out their reviews and recommendations, and don't forget to double tap. Slovegan.com showcases local offerings with a handy drop-down food group option to satisfy your most intense cravings (vegan pizza, doughnuts, and cheese dishes among them). Plus, you will also be able pick up a handy CSA veggie gift basket and even order vegan lunch delivery starting in 2018. Whatever your stance is on omitting the meat, dairy, and egg from your diet, I think we could all stand to eat a little lighter in the New Year. You don't have to be a vegan to eat vegan. And you certainly don't have to talk about it. Δ

Hayley Thomas Cain supports your vegan lifestyle. She can be reached at hthomas@newtimesslo.com.

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