This week, we celebrate the life of the late Cesar Chavez, founder of United Farm Workers, whose birthday is March 31st. While everyone knows about his tireless and passionate leadership of the farm worker movement, not everyone knows that Chavez was a vegetarian for the last twenty-five years of his life, and vegan for a large part of that time. He once said, "I became a vegetarian after realizing that animals feel afraid, cold, hungry and unhappy like we do. I feel very deeply about vegetarianism and the animal kingdom. It was my dog Boycott who led me to question the right of humans to eat other sentient beings.”
I saw in this week's Sacramento Business Journal that the City of Sacramento and the Downtown Sacramento Partnership are conducting a survey to find out what type of restaurant people would like to see at the Cesar Chavez Plaza across from City Hall. The restaurant that was there previously, Cafe Soleil, closed late last year.
Several of my vegan Facebook friends have been promoting the idea of putting a vegan restaurant into that space to honor Cesar Chavez's position on animal rights and his commitment to vegetarianism. While I think it highly unlikely that the city will choose to put a vegan restaurant in that space, I do think a restaurant offering vegan options should be encouraged. I know some of you have already completed the city's survey, but if you haven't done so yet, please take a moment to let the city know that you would like to see a vegan restaurant in the space formerly occupied by Cafe Soleil, or, at a minimum, a restaurant with an ownership group that's committed to offering several vegan menu options.
After all, it would be the worst kind of irony to have a restaurant serving food Cesar Chavez would not have eaten in the very park that bears his name.