The Economist named 2019 “The Year of the Vegan,” and although vegans make up a small portion of the American population, their numbers are likely to grow in 2020 and beyond.
The magazine coined the term Veganuary in 2014 as a campaign to support would-be vegans’ New Year’s resolutions to adopt a more plant-based lifestyle during the month of January.
The biggest misconception about vegans is that their lifestyle of being free of animal byproducts ends at the dinner table; when in fact, being vegan extends beyond food and into all facets of life. Animal testing on cosmetics and household cleaners, supporting corporations and chain restaurants that take part in factory farming and animal-derived ingredients in medicines and beauty products are all concerns for vegans.
In 2019, Phoenix and Scottsdale were both ranked in the top 50 cities for vegans and vegetarians in America by WalletHub. Arcadia is home to many options for food, beauty, home and beyond for anyone who wants to adopt vegan habits.
For fitness lovers or those considering embarking on a fitness journey, it’s important to align with people who support a vegan lifestyle. For example, Jess Hutchens, the owner of Flawless Fitness, is an ACE-certified personal trainer, fitness nutritionist and behavior change specialist based in Scottsdale.
Also, consider joining fitness studios that make sustainability a priority or that are vegan-owned, purchasing county and state park passes and using the outdoors to aid in wildlife and environmental conservation.
Navigating restaurants can be problematic for a lot of soon-to-be vegans. But as plant-based living becomes more mainstream, businesses are adapting to meet the growing demand.
While it’s not an all-inclusive list, some local eateries that offer vegan-friendly options include Ingo’s Tasty Food, La Grande Orange Grocery, Brat Haus, Hula’s Modern Tiki, Simon’s Hot Dogs, Tapas Papa Frita, The Henry, Dilla Libre, The Herb Box, Farm & Craft, Urban Phoenix Cafe, Kaleidoscope and Jewel’s Café.
There are also a handful of chains with vegan offerings too, like Pita Jungle, Original ChopShop, Loving Hut, True Food, Cornish Pasty, Flower Child, Creamistry, MAD Greens, MOD Pizza, Tocaya Organica and Picazzo’s.
Vegans do their best to avoid taking part in commercialized agriculture. They believe factory farming has been known to treat animals poorly and that commercialized farming plays a role in deforestation, wildlife endangerment and environmental pollution. And, according to a 2015 report by the University of Minnesota, “roughly 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions” comes from agriculture.
Arcadians can shop at farmers markets like the Open Air Market at the Phoenix Public Market on Saturdays, and the Uptown Farmers Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Check Arizona Community Farmer’s Markets for locations in Phoenix and the greater Valley.
Growing food is another option. For those not gifted with greenery, Dig It Gardens, Niche Organic and Farmyard are all resources for everything from tips, products, garden installation and maintenance services.
Culture and Community
It helps to have the support of other vegans when making a lifestyle switch. Events such as the Southwest Veg Fest, PHX Vegan Festival, Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival and Veg Out Vegan Beer and Food Festival are all starting places to meet like-minded people, find resources and get involved in the community.
From animal-testing of cosmetics to ingredients like shellac, lanolin and collagen, mainstream cosmetics is another issue for vegans. Navigating the beauty industry as a vegan can be tricky because businesses aren’t always forthcoming about their ingredients and testing procedures.
There are a lot of options for vegans in Arcadia who want to switch up their beauty routine. Spa 23, Organic Hair Lab and Pure Salon offer vegan salon services. The Mane Attraction Salon is vegan-friendly and is active in the community. For skin care and spa services, Sage Organic Skincare and Citrine Natural Beauty Bar both have vegan options.
Vegans can face the same dilemmas with home products and services as they do when choosing cosmetics. In most commercial cleaners, the chemicals are tested on animals and there are many animal byproducts used in linens and furniture.
The Redemption Market, Phoenix General and Organic Living are all shops in Phoenix that offer vegan and environmentally-conscious products. Cleaning services like PurMaid and Eco Mama offer vegan-friendly solutions. Camelback Flowershop and Pueblo Life are good for flower arrangements and plants.
The businesses mentioned in this article are just some of the vegan-friendly options in the Arcadia area. Readers are encouraged to do their own research.