It surprises me more pet lovers aren’t vegetarians. I once heard a comedian once say, “I’m an animal lover, and eating them is a strange way to show affection.”
Funny, because it’s true.
For those fur friend enthusiasts who don’t think anything should be prepared rare, medium or well-done, Toronto, Ontario, Canada has got something for you: Veggielicious, a two-week plant-based culinary celebration. (Check out our round-up of alternative protein dog food here)
UPDATE: Veg Fest is an annual event in Toronto. September 9 and 10, 2023 sees the festival hosted at Nathan Philip Square in Downtown Toronto, Ontario and is yes, …. dog-friendly!
Not to be outdone by the many ‘licious food events throughout the year, the Toronto Vegetarian Association has organized a meat-free ‘licious moment of its own to encourage people to try any – or many – of the veg and vegan restaurants across the city.
From May 6 to 22, 2016, more than 40 restaurants, cafes and bakeries across the Greater Toronto Area are offering deals on price-fixed three-course menus ranging from $14 to $40. Most are full-service restaurants, such as Middle Eastern food specialists Tabule at 2009 Yonge Street and 810 Queen Street East, drawing from regular menu items.
Others are participating by introducing vegetarian options to their regular carnivorous clientele, including the Fabarnak Café and Catering at The 519 Community Centre on Church Street. (And site of the Veggielicious launch where I met my favourite Master Chef Canada Contestant Mary Berg! The show’s still airing, but I think she won. UPDATE: she won!). The Fabarnak is a non-profit organization providing job opportunities and training to those who need assistance.
Can’t sit and stay for three courses? Meals on-the-go are an option: Kupfert & Kim is a successful Asian vegan take-out counter with four new locations recently added along Toronto’s PATH system – underground tunnels that take pedestrians quickly from Union Station to downtown. It’s celebrating Veggielicious with a special takeout box named after the company’s first location: First Canadian Place. Fuel up at lunch on quinoa, tempeh and kale and feel energized all day.
Bakeries are on the list too, including Sweets from the Earth, an all-natural vegan bakery founded in 2002, specializing in dairy and egg-free baked goods sold at cafes and health food stores across the city. I recommend the Whoppie Pie or Smores Squares.
If you happen to be in Toronto in September, check out Veg Food Fest the 11th to the 13th. Free at the Harbourfront Centre each year, it’s North America’s largest vegetarian festival.
So, what does this have to do with dogs?
Believe or not, the Toronto Vegetarian Directory includes a ‘companion animal’ (otherwise known as the animals we don’t eat) section. Listed here is Timmie Doggie Outfitters, an independently owned pet supply company with two locations: one at 867 Queen Street W., and another at 1178 Queen Street E., Toronto. They sell Ami brand pet food (affiliate link)- 100% all vegetable food for cats, dogs, and small pets.
I don’t know anything about Ami, an Italian-based pet food company. But, should you feed your dog exclusively a vegetarian diet?
Absolutely. Spread the love, not the barbecue sauce.
Veggielicious starts today and runs until May 22, 2016.