The Gay Vegans

Expo West and the Natural Foods industry

It has been eight years since I was last at Expo West and my has the world changed. I will write more about this incredible trade show, and wanted to pass along what I experienced just yesterday while walking amongst the hundreds of booths promoting every natural food product one could imagine.

I decided to come to Expo West to learn about the newest amazing vegan food offerings and to start a long-term process of finding out how companies in this industry, an industry that Mike and I financially support every day, are in welcoming transgender people to work for them. More specifically, I want to see if companies have gender identity and/or gender expression in the non-discrimination policies.

For those of you who are vegan or love vegan food, I can tell you that your food choice world is expanding even more than what I had thought prior to coming to Expo West. Companies like Daiya, Gardein, Tofurky, Miyoko’s, Nada Moo, Bull Dog, Follow Your Heart and Vega blew my mind (and taste buds) with new products. Although many of these products won’t land until later this summer or fall, I guarantee you you will not be disappointed.

There were several booths where I literally camped out for several minutes while continually “tasting” their new product. The same one I had just tried. They were that good. Of course after five tastes of the new Gardein breakfast pocket I decided that I should really move on. And yes, I will be back today!

From chickpea snacks to vegan caramels to juices and nutritional drinks, I continually walked away from booths with a huge smile on my face.

I also had dozens of conversations with companies about non-discrimination policies and will write more in-depth on those later. I will say that when you gather so many companies there are an equal amount of opinions and human resource-relayed policies. I will also say that wearing a press badge that has “The Gay Vegans” on it helped me many times in remembering that I live in a world that, even in a professional setting like a trade show, anti-gay bigotry and discomfort towards gay people exists.

More to come!

Thanks for reading!

About Dan Hanley

Gay and vegan in the burbs (of Los Angeles). I blog about veganism, equality, compassion, activism, politics, spirituality, and our awesome life experiences. The "s" includes my husband, Mike! I want this blog to be a tool to build bridges among communities and to inspire people to get involved and vote.

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