Vegans hear it from meat eaters all the time: “I love my meat.” “I can’t live without cheese.” “BUT BACON.”
It’s an affinity for these familiar, animal-based foods that tends to keep a lot of people from adopting a cruelty-free lifestyle.
Luckily, more and more start-ups are using high-tech methodologies to replicate things like eggs, hamburgers, cheese — even gelatin. And a recently launched organization, The New Omnivore (TNO), is dedicated to getting the word out about these innovations. Its first event, a mini-conference, kicks off this Thursday in San Francisco.
“My mission is to change the way people think about meat and where it should come from,”says TNO founder Janay Laing. “If we as a society can accept the idea of cultured meat or making meat from plants, we will take a huge step forward for animals, the environment, and ourselves as moral, caring beings. But first people must learn about and support these innovations.”
The New Omnivore’s first public event is a mini-conference, scheduled for this Thursday, Dec. 10 in San Francisco. A full-scale conference will follow in Miami, in September 2016.
The mini-conference is a scaled down, three-hour version of the larger event. It’ll include keynote speakers, a panel discussion, bites (of course!) and games/prizes, all revolving around animal-free food.
As far as the 2016 event: “It will be the very first large event dedicated entirely to animal-free food innovation. I’m still working on confirming a venue, but I’m close, and once that’s done pre-registration will likely open in spring of next year,” she says.
Laing also plans to host speaking events about plant-based meat, dairy, and egg innovations at colleges and various venues across the U.S. in 2016.
Overall, The New Omnivore has a vision for the future of food. “I want to make it a brand and a movement – for everyone who likes meat but doesn’t want the animal slaughter and all the other problems that come with traditional meat production.”
The New Omnivore mini-conference kicks off at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10 at The Revolution at IndieBio, 479 Jessie St., San Francisco. Tickets are free and available online.