Vegan restaurants in Los Angeles are fairly easy to come by. From swanky to casual, raw food to junk food, plant-based eaters can find a variety of options throughout the city.
So, aside from its well-designed interior and celebrity owner, what makes Moby's Little Pine different from other vegan restaurants in LA?
This one is a non-profit.
In a recent interview, longtime musician and 28-year vegan Moby says 100% of Little Pine's profits will be donated to animal rights organizations. The main recipient will be Little Pine Profits, an animal welfare foundation set to launch early this year.
"Other money will go to existing animal welfare organizations like Mercy for Animals, The Humane Society, and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine," Moby says, while the rest will go towards lobbying efforts to end subsidies for animal agriculture.
The concept is rare but not new. Non-profit restaurants across the country have experienced varying degrees of success, and places like COLORS and Oregon Public House have consistently generated enough income to cover operating expenses and fund their respective causes.
Moby was able to purchase the building that houses Little Pine. Being the restaurant's owner and landlord means surplus funds for a completely organic kitchen.
"Real estate is a bit less expensive [in LA]," Moby says, "so I feel like people can open restaurants and experiment a little more here."
Los Angeles is known for embracing veganism, and this year's drought has more residents making the connection between meat and water.
Much of California's water supply is used to irrigate crops for livestock. The higher demand for meat means more crops for cattle feed, which is why reducing meat consumption is often seen as the most effective strategy for water conservation.
In an interview with BBC, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger encouraged people to cut down on meat.
"28% of the greenhouse gases come from eating meat."
Schwarzenegger doesn't think everyone will become vegan overnight, but he encourages meat eaters to go vegetarian a few days a week.
Moby's noticed more plant-based eating among his omnivorous friends. "10 years ago, trying to get my meat-eating friends to go to a vegan restaurant was impossible," he says.
"Now, I feel like vegan food has become so much better and so much more interesting that a lot of my meat-eating friends are really happy to go to vegan restaurants a couple times a week."
To learn more, visit littlepinerestaurant.com
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