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Opinion

Readers React: Cafe Gratitude and the religious fervor of vegans

To the editor: For years I’ve argued that progressivism is a faith-based movement. Conor Friedersdorf provides the perfect proof of this in vegans’ outrage against Cafe Gratitude. (“Cafe Gratitude: Why are L.A. vegans eating their own?,” Opinion, May 6)

Owners Matthew and Terces Engelhart violated vegan dogma by choosing a personal lifestyle that offends true believers. Apparently you cannot provide quality vegan meals in a restaurant unless you are pure in body, mind and spirit in your public and personal life.

Sounds religious to me.

David Pohlod, Oak Park

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To the editor: Friedersdorf misses the point. It is not just that vegans choose to shun the eating of animals — most vegans choose to live a nonviolent lifestyle that often begins with eschewing the eating of animal flesh and the use of other animal products.

I have been a vegetarian for almost 40 years, and I often enjoy eating and cooking vegan food. In fact, I stopped eating at Cafe Gratitude for reasons other than its owners’ diet.

There are other restaurants (with more opening) at which vegans can eat. Those people who do not subscribe to the purist life style of veganism can still eat at Cafe Gratitude.

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But to portray one’s business as vegan when it is not is pure hypocrisy. No one enjoys being duped.

Rita Burton, Pacific Palisades

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