In the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards, the HFPA (Hollywood Foreign Press Association) and the chefs at the Beverly Hilton decided to serve a fully vegan, plant-based meal for the nominees.

This banquet is the first completely vegan meal held at the Golden Globes. Celebrity attendees such as Mark Ruffalo and Leonardo DiCaprio said they fully approved and supported the menu and its meaning on their Twitter pages. 

“Our industry leads by example,” Ruffalo said. “Vegetarian food is delicious and healthy and reduces greenhouse gasses about as much as driving electric cars. The HFPA should be commended for this and all the other awards shows should follow suit.”

Actor Joaquin Phoenix also played a role in convincing the HFPA to implement the idea. When he received the best actor award for his performance in Joker, he voiced his approval for the choice.

“First I would like to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press for recognizing and acknowledging the link between animal agriculture and climate change,” Phoenix said. “It’s a very bold move, making tonight plant-based.”

Many veganism supporters believe that the mitigation of animal products in the American diet will improve the world’s future environmental prospects. The recent public and political advocation for eco-friendly lifestyle is known as the Green New Deal.

The vegan diet isn’t just a fad in Hollywood, however. Residents of WNC are also opening vegan restaurants. Christine Kozlik, former owner of Garlik Vegan Restaurant, partnered with Lisa McDonald, owner of Sanctuary Brewing, to create Inconceivable Cafe. The restaurant is nestled inside the brewery, serving typical bar food such as hamburgers, fries and soup. The only difference between their menu and the typical menu is that they are fully plant-based.

“We just want to spread good vegan food,” Kozlik’s daughter, senior Aleigha Kozlik said. “A lot of people, like regular customers, have come to us and said that they started eating more vegan (because of us).”

Places like Inconceivable Cafe are trying to mitigate the environmental impacts of the typical American diet by introducing more sustainable substitutes, according to Aleigha Kozlik.

“The meat industry is really bad for the environment (in terms of carbon emissions), and especially the dairy industry,” Aleigha Kozlik said. “I’m not advocating to drop meat out of your diet right now, but when you think about it, we use a lot of food and water that we could be giving to people that need it (more).”

From high-class Hollywood awards shows to small restaurants in Hendersonville, the vegan diet is continuing to gain public exposure as time goes on.

“Some meat eaters will come in and be like, ‘Oh, well, this was the best burger I’ve ever had,’ and they won’t even know that it’s not meat until we tell them,” Aleigha Kozlik said.

By: Ashley Rich, Feature Writer

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