February 17, 2008
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I was at a party last night, which I almost missed due to getting lost as I always seem to in DC. I can get to Stickyfingers without getting lost, but that’s about it. Then again, what could be more important than a vegan bakery?
Last night, though, was a party thrown by a fellow sanctuary-volunteer, so it was all vegan food and a lot of people I know from the vegan/poplar spring volunteer community. It was fun, and I had a chance to talk to DJ, the owner of Java Green and who more recently started “Live Green” in conjunction with some other friends.
It was a really great conversation. Java Green, for those who don’t know it, is a small mostly-vegan eatery in the middle of DC’s business district. DJ is completely committed to being as environmentally conscious as possible, and Java Green has become a model nationwide for green businesses. He’s actually doing what most people are just talking about. It is mostly a lunch place, and the amazing thing is that 80% of the customers during the week are not even vegetarian. That’s right, a vegetarian mostly-vegan restaurant that does not rely on vegans to stay in business. He says he sees people come in and bring others for lunch meetings who he’d never have expected to ever choose to eat a vegetarian meal. Now, that’s some pretty good culinary activism! And the food is delicious. It is no wonder that his business would be thriving even without the vegans in town!
He seems to be making a complete success of creating spaces where his view of a sustainable world is being put into action, and his belief is that if he creates these spaces and shows people that it can be done, people will be convinced on their own to do more. To be responsible and conscious.
Live Green is part of that, allowing him to join with others to help them find ways to become more green.
It was very motivating to talk to someone who lives his beliefs in such a positive and successful way. He had some great things to say about radicalism as well. He doesn’t see what he is doing as radical, he sees people who know they’re part of the problem and who aren’t working to make changes as radical. And it is true – it isn’t logical to not make those ethical and green choices in our own lives. We should always be looking at the next step to take towards environmental responsibility and sustainability. Luckily that often is the same as making the ethical choices from the animal rights and social justice perspectives as well.