LosVegangeloose

16 Sep


I am briefly stepping out of retirement because this is important. I like LosVegangeles a lot. I find a lot of good places through them. When they first started, I encouraged people to follow them on Instagram. And their following quickly grew. And they are now closing in on 50,000 followers, which is great.

But lately I’ve received some emails about them.

The problem is that they recommended food that is not vegan.

Look, we all make mistakes. I know I did from time to time. But when I found out, I would delete my post, or correct and clarify it.

But for unknown reasons, LosVegangeles is doing neither.

In July, I received an email about a post they did on NY Crust, a pizza place on Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood. The email said the pizza dough has dairy in it. So I called NY Crust and asked, and they said the regular pizza dough has dairy in it but the gluten-free crust – which is only available in a small size – does not.

I can’t tell from looking at it if LosVegangeles’s posted photo of a small pizza has gluten-free crust or regular crust. And they don’t say. So I will give them the benefit of the doubt that it’s the gluten-free one. I’ll also give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that maybe they didn’t know that the other kind of crust – the one most people order at NY Crust – has dairy in it.

But the person who emailed me about it said they left a comment on the post just to let LosVegangeles know that the regular crust at NY Crust has dairy in it. And they told me that LosVegangeles promptly deleted the comment without adding any warning to their followers or removing the post.

Why?

Then this week I started hearing about another controversy involving LosVegangeles. It concerned the new restaurant called Marinate, which is on Melrose near Western.

LosVegangeles posted a photo of the Thai tofu sliders at Marinate. These sliders come on Hawaiian sweet rolls. Even though Marinate said on its menu board that these sliders are vegan, just about any vegan worth his or her salt knows that Hawaiian sweet rolls aren’t typically vegan. Certainly King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls are not – they contain both egg and dairy. So wouldn’t you ask? You know, just to make sure before sending other vegans out to eat it?

Or instead of asking, about five seconds of research would have come up with the answer, because the answer was already there on Yelp, where the owner, Mat Y., said they use King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls.

But if you didn’t want to ask, and you didn’t want to do a few seconds of research, certainly someone leaving a comment on your post claiming the owner of Marinate personally said that the sliders aren’t vegan would get you to look into the matter, right? WRONG.

So again you have to ask yourself: Why?

Why would LosVegangeles continue to promote a non-vegan food item to almost 50,000 followers after being informed that it wasn’t vegan?

Mistakes can be forgiven. Sloppiness can be corrected. But what does it mean when a mistake is not acknowledged, and when those who try to set the record straight are silenced?

What does it mean when someone posts a friendly comment to let LosVegangeles know the item in their photo isn’t vegan, and then a different owner/partner at Marinate – @_coryvegas – comments under it saying that the person who left that comment is “a psycho”?

And in response to that, LosVegangeles doesn’t ask @_coryvegas to confirm that the sliders are indeed vegan, instead LosVegangeles deletes the comment which warned that an owner said the sliders aren’t vegan, and then LosVegangeles blows an emoji kiss at _coryvegas!

And then – and this is really weird – @_coryvegas alters her Instagram bio to remove the reference to Marinate.

 

It really is a mystery. Except for the part about whether the sliders are vegan or not. There’s no mystery there – they’re not.

In fact, after someone tried to warn people on Yelp that the sliders aren’t vegan – a post which someone reported and was then taken down by Yelp – the restaurant finally changed its menu board to state that the sliders are “veg” not “vegan.”

photo credit: Donna Y., on Yelp, 8-27-2017

 

So you’d think now that the restaurant itself has taken action, that LosVegangeles would warn its followers about the bad advice it gave them or at least take down the post so that new viewers wouldn’t see it and go eat animal products. But nope. As I type this, the post from September 6 is still up, as is their NY Crust post from July 11.

So what does it all mean?

Am I saying LosVegangeles did this on purpose? No, I am not. I do not think that’s what happened. I think LosVegangeles saw the menu board at Marinate, which at the time described the Thai tofu sliders as vegan and, let’s say for reasons of ignorance or wishful thinking, wanted so bad to believe it was true that they didn’t ask a simple question. (Or who knows, maybe they asked, and the person behind the counter didn’t know any better and said yes.)

So don’t assume the worst about LosVegangeles, despite the seeming coziness and kiss-blowing. I prefer to think of it as an error that for reasons of stubbornness or hubris or… well, there really IS no good reason for not correcting it, but still.

The truth is that only LosVegangeles knows why they keep deleting comments of helpful vegans who are merely trying to set the record straight in order to keep other vegans from unknowingly consuming animal products. Only LosVegangeles knows why those posts are still up, with no corrections or clarifications offered. Only LosVegangeles has the full picture here.

So just be alert when you see that LosVegangeles says something is vegan. Check it out for yourself. Ask some questions. Do your homework. Because none of us went vegan to keep on eating animal products.

I look forward to LosVegangeles’s explanation, but in the meantime I call on all vegan bloggers and posters to fully disclose to their readers and followers when they are paid to do a post, or when they receive something – like free or discounted food – from the subject of their post. Or even let us know if the subject of the post is your friend, even if that friend gave you nothing in return.

That seems to me to be the ethical way to do it.

And I’m pretty sure vegans care about ethics.

One Response to “LosVegangeloose”

  1. Anonymous September 17, 2017 at 12:04 am #

    Thanks and welcome back

What says you?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: