Diana Edelman is a Las Vegan, a Las Vegas resident on a mission to keep the public informed on all things vegan through her website VegansBaby.com, her recently published book, Las Vegas Vegan Food Guide, the best in vegan and vegan friendly restaurants in Las Vegas 2018 (available on Amazon.com) and her newly launched Vegas Vegan Dining Tours.
Edelman is vigilantly broadcasting her message on where to dine and drink the vegan Vegas way, baby! Her website is the place to get up-to-date vegan lifestyle information, dining suggestions, and book dining tours. She wants her website to be reaching people in the best way possible, without passing judgement or telling people what they should and shouldn’t do. She calls her approach of kindly educating those who ask, Positive Activism.
Edelman feels it is more about presenting options for those who are curious but not yet ready to convert or commit. It’s not just about the customers, but also includes working with restaurants and chefs. She says, “I like to partner with chefs that don’t have a vegan menu and create an event. It shows the restaurateur that if you build it they will come, and it shows vegans that the business community wants to support them.”
Edelman didn’t become a vegan overnight and suggests taking baby steps at first to work your way into it, such as giving up meat first and then dairy. She was a vegetarian for three years prior to going vegan, and working as an animal rights advocate at Elephant Nature Park helped her make that final connection.
When asked about the differing ideas people have about being vegan, about it being a diet but also a lifestyle and moral choice, she stresses that it needs to be simplified, and that’s what she seeks to do with her website and book.
Eager to demonstrate how living a vegan lifestyle can be easy, she addresses questions like, “how can I give up cheese?” and points them in the direction of Violette’s vegan mac and cheese, saying, “you are not going to believe that it is not traditional mac and cheese.” She loves showing the many options now available, from traditional ethnic dishes to new takes on old favorites.
Now in an updated second edition, the Las Vegas Vegan Food Guide has 35 dining categories with 75 dining suggestions within those, from Thai to Spanish to Korean and more. The vegan dining scene is expanding quickly and locals have watched it grow from a handful of restaurants to now almost 20. Edelman says, “I am hoping that there will be more and it has been an absolute privilege to be a part of this; to be a catalyst for change.”
Recently we met up with her to learn about her newly launched Vegas Vegan Dining Tours. The three-hour walking tours through Downtown Las Vegas started June 2nd and she is monitoring demand and now accepting bookings for August and September on her website. She says, “Right now it is five restaurants, including Vegenation and Simply Pure but I also partner with non-vegan restaurants that have vegan options that that you can only get on the tour.” She sees it growing and adds that she eventually would like to partner with a company like Lyft in order to go to the great vegan spots that are off Strip and not Downtown. Proud of the results of two years of building and nurturing relationships, Edelman says, “It’s about making the experience fun and approachable, and I am excited to be able to offer the Vegan Dining Tour.”