Monday, Slutty Vegan’s famous food truck lined the side of the street near Charles L. Harper Memorial Park.
But it wasn’t just a trip to the park that the Pinky Cole-owned vegan truck was looking for, instead, they were there with PETA to kick off the organization’s new Food Justice Campaign. The campaign calls on the government to redirect meat, egg, and dairy industry subsidies for grocers in low-income areas to stock fresh fruits, vegetables, and other vegan foods.
Cole says that PETA seeking her out to help anchor the program came from her work in the community already.
“I’ve tapped into inner-city communities when it relates to veganism,” Cole said outside the truck during the event.
PETA was involved on the food side as well throughout the program as they gave away vegan meal starter kits.
“The beautiful piece of veganism, it doesn’t have a color, it doesn’t have a face,” Cole said. “You could be black, white, blue, yellow, it doesn’t matter and be able to engage in this lifestyle without us pushing our agenda on you.
“I see us in an inner-city community tapping into the issue of food insecurity and food injustice and doing a call to action to these government corporations and saying put the money into vegan spaces,” she continued. “We can introduce them into our communities like you’ve never seen before and we get to do that with Slutty Vegan every day.”
Cole continues to say that the work they’re doing is showing that they’re moving and defining change in the community with vegan comfort food.
According to PETA, there are more than 35 food deserts in the metro Atlanta area which has come into greater focus during the pandemic. But PETA says that one in eight Georgia residents reportedly experienced food insecurity before the pandemic.
When asked about how hard it would be to bring more people over to the vegan lifestyle during this time, Cole said that it wouldn’t be hard at all because Slutty Vegan doesn’t sell food, they sell an experience to make the food attractive.
“If this was Pinky Vegan, we probably wouldn’t get people through the door,” Cole said. “We call it Slutty Vegan, we make it a racy name, we add provocative names to the food and we give you the ultimate experience like you’re in an amusement park. With that experience, you don’t realize that you’re eating a vegan burger. We up play that experience because we don’t want people to get a bad taste in their mouth about vegan food because it’s been taboo for so long, we want to create an atmosphere where they feel safe eating vegan food without judgment. We’ve been able to successfully do that and we will continue to do that as we scale across the east and the west coast.”
PETA says that the U.S. government spends about $38 billion in tax money each year to subsidize the meat, egg, and dairy industries—the vast majority of which goes to big corporations, not American farmers—while only about $17 million is used to subsidize the fruit and vegetable industries.