Diana Edelman is an animal rights activist, travel expert, and founder of Vegans, Baby - a comprehensive guide and resource to everything vegan in Las Vegas. She lived in Chiang Mai, Thailand while working for an elephant rescue organization before returning to Las Vegas where she now devotes her time creating and providing a wide array of content to help veg travelers and locals alike explore more of Las Vegas' vegan scene. Whether you are visiting Las Vegas soon or just looking around for destination ideas for your next vegan vacation, read on to find out more of the exciting vegan-friendly things to discover in and beyond The Strip.
Q: How long have you been a vegan and what inspired you to embrace the lifestyle?
I’ve been vegan for more than three years. I was inspired to embrace the lifestyle following working with an elephant rescue organization for a few years in Thailand. I stopped eating meat shortly after I moved to Southeast Asia, but it took me longer to make that final connection and take the extra step to go vegan. After seeing what animals must endure for our own selfish needs, I made the decision I never wanted to cause another living being pain again.
Q: You relocated to Chiang Mai to work with an elephant rescue organization. What’s it like living as a vegan there?
I wasn’t vegan when I lived there, but since going vegan I have been back a few times (I’m actually going to be leading a vegan tour through Thailand later in 2019) and it’s quite easy to be vegan in the city. It’s very vegan-friendly.
Q: Can you name some of the most veg-friendly places you’ve been to so far?
Chiang Mai, for sure. In the States, Portland and LA are really vegan-friendly, too.
Q: Is there a place that you find particularly challenging to visit as a vegan? Can you tell us about what made it difficult for you?
My parents live in Delaware near the beach, and whenever I go to visit it is quite challenging to be vegan there. I’ve put together a vegan dining guide to the area, but there just aren’t a whole lot of options and often I am asked “how vegan I am” or have it confused for being gluten-free. That being said, in the years since they have lived there, the area has slowly started to come around.
Q: What are some of the best vegan dishes you've had so far? And where did you find them?
Planta in Miami has some incredible food. I was really, really impressed with their spicy “tuna” dish (it’s made with watermelon). Mythology Diner in Toronto and their eggs benedict was crazy -- the yolk was runny and everything. Both of those places had I not known I was dining at a vegan restaurant, I would have questioned what I was eating. The Detroit pizza at Good Pie in Las Vegas is sensational -- I’ve never had such an incredible pizza anywhere else.
Q: How did being an animal rights activist and a vegan traveler influenced your life and your views about traveling?
I am far more mindful about where I go and what I do now. I prefer to support local, conscious businesses when I travel and make sure if I do things that people/animals/the environment are not being exploited.
Q: Tell us about Vegans, Baby. When and why did you start running the site?
I started Vegans, Baby to document my journey going vegan in Las Vegas. I always thought it would be hard to go vegan and when I was looking to move back to Vegas after living abroad for almost four years, I did some research and found that there wasn’t a lot of information on the vegan dining scene. So, I set out to document it.
Q: How veg-friendly is Las Vegas?
It’s incredibly veg-friendly now! We have more than 20 restaurants and hundreds of options for vegan food in the city.
Q: What are some of the top reasons why veg travelers should visit Las Vegas?
Vegas is an iconic city and home to incredible experiences, whether its the nightlife that people look for, gaming, or the more cultural side like the Neon Museum or Mob Museum, there are so many parts of this city that make it unique. Not to mention, if you love the outdoors we have so much nature in our backyard, like Red Rock Canyon, Mt. Charleston and the Valley of Fire. The fact that its veg-friendly is the icing on the vegan cake. We even have vegan food tours I run to showcase some of the best vegan dining the city has Downtown.
Q: Any advice or tips you want to share to vegan travelers?
Get off The Strip and meet locals. We have a really incredible scene here complete with conscious local markets, events and more. Definitely hop on a vegan food tour, follow where I’m dining and - if you’re planning on shopping - check out where to find the latest vegan products around town.