Corn, baked potato, watermelon ... dining options are limited if you're a vegan at Stagecoach 2022. Sure, you might also grab a salad, tater tots, french fries or onion rings — watch out! They might be breaded in egg — and, at least one vendor is serving veggie burgers.
Stagecoach officially lists more than 15 vegan vendors on its website, but some of them serve nothing other than lemonade or fries. Another, Spicy Pie, a pizza-by-the-slice vendor, told The Desert Sun it does not actually serve vegan pizza by-the-slice or list vegan options on its menu (other than lemonade), but it keeps vegan cheese on hand in case someone were to request a custom pie.
All things considered, vegan "main courses" are scarce around the Empire Polo Grounds. It's a stark contrast from last weekend's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which VegNews called "the ultimate vegan food fest."
Granted, the country musical festival is known for meaty BBQ. Celebrity chef Guy Fieri has a "smokehouse" tent on the grounds between the two principal music stages, and his cooking demos draw large crowds.
Yet, the festival brands itself as inclusive to everyone and sustainable. Stagecoach says on its website, "Each year, we aim to get better at using resources more responsibly and reducing our impact on the land."
We know that vegan meals are accessible to most diets and typically produce fewer land use impacts and less carbon and methane emissions than meat-based meals. The Economist reported in 2021 that beef farming produces 31 times more CO₂ emissions per calorie than tofu production does and generates only 5% of the calories that go into producing it. The same outlet reported in January that if everyone were strictly vegan, the world would only need one-quarter of the farmland it uses today.
Meanwhile, agricultural expansion drives 90% of global deforestation, an impact much greater than previously thought, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said last year.
Jonathan Horwitz covers education for The Desert Sun. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or @Writes_Jonathan.
This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Looking for vegan food at Stagecoach? Good luck.