PETA and PETA Latino stand against all forms of oppression—including discrimination against LGBTQ+ folks. We know that love wins every time. And for these queer Latine chefs, cooking without flesh demonstrates a love for animals, the planet, and human health.
This Pride Month—and every day—let’s celebrate Latine vegans in the LGBTQ+ community. It’s our pleasure to highlight the following chefs, who prove that you don’t have to have cruelty on your plate to enjoy a delicious meal.
Eddie Garza is a passionate vegan chef who works to reform food systems in Hispanic communities. He’s the author of several books, including ¡Salud! Vegan Mexican Cookbook, and has cooked for celebrities such as Daisy Fuentes, Richard Marx, and Marco Antonio Regil.
Eddie grew up in a community plagued with childhood obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, according to his IMDb biography. He struggled with his weight, but that all changed when he switched to vegan foods. His story exemplifies why leading health experts agree that going vegan is the best thing we can do for our families and ourselves. Healthy vegan foods support lifelong health and protect against heart disease, cancer, and strokes.
Silvana Salcido Esparza
Silvana Salcido Esparza is renowned for her vegan Mexican-inspired cuisine and her dedication to social justice. In a Civil Eats interview, she said that she advocates for those who cannot adequately protect themselves and that food is political. Through food, chef Esparza, who is a five-time James Beard Foundation nominee, supports humans and other animals.
Slaughtering animals is one of the most hazardous industries in the U.S. The hellish workplaces rely on rural workers—primarily immigrants, people of color, and refugees—who often don’t have the opportunity to secure safer, better-paying jobs. Going vegan is the best thing you can do for animals raised for food and those who are paid to kill them.
Abram Bañuelos and Carlos Reynoso
Abram Bañuelos and Carlos Reynoso serve Mexican-style vegan tacos throughout Portland, Oregon, in their pop-up, Mis Tacones. This popular food stand provides trans people of color with free meals.
With each plate free of animal ingredients, Abram and Carlos are helping the planet. Raising and killing animals for food requires enormous amounts of land, food, energy, and water. And according to the United Nations, a worldwide shift toward vegan eating is vital to combat the worst effects of the climate catastrophe.
Chef Giancarlo Mitrano and Dr. Simon Alvarez Mitrano
Founded by an LGBTQ+ couple, Chef Giancarlo Mitrano and Dr. Simon Alvarez, The Cocinita is a popular vegan eatery among Miami customers. It offers mouthwatering—yet affordable—Latin American cuisine.
The Venezuelan duo started with a vegan food truck and eventually opened their storefront in 2020. This well-loved restaurant opened many people’s eyes to vegan foods with a Latin twist and surely created more vegans. And that’s always a win for animals.
Hot diggity dog! Vegan chef Marino Benedetto, who is nonbinary, is at the top of the not-dog game. They run Yeah Dawg Vegan in New York City, and their veggie dog recipe allows vegans to enjoy summer and childhood without animal-based ingredients.
Marino spent more than five years working with unhoused young people, introducing them to inexpensive, healthy foods. This charitable work sparked the idea of serving classic American hotdogs made from plants.
Vegan chefs of every race, creed, sexuality, and gender are inspiring others with their compassionate culinary creations. And because their recipes are animal ingredient–free, they’re healthy, eco-friendly, and humane.
All of us at PETA and PETA Latino wish you love and happiness as you celebrate Pride Month!
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