Tonight, the Chapel Hill-based nonprofit Triangle Chance for All will host Vegan Night Out — its first big event since its inception in February.
Justin Van Kleeck, president of the nonprofit, said the event aims to create a community for vegans and educate the public about veganism.
“We’re hoping that it will be an opportunity to introduce veganism to a lot of new people,” he said. “We hope to keep in touch with the people who come and who are interested in veganism.”
Triangle Chance for All focuses on providing a sanctuary for rescued farm animals. The organization believes that all animals, whether domesticated or farmed, should be treated with equal respect. The animals come from 12 counties across North Carolina, including Orange County. They are rescued from shelters or, on a case-by-case basis, surrendered by owners.
“We want to get them out of the agriculture system,” Van Kleeck said.
The evening will begin with seven participating restaurants offering discounted vegan dishes. The participants are Mediterranean Deli, Carrburitos, BUNS, Gigi’s Cupcakes, Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe, Spotted Dog and Mellow Mushroom Chapel Hill.
Dinner will be followed by a North Carolina premiere of the documentary “The Ghosts in Our Machine” at the Varsity Theatre. The documentary focuses on the lives of animals in the industrial world.
“The movie is considered one of the best animal rights films for us as it ties in very nicely with our mission to help animals,” Van Kleeck said. “It gives us an eye-opening experience about how animals are treated in farms.”
Van Kleeck has organized similar events in Virginia but said this is the first time Vegan Night Out is coming to Chapel Hill, where the nonprofit is based.
“There is a really strong vegan community in the Triangle, and Chapel Hill and Carrboro have a wide variety of vegan dining options,” he said. “There are a lot of opportunities for people to get something to eat here.”
Parker Emmerson, the manager of Mediterranean Deli, said the restaurant has always been vegan and vegetarian friendly.
“We want all the vegans to know that we are number one for vegan options,” Emmerson said. “If they are vegan friendly, we want them to be able to come to our restaurant.”
Gigi’s Cupcakes also has vegan cupcakes, but owner Rick Setaro said many people don’t know about it. Due to lack of demand, their vegan options are only done by special order.
But he said he hopes this event will change that — Gigi’s will be offering three vegan flavors tomorrow, including cinnamon roll.
“We have a hard time getting people to realize that we have vegan cupcakes,” Setaro said. “This is a great way to get the word out that we offer vegan products.”