I suppose Mercy for Animals, a pro-vegan animal-rights group, has its plaque-free heart in the right place, but it takes its advocacy a smidge too far when it says that “non-human animals are irreplaceable individuals with morally significant interests and, hence, rights.” “Irreplaceable”? Posh and bother. Nature, which, after all, runs the show, sees to it that non-human animals are replaced on a regular basis, just like with us. And I don't recall that Bambi the horse was fingered for compensatory damages when she stomped on my impossibly handsome face years ago (although, to my glee, she was trotted off to the glue factory a month later). With rights come responsibilities, don'tcha know.
All I'm saying is that, like everybody else, some vegans can get a little carried away in their philosophy—meanwhile, you sure can't knock their eats. Loving Hut, a 100-percent vegan restaurant, is a serious case in point; tough to believe that such satisfying fare is totally and unapologetically animal-free. The North Park venue has an unnatural way with noodles, basil, bean sprouts and—yep—fungus, all essential to its version of pho, a traditional Vietnamese soup ($6.50 for a herkin' bowl). And soy has come into its own at this place—it's a dead ringer for meat, notably in the Loving Hut burger ($4.95), stacked with all kinds of good-for-you stuff like mushrooms and onions. Wash it all down with a great piña colada knock-off ($2.50). It's so much like the real thing that you just might find yourself staggering out the door.
If you're all for discussions on animal rights, Loving Hut would be an ideal (and ironic) place to hold 'em. It's at 1905 El Cajon Blvd., and it's open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays (call 619-683-9490). Just don't expect any sympathy from me when it comes to Bambi, that flea-bitten, fly-magnet little piece of shit. Man's an animal, too, and his rights extend to the intactness of his cheeks.