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Anwar Hussain launched his Vegetarian and Vegan Dating Service in San Francisco last October. “It hasn’t quite taken off,” he acknowledges. “I had a lot of men calling, but not a lot of women” (at least 100 of the former, he estimates, and fewer than 10 of the latter). “I even ran a couple of ads that specifically read, ‘Vegetarian men seek women.'” But the odds refused to even out.

Hussain markets the service by posting ads in natural-foods stores and at health conferences, though he is not currently setting up any dates. He admits to a slight subterfuge at the beginning of our interview. “Since you’re a woman, when you called I said, ‘Yes, the service is still active,’ because I’m trying to keep up a list of names in case I start it up again.”

Hussain came up with the idea after scouting around Bay Area dating services and realizing that “a lot of people are charging a lot. Some people are charging up to $2,000.” He intended to offer about 15 dates to each member, and to sell memberships for $350, with the opportunity to renew after six months.

But his motives were not strictly monetary. “I thought it would service the environment in a way,” he says. “My vegetarianism comes from a compassion for animals, and I believe we’re all connected.” He saw the dating service as being “an extension” of his beliefs, but admits that “it’s hard to make a living anymore, doing something that’s of your higher ideals.” But Hussain is optimistic: “Now, I think, ‘Well, eventually, maybe I’ll find someone who can do this with me.'”

Does Hussain have a vegetarian partner himself? “No, I don’t,” he laughs. “I have my feelers out, I guess. Are you vegetarian?”

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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