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?”

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.