Zaina Abujebarah


I really wanted to write a piece that required putting myself into the community. By interviewing the owners of places I already visit at least once a week, I opened up the opportunity for those who may not know much about the vegan lifestyle to learn more about the things happening specifically in their own backyard. I found that the owners of Vertical Diner, Boltcutter, Monkeywrench and Mark of The Beastro were my best options, because they’re all located in downtown Salt Lake, which makes them more accessible and convenient to locate for those who are curious and because they’re easy to recognize.


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I took all of the information I gathered and spun them to fit a more educational approach. Veganism is a somewhat “taboo” subject, especially to those who already have formed opinions on it. I wanted my angle for this piece to be serious and informative while also addressing the fact that vegans aren’t missing out on delicious food, and eating plant-based foods doesn’t have to be scary or “gross.”

I was surprised by how open the business owners were to answering the questions I had, and how willing they were to share their opinions on animal liberation and the state of the vegan community. I had a lot of fun talking to them, learning more about them and sharing stories. I hope this excitement resonates with you, as well.

My name is Zaina Abujebarah and I’m currently working on my bachelor’s degree at the University of Utah. I’m a declared communication major with my sights set on journalism. On top of my school work, I’m currently fulfilling an internship at SLUG Magazine, while also working as a barista at The Coffee Shop. When I’m not working or going to school, I love being a part of the local music scene and attending shows. I have a passion for poetry, veganism, photography and film.