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SANTA MONICA, Calif. — "We all sit around talking about things we want to change, but unless you change, it ain't going to happen," says Alicia Silverstone. "I used to say, 'What can I do? I'm just one person.' It's a lovely excuse but it's a bunch of BS. Once I made the change I saw how powerful one person is."
For Silverstone, 31, being green comes easy. The actress and animal activist said her eco-consciousness was a by-product of becoming a vegan nine years ago. "Up until that point, I was pretty much eating steak and doughnuts every day," says Silverstone, who lives in Laurel Canyon with her musician husband Christopher Jarecki and their four dogs. Once her acting career took off, animal-rights organizations found her, and she learned what was happening to animals raised for food. "In every fiber of my body I felt, 'This has to stop,'" she says of the day she decided to become vegan. "The awesome thing about being a vegetarian is that you are taking care of the environment, the animals and your health at the same time."
While Silverstone notes that she doesn't preach her beliefs to others, she says her intention is to empower people to understand that they matter. "We all breathe the same air, and we all need water and food," she says.
Silverstone, who calls herself a "food snob," said she never expected to find so many delicious vegetarian dishes, but her list of favorite Los Angeles restaurants would make anyone's mouth water: Inaka, M Café de Chaya and Madeleine Bistro all specialize in vegan or macrobiotic fare, and she also loves vegetarian offerings at restaurants Angelini Osteria and Nishimura. One of her most frequent haunts is Real Food Daily. "They have the best nachos and Reubens and cupcakes, and their Sunday brunch is amazing. They make omelets and French toast and pancakes and a vegan benedict."