For over five years now I have had a monthly column in the Silicon Valley Metro, an alternative weekly newspaper with a circulation over 600K. The column was called: Silicon Veggie.
I got this column by cold-emailing the Food editor for the Metro back when they had a call for a new restaurant reviewer. I said, OK, you might not want your restaurant reviewer to be a vegetarian, but this is the SF Bay Area...there's a big veggie population here, and I think you ought to serve their interests too. How about a veg column? Further, I said: My idea is not to review vegetarian restaurants. That would be over and done in about 8 months, given how few actual veg restaurants there are in Silicon Valley. Rather, my idea is to review non-veg restaurants and see how they treat me, the wayward veg.
I sent a link to my Restaurant Reviews category on my personal blog as my "portfolio". Remember, this was back in 2003/2004.
I heard nothing, even after a ping. But six months later the editor contacted me out of the blue and offered me a monthly column. I took it. In case you were wondering, the pay for such work is abysmally low. But for me it was a labor of love to reach over 600K people with a veg message.
Over the years I didn't miss a single month. Even as I got busier being consumed by running the start-up that is BlogHer. This was still my labor of love. I did restaurant reviews, but I also wrote what my editor called "think pieces". I always tried to appeal to people from multiple perspectives, and I often talked about veg*nism being a truly green approach to eating. And put forth the idea on many an occasion that a veg*n diet was a day-to-day, simple way to enact one's green principles.
This month the final Silicon Veggie ran in the Metro. Didn't get much warning. A couple days before my final column was to run, I was told it would be my final column. They're cutting back all freelance regular columnists. I can't imagine, if all the others make the paltry sum I do, that this is saving them a ton of money. But it's probably more about creating more work for staff reporters, and being more likely to be able to save those jobs if they can. So it makes sense to me.
The final column is entitled Incrementalism. And it was inspired by a post of the same name from this blog. Philosophically, it's probably a great way to end my run there. A bigger statement about my beliefs and approach to both the green and vegan life.