"The new wave of veganism is more about health than animal welfare," says Mike Thelin, co-founder of Feast Portland. "For better or worse, this is why it will have more staying power." Witness the rise of such eating plans ("diets" seems too limiting) as Vegan Before 6 and the China Study.Chef Tal Ronnen opened L.A.'s vegan restaurant Crossroads after catering vegan for celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and the wedding of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. Now he creates artichoke "oysters" (pictured) with artichoke puree, crispy oyster mushroom and kelp caviar and "crab cakes” composed of hearts of palm, apples, and beets, with nuts refined into non-dairy cheeses. Matthew Kenney of M.A.K.E. in Santa Monica does similarly photogenic dishes and has a cooking school to back it up.It's not just a west coast thing: Chef Jose Huber of the Amway Hotel Collection in Grand Rapids, Mich. goes vegan for a month each year to taste test recipes such as a cauliflower steak.

Read the whole article in Forbes, High-end Vegan