BK Veggie Experiences

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In March, Burger King debuted the BK Veggie, a vegan burger served on a nearly-vegan bun (there are trace amounts of dairy). Burger King promised that the burger would be microwaved by request for those that didn’t want their burger grilled with the meat burgers and that the low-fat mayonnaise could be left off. It was the first move by a national fast food chain (other than Subway) to offer a healthier, vegetarian product for their customers.

A day or two after the burger debuted, I stopped by a Burger King for the first time in years to show my support and do my duty as a prolific (hah!) vegetarian web site host. I had read on Vegan.com that some people had trouble getting their burgers microwaved, being downright refused by some Burger King employees, so I crossed my fingers when I placed my order. “A BK veggie with no mayo, and could you microwave that instead of grilling it?” There was a look of confusion on the employee’s face as we struggled back-and-forth to communicate. I was served my burger and was pleased to see that there was no mayo. The burger itself was good, but I noticed that it had grillmarks on it. I figured that the burgers shipped that way, with faux-grill marks to make it look more authentic. I was wrong: Erik Marcus told me that his BK Veggie burgers had no grill marks. Apparently, I received a burger that was grilled and then microwaved. Plus, I found out a month later that the Burger King fries, which used to be vegetarian-safe, now contain chicken flavoring.

Not exactly a successful first outing.

Last weekend, though, I gave it another shot. My wife and I were on the road past 11pm and were looking for some food. Burger King was the only place open at any of the rest stops, so I decided to give the BK Veggie another shot, figuring that a few months after the product launched, employees would be well-versed in its preparation. This time around, they microwaved it (no grill marks!), as I requested, but they fumbled by putting mayo on, despite my request otherwise. I took my burger back up to the counter and they redid it for me but, unfortunately, simply threw away the other burger. To top it off, the employee had no idea how long to microwave the burger. The discussion I heard in the back went like this: “He wants it microwaved instead of on the grill.” “Microwaved? How long do you microwave one of these things?” “5 minutes, I guess.” “5 minutes!? Are you kidding me?” I hoped that they’d figure it out—apparently one minute will do the job—but they didn’t: the burger was an overheated hockey puck.

While I haven’t exactly had a lot of success with my own ordering of the BK Veggie, I still support the idea of a veggie burger at fast food restaurants and I like the fact that Burger King continues to prominently advertise their BK Veggie alongside their other burgers. McDonald’s now offers a vegan burger on a whole wheat bun in Canada, and hopefully they will follow Burger King’s lead in making a vegetarian option available to their American customers as well.

I eat fast food extremely rarely, but I think that tasty vegetarian options at national fast food spots can do only good in advancing the cause of healthier eating and vegetarianism. Lord knows we’d have a healthier country if everyone ordered a BK Veggie instead of a Double Whopper with Cheese.


Related Links

BK Veggie Nutritional Info:
with low-fat mayo
without mayo
(for comparison: a Double Whopper with the works)

Some nutritional comparisons to blow your mind.

Burger King Launches First-ever Veggie Burger with the Great Taste of Flame-broiling
BK’s press release.

My First BK Veggie
Vegan.com’s Erik Marcus discusses the surreal experience of his first meal at a fast food restaurant in 15 years, and more specifically, his thoughts on the BK Veggie burger.

Vegetarians Have It Our Way at Burger King
PETA’s promotion of the BK Veggie.

Vegetarian Pho

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My last meal with meat was in September of 2000. It was at a Vietanamese pho restaurant with a co-worker. Pho was my favorite meal at the time, especially after visiting Vietnam and having it once or twice every day. Unfortunately, Pho Bo, by its very definition is a beef noodle soup, so my decision to become vegetarian meant that I had to give up my favorite meal and the absolutely incredible aromas that went along with it.

Or so I thought.

It’s been a full 19 months since I had my last bowl of pho, and since none of the pho restaurants offered a vegetarian version (though I’ve told they exist), I decided it was time to try and make my own. Fortunately for me, the Vegetarian Resource Group had an article about travelling in Vietnam as a vegetarian, including recipes for the broth and the soup ingredients. This past Friday night, I decided to give it a shot, praying that the aromas I fondly remembered would fill the house and the relaxed feeling I got from eating pho would return to me.

I had this feeling that recreating the soup as a vegetarian dish would be successful. I figured that the smells and tastes that go along with pho came not from the meat, but from the seasonings and fresh vegetables. With ingredients like cinnamon and the gloriously-scented star anise, it was bound to smell good while cooking.

Friday night after work, I stopped by the nearby Asian market to pick up some of the ingredients that aren’t at the local Giant: bean sprouts (a huge bagful), some seitan in a can, Napa cabbage, cilantro (available at the supermarket, but it’s more expensive), and the rice noodles (I got specifically thin “pho noodles”—they’re also available in a thicker version). I had picked up cinammon sticks a week or two earlier and got a few pods of star anise from a local health food store. The star anise was so light that it didn’t even register on the scale—they charged me 2 cents. Everything else, I had at home.

The broth is pretty basic, starting with vegetable stock, soy sauce, garlic, and onion and then adding some charred ginger, cinnamon sticks, two pods of star anise (that’s two stars), and two bay leaves. After simmering and removing the solids, I added a couple dashes of Vietnamese cinnamon for a little extra flavor. Regular ground cinnamon would work, too, but Vietnamese cinnamon (available at Whole Foods and similar places) is stronger.

The soup ingredients are also relatively basic: noodles, seitan, bean sprouts, and some greens. The recipe linked above is well written and worth following.

The entire preparation and cooking time amounted to about 35-40 minutes, not bad for a soup. With anticipation, my wife and I took our bowls and sat at the table to try this new recipe for an old favorite. After the first incredible sip, I must have blacked out with pleasure… this stuff was good! And, it was extremely similar to how I remembered traditional pho. The spices were pungent but not overpowering, the textures were proper (especially with the optional added peanuts), and it made me feel warm and comfortable. My wife, who is Vietnamese and still eats meat, also thoroughly enjoyed it. Success!

It’s hard to describe how happy I was to find a suitable vegan adaptation of a favorite meat-based dish. It’s definitely going to become part of my regular arsenal. I heartily recommend it to those of you who have been lucky enough to experience pho and those of you who haven’t, as well.


Steamy veggie pho
The broth is ready to be ladled over the noodles and greens.

Ladeling the broth
Ryan (donning the only male Vietnamese garb in the house — the wedding ao dai) prepares the bowls.

The final product
The final product.


Related Links

Vegetarian Vietnam
Sally Bernstein’s wonderful Vegetarian Journal article about travelling in Vietnam as a vegetarian. Includes the recipes I used.

A Bowl of Pho
A thorough weblog entry describing the intracies of the pho experience.

Soup restores heart, soul in many cultures
A Washington (D.C.) Times article about various comfort soups, including pho.

My Path to Vegetarianism

We all have different stories about why we became vegetarian and the difficulties we faced as we took that path. Some of the Veg Blog readers are new vegetarians, some long-time vegetarians, some vegans. And I know that some readers of the site aren’t vegetarian, but the fact that you’re here and reading this says that you’ve considered it for yourself or are at least interested. This is my story, and I invite you to submit yours (you can be vegan, vegetarian, or a meat-eater to submit).

Just like any other average American kid, I grew up on meat. Not obscene amounts of it, but “normal” amounts. I never really questioned my diet or the ethics behind it until I was in high school. My sister was a vegetarian for a number of years after seeing a movie on meat production in a sixth grade class. She stuck with it for five years and always impressed me with her commitment. There was also Rebecca, a girl I knew from online (back before the Web), who was a vegetarian for a number of years. I gave it a try a few times, but never made it more than a few meals before I had the urge to have some chicken or some meat. By the time I finished high school, it wasn’t unusual for me to have two Big Macs for dinner. This was back when I had a metabolism that could handle that sort of thing. :)

Fast forward a few years. I went through the rest of high school and college as a “normal” meat-eating American male. I knew a few vegetarians along the way and despite the fact I ate meat on a regular basis, felt some sort of distant connection. By the time I graduated college and was living on my own, my eating habits started to change ever so slightly. I started replacing hamburgers with Boca Burgers (actually preferring the taste and health benefits) and started thinking more seriously about the importance of what I was eating to my health.

In July of 2000, I decided to eat vegetarian meals for 10 days a month. Why 10 days a month? In the CaoDai religion, members are required to eat vegetarian meals for varying amount of days, depending on their rank in the church. It seemed like a good place to start, so, I began marking off days on my calendar when I was meat-free with a “V.” It was surprisingly easy, even without much research. My main lunch meal was a Subway vegetarian sandwich.

After just two months of following this 30% vegetarian diet, I took the next step. On September 8, 2000, I went to lunch with a co-worker for some pho (Vietnamese beef soup, my favorite meal). After that meal, I realized it was only the second time in the last three weeks that I had eaten meat. Somewhat anti-climactically, I said to myself, “I can do this,” and decided that from that point on, I was a vegetarian. At the beginning, I was quite uninformed about what was involved in a successful vegetarian diet (or a successful omnivorous diet, for that matter), but even so, it was a surprisingly easy transition.

Early on, I ate a lot of mock-meats. Boca Burgers, Morningstar Farm burgers, soy sausage, etc. Looking back, mock meats are the perfect transitional food for someone interested in moving from a standard American diet to a full-time vegetarian diet. I don’t rely much on mock meats too often any more since I’ve grown to love and appreciate the diversity of vegetarian cuisine, but coming from a diet that was certainly meat-centric, they were a Godsend. Going cold turkey (pardon the pun) without mock meats would have made it much more difficult for someone like me.

A month later, I posted an entry on my personal weblog about my decision. It’s interesting to look back at that entry and see what I was thinking after my first month of being vegetarian after nearly 25 years of the standard American diet. In that entry I discuss how “I’ve surprised myself” by starting like vegetables I hadn’t cared for before, like squash, zucchini, and eggplant. “Apparently, there are all these things that I might like that I never did before. It’s kind of a cool thing to realize there are a lot of other opportunities, actually more than when I was eating meat.” In the next paragraph, though, I mention that “there are a few things that I still do not like, though: peppers, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes.” Oddly, since then, I’ve grown to like each and every one of those things.

On November 30, 2000, I decided to start the Veg Blog as a separate blog on my personal site to explore vegetarian issues. I realized that there weren’t any other blogs that dealt strictly with vegetarianism, and I thought that if I shared what I learned along the way, it would help others who had recently become vegetarian or who were considering it. But the reasons were also partly selfish. I figured that if I was putting information out there for people to read, I’d be forced to try new recipes, read recent health-related articles, and inform myself about the many facets of a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle beyond just diet. It’s worked.

16 months after becoming vegetarian, I haven’t had a single “lapse” and I feel stronger about my decision than ever. It hasn’t been all sunshine, though. I am still irritated by meat-eaters that feel like I’m attacking them by my own, personal decision to be vegetarian, even though I never say a word to them. It makes me wonder: if they’re so secure in their reasons to eat meat, why are they so threated by someone who doesn’t? I’ve found that bringing up vegetarianism with someone who doesn’t want to discuss it causes nothing but problems, but if someone approaches me first, I’m happy to discuss it with them.

I’ve enjoyed talking with various people in “the movement” and learning from everyone from people just dabbling with the idea of becoming vegetarian to people that have been vegan for more than a decade. Everyone has a different take on this issue and I love learning new facts and perspectives. Who knows… maybe someday I’ll be the one writing a book.

My current diet is still not what I’d consider “optimal” (I still snack on less-than-healthy foods too frequently), but I’m very proud of how quickly I’ve picked up some cooking skills. I’m willing and able to try new recipes to the point I have to force myself to use the same recipe twice. The meals that I make are with health and taste in mind, and I find myself leaning towards vegan dishes more often then not. My dairy intake has decreased signficantly. I use soy milk in my cereal and in most dishes that call for milk. I, do, however still eat cheese occasionally, though when I have soy cheese, I look for the brands without casein. I rarely cook with eggs, though I still occasionally eat those as well. Lifestylewise, I find myself bothered by leather more and more and winced this morning when I saw a commercial for furs. I try to make changes where I can (I’ll choose non-gelatin caplet versions of pills if I have a choice), but I don’t beat myself up about everything. I feel like I’m moving towards a vegan diet, though I’m not ready to fully make the switch yet. I’ve learned that, for me, it’s a progression, and that while the change to a meat-free diet was relatively simple and quick, the change to a vegan diet and lifestyle may take a little more time and preparation.

My story doesn’t involve any “becoming vegetarian saved my life!” lines or anything dramatic, but I can say that it has changed the way I look at food and the food industry.


Submit Your Story

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Related Links

Veg Pledge
Start by shifting to a plant-based diet over a 60-day period and get materials to support your attempt. And look at a picture of Kevin Nealon. :)

Vegetarian Resource Group
The VRG has a wealth of information about going vegetarian to help you.

Vegetarian Starter Kit
A guide from the Physician’s Committe for Responsible Medicine. Includes the “3-Step Way to Go Vegetarian.”

Open Directory: Going Vegetarian
A large selection of sites to help you make the switch.

The Farm Sanctuary

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My wife and I were married in September of 2001, but since she was in graduate school, our honeymoon was limited to a weekend at a local bed and breakfast. So, in December we took a delayed honeymoon to the Finger Lakes in New York. We started in Geneva, spent some time in Ithaca, and finished in Watkins Glen. While we were in Watkins Glen, we decided to take a day and volunteer at the Farm Sanctuary, a farm animal shelter established in 1986 for rescued “food production” animals.

Many of the pigs, cows, turkeys, and other farm animals at the sanctuary were once downed animals, left for dead by slaughterhouses or meat delivery trucks, or escaped food production lines (in well-known cases like Queenie‘s). The animals get to live out their lives on one of two clean, spacious farms (one in New York and one in California) and are cared for by a loving, understanding staff.

We arrived in the late morning and met with Michelle, who works in the education division. She gave us a choice of working on the farm or helping out with some envelope-stuffing. We wanted to a little of both, so Huyen and I started with some farmwork.

I wonderered what kinds of things the Sanctuary folks had one-day volunteers do. Would they go easy on us since neither of us had ever been on a farm before? Turns out (thankfully): nope. In the three hours we helped outside, we helped clean the rabbit pen (a relatively easy job), the turkey pen (a little more intensive), and the chicken coop (a messy, but necessary job). What amazed me is that the barns and pens the animals live in are cleaned out daily. Keep in mind that on most factory farms, cages and stalls are rarely cleaned, but here, where animals are truly “free range,” their living quarters are kept nearly spotless. All the old hay is removed and new hay is spread. Droppings are cleaned up and cages are emptied out. It really is quite amazing, and touching, to see how well these formerly neglected and abused farm animals get to live their lives.

After we came back from lunch, we decided we’d help out in the campaign office of the Sanctuary, helping to stuff envelopes, but first we made the rounds of the farm to visit some of the animals we didn’t get a chance to work with. The cows were grazing and didn’t seem to interested in us, but the real experience was visiting the pigs. The staff was cleaning out the barn, so the pigs were all put outside. We stood at the gates and pet some of the pigs while talking with one of the Sanctuary workers. The pigs seemed quite anxious to get inside… the hogs sounded angry and many of the females were in heat. Still, there was something very cute about them… I got a sense of the individual personalities. I wasn’t looking at the source of bacon and sausage, I was looking at sentient beings with feelings like any other farm animal or pet.

As we were leaving the barn, we spotted a pig laying in the hay by himself. The worker guessed that this particular pig was “Boots,” a 1500-pound animal that was the sole survivor of a fire in the pig’s barn a number of years back. Boots was happy for the attention he got when we leaned down to pet him and talk to him. Huyen and I both swear that he smiled at us. The sad thing about Boots and a lot of the other pigs at the Farm Sanctuary is their size: many pigs are genetically engineered to grow quickly and to a greater size than nature ever intended. The reason, of course, is for a greater food yield per animal. After all, if you can get more bacon and sausage from an animal by giving it hormones, why not? Boots was one reason “why not.” He had a difficult time supporting his own weight, having trouble just standing up. When animals are engineered to exceed their natural growth pattern, the people doing the engineering don’t take into account what happens if the animal doesn’t become a side dish at breakfast.

After visiting the goats, we took a short drive down the road to the office where the farm’s various campaigns are headed. There, Huyen and I took an hour or two to help address and stuff envelopes as part of their new mailing campaign. They were writing to restaurants in New Jersey, asking the proprietors to pledge not to serve veal in support of the state’s anti-cruelty laws. I read the letter that was going out, and it wasn’t pushy or aggressive, but rather, professional and informative.

Before we left for the evening, we had a chance to meet Gene Bauston, who founded the Farm Sanctuary in 1986 with his wife, Lorri. After meeting Gene, we were convinced he must have founded the place when he was 13. He’s a friendly, incredibly young looking guy that doesn’t look a day over 28. He thanked us for helping out but it would have been more appropriate if I had thanked him for all the time, effort, and love he’s put into the farm over the last 15 years.

I truly can’t say enough about the work the Farm Sanctuary does. Every person that we met there enjoyed what they were doing had a respect for the animals that I’ve never seen before. Whether it was a farmhand cleaning the chicken coop or an intern in the campaign office keeping the place clean, they believed with a passion in the common goal of better treatment for farm animals.

With factory farming such a huge industry in the United States, the Farm Sanctuary is clearly “the little guy” working against often unethical big businesses that treat their animals as objects rather than sentient beings with feelings and personalities. If you’re in Watkins Glen, make sure you take some time to stop by and visit or volunteer.

Sometimes it seems that everyone is out to make gobs of money in the business of exploitation, but a day at the Farm Sanctuary is an experience that will remind you of the good in people’s hearts.


Related Links

The Farm Sanctuary
The Sanctuary’s main site.

FactoryFaming.com
The Sanctuary’s site devoted to information about cruelty of factory farming.

NoDowners.org
The Sanctuary’s site about downed animals, “animals so diseased or badly injured that they cannot even walk.”

Poultry.org
Another Sanctuary site, this one focusing on the poultry industry.

Farm Animal Shelters
Here, the Farm Sanctuary has set up a resource for individuals and organizations interested in providing a similar service for abused farm animals.

Free Farm Animals from the Cruelty of Confinement
A Sanctuary site focusing specfically on confinement of factory farm animals.

SentientBeings.org
A Farm Sanctuary campaign to make people aware of agribusiness exploitation of animals, treating them as “tools of production” rather than sentient beings.

NoVeal.org
Of all the stories of confinement and cruelty, there is none worse than the every day treatment of cows that become veal (if this picture doesn’t bother you…). This is the central site for the Sanctuary’s “Say No to Veal” campaign.

Ban Cruel Farms
A campaign to get rid of gestation crates for pigs.

Animal Rights Law Project
From the Rutgers University School of Law, a very through site with all sorts of animal rights-related info.

An Interview with Nava Atlas

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An artist by training, a cookbook author by happenstance, Nava Atlas has become one of the more unlikely successes in vegetarian cooking. Because of her initial training as an artist, Nava has released some of the more unique vegetarian cookbooks on the market, including Vegetariana, her labor of love that features not only healthy and hearty recipes, but also a nice dose of history and quotes related to vegetarianism as well as a bookful of original illustrations done by the author herself.

Nava’s cookbooks aren’t all for the eye, though. Her focuses range from regional American cooking (Great American Vegetarian) to holiday cooking (Vegetarian Celebrations) to simple, quick dishes (the new Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet and Vegetarian Express) to soup-by-the-season (Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons). She’s received positive reviews from Shape magazine, the Burlington Free Press, and the New York Daily News, and rightfully so: her recipes provide great taste and texture in a healthy fashion that’s accessible to the amateur home cook.

When did you become vegetarian and for what reasons? Why type of vegetarian are you now (and did it come in stages?)?

I’ve been a vegetarian for nearly 30 years, though for about 5 or 6 of those, I occasionally ate fish, so my sons don’t think those “count.” I became a vegetarian primarily because meat just viscerally made me uncomfortable. All the other reasons came later. My two sons, ages 12 and 10, are already lifelong vegetarians. I can officially call myself a lacto vegetarian now. I gave up eggs not long ago. But I only use organic dairy products.

What are the differences and similarities in the vegetarian movement when you stopped eating meat versus today?

I became a vegetarian 30 years ago or so. It was still considered quite an oddity and novelty. It provoked a lot more questions, and though many people are still confused about what vegetarians eat, for the most part, people accept it as an alternative. Today there are more vegans, and there is greater availability of vegetarian proteins such as tofu, tempeh, and the various soy-based meat alternatives. Vegetarian cookbooks in the 60s (the few that there were) were the “sprouts and brown rice” variety, as were vegetarian restaurant menus.

In the early 70s, people like Mollie Katzen (Moosewood Cookbook) and Anna Thomas (The Vegetarian Epicure) made vegetarian meals very luscious and rich; perhaps more so than we do today, but it put across the point that vegetarian cuisine could be delicious and not look like a plateful of brown glop. From there, things gradually evolved to where they are today.

Today, I think the strongest movements are veganism, due to ethical concerns, and far more kids and teens are also deciding to become vegetarians on their own, again, mainly for ethical reasons, and from the e-mail I get from them (or their concerned parents), they don’t really know much about how to make the transition; the desire to do so is greater than the means to implement it.

What are the main obstacles for vegetarians today?

I honestly don’t think there are any! There are so many resources, books, web sites, and foods, that it’s more a matter of holding to one’s convictions than anything else.

What kind of issues have your children faced as life-long vegetarians? Have they ever come home and shown any doubt in their vegetarian lifestyle?

Luckily their path has been easy. They go to a progressive school whose lunch program is primarily vegetarian (though they still want Mom to pack their lunch every day). If anything, they are getting ever more militant, at ages 10 and 12. They curse fast-food commercials, and are even concerned that most of their food is organic. We’ve become more aware of the issues surrounding agribusiness, so as a family we have become more strict about limiting non-organic produce, etc. The boys still like milk and eggs but we always use organic versions.

Wow — concerns about organic foods at ages 10 and 12. That’s impressive. Have other parents in your community been supportive of your decision to raise your children vegetarian, or do you still encounter the stereotypical, “Are they getting enough protein?”-type response?

The Hudson Valley is a rural/progressive region and there is a lot of sophistication about food. So luckily, no, I don’t get that tired old protein question. What I get more of is people I know calling and telling me that their child wants to be a vegetarian, and asking how to create a more balanced diet for them.

What prompted you to write your first book?

I never intended to become known as a cookbook author! My background is in illustration, fine art, and graphic design. From the time I started to cook for myself, though, I always enjoyed it. Soon after I married, my husband, who gave up meat as soon as we became an item, urged me to write down the recipes for the meals I made for us. As a non-cook himself, he was amazed at my improvisations as well as my attempts to re-create the dishes we had in NYC’s ethnic restaurants.

After a couple of years, I found myself with a slew of recipes and thought it would be fun to try to combine them somehow with my illustration and design skills. The result was my first book, Vegetariana: A Rich harvest of Wit, Lore, and Recipes. It’s really an offbeat cookbook and still my favorite. It was published in 1984 (revised in 1993) and is still available.

With The 5-Ingredient Vegetarian Gourmet, was your target audience recent vegetarian converts or long-time vegetarians looking for a good collection of easier-to-prepare meals?

I actually think this book’s audience might be primarily non-vegetarians or those looking to add more vegetarian meals to their repertoire. A lot of people who I hear from who have bought this book are not necessarily vegetarians. Though one of my former editors said he thought it was wonderful for his lazy/busy vegetarian family. Experienced vegetarians may enjoy the simple approach, though there may be no great revelations for them. Maybe the core audience for this book would be busy people for who healthy meals would otherwise be daunting. I also think it’s good for families with kids, as I have observed that kids are more likely to eat things that are simply prepared.

What do you feel separates your books from, say, Moosewood books or VRG books?

Moosewood’s books, VRG’s books, Mollie Katzen’s books, etc. etc, are all excellent. It’s amazing and delightful that there are so many choices. My earlier books distinguished themselves through my use of my own illustrations and food-related quotations and anecdotes. I think that’s how I made my reputation. In V5IG my illustrations are very simple (like the recipes) and the design, which was done by the publisher, is appropriately minimalist.

After this, I’m working on some new books that are not cookbooks, and which go back to using my original, lush style of illustration, which I stopped doing for some years after my little vegetarians were born.

What types of books will these be?

These will be a fairly wide range of books, once I get the momentum. Most will be women’s interest-type books?gently humorous and inspirational?I hope! A few years ago, I wrote a parody of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” called “Expect the Unexpected When You’re Expecting!” It was published by HarperCollins, though under a pseudonym based on the original authors’ names. It was a fun experience, though I must admit the book didn’t take hold like my cookbooks seem to.

What do you see in vegetarianism’s future?

Quite honestly, I am surprised that there is not a stronger movement toward full-fledged vegetarianism. The numbers have been pretty flat for many years. It surprises me since there is so much more known now about the evils of fast food, the horrendous practices of the meat industry, the proliferation of food-borne illness such as e coli and salmonella, etc. It’s quite an uphill battle, as I see it.

I think it’s only a matter of time before there is a documented case of Mad Cow disease in this country. Unfortunately, and I hate to say it, but it may take such a calamity to make the mainstream rethink their eating habits.

There is certainly more acceptance of vegetarianism, and vegetarian meals are definitely seen as more appealing than ever before. Maybe the future of vegetarianism lies with the current generation of kids and teens who tie their eating habits with ethical and environmental beliefs.

Media events like World Vegetarian Day (Oct. 1) and Great American Meatout (First day of each spring) will continue to create awareness. And I hear a rumor that Oct. 1 to Oct. 7 is now Say No to Fast Food Week. How cool!


Links

In a Vegetarian Kitchen
Nava Atlas’ site, which features a nice selection of recipes and general vegetarian info.

Nava Atlas’ books
Amazon’s listing of Nava Atlas’ books.

Vegetarian Kitchen Newsletter
Subscribe to Nava’s e-mail list.