January 5, 2020

"When you classify yourself as vegan, you’re now being watched. In my DMs, I’d get all these messages from activists for protests. I’m just not that guy..."

"... I did this for the purpose of eating better," said the food blogger, Reynolde Jordan, quoted in "It’s Called ‘Plant-Based,’ Look It Up/There’s a difference between disavowing all animal byproducts and simply trying to eat less meat" (NYT).
Thomas Colin Campbell, the Cornell University biochemist who claims responsibility for coining the term plant-based [said,] “I wanted to emphasize that my work and ideas were coming totally from science and not any sort of ethical or philosophical consideration”....
I'm giving this my "euphemisms" tag, even though I don't think that's exactly right. I considered "propaganda" and "rhetoric." There are 2 intertwined subjects here. At least 2.

One is that "vegan" feels like it means more than just not eating animal products. To say you're a vegan seems to be adopting an identity that has been defined and is being defined by other people and you don't want all those stereotypes sticking to you.

Another is that you seem to be committing to absolutely no animal products, and maybe all you want to do is to build you diet around plant products and minimize the consumption of meat. Personally, I know I need to eat some meat, but I don't eat very much.

Is "plant-based" a euphemism? I'm thinking yes, in the case of someone who follows a vegan diet but doesn't want to be seen as the stereotype vegan, with all morality baggage. But it's not a euphemism — though it seems like a bit of a misnomer — if what you're trying to say is I actually do eat some meat (and dairy and eggs).

89 comments:

tim maguire said...

Calling yourself a vegan is seen as a political act and I think there is hood reason for that. I’m curious about his health reasons given that it’s difficult to eat a healthy vegan diet, much more difficult than eating a healthy omnivorous diet.

mockturtle said...

There are several vegans in my family. They are all PETA-types. It has everything to do with animals and nothing to do with health. All of them look like they crawled out from under a rock.

rehajm said...

If you don’t like the DMs it helps if you avoid social media, too...

Sally327 said...

I found it interesting that Beyonce and Jay-Z have a food company that's "plant-based" and Beyonce doesn't eat meat on Mondays. Like the Catholics don't eat meat on Fridays during Lent ? A day of sacrifice. Meat has gotten such a terrible reputation. Just the word, meat, it's so evocative of so many bad things but it shouldn't be that way, meat covers a lot of ground, much of it good in my opinion.

Anyway, what I found interesting is how people with lots of money (and these two have lots and lots of money) use it. Like here, start a food company with your personal trainer. To make more money? Or do they not care about that? Is it useful to them in some other way? I wonder about all that. Maybe it's just another way to influence the world as to the things they think are important.

rhhardin said...

I sometimes add chicken to the rice for a shared treat for the dog, but eat mostly soyburgers for the meat-looking stuff. As far as I know I'm in great shape.

tcrosse said...

I'm an ovo-lacto-beefo-porko-vegetarian.

Fernandistein said...

Vegans tend to dopey-lookingness.

Fernandistein said...

Meat has gotten such a terrible reputation.

If people aren't supposed to eat animals why are they made out of meat?

gilbar said...

to be a Vegan, is to BE Hitler

There is NO DIFFERENCE between refusing to eat meat; and committing genocide

Wince said...

What do they think of carnivorous species that eat nothing but meat?

Paco Wové said...

As Althouse says, "plant-based" sounds like something between a euphemism and false advertising. Presumably, any diet that is less than 50% meat could be described as "plant-based". That would probably include most of humanity.

The article, and the people it describes, seem to gloss over the differences between 'vegetarian' (no meat) and 'vegan' (no animal products of any kind). The people described all seem like fallen vegans. By all accounts, vegans seem like nasty, petty, judgemental people, so it's not surprising that others would try to come up with linguistic ways of getting the hard-core vegan types to leave them alone with their occasional grilled fish.

policraticus said...

So, “plant based” is less strict than “vegan?” Why not just say “vegetarian?” Oh, because you do eat some meat occasionally? Then you are an “omnivore.”

Own it.

Seems simple enough.

It seems to me that saying “plant based” is just stealing a base on the woke spectrum. Veganism is unsustainable. It is a political posture more than a diet that human beings can actually live on. Evolutionary biology is a difficult thing to just ignore. However, anyone can have a perfectly healthy vegetarian diet and eat no meat. It’s been done for millennia. But don’t try to tout your virtue by constructing a mythical third way that is “mostly virtuous plants” but with a soupçon of “mostly righteous, but still tainted flesh.” I’m calling bullshit.

Fernandistein said...

Ford had a vegetarian car.

Not really, but still..."The "Soybean Car" was actually a plastic-bodied car unveiled by Henry Ford on August 13, 1941 at Dearborn Days, an annual community festival" as that makes it OK.

Paco Wové said...

My own personal diet could be described as "plant-based" – entire days go by without any meat being involved – but you'll have to pry eggs, dairy and honey from my cold, dead fingers.

Paco Wové said...

"Then you are an “omnivore.”"

"Vegans with benefits."

tcrosse said...

Let us raise awareness of the wholesale slaughter of our green brothers and sisters of the plant kingdom!

gilbar said...

Paco Wové said...
By all accounts, vegans seem like nasty, petty, judgemental people

By all accounts, vegans ARE nasty, petty, judgemental people
fify!

think i'm being excessive? I guess you don't know any vegans

Fernandistein said...

coining the term plant-based

ngram plant based,plant-based.
(Google claims it can't handle the latter string and therefore changes it, so results are probably wrong).

Wilbur said...

Here is an account: Like most overarching generalizations, the belief that all vegans are worthless pieces of shit is incorrect. I know a few who are not.

Josephbleau said...

Salad is not food, salad is what food eats. A Texas approach.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I eat a plant-based diet. Everything I eat was a plant, or ate plants, or ate things that ate plants.

stevew said...

Definitely a euphemism and likely propaganda.

There is no single best most healthful diet. Meat isn't exclusively unhealthful, plants aren't exclusively healthful, for humans. We are ominvores after all.

I've been following a low carb diet - plenty of meat, vegetables, and fats with virtually no grains or sugars - since 2004. My weight is steady (BMI in the low 20's) and all the usual measures of health that my doctor checks and tracks are excellent. I also feel physically good, most days.

My wife has tried to follow this approach with me but she didn't get the same results and she didn't feel great. She now eats a modest amount of grain based foods and some carbs such as you get in certain vegetables and fruits. This approach keeps her health measures in a good range, and she feels best.

Your results may vary, but my experience indicates you should follow whatever diet it is that makes you feel good, physically and mentally.

AllenS said...

When I sit down to eat, I want to see a dead animal on my plate.

AllenS said...

This afternoon I'll be looking at dead fried northern pike on my plate. Of course, the side dishes will be potato(e) salad, and coleslaw.

Michael K said...

My daughter lived a year in Spain. She had become a vegan before going and returned a meat eater again. She said she would have starved as a vegan in Spain.

chuck said...

I'd suggest "religion" as a tag. That was how I remember it getting started, sacred food.

Lucien said...

I find that it’s rather easy to accidentally have a meatless meal in an Indian restaurant, but doubt that it could count as vegan.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

My nephew used to eat meat. He shed 25 pounds when he tried veganism. But he found it difficult to sustain, especially since he loves cheese. Now he is a vegetarian. It wasn't an ideological choice for him, but prompted by health considerations. He says he feels much better and has more energy than he used to.

His wife is not vegetarian. Like Ann, she eats red meat occasionally and loves fish and chicken. That sometimes complicates thir meal planning, but he does not lecture her. He does not berate anybody at family gatherings. He doesn't try to push his choices onto anybody else.

In contrast, the vegan woman at work reminds us all daily that she is a vegan. She has to be one of the most relentlessly negative people I have ever met. A few months, she idiotically said that she is thinking about moving to California, since Wisconsin apparently doesn't provide a "positive atmosphere" for vegans. What she expects Wisconsin to do for her, I don't know. Deliver oat milk and soy burgers to her doorstep free of charge? Not surprisingly, she has Bernie bumper stickers. Please move to California, dear.

Phil 314 said...

Was at an neat little ice cream shop with the extended family in San Diego yesterday. Many of the flavor selections had a “V” after them. Yes, V stood for vegan. I had a great Butter Brickle ice cream, two scoops. No V. Lots of daily in it.

I think ice CREAM should have (as its name implies) dairy in it. I’m old fashioned that way.

PS Growing up in dairy country in upstate NY it seemed liked dairy cows had a pretty good life. Morning at the milking machine but the rest of the day just hanging out, eating grass and clover.

stevew said...

That's why the old joke about how you tell if someone is vegan isn't really a joke.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Just eat what YOU like and STFU about what others want to eat. If you aren't a whiney baby about it or strident activist, when you come to my house, I will try to accommodate you and create some meatless dishes that you can enjoy.

Amazingly, people who eat meat, also like to eat meatless as well. We often have meatless spaghetti, where eggplant is substituted for the meat.

HOWEVER, there is a big difference between Vegetarian and Vegan. Vegans are so strict that you can't have any cross contamination of pans and utensils that have touched meat. No butter,cheese,or any thing like that should ever be near their food. Not even allowed in the kitchen. Extremely restrictive and impossible in many cases. Vegetarians can and will eat some dairy and fish...and even eggs.

I can live with Vegetarian. I often eat Vegetarian meals myself, as I find that heavy meat meals don't agree with me anymore.

Vegans? Fuggetaboutit. They are impossible. They are cultist who want to force YOU to be in their cult.

SGT Ted said...

If your diet is centered around science then it will include meat. All of the opposition to the modern animal industry are based on leftwing political assertions.

AllenS said...

Two cannibals were sitting at the dinner table eating a vegan, when one says to the other: "Does she taste funny to you?" and the other one answered: "Yes, tastes like cauliflower."

I know, I know, but I couldn't help myself.

Fernandistein said...

When I sit down to eat, I want to see a dead animal on my plate.

We had a Malamute about which we falsely quipped "She only eats things that suffered when they died", but she wouldn't even eat the skunks she killed, she just rolled around on them.

What she expects Wisconsin to do for her, I don't know.

Like the President of Wisconsin may have said, "Ask not what Wisconsin can do for you, ask what you can do for me."

Fernandistein said...

"Does she taste funny to you?"

Two clowns are eating a cannibal and one says "I think we're doing this joke wrong."

Howard said...

Instapundit science, SGT Ted. If you want low T levels, eat lots of meat. Factory Meat is bad for the environment. Factory Meat requires gluttony to be sustainable. Cave man didn't eat meat three times per day 7 days per week. Most of the hunt was jerky and stew not steaks

Charles said...

Vegetarian is diet, Vegan is a political position. That is why they get all the requests for activism. How they did not know that baffles me.

Howard said...

I always pronounce it Vagin

dbp said...

The problem with "plant-based" is that it would seem to exclude an entire phylogenetic kingdom: fungi from the diet. Is there some ethical dilemma with mushrooms?

J. Farmer said...

I know plenty of vegans who are not proselytizers and in fact do not like the more strident or activist vegans. But yes, I've always taken "vegan" as a description of a lifestyle more than anything else. I've long had the same stand on this. I have zero problem with killing an animal for food. But anyone who can look at the realities of factory farming and not come away at least somewhat morally repulsed is baffling to me.

tcrosse said...

Vegans not to be confused with Las Vegans.

AllenS said...

What is "factory farming"?

SGT Ted said...

The "bad for the environment" claim is especially unscientific and political.

J. Farmer said...

@AllenS:

What is "factory farming"?

From wiki:

"Intensive animal farming or industrial livestock production, also known by its opponents as factory farming,[1] is a type of intensive agriculture, specifically an approach to animal husbandry designed to maximize production, while minimizing costs.[2] To achieve this, agribusinesses keep livestock such as cattle, poultry, and fish at high stocking densities, at large scale, and using modern machinery, biotechnology, and global trade.[3][4][5][6][7] The main products of this industry are meat, milk and eggs for human consumption.[8] There are issues regarding whether intensive animal farming is sustainable or ethical.[9]"

SGT Ted said...

Lots of people confuse their squeamishness with morality. It's pretty common, especially with teenage girls who go vegetarian.

Daniel said...

Blogger Howard said...
I always pronounce it Vagin


A fan of Rippitoe?

AllenS said...

Without "factory farming" there would be mass starvation. There simply isn't enough people to produce food like they did in the "old days". I used to raise beef cattle.

Fernandistein said...

Dietary directions for inward filthy lusts

J. Farmer said...

@AllenS:

Without "factory farming" there would be mass starvation. There simply isn't enough people to produce food like they did in the "old days". I used to raise beef cattle.

I don't disagree with you. I fully participate in the system, but I can still experience some moral uneasiness about it. I have found Temple Grandin fairly enlightening on this topic in the past.

AllenS said...

Would you feel moral uneasiness about butchering your own food for meat? Or, are you thankful that there are strong men who do it for you?

J. Farmer said...

@AllenS:

If you've taken me as an opponent, you've misjudged the situation. As I said before, I have zero problem with killing an animal for food. But I do have moral qualms about subjecting animals to unnecessary torment and suffering. And yet I am perfectly prepared to admit that I'm a hypocrite on this issue.

Paco Wové said...

Of some relevance:

UK Court Extends New Legal Protection To “Ethical Veganism”

A ruling was handed down on Friday by a U.K. employment tribunal allowing ethical vegans to be protected from discrimination by law. With this ruling, ethical veganism now has the same legal protections as religious beliefs.

Meade said...

"I used to raise beef cattle."

Was it profitable?

Francisco D said...

Lots of people confuse their squeamishness with morality. It's pretty common, especially with teenage girls who go vegetarian.

My wife noticed that a lot of HS girls are obese because their favorite vegan food appears to be ...

... French fries

rcocean said...

All Vegans aren't self-righteous assholes - but most are. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with eating cheese, milk, eggs, or dairy products. Do Cows mind us milking them? They don't seem too upset about it. And chickens seem OK with pretty much everything.

I assume Vegans don't have dogs or cats, since they eat meat.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

A vegetarian diet does not include any meat at all, including fish. Anything that has 2 eyes and was killed is not on a vegetarian's diet.
People who say "I'm vegetarian, but I eat fish" or "I'm a vegetarian, but I don't eat red meat" or "I'm a vegetarian, but I only occasionally eat a juicy steak" - they are not vegetarians.
I like to eat a mostly vegetarian diet, but I do occasionally eat meat. I am NOT a vegetarian. The part where I occasionally eat meat --is the tell.
Vegetarians are not really thrilled with cross-contamination. It grosses them out. I'm very close to a vegetarian who has been one for over 30 years, and he will not eat any meat, including fish. No fish sauce, which excludes a lot of Thai food. No dressings with anchovies. No desserts with gelatin. Nothing with a chicken stock/beef stock base (like many soups) etc... Butter and eggs are OK - because the animal didn't die to get the product. The yummy product!
Vegans don't eat any animal products at all and yes – No meat, no butter, no eggs, no cheese… They don’t wear leather… many won’t even eat honey or figs. They too don't like cross contamination. Something cooked on a meat grill is like eating the meat itself. Gross.
Boulder is chock-full of both vegans and vegetarians and I have to say most of the people I know who are one or the other, are not militant about it, only with themselves. They don't care what other people eat. and they too are embarrassed by the over-the-top vocal whiners and militants who give vegans a bad name.
That said, I get annoyed there are still restaurants who do not properly train their staff to understand the difference between vegan and vegetarian. or what gluten free really means. or food allergies. and they confuse and exchange “gluten free” with “veganism”. If you work in a restaurant, you should have a base level of understanding what various diets mean. Vegan does not mean gluten free.

Paco Wové said...

One of the biggest hurdles for vegetarianism in the U.S. is that the Western tradition of vegetarianism derives from England, and as we all know, English food sucks. Try to replace the meat with whatever substitutes the European cook has at hand, and the food becomes even less appetizing. Now, take away all dairy and eggs, and you're left with something that barely deserves the label of "food".

Conversely, pop into an Indian restaurant, and you'll find incredibly varied, tasty, and satisfying vegetarian food. If Indian food had been the vector by which vegetarianism had been introduced to the U.S., I'd bet it would be greatly more accepted than it is today.

J. Farmer said...

@Francisco D:

My wife noticed that a lot of HS girls are obese because their favorite vegan food appears to be ...

Maybe 1% of high schoolers are vegans. But I agree that there is nothing automatically healthy about being vegan, particularly if you are eating tons of carbs from tubers or wheat and foods cooked in or filled with cheap vegetable oils. People are still sadly swayed by all the bad nutritional science that turned animal fats into public enemy #1.

J. Farmer said...

One of the biggest hurdles for vegetarianism in the U.S. is that the Western tradition of vegetarianism derives from England, and as we all know, English food sucks.

The old stereotype about English food being terrible really hasn't been true for a number of years.

Pillage Idiot said...

How many vegans and PETA types live in the country rather than in the city?

I think we anthropomorphize the thoughts of animals with little basis in fact. People look at cattle standing in a feedyard and think, "That looks awful".

Examine it from the viewpoint of the cattle. They get fed twice/day, there is fresh clean water a few steps away. They are surrounded by their buddies - which should be exceedingly reassuring for HERD animals.

I have worked in the field for 35 years. You want to watch animals suffering? Go to an area in drought near dusk and dawn and watch all of the starving animals dying a slow and painful death.

SGT Ted said...

The "English food sucks" narrative is an artifact of WW2, where the civilian population was on strict rationing with the majority of good food going to the military. So, they pretty much boiled everything. US Servicemen who were invited to dine with British families thought that wartime ration over cooked food was regular British cuisine, when it reality, the UK menu is very close to the US one, with a few exceptions and differences.

tommyesq said...

The portrayal of vegans in Scott Pilgrim v. the World was pretty damned funny - they drew psychic power from their purity and self-righteousness, but one slip of the diet and the vegan police cart them away.

Pillage Idiot said...

I will also take up the other side of the argument concerning vegans being loud-mouthed bloviating a**holes.

This certainly is the result of some degree of sampling bias. All of our acquaintances that are outspoken, sanctimonious vegans out themselves as such. OTOH, I am pretty sure I have multiple friends that are vegans or strict vegetarians, but I am unaware of that fact - because they never bring it up in a conversation.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If you work in a restaurant, you should have a base level of understanding what various diets mean.

Why is that their responsibility? They aren't dieticians. The restaurant is in the business of making and serving food that the client's want to PAY for and eat.

They cater to the majority of customers. They are not able to cater to the various permutations of people's arbitrary diet preferences. They might try and have a few vegetarian/meatless dishes. However, unless the restaurant is strictly Vegan or Vegetarian, they are not going to bend to the often ridiculous demands of those groups. The restaurant just CAN'T afford to do this.

So. Create your OWN restaurant for Vegans.

Food allergies are another thing. Unsuspectingly eating peanuts, shellfish, whatever..... might actually kill you. SO the establishment provides BIG FAT WARNINGS. Then you have a choice. Eat or not eat.

Unsuspectingly eating something from a pan that may have once been used to fry a chicken or accidentally have eggs in the ingredients (unless allergic) isn't going to kill you. Be irritated. Grossed out. But suck it up and shut up. Don't eat there again.

We are not here to cater to your passing fancies. If you choose to live in a certain manner, that is YOUR choice. You can't force others to bend to your personal preferences.

Paco Wové said...

"The old stereotype about English food being terrible really hasn't been true for a number of years."

Vegetarianism became a thing in England in the mid- to late-1800's. So that's the standard of "English food" I have in mind.

J. Farmer said...

@tommyesq:

The portrayal of vegans in Scott Pilgrim v. the World was pretty damned funny - they drew psychic power from their purity and self-righteousness, but one slip of the diet and the vegan police cart them away.

I so wanted to love that movie. And it has some good stuff but holy shit was I disappointed.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Disclamer. My Daughter is vegetarian. NOT Vegan. No meat. Will eat fish, cheese, eggs. She will cook meat for her husband and kids. She has no trouble sitting down to dinner when beef is on the menu.

I have zero problem with this and when they are visiting, I make it a point to prepare her favorite vegetarian dishes. I don't judge her. She doesn't judge others. That is how it should be.

I wouldn't go into a restaurant that caters to Vegans, or which may be gluten free and then throw a hissy fit that they aren't making me hamburgers.

tommyesq said...

Farmer,

I thought it was pretty good, but I had never read the comic books so had no expectations going in.

n.n said...

Walls and privacy. You have a choice to consume a vegetable or something else.

Birkel said...

Vegans are anti-science.
They deny human biology.
They deny evolution.

Seeing Red said...

HOWEVER, there is a big difference between Vegetarian and Vegan. Vegans are so strict that you can't have any cross contamination of pans and utensils that have touched meat.

They’re orthodox.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...


“Calling yourself a vegan is seen as a political act”

It can also be a religious one. Around here 7DAs are big on that shit. The body is a temple and all that jazz.

Mcbean. Coco Mcbean. said...

I have more of a meat-based diet, myself, but still find this song to be an excellent and hilarious parody... https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bGW-qnlrMjs

John henry said...

Now I'm hungry for some English food.

Bubble and squeak

Spotted dick

Road in the hole

Sussex pond pudding (made with real scum from Sussex pond)

Toast soldiers.

Suet pudding

Maybe not so hungry anymore

There are French, Chinese, Italian, Ethiopian and many other ethnic restaurants in the us.

Why no English restaurants?

John henry said...

Guessing you mean SDA, cracker.

We're SDA and many in the church are vegetarian of varying degrees of strictness.

My son and his family are pretty strict vegetarians. Very athletic. Gd was on state champion volleyball team. Gs very active in school sports.

People in my church and other sdas I know in and out of PR seem pretty healthy in general.

SDA church is more focused on health than most and this is a health, not a religious thing.

Otoh, we do, as a matter of doctrine, follow the o lord testament dietary laws.

I've got no problem with most vegetarians. O or anyone else's eating habits. Don't care for vegans in general, though. Telling me that they are vegan constantly, justifying it constantly, and telling me I should be too I find really annoying.

John Henry

John henry said...

S/B Old testament.

The o lord testament is more commonly known as the new testament

John Henry

Jim at said...

I know many vegetarians and have for decades. Never the ones to preach about what they eat. Live and let live.

Vegans on the other hand? Insufferable assholes.

Paco Wové said...

"Why no English restaurants?"

Well, to be honest, there is in fact a genuine English pub, run by a genuine Englishman, in the Iowa town where I live. It seems to do OK.

On the other hand, this is the region that birthed the loose-meat sandwich and the "walking taco", so that may in fact be quite damning evidence.

Paco Wové said...

Now I'm hungry for some English food.

Don't forget the faggots, J.H.!

Danno said...

Blogger tcrosse said...Vegans not to be confused with Las Vegans.

If I'm not mistaken, that is very important in your case. Remember, if you're not at the table you are on the menu!

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

DBQ- please excuse my long answer. but...

I have a friend who does not have a properly functioning immune system. Every 2-3 weeks she must have someone else’s immune system injected into her body via a transfusion.
She is a mess and readily admits she is a pain in the ass when it comes to eating out at restaurants.
Her immune problem manifests itself, in part, with food allergies. For instance, she cannot eat tomatoes. Or cow. No cow. You know how freaking hard it is to eat a meal without a tomato? Or a cow? Tomatoes are in everything. Mexican, Italian, Asian ... She is not, however, a vegetarian or a vegan. She eats chicken, fish and pork without any problem.

She takes it upon herself to call ALL restaurants beforehand to ask if they can accommodate her issues. She gets a mixed set of answers. What she finds most frustrating is when the restaurant assures her over the phone that "yes – they can accommodate her dietary restrictions"... and then when she arrives and re-states everything to the server – & the server is totally clueless about all of it. Not only clueless, but also careless.

She would rather the restaurant tell her “NO” over the phone, and save her the headache and the possible serious ramifications of eating something that sends her into a coughing fit or worse.

Servers do not need to be dieticians. But they should be aware of what it means to be a vegan or a vegetarian. Even though my friend eats meat, she is most comfortable at vegan restaurants because they are the most sensitive and educated when it comes to dietary restrictions.
Now certainly you would think a Steak House could tell everyone who doesn’t eat meat to go pound sand, but why? Why cut off business when it isn’t that difficult to cater to special diets. Especially if you are in the hospitality business. If you have a party of 8, and 1 of the 8 does not eat meat, that person might want to feel like they could order something vegetarian off the menu that was truly vegetarian. Not hard if the kitchen staff know what the flip you are doing and a bonus if the server understands as well.

I’ve shared many meals out with vegans and vegetarians and the most frustrating experiences are at restaurants where the staff are clueless about the basic definitions of, and understanding of, and differences between vegan and vegetarian. It’s not about being a “dietician” – it’s about wanting to serve your clientele with hospitality and honesty about what is “in the food” and make them happy, satisfied and want to come back.

***yeah - and fake meat hamburgers on a real grill is gross. No need for a lawsuit or a cow, just put some foil down. not hard. but then you get into the issue of fake meat hamburgers that look like real hamburgers - and why is this a good idea for people who cannot stand meat? lol. whatever.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Bleach Bit

Sorry about your friend. However, I did make an exception for people with life threatening allergies. Allergies can be serious stuff. People who have actual real allergies (not imagined gluten intolerance or just don't want to have icky meat touch their forks) deserve to have the honest answer. Yes. We can accommodate your peanut allergy and have no peanuts in our ingredients or NO we cannot accommodate you and won't guarantee that you will not die if you have the Pad Thai.

If you have real allergies, you need to be extra careful and realize that you cannot depend on other busy people to take care of you. Even IF it means you don't get to go out to eat as often.

However, Vegan and Vegetarian is almost always just a choice. The restaurants have no need to know or even to care. Yes. If they want to have some of that trade then they can devise dishes for those choices ...or even cater entirely to the V groups.

Having once owned and ran a smoked foods deli and restaurant with my husband and his partner I can attest that the restaurant will NOT be able to have the depth and breadth of menu options that will satisfy the whims or desires of EVERYBODY. You only have so much room in the walk in or freezer. You only have a limited time for ingredients to remain fresh. The staff can only prepare so many different items in a day or a week. We have to make judicious use of ingredients. Cannot afford to make special items on the OFF CHANCE that some Vegan or other super special customer wants to come in. We can't stop the kitchen in the middle of cooking their normal meals to suddenly prepare a special order. The system has to work like a clock and can't be thrown off or you piss off ALL your regular other customers.

Even items that are popular with the main clientele cannot be made everyday. That's why you only get Prime Rib on Friday or Saturday. Only have Lasagna on Thursdays. And only get fish in season.

You can't always get what you want and it isn't always a malicious event on the restaurant owner's part. They are running a business and not a catering to a minor and pretty irritating small selection of clientele.

The restaurant is there to make money not be your friend's personal chef.

Rockport Conservative said...

I'm afraid I am a person who looks at plant based diet and thinks, hmm... cows eat plants, goats eat plants, lambs eat plants, I guess those are all on the menu now, they are definitely plant based foods, we wouldn't have them without plants.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Not to try to be rude, but you do understand that the servers have zip to do with the food preparation.

Most restaurants will have several things that a Vegetarian can chose. Vegetarian...not Vegan they are pretty much SOL at a restaurant. Granted it might be a very limited selection. Or in other cases it might be something pretty nice. Vegetarian Lasagna is great! It will be ON THE MENU if they have it.

The server can merely relay the order to the cook or cooks. However, unless it is something pretty damned easy, the are not likely to make a special meal because they are already trying to get out 5, 10, or 20 meals that are not special orders. Even IF they can and want to make the special order...they don't have time and must accommodate those that ordered menu items first.

We went out a couple of days ago to a Mexican restaurant. There were several options for vegetarian fare that only required the chef to omit an existing ingredient or two. My SIL had a nice black bean, onion, poblano chili and cheese quesadilla with sour cream on top. All the chef had to do was eliminate the chicken or shrimp options. He didn't have to create an entire dish just for her. Actually less work for him and everyone is happy.

Actually, I went vegetarian too. Chile Relleno with rice and beans on the side. Pretty sure the Margaritas are vegetarian too!

Nichevo said...

The old stereotype about English food being terrible really hasn't been true for a number of years.


You of all people accepting chicken tikki masala as English food?

Martin said...

"Plant-based" but not EXCLUSIVELY plant-based.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Server should understand the basics, DBQ. Like no-meat at all in true vegetarian diets.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

I think it's rude to have untrained staff. of course servers don't prepare food. They are the go-between.

A good restaurant will train their staff on the basics.

Begonia said...

"Plant-based" is not a euphamism. It just means exactly that--that your meals are based on plants, not animal products.

Veganism, on the other hand goes beyond meals. It is a lifestyle. If you are vegan you don't buy leather or wool. Or use beeswax candles.

We eat a lot of legumes in my house, but I often add some kind of meat. I'm not saying that I'm plant based. Just that I'm trying to eat prepare dishes for my family that use less meat overall by mixing them with proteins that come from plants.
--For New Years day, I made black eyed peas with bacon. Delish.
--I make chili with mostly black and kidney beans, but also a bit of shredded beef.
--When I make pad thai, I add both tofu AND shrimp.
--Split pea soup with smoked hambone
...That sort of thing.