Thursday, March 08, 2007

Eating at a restaurant that doesn't serve meat, surely not!

I'm lucky enough to have lots of friends, family members and acquaintances who enjoy dining at veg restaurants. Some even ask me 'when are you having another mock meat night?' or 'when are we going to ...(insert restaurant name) again?'.

But I have a few acquaintances who never seem pleased with anything really at veg restaurants. Now I in no way think that all veg restaurants are great. In fact I am the first to admit that vegie bar for example doesn't have the most amazing veg food, yet I go there often because it is convenient, quick, kind of cheap and you know what you are getting, plus there is a fair bit of variety. Other times I go to a veg restuarant that is so average with my omnivore friends and I feel like saying 'please don't judge veg food based on this, this is just not a great restaurant'. But I really don't understand never liking any dishes at any veg restaurants.

I ate meat and the rest for over 20 years and not that long ago and occasionally dined at veg restaurants as a meat eater. For me veg restaurants were a positive influence. Veg restaurants helped me to see that veg food can be great unlike other restaurants in which the only options were kind of bland and boring: a green salad(I still hate plain green salads), or pasta with standard tomato based sauce and vegies were the only options. I think I also started to realise that I felt a little bit better after eating veg rather than meat. I just don't get it because well I felt that often the meals I would eat at veg restaurants were superior in terms of imagination and flavour.

Maybe it is just personal tastes, but I had similar tastes when I started dining at veg restaurants as a meat eater. I used to eat chicken parmigiana and all the rest of things that people love. I didn't feel like I was missing out, instead I felt like I was eating more variety. I can't help and be skeptical and think that part of the reluctance to enjoy any veg meals really is some sort of defensive tactic against scary and strange 'vegetarianism'. Because let's face it one of the biggest reasons people will not stop eating meat is taste. If veg food tastes great and they don't feel like they are missing out on their meat, what argument do they have left? Yes there are other reasons but the biggest seem to stem from taste: 'I couldn't live without meat', or 'I couldn't give up my steak'. Any other way you look at it people can and do survive quite sucessively without consuming meat and god knows there are lots of arguments against eating it (health, environmental, animal rights, etc).

What do you think?

Did veg restaurants have a positive influence on you turning veg?

No comments: