I was talking to a new local vegetarian friend and we were discussing restaurants we'd visited in other cities. I mentioned that I'd love to see a vegan restaurant open up here, in our shared city.
"Or at least a vegetarian one," she said.
"Well, that wouldn't guarantee vegan options," I pointed out.
"Well, it would probably be better than what's available now," she countered.
"In terms of convenience for vegans? Not really. When they shuffle out meat, they usually shuffle in lots of cheese," I explained, mentioning a bunch of places in town with vegetarian items on the menu which were completely unsuitable for vegans.
"Well, something is better than nothing," she said. "And at least it would get people thinking about not eating meat."
"A vegan restaurant would be better than nothing and would get people thinking about not using other animals at all."
"Well, I have no problem with eating cheese," she said. "It's not the same as eating meat."
"It's all the same," I said. "There's as much suffering and death involved in eating a grilled cheese sandwich as there is in eating a hamburger."
"But it wouldn't really go over, though. A vegan restaurant would be too weird. People like cheese too much and you have to be willing to make some compromises and to draw them in with something."
"How about drawing them in with really good food that happens to not involve animal exploitation?" I suggested.
"You know what I mean," she said, annoyed.
"I think what you mean is that you don't really want to have to eat a dish that doesn't have cheese in it."
"Hey, maybe we can have a vegan restaurant with cheese, eggs and meat options for those who want them," I joked sarcastically.
"That would be great!" she replied enthusiastically. "Just no meat, though. I'd rather not watch people eating animals."
"I'd rather not watch people using animals at all," I said, realizing that we weren't getting anywhere, and reminded once again of the great, great divide between vegans and vegetarians.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Posted by M at Wednesday, September 10, 2014