Veggin’ Around the Web: Vegetarian Article Roundup

February 24, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Article Print This Post Print This Post

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Every once and a while, an article about vegetarians living in a meat-eating world catch my eye. Here are a few recent articles along with some of my unsolicited comments and opinions…

Good Googlymoogly: Google Goggles!

Google unvieled a prototype technology called Goggles that allows you to use your iPhone to translate printed words into English. I love that out of the zillion practical use examples they site the difficulties of being a vegetarian in a foreign country. This is awesome, now we won’t accidentally order pig bits or horse parts.

Imagine being in a foreign country staring at a restaurant menu you can’t understand, a waiter impatiently tapping his foot at your tableside. You, a vegetarian, have no idea whether you’re about to order spaghetti with meatballs or veggie pesto. What would you do? Well, eventually you might be able to take out your mobile phone, snap a photo with Google Goggles, and instantly view that menu translated into your language.

Dear Abby Serves Up Some Meat-Free Advice

Dear Abby tackles the concerns of a vegetarian that is tired of being the butt of jokes from her family and eye rolls at her local deli. Dear Abby answers the question pretty well. I think we’ve all been there with side comments and snide comments as vegetarians. If I’m ever faced with disdain for my choices at a restaurant, not only will the management know about it…their corporate headquarters will also get a message from me. Of course, it’s best to remain polite. This does, however, bring to mind that sometimes feedback goes ignored.

I visited a local well-known bbq joint last year and realized that they removed the only vegetarian entree they had on the menu. (I actually thought it was a pretty good santa fe type salad.) According to our server, the management there figured that vegetarians wouldn’t be eating at their restaurant so why bother. They didn’t even have a “hidden menu item” for me to order. The only options left were two side dishes that were fried and a small side salad. Undaunted, I wrote their corporate headquarters and told them of my dismay that the only option I had was removed. Didn’t they understand that vegetarians are not lone animals but sometimes do travel in packs with carnivores. And, oftentimes, we vegetarians make decisions about where the pack will eat. If there isn’t a veg option, they lose out on potential business.

How did their crack team of customer service representatives respond? They sent me a general form letter thanking me for my comment and a $5 coupon off my next meal.  I promptly sent it back with my original correspondence and asked that they perhaps read customer feedback because I wouldn’t be using their coupon because I have nothing to eat at their establishment. Needless to say I was a little, Red, Hot and Bothered with this particular chain restaurant. (ahem)

Almost Good Housekeeping

I don’t quite get this, Good Housekeeping. You have a collection of recipes under a lovely heading called, Almost Vegetarian: Easy on your wallet and your waistline, these satisfying suppers maximize flavor and minimize meat. (Trust us: your family won’t miss it.)

Pardon me, but isn’t saying “almost vegetarian” like saying someone is “sort of pregnant”. It’s just not possible. You can’t have your vegetarian and eat your meat, too.

Let’s take a look at this a little closer…GH lists a recipe for “Beef and Portobello Bourguignon”. The  recipe calls for a pound of beef chuck. Last time I looked beef => meat => not vegetarian. In other words, a steaming pound of beef chuck equals a pound of steaming pile of “not vegetarian”.

Casablanca couscous with lamb and squash? Yup, same thing. Don’t even get me started on the sausage recipe…

Granted, there are a few vegetarian recipes but that still doesn’t tip the scale so you can call the entire collection “almost vegetarian.”

Good Housekeeping, I’m not sure what segment you were trying to reach with this article but you clearly missed the mark. I’m not sure if you were trying to cash in on folks discovering the flexitarian diet or perhaps you were afraid that folks would be scared off if you labeled it as vegetarian. Let’s just remember: if it’s made with meat it’s not “almost vegetarian”.

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