vegansaurus!

09/30/2010

The Food Network says some vegetarian food is, uh, not  »

"Now, Lisa’s going through this phase where she doesn’t eat any meat, so I usually sneak a little meat juice into her vegetables." —Marge Simpson

SuperVegan brings us some unsettling news today: according to a survey conducted by Food magazine, about 15 percent of chefs report that ” their vegetarian dishes might not be completely vegetarian.” Further, says Food, “Beware if you’re one of those super-picky vegan types: One chef reported seeing a cook pour lamb’s blood into a vegan’s primavera.”

Gross, right? Before the apoplexy blinds us all, let’s use our clever vegan brains to examine this analytically. Food says that they anonymously “surveyed chefs across the country,” but they provide no hard data at all, which renders this “about 15 percent” essentially meaningless. How many chefs are 15 percent? In which cities and states did the surveyed chefs live? Look, if your Vegansaurus surveyed vegans, and 95 percent of respondents agreed that humane treatment of farm animals was a “positive step” toward animal rights, what would you say? Hopefully, you’d ask the same questions—without hard data, surveys don’t mean much.

SuperVegan concludes that this survey answer is “just one more reason to avoid restaurants that have animals on their menus,” but your Vegansaurus respectfully disagrees. We encourage vegans to patronize non-veg restaurants all the time because they offer quality veg dishes. However, if they’re not actually vegan, that’s been a depressing waste of time and money. Don’t restaurants want business? Are they all so financially comfortable that they can afford to play with our food?

Presumably, 15 percent isn’t a huge number—15 if they asked 100 chefs, 30 if they asked 200, etc.—though we can’t know because we don’t have those figures. If chefs put vegetarian and vegan dishes on a menu, it should imply that they understand the terms and want to make food that abides by them. Of course, continue to eat at veg restaurants, we love those places the most! We love all restaurants that serve tasty, cruelty-free food. There are so many better things to lie about—what would putting lamb’s blood in a primavera even accomplish, honestly? If this survey makes you warier of eating at non-veg places, your Vegansaurus recommends asking specific, very polite questions of your server when placing your order.

And remember, always look at surveys as carefully as you do menus and ingredients lists!

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