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Interlude from the Wynn: Thoughts on Weekday Vegetarianism

25 Mar

I’m on vacation at the Wynn, which is vegan paradise for two reasons: 1) Every restaurant–and there are plenty–offers a vegan option! and 2) The vegan menu is way cheaper than the regular menu.

For example (pictures to come) I got a vegan burger, fries, and a little shake (yes!  Too minty, but a good consistency and taste otherwise, especially if you’re into mint, which I’m not) for $9, or more than double that if you go carnivorous and feel like fries, too.  Nice!   So we also got the cashew cream spinach and artichoke dip, which was both huge and delicious.  This morning?  Vegan blueberry muffin.  Yesterday evening?  Vegan chocolate chip cookie.

While I agree that it’s a joy to go to a vegan restaurant and eat anything on the menu, even more exciting to me is just knowing you can ask, “Is there a vegan menu available?” knowing that the answer is always yes, and then being able to eat ANYWHERE, basing your decision on what kind of food you feel like instead of what places offer something you could maybe eat if you were a rabbit half your current size.

Anyway.  Awesome!  (My omnivorous boyfriend is even eating a bunch of vegan food here, partially because it’s good, and also because it’s cheap.  Motives aside, the adorable little cows thank you very much.)  Actually, it’s because my boyfriend is taking some time to do schoolwork (poor thing) that I am taking a break to write once again, this time about the merits and demerits of weekday vegetarianism.  I must caution that this is a long article, but it’s an interesting topic since the whole “Meatless Monday” and “flexitarian” thing is gaining ground.

As I write more, I realize this is approaching dissertation-length, so I’ll sum up my points before the cut.

  1. Weekday vegetarianism is not inherently more eco-friendly than eating meat–that is, the mere elimination of meat and its replacement with any old thing does not necessarily consume fewer resources.  A romp with some statistics shows us how.
  2. The use of “vegetarian” to mean things other than its commonly accepted definition detracts from our ability to understand each other when we describe things or people as vegetarian.  It has nothing to do with exclusion or smugness or only wanting Certain People to be given the title of vegetarian; it just has to do with having a comprehensible debate with agreed-upon terms.
  3. If the ethical precepts of vegetarianism are given any credence by weekday vegetarians, as they seem to be in the TED talk referenced later in this post, then weekday vegetarianism becomes “I only kill things for fun on the weekends, but it just doesn’t bother me as much when I limit it to those particular days!”

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