Vegetarians can go to hell is exactly the message that TV chefs and more and more restaurants are conveying.
My husband Moth has been a veggie for 25 years. I’m not, but because we don’t have dead animal products at home, I hardly eat dead creatures at all anymore. I don’t miss it. On the rare occasions when we go out for dinner I find it useful to be omnivorous because generally the choice for vegetarians is shockingly poor. Moth thinks it’s getting worse than it was a few years ago, too.
Yesterday we were invited to join a family birthday celebration on Thursday at The Feathers in Woodstock, a hotel and restaurant with a reputation for really classy, yummy grub. We looked at the menu in advance only to discover that there was no main course for veggies in their bistro! Yeah, I suppose Moth could’ve had a quails’ eggs starter, or the inevitable goat’s cheesy thing that turns up on all menus, or some nuts to graze on. But if you go out to dine, you’d hope to have something of substance to choose from, wouldn’t you?
Hiphop and Sarah Bunny from London are strict vegetarians. Photo: Kay Woods.
Why are chefs only trained to think about cooking with dead animals? Why shouldn’t a glorious red onion tarte, nut roast, or vegetable terrine share the same status as pan-fried sea bass or roast lamb fillet? I thought chefs were supposed to have imagination and creativity but they’re missing out. As are omnivores who may well choose a delicious non-meat* dish if it was offered.
I blame the meat-bias of TV chefs. Next time you’re channel-hopping and you stumble across one of those cookery programmes (some days it’s hard not to) check out how much of what they cook is not meat. It’s a disgrace. No wonder people think vegetarians have a boring diet.
From figures published by the vegetarian society it looks as if up to 10% of people in the UK may be vegetarian. That’s a lot of hungry mouths! The catering industry should think a bit harder about these people – and their families who want to dine out with them. Although we’d like to, we won’t be dining out on Thursday.
*by meat I mean the flesh of any dead creature including birds, fish and crustacea.