LA's vegan restaurants are full of egg

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126 Responses to “LA's vegan restaurants are full of egg”

  1. Clif Marsiglio says:

    @ Frank and Abby –

    Never said I was any less self-righteous! I just said it was hard to be worst than the plain jane veggies and they were!

    I felt like (and was and still am) the biggest hypocrite when I started eating meat again…and yeah, I had to cognitively convince myself it is right. I still don’t eat much, but not I try to respect the animals I do eat. A good friend that runs a buddhist center tells me that he occasionally partakes because it allows him to be a part of the world as opposed to one only living in observation of it. Allows him to understand the circle of life and the sacrifices all organisms must make on this planet.

    But yeah, lumping self-righteous based on dietary choices? Sure. When you talk about it all the time and make it a lifestyle as opposed to just a practice. I know a lot of folks from India and Asia that are veg and don’t talk about it at all.

    Honestly, cutting consumption of meat is great for the environment, regardless of how far one goes. Vegans take a lot less of a footprint than any other humans (judging purely by food intake…and ignoring the ones that get their meals sent from overseas manufacturing as in this article) and it is to be respected. Still, I’m going to make fun of the attitudes, and they will make fun of my attitude, and someone not connected at all will make an internal comment about being superior because they are above the fray and thus the intellectual circle of life continues as well!

  2. MB says:

    @Takuan – they should call the police. Or at least consider dining somewhere else in the future.

  3. Takuan says:

    meh, another century and we’ll all be eating vat cultured bacteria biscuits. Human fretting about morality of food loses to physical reality.

  4. Daemon says:

    @daev
    That’s right! It was much better when “organic” meant “contained carbon molecules”, and “natural” just meant it didn’t possess magical powers.

  5. einheit47 says:

    @95,97

    So there are some insects who practice something that might remotely be comparable to animal husbandry or agriculture…

    However, I still think that our practice of agriculture is significantly different, in that it allows for the possibility of different choices, based entirely on what we want to do, not what we must do to survive. I’m speaking of course in regard to food acquisition- I’m not disputing that other animals do things that have no particular survival component, which is clearly the case.

  6. Kieran O'Neill says:

    Something I’ve noticed about vegan food (and especially some of the problem items they mention in the article) is the tendency to create “meat substitutes” – non-meat products textured and flavoured to look, taste and feel like meat.

    This trend in vegan food has always puzzled me, since there are plenty of healthy, balanced, completely vegan meals that can be made which have nothing to do with meat. You just have to look in places like Shojin Ryori, or Gujarati cuisine. Hell, half of South and Central America lives on not much else than rice, corn and beans.

    If you’re vegan, and really into the philosophy of it, and worried about products that might be dodgy, just avoid the meat substitutes.

  7. Palilay says:

    I’m sorry, but if you’re a “Vegan” or Vegetarian, and you feel the need to eat “meat substitutes”, you are a giant hypocrite.

  8. Anonymous says:

    @Palilay A hypocrite how? Most vegans & vegetarians abstain from eating innocent animals because it’s murder, not because it doesn’t taste good.

  9. Takuan says:

    if it was a chocolate gun?

  10. Anonymous says:

    To JeremyMarseille -

    Yes, the ethical problem with eggs could be pretty much solved if you raise your own hens. However, that is only true if they are your ONLY source of eggs, and if the cows you raise kindly are your only source of milk. Most people however, even those who care for their own livestock, will still eat products in restaurants or in packaged or baked products that contain egss or dairy, in which case they are usually factory farmed eggs and commercial dairy cows living under pretty horrendous conditions.

    But again, ethical is not the only reason people choose to go vegan. I am just as interested in it for the health concerns as well as the the environmental reasons, which Grim Beefer summed up so well. Even if I raised my own livestock, I would not eat dairy or eggs for the health reasons.

    About the original topic of the article, I think people are oversimplifying and pretending that we vegans are being ridiculous to care. There is a great deal of trust involved in eating out. You trust that the chefs will wash their hands, not sneeze in your food, discard rotten ingredients, and tell you if there are potentially dangerous allergens in what you are eating. Remember Typhoid Mary? Big problem. And I for one have heard horror stories about people dying in restaurants when a chef failed to disclose peanuts as a secret ingredient. Some people have valid health concerns. And still others ask that they be able to trust that what they are eating is as advertised. Because if you can’t trust a chef to tell you when there is egg in something, what can you trust?

    But I do agree with some others on here – personally I have no interest in meat substitutes beyond the occasional tofu stirfry. But that is just a taste preference – you are not more or less vegan because of it….

  11. Talia says:

    #23

    Uh…. WHY, exactly?

    Those meat substitutes are damn tasty, might I say, and I’m not even a vegetarian. I’d still rather eat the substitutes most times, because they are just so good.

    So, no, I don’t buy your “argument” in the least. Not that you were really arguing so much as namecalling.

  12. Brainspore says:

    @ Jonathan Badger #85:

    @Brainspore
    I wouldn’t care — why should I if no baby was harmed? That’s what I mean about rationality.

    I’m not saying fake baby meat should be illegal, I’m saying that it’s something I (and probably most other people) would find distasteful. By the same token, I can understand why someone who was horrified by the notion of eating animal flesh might find fake meat off-putting as well.

    There’s a difference between holding the same views as another person and trying to understand where they are coming from.

  13. zuzu says:

    I’m sorry, but if you’re a “Vegan” or Vegetarian, and you feel the need to eat “meat substitutes”, you are a giant hypocrite.

    Wait, it’s the taste and mouthfeel of meat that you have a moral objection to?

  14. ryuthrowsstuff says:

    @35 Coeliac has a genetic base. You have to have the (multiple) genes that cause it and even then you may or may not develop it. Eating processed foods full of gluten is NOT one of the things that can trigger it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coeliac_disease

    Anyway, back when my sister was vegan I used to throw this in her face all the time. Harpers had put a line in their index about the majority of Vegan food products containing at least one animal product. Looked into it a bit and found a number of studies and other articles (all in established magazines/newspapers/journals) to that effect. So much for citizen journalism. and as Schmod (#17) points out they sort of borked the science two. The only thing remarkable here is that they’ve finally gotten people to pay attention. Oh this first came to my attention round abouts 2002 if anyone want to do what I’m too lazy to do and find sources.

  15. paulatz says:

    I support #17, to make is simpler, the fact that a certain food contain a protein (like casein) that is always present in dairy products does not mean it is a dairy product.

    What does the “egg-presence” test really tests? For example soy lecithin is also present in egg (it is actually called lecithin, adding the “soy” in front is just marketing).

  16. MB says:

    Then you should take a bite out of crime.

  17. zuzu says:

    the fact that we aren’t separate from the food chain. We are just animals ourselves and animals are brutal to one another in their quest for existence.

    i.e. You no longer subscribe to human exceptionalism.

    That’s right! It was much better when “organic” meant “contained carbon molecules”, and “natural” just meant it didn’t possess magical powers.

    True that!

  18. JeremyMarseille says:

    Abby or any other vegan:

    May I ask you a question? What makes eggs unethical? I am a classic vegetarian and I have free range hens in my backyard. They have a great life: grain, grass, veggie clippings, etc, and they just naturally drop 7 to 10 eggs a week in their little nest. As I tell my friends, eating eggs is sort of like eating a woman’s monthly period; you are using a natural resource that would go to waste otherwise.

    Is the ethical issue factory farms? Or that roosters face mass slaughter because the egg industry only needs hens?

    Thanks.

  19. Anonymous says:

    #17

    Word. I wouldn’t say that professional journalists always do this right, either. But we’re at least trained in ethics (which were, I agree, blatantly violated in the way information was collected from that Bhodi company and in the way the writers essentially promised the company anonymity and then named them).

    Also, there’s more accountability within the profession than in amateur reporting. When professional journalists screw up the science or publish misleading/unproven claims, there are other journalists in the industry stepping up to call them on it. See: The Knight Science Journalism Tracker — http://ksjtracker.mit.edu/ — and The Health News Review — http://www.healthnewsreview.org/.

    I think this is an interesting and worthy thing to research. I agree that it might not have ever been noticed by professional journalists. But I also think it’s a great example of why citizen journalism only works if the citizen journalists take the time to learn and adhere to some basic standards of practice.

  20. Anonymous says:

    @ Clif Marsiglio: You gave up a vegetarian diet dude to lack of protein? what were you doing wrong? Carl Lewis may be able to help you.

    I loved this post, it reminds me of the vegan testing lab from Evasion

  21. paulatz says:

    I apologize for double posting, but a line from the report fell under my eye and couldn’t resist:

    Obtain highly restricted industrial food testing “kits” only available to the food manufacturing industry

    This is just conspiracy theorism; you can find half a dozen enterprises selling food kits for allergens googling 5 minutes. If you cannot by them from the pharmacy next door it is for safety reasons: not using a kit properly could cause the death of an allergic subject.

    Yet I bet having an university email address is more than sufficient qualification to buy a few. Saying they are “highly restricted” is, in my opinion, just boasting.

    All this does not mean that the “vegan” food does NOT contain ingredients of animal origin. Although I’m not fully convinced by this research, I think there is need for further investigation, by more qualified professionals, to either clear the charge or confirm it.

    Trying to make a research appear more reliable than it is, by playing the evil-corporation emotional card is not beneficial to any side.

  22. Anonymous says:

    As someone said some people chose vegan not out of ethical reason but out of medical reason and no, to reply to PAULATZ, soy lecithin is not the same as egg lecithin, it is a different protein. I will test positive for egg lechitin not for soy… Also Casein in food industry is always, as far as I know from dairy origin,and as an allergen (the protein) subject to the compulsory (in EU) mention “contains milk”. Some one with food allergy could die for this omission animal origin or not, specially if it is not a listed ingredient.

    By
    another Italian, female and physicist

  23. Brett Burton says:

    The amount of close-minded people flinging generalizations around on boing boing these days is astounding. I feel like I’m on the O’Reilly Factor message boards or something.

  24. jerkzilla says:

    I had an Italian sub at a vegan sub shop. Once. It was passable once I added 1/2 a pound of cheese and slathered in it in mayo. In my mind, Vegans are the same as Born Again Christians. Both have made lifestyle choices that work for them and both figure that if it works for them it gives them the right to be obnoxious about it to everybody who hasn’t made the same lifestyle choice as they have. See also: non-smokers who believe that one whiff of second hand smoke will give them cancer.

  25. Anonymous says:

    jeremy, I think you answered your own question..

    Also, if these meat substitute products are being made in Taiwan, it’s quite possible the workers are being treated like animals.

  26. Beanolini says:

    #21, Daemon:

    It was much better when “organic” meant “contained carbon molecules”

    It was much better when “organic” meant “pertaining to an organ” before those pesky 19th century scientists started using it for their peculiar branch of chemistry.

    (Oh, and it’s carbon atoms, not molecules, by the way).

  27. Boba Fett Diop says:

    I can’t think of any other animals that have worked out anything close to agriculture.

    Leaf Cutter Ants:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaf_cutter_ants

  28. Anonymous says:

    #48 – Well said. I think fake meat can be a nice transitional tool for people giving up meat, so making anyone feel bad about it is counterproductive (though the whole “if you like fake meat, you’re a hypocrite” thing is something I hear more often from meat-eaters).

  29. pAULbOWEN says:

    Dunno about eggs but that food certainly contains high levels of ‘looks like shit’.

    JeremyMarseille said:

    I tell my friends, eating eggs is sort of like eating a woman’s monthly period

    If that don’t convince them Jel, I guess nothing will.

  30. sirdook says:

    @Clif Marsiglio

    Do you and your Bhudist friend also occasionally rape and murder so as to properly be ‘part of the world?’ There are plenty of differences between eating meat and murdering/assualting people, but the ‘being part of the world’ excuse doesn’t track those differences. It’s just a lame way of justifying doing something you want to do even though you yourself think it’s wrong.

    You don’t have to think of yourself as separate from nature in order to exercise your powers of choice in ways that other beings are either unable or unwilling to. There’s no mysterious mysticism involved in setting standard for my own behavior that differ from the behavior I observe in others animals (including other humans).

  31. EeyoreX says:

    I guess I´ve been a Ovo-Lacto flextarian all along, then. Huh.

    Usually, I´ve been passing myself off as either a strict vegetarian, or as “just-a-regular-person-who-doesn´t-enyoy-meat”, depending of what I wanted to get out of the situation.

    Some of you kids don´t even remember this, but only a few years ago, the consumption of meat was a black-and-white issue to many people. There were only two camps that you were allowed to belong to.
    Unless you would go full PETA and cry outrage everytime you met someone in leather shoes, people just wouldn’t take you seriously when you tried to order your soup without bacon slizes in it.
    Today there is finally room for a little more diversity on the food front, and I, for one, am reveling in it.

    Tha beeing said, the entire concept of “mock-meat” DOES come with an inherent layer of hypocrisy. If the succulent flavour of a dead animal is really all that important to you, why not just go out and enyoy the real thing instead of simulating it?

    Also, am I the only one to remember Hufu?
    http://www.strangenewproducts.com/2005/09/tofu-that-tastes-like-human-flesh.html

  32. TroofSeeker says:

    @Brett B.: “…t
    he amount of close-minded people flinging generalizations around on boing boing these days is astounding…”

    Ain’t it great?! Some shmuck blurts out some obsurdity, someone yells “Dog pile!”, and it’s on!
    It’s like a museum of opinions, except you are allow to carry things home with you.
    Not much flaming here, compared to other places I’ve been.

  33. einheit47 says:

    @ Clif “Ya know, this is one of the odd things to me, most proclaimed Vegetarians and Vegans I’ve known were outspoken atheists…and the outspokenness was directly correlated to the care in their dietary intake.

    It was always at great odds that I could understand them…they subscribed directly to this philosophy you put out, but this is one that almost requires a higher power to place humans into the special category. ”

    Humans are surely natural creatures, and in that sense, not exceptional. However, our evolution has also resulted in a cognitive and technical/productive capacity which allows us the option to do things for reasons not purely related to natural necessity (i.e. survival). A cat, for example, does not have this luxury. Human “exceptionalism” has nothing to do with a higher power, but rather is rooted in the quirk of our own natural/social development.

  34. Anonymous says:

    i think the problem is that this meat substitute is made for the Buddhist ” Shojin Ryori ” diet which allows eggs and milk but not meat , garlic or onion

  35. PaulR says:

    Kieran O’Neill @ 22, et al:

    Yeah, I was wondering why the Vegans invest so much time trying to find veggie chicken. Why not just eat veggie, er, veggies?

    [Um, 'cuz they have no idea how to cook?]

    /There is lots of cuisine, from old established cultures, that don’t use animal products. Learn how to cook their recipes, vegans! Buying pre-cooked-wrapped-manufactured ‘vegan’ foodstuffs distorts your relationship with food.

    (What happened to the ‘eat local’ part of veganism?)

  36. Anonymous says:

    something always bothered me about “veggie burgers.” there’s something profoundly wrong about craving the taste and texture of murdered animals, but none of the guilt. that and faux leather and faux fur. it’s faux food.

    and i’m not speaking to those somehow allegric to meat, im talking about the ones who chose to opt out because they’re fundamentally opposed to animals treated like that, but still crave their meat in a clear conscious sort of way.

    …meanwhile those poor bastards with serious lactose intolerence have been forced to deal with “sort of” cheese, ice cream, and milk.

    cruel, cruel world.

  37. Boba Fett Diop says:

    However, I think it’s important to at least recognize how inherently violent farming is.

    This goes for cultivation of plants as well. Most farmers are ruthless when it comes to wiping out pests that might otherwise consume or damage crops. Everything from weevils to gophers. I’m not trying to call anyone a hypocrite, just pointing out that there is no aspect of our existence that does not involve the suffering of other living things.

  38. Raines Cohen says:

    @Pantograph, would “Vacationing Vegan” be an acceptable term, along the lines of “Lipstick Lesbian”?

  39. Jonathan Badger says:

    This whole idea of “mock meat” being supposedly hypocritical reminds me of Margret Atwood’s technophobic “Oryx and Crake”, where Atwood clearly thought the idea of cultured chicken meat (without a brain or anything to suffer) was somehow horribly awful, when any rational human being would see it as removing the ethical objection to meat.

  40. mdh says:

    when any rational human being would see it as removing the ethical objection to meat.

    ANY rational human?

  41. Anonymous says:

    Ha, Scott Pilgrim’s Vegan Police coming true.

  42. worldmatt says:

    Citizen journalism’s great and all, but a professional journalist would’ve done the same story in 1,200 words—and 1,200 readable words, too. (Okay, maybe 1,500 words.)

  43. Krisjohn says:

    @14 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flexitarianism

    And I’m becoming one too. ^_^

  44. Anonymous says:

    Many of these products are made with Whey too, and I find they’re still labelled as “Vegan”.

  45. Mister Moofoo says:

    @jerkzilla, clif:
    Hmmm. I eat meat, I’m an atheist, and although I don’t smoke, I have no objection to smoking. What’s the connection supposed to be between atheists and vegans? Or was that just a correlation in your experience?

    I really don’t understand the whole vegetarian/vegan/organic/natural thing. Or things.

    Yeah, I know what they are, I just don’t understand the reasoning no matter how often I hear it.

    I like meat. I like eggs (in fact, the whole objection to eggs seems really wacky: an unfertilized egg will never hatch, ever). I continue to point out that “organic” is a woeful misuse of the term (bag of corn chips A is just as organic as bag of corn chips B, no matter what marketing terms you use. They’re both made from corn, which, last I checked, is a living thing, and hence, organic), where something like “pesticide-free” is more honest and less snooty. And everything that exists, by the very fact of its existence, is natural. I’ve never seen one thing which existed outside of nature. I’ve never been there myself.

  46. Takuan says:

    yeah, often run into a dead end with that and vegans. After all the excellent arguments against eating animals are made and heard, they just stop when cultured meat is mentioned. They have nothing but “ickky”.

  47. Anonymous says:

    #28 – it’s because eggs are an animal PRODUCT. There’s also the chance that they’re fertilised. But mainly because they come from an animal, regardless than the animal didn’t die to produce it. Same principle applies to honey, no bees died to make it but vegans will not eat it (or wear wool).

  48. Takuan says:

    as to the “inherent violence” of farming. I defy anyone to try scratching a living out of raw land and last one winter without deciding a little violence in the face of good old Mother Nature isn’t a good idea after all. Even nomadic hunter gatherers who grew a few tubers didn’t hesitate to burn whole savannas.

  49. Palilay says:

    @24,

    Um, gee, let’s see. Maybe because most vegetarians and vegans choose to lead that lifestyle because they either a) abhorr the idea of eating animals or b) for health reasons.

    “Mock meat” is not healthy, and it’s basically designed to simulate eating meat. If a vegan/vegetarian has to simulate eating meat, then imho they could rightly be called a hypocrite. Eat meat, or eat vegetables. Don’t eat a hybridised frankenfood that is a steady road to obesity or coeliac disease.

    Also, see @31

  50. Clif Marsiglio says:

    @einheit47

    “evolution has also resulted in a cognitive and technical/productive capacity which allows us the option to do things for reasons not purely related to natural necessity”

    You mean, we evolved into a way that is most productive to our survival? You don’t say!

    Our cognitive abilities allowed us to develop in a way that our physical nature didn’t allow. At the same time, most mammals possess a good deal of the same traits we do, in varying numbers and strengths, based on what their needs were to survive.

    Most mammals, contrary to your statement, have luxuries in their lives that have little to do with pure survival…or at least as the primary result. Play is an activity almost all mammals have. Play teaches us the lessons and skills for future obstacles and how to route around them. This works the same for animals. Mating rituals are often bizarre and take the form of tests of skill to prove the most qualified. Humans and other mammals have similar rituals.

    Almost nothing a human does is truly only out of pure enjoyment…it is there to propagate the species…just as mammals show similar cognitive functions, basic emotions, and even long term planning.

    In a lot of ways, we are far less efficient than the average animal because of our ‘advantages’.

    Our exceptionalism is that of us thinking we are better than the animal world, when we aren’t…the longer I study humanity (I am a graduate researcher in psych), the less I feel we should be in the habit of judging ourselves as anything more than just another animal that has evolved to the point we need what we have to reproduce inefficiently…

  51. Obviously says:

    I’d never become a vegetarian or vegan myself but man some of you people are being insensitive pricks. There are lifestyle choices other than your own, imagine that.

    Not only is a business being called on its BS which is part of the function of journalism at its purest, a good thing whether you agree with veganism or not, but you’re also discounting the people who have vegan diets for medical reasons and thus this food could be harmful to them.

  52. Anonymous says:

    They have a great life: grain, grass, veggie clippings, etc, and they just naturally drop 7 to 10 eggs a week in their little nest. As I tell my friends, eating eggs is sort of like eating a woman’s monthly period; you are using a natural resource that would go to waste otherwise.

    Whoa. And I bet the flock to your dinner parties!

  53. dsac86 says:

    #33,
    as people already mentioned, one of the problems is that the male chicks are killed at birth because they are of no value to a farmer.

    But another problem is simply that you are deciding what is best for these animals, when it may very well not be in their best interest. Chickens (or cows, or other animals) might not want to be in the very small confined area that you provide them. They might want – like most BoingBoing readers – freedom, the ability to make their own decisions and live a life free of interference by us.

    #76
    Just because you like meat and eggs is not a justification, because there are lots of things that people like that are harmful to themselves, to others, and to the planet. And the objection to eggs thing isn’t so much because of fertilization, it’s because of the confinement of chickens, treating them as our property, and most notably the absolutely horrendous treatment they receive in factory farms.

  54. Brainspore says:

    @ Jonathan Badger #75:

    I’m not a vegetarian, but I can see how “mock meat” could offend the sensibilities of someone who thinks all animal life deserves reverence and protection.

    Think of it this way: how would you feel if someone offered you a dish purported to taste just like a human baby?

  55. Takuan says:

    Irish?

  56. Clif Marsiglio says:

    @Zuzu

    “i.e. You no longer subscribe to human exceptionalism.”

    Ya know, this is one of the odd things to me, most proclaimed Vegetarians and Vegans I’ve known were outspoken atheists…and the outspokenness was directly correlated to the care in their dietary intake.

    It was always at great odds that I could understand them…they subscribed directly to this philosophy you put out, but this is one that almost requires a higher power to place humans into the special category.

    It is almost as hypocritical as the notion some religious / political groups have that one must love and respect the wishes of their god, yet, also demand with the same veracity the right to own weapons that go directly against the same teachings. I can accept one belief or the other, but not both at the same time.

    Just an observation, nothing more…as I’ve noted, I’m a hypocrite about this and many other things…I’ve made peace with my cognitive dissonance years ago!

  57. Patrick Austin says:

    @#28/JeremyMarseille

    If you don’t want animals to die for your food, you can’t eat eggs unless you raise chickens yourself, from eggs.

    What do you think happens to all the male chicks at the farm? You think the farmer with a hundred thousand chickens in a barn wants to pay to feed non-producing chickens? What do you think happens to the chickens when they stop producing eggs at a zippy fast rate?

    I bet a lot more chickens die as a result of egg production than cows die as a result of beef production.

    I’m not a vegan/vegetarian, nor do I feel too much sympathy for an animal as loathsome as a chicken. However, I think it’s important to at least recognize how inherently violent farming is.

  58. Ocker3 says:

    There’s also Fishetarian, a Vegetarian who also eats fish (like myself).

    As to the world being full of veggo food that looks like meat, it makes it easier to have interesting meals with different variations. I cannot tell you how much I hate getting roasted vegetables when I order a ‘veggie burger’, when what I want is sliced tomato, lettuce, beetroot, cheese, mayo, sweet chili sauce, with a pattie made of vegetable stuff, on a bun. Hot dog bun with a veggie hot dog, tomato sauce, mayo, and chopped tomato? Love it!

    There’s even a veggie-roast thing you can get here in Australia that’s interesting. Not genius, but interesting. I do miss Big Franks though. They’re jumbo-sized veggie hot dogs made by Worthington foods, and are Delicious!

    One day I’ll write a veggie-burger lover’s guide to the world and make my fortune.

  59. geobarefoot says:

    Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

  60. milovoo says:

    It is interesting how some people are obsessed with trying to ‘re-educate’ vegetarians. They just have this big chip on their shoulder when the topic comes up, even in innocuous circumstances. I avoid mentioning it in mixed company because there is often some bore who wants to list all the bumper stickers slogans and then try to find all the loopholes in your personal eating choice. Fortunately it seems that most people agree on how tiresome these people are and the topic changes quickly.

    Personally I don’t eat meat. I don’t like how the animals are treated during their lifetime and I don’t think any animal should have to die when I can just as easily eat something else. I am as fallible as anyone else and have probably had things with some meat product, but I am doing the best I can and I feel that is a worthwhile effort.

    Fake meat is tasty, and for the most part no critter was killed. I see no hypocrisy – I don’t even see how someone else sees a hypocrisy. It’s just a form of food that is convenient and enjoyable to me.

  61. Takuan says:

    we have the tech to be citizen-journalists. How about the tech to be citizen-lab technicians? Perhaps a bio-hacker created home test for the presence of say, animal protein?

  62. nnguyen says:

    This is borderline trolling, but the discussion reminded me of this photo.

  63. Takuan says:

    (,meanwhile, back in Thailand, a factory supervisor in stained white coat is looking quizzically at an angry export agent and saying “Oh, it’s OK! For them I make lamb!”

  64. Purly says:

    I ate at a ‘vegan’ restaurant in Montreal once, and I remember thinking that the fake meat didn’t taste fake at all.

  65. Mister Moofoo says:

    @DSAC86: My statement that I like meat and eggs was not intended as a justification, but a statement of my position: That I am not a vegetarian, vegan, etc. I could have said, “I am a meat-eater.” But to follow that with “egg-eater” would sound really silly.

    My justification, if I need one, is that, as with being an atheist, and so many other positions I take that have some (arguable) moral component to them, I don’t ascribe morality to animals. I barely ascribe it to people. But since people are the only animals that talk (in words) about morality, I assume that they have it. I have no direct experience with the morality of non-humans, so assigning moral sense to them seems a bit of a stretch.
    I don’t find killing non-humans to be immoral, and am even open to the possibility that killing humans might not always be immoral either.
    Death is very much a part of life.

  66. Mister Moofoo says:

    Wow. I changed horses in mid-sentence.
    My justification was going to be that I don’t let other people tell me what my morals should be. That’s the umbrella one in “as with being an atheist…”
    The animals thing was for the meat thing.

    I got in a hurry and stopped paying attention to what I was saying.

  67. areich says:

    1st, thanks to Boing Boing and Cory for posting this! The best news in LA comes from someone living in London. Go figure.

    The core argument for veganism (and sub-sets like macrobiotics) is about getting more energy from your food w/out involving death (i.e. murder). Granted that lettuce is alive and carrying on cellular respiration and photosynthesis right up until the moment the stomach acids take it apart. Even active yeast is a type of ‘mushroom’ that eats sugar and ‘secretes’ CO2. I originally became a vegetarian to not eat anything w/a face, my running joke is that I wouldn’t want to accidentally eat a relative.

    Vegan Express is pretty good but also has french fries and sugary foods. I was once taken to a Chinese ‘vegan’ place in SoCal w/100s of items including exotics like fish eyeballs and intestines, etc. (made from wheat). About as appetizing as eating a chicken‘s period if you ask me. :)

  68. Jonathan Badger says:

    @Brainspore
    I wouldn’t care — why should I if no baby was harmed? That’s what I mean about rationality. On the other hand, there are people who want to criminalize Japanese comics with drawings of nude children in them despite any rational person understanding that the drawing is *fictional*.

  69. Takuan says:

    “re-educate vegetarians”? Ja! Ze vill learn in ze camps!

  70. EeyoreX says:

    @takuan:
    Actually, I think “ickky” is as good a reason as any not to eat meat. Granted, it does not make for a very good argument when you want to convince somebody else not to eat meat.

    @Jonathan Badger:
    One other reason why “mock-meat” might be considered hypocritical is because it obviusly uses a lot more of our resources to process a bunch of soy beans into looking and tasting like beef, than it would to just cook and eat the beans allready. So those who are vegans out of concern for the environment might actually wanna replace the mock meat with the real deal.

    I think the bottom line for me is that mock-meat is not a necessity, not to anyone, anywhere. It is an indulgence, plain and simple. Wich it why it becomes downright hilarious when people write about the stuff as if it actually matters.

  71. McChud says:

    One other reason why “mock-meat” might be considered hypocritical is because it obviusly uses a lot more of our resources to process a bunch of soy beans into looking and tasting like beef, than it would to just cook and eat the beans allready. So those who are vegans out of concern for the environment might actually wanna replace the mock meat with the real deal.

    It OBVIOUSLY does not use a lot more of our resources to make a Boca Burger than a beef burger. Animals raised for food consume about 80% of all the soy, corn and grain crops grown. Livestock production is one largest contributors to climate change, through the clearing of forests for grazing land, the transport of cattle, the amount of water livestock raising requires, etc… But don’t take my word for it, the UN Food & Agriculture Organization is the one that state livestock production is an environmental hazard.
    Replace it with the real deal…are you serious?? Yes, it would be more efficient to just cook and eat the beans. It’s also more efficient to not eat the meat.

    Also, I would eat cultured meat, for the record.

  72. ravenword says:

    As someone who is allergic to shellfish, I find this disturbing. I usually consider vegetarian/vegan dishes to be “safe” because I assume that a certain amount of care will be taken to make sure that no animal products (including the ones that could kill me) get into the food. I’m already rather picky about restaurants (no Thai for me, as many dishes contain shrimp paste) so this is just giving me new fodder for panic.

  73. Takuan says:

    when direct neural stimulation is refined to the point that any taste and flavor can be virtually experienced – some will still be scowling from the sidelines.

  74. Marcelo says:

    Some random observations about the vegan community from someone marrying a vegan and who lives in LA and is familiar with many of the vegan restaurants in the study (and might have had the author over at his house once, I don’t remember):

    1) The vegan community is divided into cliques and small groups just like every other community. There is a whole group of friendly positive-reinforcement vegans who don’t get in people’s faces and just try to lead by example and live their lives the best they can, support the causes they want to support, etc. There are the hard and fast in your face vegans that the stereotype seems to apply to that really take the “activist” part of the lifestyle seriously. And there are people in the middle. There are vegans who won’t eat at restaurants at all, there are vegans who don’t eat mock meat (like my fiancee), there are as many types of vegans as there are gamers. Let’s not lump them all together.

    2) That having been said, I have found that the amount of needling, questioning of beliefs, and debate that vegans have to deal with on account of nonvegans who want to question them is FAR greater than the amount of scrutiny nonvegans have to deal with in the company of vegans. More than religion, politics, movie taste, or any other subject, what people choose to eat is probably the single most intensely personal subject you can talk about, at least it seems that way considering how much random unmotivated defensiveness vegans have to deal with. It gets so bad that a lot of vegans I know refuse to label their own food that they bring to potlucks vegan, or to say they’re vegan to strangers because they know they’ll get shit about it. Living with a vegan really opens your eyes about who the touchy people in your life are regarding food.

    3) A lot of those Thai vegan places are commonly known not to be vegan at all and many vegans stay away anyway. The only real surprise on that study is Pure Luck, who I imagine are just as surprised and will quickly figure out where in the chain this stuff is coming in. I was also surprised to find that Vegan Express was okay, I always thought it wasn’t 100%.

  75. libelle says:

    I’m not interested in raining on anyone’s parade or challenging their beliefs / mores / choices.

    But among my many activities, I do work in an “organic” (e.g., no chemical fertilizers, pesticides, etc) garden.

    Gardening involves massive, orchestrated murder. I have to kill thousands of aphids with my bare hands. Oh, I could spray soap or neem, but that’d kill or drive away the ladybugs and bees and other beneficials as well. I have to squash snails. I have to crush catydids. I have to net off the tree to prevent the squirrels and birds from eating the fruit — which also prevents nesting and benevolent hunting of bugs. So I end up doing a lot of the bug hunting part myself.

    The friendly neighborhood cat who wanders through happily murders mice and other small rodents, and I thank him.

    Also, the end result is the uprooting of healthy, living plants and devouring them, or depriving them of their reproductive organs, or stripping them of their leaves, or …

    Unfortunate as we may find it, to live is to kill.

    (and this leaves out the whole world of micro-organisms, bacteria, fungi, and more)

  76. mdh says:

    dsac86 – “Just because you like meat and eggs is not a justification, because there are lots of things that people like that are harmful to themselves, to others, and to the planet.”

    When you argue harm “to others, and to the planet”, you have a point. But you lost me at “harmful to themselves”.

    Harming myself is my right, as is my telling you to take your self-righteousness about that fact and stuff it somewhere private.

  77. Anonymous says:

    It’s not too big a deal that the food had traces most mock meat does but you have to check on line with the manufacture (even if its certified Vegan) to see if it has small about or traces, but this is miss labeled food of two of the most common food allergies Egg and Dairy!

  78. phuc_head says:

    LOL, ok thank you for that… made my day. The fact that “vegans” ever think that they could become “vegan” has always been absurd to me. the only way you could never eat anything that was a living animal is to eat stuff that has been irradiated, and if you irradiate something you kill the small animals that are on the food, and that stuff we most likely still be ON the food. Even picking up sticks and twigs and trying to produce enough nutrition from that, is killing animals that would be decaying the fallen piece you are trying to consume. So vegetarianism, i don’t understand but i DO see, vegans are just jokes, plan and simple. Also, it is an unattainable goal, as well as just mostly unhealthy to those practicing. I try and live by Michael Pollan’s words “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” and i stress the mostly part of that last statement. Also, i throw in as local and organic as possible, but i have seen a lot of reports about, if you are not growing it all yourself then it can turn out to be an ecological wash.
    -t

  79. jenjen says:

    I eat meat, but I feel bad about it. I eat it a lot less than I used to, but sometimes damn, I just want some bacon, you know? Which is why I personally CAN NOT WAIT for cultured meat to become an economically viable alternative. Not just because it’s meat without having to kill an animal but because of the potential to make really cool new products never seen in nature. Like foot-wide abalone salmon sheet bacon that makes its own Lipitor. Come on people, let’s get that inventive spirit flowing.

  80. Grim Beefer says:

    Calling a vegan/vegetarian a hypocrite for eating fake meat makes about as much sense as calling a violent video game player a hypocrite for not going out and actually murdering people. A vegan diet means you don’t eat animal products. That’s it. If you want to argue about the virtues of processed food, fine, but don’t tie it to some made-up bullshit code of honor I supposedly agreed to just because I don’t consume animal products.

    Despite the fact that vegan/vegetarianism is often contained in arguments of health and personal ethics, these aren’t the only factors to consider. In this age of energy crises, it makes a lot of sense to talk about alternative methods of power than fossil fuels, cutting energy consumption, going green, etc.. I find it baffling, then, that despite the fact that a 2006 United Nations initiative concluded that “the livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.”, people still see it beneficial to raise animals for food. A whopping 18% of TOTAL carbon dioxide greenhouse gas emissions come from animal agriculture. For comparison’s sake, all transportation combined only equals 13.5% Think about that…For all of the hoopla and ink spilled on “clean” cars it’s a far less serious issue than eating hamburgers, despite the fact that we’ve already “engineered” a way to greatly reduce that 18% (HINT: it starts with a “V”). Furthermore, consider that half of our freshwater, 90% of our soy, 80% of our corn, and 70% of our grains are all wasted annually so people can “have it their way”. While it’s certainly true that a massive vegetarian diet wouldn’t be a total fix for all of these problems, there is little doubt that raising fruits, grains, and vegetables is many times more efficient than raising an equal amount of energy in meat, and requires far fewer natural resources.

    This is without even getting into the ethical concerns of eating something that doesn’t want to die. I’m not trying to get all metaphysical, as I understand that we must consume living things to survive. You’re not going to convince me, however, that the hypothetical tragedy of carrots is somehow equatable with that of pigs or cows. One guy on here was even bringing up microscopic bacteria. Give me a break.

    I also find it telling that in comment sections like these, it’s usually the vegans/vegetarians that are defending why they choose not to eat meat. It can go both ways. I would strongly contend that not only is eating meat not mandatory for survival in the modern world, it’s also one our biggest catastrophes. For a change, why don’t you omnivores defend the reasons why you find it necessary, despite all of the inherent waste, to eat butchered animals?

  81. TroofSeeker says:

    It seems logical to me that somewhere in the future we’ll be cultivating undersea crops. With the leaps in genetic manipulations lately, maybe we’ll come up with tasty, protein-rich stuff that grows fast without a lot of fuss (expense) that we can all enjoy without conscience issues.

  82. Mister Moofoo says:

    Milovoo: I don’t want to “re-educate” vegetarians, but I don’t want them trying to “re-educate” me, either. I respect their choice, even if I don’t get it. I’m not a meat evangelist, but I’ve had a lot of vegetarians try to convert me. It’s irritating whoever it comes from. I don’t try to convert theists to non-belief, either, but I’m often called on to defend my position.

    If you weren’t talking about me, specifically, then never mind.

    And the resource-management issue makes a better argument , to me, than the don’t-hurt-the-animals one. I’d like to see some numbers on how much of the world’s food supply is consumed by
    America, compared to how much is repaid, somehow.

  83. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Back in the 60s or 70s, there was a place in LA that made these famous chocolate milk shakes that were incredibly rich and creamy and delicious but only had like ten calories. The glitterati flocked there to enjoy guilt-free pleasure. Until somebody started putting on weight and took one to a lab for testing. Of course, it was just a normal 1,500 calorie milk shake. People in Tinseltown want to believe.

  84. TroofSeeker says:

    Deep in our core, Man wants to be Big Macho Hunter. Big Macho eats first off his kill, and he loves having the meat juice smeared on his beard.
    Being omnivores, we can eat plants, roots and grubs too, but eating bushes means you’re a lousy hunter. I think that’s why it has always been so hard to get us boys to eat our vegetables.

  85. Anonymous says:

    Milov and Moof – the Brothers Oo =)

  86. 13tales says:

    “My God… it’s full of eggs!”

  87. h3llc4t says:

    Ocker3, it’s called pescetarianism.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pescetarianism
    It’s also not a form of vegetarianism, as fish is an animal and eating its flesh constitutes eating meat.

  88. Ian_McLoud says:

    “Hey, I’ll tell you what, chubbs, if that yogurt has fat in it, I will put myself on an all-yogurt diet for a week.”

    “Well, let’s start the insanity.”

    “Mmmmmm…. giddyup!”

  89. ron says:

    “Hey, I’ll tell you what, chubbs, if that yogurt has fat in it, I will put myself on an all-yogurt diet for a week.”

    “Well, let’s start the insanity.”

    “Mmmmmm…. giddyup!”

  90. Talia says:

    Hmm, should I foward this article to a devoutly vegan friend of mine or not. Tough call.

  91. Yehuda Berlinger says:

    I would suggest checking for kosher, but kosher isn’t perfect for helping check for vegetarian-ess. “Kosher dairy” might still have milk, eggs, and fish. “Kosher parve” might still have eggs and fish.

    In the UK they have inspected labels for vegetarian and vegan on products. I assume these are pretty reliable.

  92. Anonymous says:

    I’ve never seen less healthy-looking people than the customers and employees of a health food store.

    Also, it seems that vegans don’t really care about their sodium intake. Vegan food is the saltiest food on earth.

  93. moose_hp says:

    @11

    Kitten taste awesome. Kitten ribs are the best.

    Well, I still think it was kitten that time, pretty hard to tell exactly in China.

  94. Talia says:

    To summarize 60% of the thread posts:

    “These people don’t eat the way I think they should eat. That’s because they are stupid and wrong!”

    (and do note that’s the non-vegans lambasting the vegans, rather than the other way round, you who’d cite the example of the overly activist vegan you knew briefly in college years ago).

  95. wilberfan says:

    I’ve been calling this amazing “amateur” journalism–but I like your “citizen journalism” better. Seriously impressive.

  96. gollux says:

    And all us Ovo-Lacto Vegetarians have a problem with this, how?

  97. milovoo says:

    Mister Moofoo: I don’t want to “re-educate” vegetarians, but I don’t want them trying to “re-educate” me, either. I respect their choice, even if I don’t get it.

    I wasn’t specifically talking about you, there are people on both sides of the issue who just go on and on and on (like Christianity, Palestine, abortion and several other things) because they feel attacked when the issue is even mentioned. There are people who just start off thinking you are the same as every other vegetarian they have met. It’s best to get to know someone before deciding if they are worthy of derision. Personally, I find I am often surprised how reasonable most people are.

  98. Anonymous says:

    Oh ~~no~~. The Horror of eating traces of egg.

  99. Bill Albertson says:

    Results like this are the reason why I never eat out anymore. I have gluten and casein intolerance, and I experience days if not weeks of terrible pain and discomfort if I have an exposure. Unfortunately, most places, even ones who think they are “doing it right”, often aren’t or just don’t care- as far as they are concerned, if you didn’t keel over at the table, everything must be fine.

  100. Moriarty says:

    I understand not eating meat for ethical reasons, or environmental reasons, or health reasons (although this as a basis for strict adherence is not really justifiable), but I don’t get the “can’t eat what’s prepared in the same dishes” stuff. I mean, I guess if it’s a religion, that’s the end of all discussion. But if not? Over the history of the planet, the atoms in that celery you’re eating have been part of probably millions of different animals. The “must not be tainted, eliminate all trace” thing seems like kind of a lost cause, no?

  101. Anonymous says:

    “Big Macho Hunter”? It is precisely this type of mentality that has caused this problem in the 1st place. Like an earlier poster said, this is about evolution. I mean, I was born breach but I don’t exit buildings via the window. ;)

    Keep the Citizen Journalism going – more vegan coverage!!!

  102. Anonymous says:

    Why the heck wasn’t gelatin part of the test?

    (How ironical is it that the Captcha test for this was “koshered Data”?!)

  103. Clif Marsiglio says:

    “And all us Ovo-Lacto Vegetarians have a problem with this, how?”

    I don’t think they are…honestly, when I was a veg, the vegans were the most obnoxious bunch…which was pretty hard considering *WE* were smarmier and more self-righteous than any group other than them! I gave up the practice when my life was endangered due to lack of protein and the fact that we aren’t separate from the food chain. We are just animals ourselves and animals are brutal to one another in their quest for existence.

  104. toxonix says:

    It’s really funny when vegetarians or vegans eat meat and cheese substitutes and then have horrible bowel problems. That crap is all crap. Maybe less scary than the meat industry, but still crap.

  105. Anonymous says:

    ^ Many animals (including closely related primates) can survive just fine on a vegetarian diet.

    Protein deficiency is quite rare in any developed country. Furthermore, many of the best sources of protein (hemp seed being a prime example) are vegetarian.

    One can have an unhealthy vegetarian diet just as one can have a healthy diet that includes animal products.

  106. goldmineguttd says:

    It’s important to have accurate ingredient labels on products.

    I think veganism is noble, but kind of irrational. But if I finished a meal and the host said “by the way, you just ate KITTEN” I would be pretty upset. I can see why they would want to know what they’re eating.

  107. Anonymous says:

    I think are animals are more important than a little salt intake and I have seen very healthy looking people in the health food store I go to. for the person who said he was in danger from lack of protein, ever try peanuts or mixed nuts?

  108. Talia says:

    Heh yeah, eating fish instantly disqualifies you from any sort of “vegetarian” claim. Sorry..

    #35.

    oh, I see. so Opting to not eat meat means you have to dislike the TASTE of meat, not just the practice of eating it?

    Making that judgement call isn’t right. It’s not up to you to determine whether a person’s decision to not eat meat is “right” or “wrong.” There’s nothing even REMOTELY hypocritical about liking the flavor but choosing not to eat meat for ethical reasons. Not that meat “substitutes” even taste like meat or resemble it in just about any way in most cases anyway. It’s just a way to replace the more “substantive” part of a dish or a meal with something that doesn’t involve the death of animals. Seems reasonable to me, yes?

    #28 the one vegan I do know has found pretty much every brand of free range chicken just outright kills the hens when they get too old to produce. She recently found an acquaintence of hers who raises hens as a hobby and doesn’t kill them and has started getting/eating those eggs, tho.

  109. Frank W says:

    @ Clif Marsiglio: That’s a great way to give up vegetarianism without a dent in your moral righteousness. I’m impressed.

  110. twiggy_trippit says:

    Vegan here. It’s a personal decision I made two years ago because I felt consuming animal products went against my values in most cases. I find the three gems of Taoism sum it up pretty well:

    - compassion: I make an effort to avoid needless suffering;
    - moderation: I make an effort to use less;
    - humility: my species is not necessarily more valuable than other species, and I should refrain from treating other species poorly when it’s not necessary – typically with the excuse of “it’s not us so it’s OK”.

    There are limits and exceptions to my veganism, but they don’t apply when I’m in Montreal (and in many other places), given the amount of choice I have in what I can eat here.

    I make a point not to proselytize (although I poke the occasional fun at people who drink cow juice and eat chicken periods), but there are people – non-vegans and non-vegetarians – who go out of their way to nitpick at whatever inconsistencies there might be in my choices – these people piss me off. Especially when they’re people who don’t give a damn about making the world a better place.

    This being said, meat is tasty. And beating up people I hate is also very satisfying. But I think both are wrong, so I won’t do it.

    As a side note, if we ever meet a sentient, alien species, I hope that they will be a species that treats other species better than we do. Otherwise, we’re in deep doo-doo – we would be, after all, a different (possibly less intelligent) species than them.

  111. daev says:

    Not a vegan, but if someone is advertising as such when they’re not they should be called on it.

    Hell, I can’t even trust the vast majority of food producers using “natural” or “organic” on the label because the definitions have been perverted by legislation into something that allows unnatural ingredients to be labelled as such. Yup. High fructose corn syrup is “natural”. Squeezed it fresh outta the corn this morning. Mmmmmm… tasty!

    Buyer beware, and good on those that make the effort to expose those that have no qualms about lying to their customers to make a buck.

  112. Pantograph says:

    Is there a name for relaxed individuals who don’t mind the odd egg or porkchop in a mostly vegan diet?

    Because I think I’m turning into one of those.

  113. Brett Burton says:

    @all the posters who think eating mock meat is hypocritical.

    There are only so many textures that food can come in. And most vegetarians/vegans started out life eating meat and then made a choice to stop. It’s natural (and instinctual) to eat things that are familiar to you. Our brains are programmed to reject unfamiliar tastes and textures to prevent us from poisoning ourselves. That’s why you aqcuire a taste for some things. That’s why many westerners don’t want chunks of stuff in their drinks or gag at gelatinous Chinese mushrooms or Japanese blowfish.

    Just because your meat politics / ethics are against killing things doesn’t mean you should give up what you are accustomed to. Sure, fake meat is unnatural, sure, it’s cheating. But what’s natural? How many meat eaters hunt their own food? You’re eating factory farmed, steroid-fed, processed packaged meat and I’m eating processed, packaged fake meat, so get off my back.

  114. Anonymous says:

    From the comments above, it seems that people are unaware that there are folks that are dietary vegan for medical reasons. It’s like buying something labeled peanut-free when you have a peanut allergy. The package must be correct, or people can become ill or die.

  115. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t it shocking to anyone but me that nature-oriented and, I suppose, Eco-concerned people as vegans don’t mind if their meatless chicken travels thousands of miles to reach their plates? It’s much easier to read the labels from locally grown fruit, veggies, and cereal…

  116. NickTheDick says:

    Oh the humanity.

    If you’re that fastidious about your food intake, prepare it yourself. I’m not a big fan of rat feces but I live with the fact that food I buy from my local grocer may contain a bit of it. It won’t hurt you.

  117. Abby says:

    As a vegan, I have to be very careful of where I ate and what foods I bought. You learn to read labels. I have never found a reliably vegan “cheese” type product, but why would I want cheese or replacement meat products as a vegan? It’s breads and pastas that are in the grey area when it comes to restaurants. There is only one restaurant in Atlanta I trust to serve me anything on the menu that they label as vegan.

    On vacation, a family member cooked something for me with chicken stock. I was pretty upset when I found out, and uncomfortable later on in the evening. I was yelled at for refusing to eat what he cooked while I was still there, because he refused to use vegetable broth (which he’d have to buy rather than make, as in the chicken stock).

    I would be upset if there was an unlabeled meat-derived product in something that was presented to me as vegan or vegetarian. Just as if I had a wheat allergy, and I bought a gluten-free product that turned out to have wheat gluten in it.

    @ Clif Marsiglio:
    By the way, that’s a fairly self-righteous attitude as well. If you want to lump all of us in together based on our diet choices, then yeah, most vegans are fanatics. Not all of us.
    I’m a bit of a hypocrite (I wear leather shoes and wool clothing), so I’m not trying to point any fingers.

  118. Anonymous says:

    want to educate your self on the restaurant biz. go to youtube. watch kitchen nightmares (uk version). all the swearing is left in (no bleeping) my only question is where are the health inspectors ?. they are either blind or crooked. some of these places havent been cleaned in years. thanks chef ramsay i wont eat in restaurants ever again.

  119. Anonymous says:

    @ #22
    Gujaratis typically eat dairy – not vegan.

    Latin American people that eat almost all rice and beans and corn do so out of poverty, and those that do almost always use small amounts of animal flesh and fat to flavor their food even if they can’t afford cuts of meat.

  120. schmod says:

    I would *severely* question the scientific credentials of the reporters, as their experiment appears to have been designed and conducted rather poorly. For starters, are there any legitimately vegan ingredients that could register a false-positive on these tests?

    What is the effectiveness of the testing kits that they used? Why were they afraid to disclose the manufacturer of said kits?

    They also don’t do a terribly good job of defining what a “HIGH” reading actually correlates to. In fact, their control group test determined that any meal actually containing casein or shellfish would register an “OVERLOAD” result, instead of the “HIGH” result that they somehow concluded was a positive indicator of a non-vegan ingredient. Only one item in the experimental group actually produced an “OVERLOAD” result — no concrete baseline for the “HIGH” result was ever established.

    The egg test appears even more suspect, as the meal that was KNOWN TO CONTAIN EGGS delivered an ambiguous result.

    I’d consider the results of this survey to be highly suspect, and wouldn’t give them much credit. I feel bad for the restaurants who might have had their reputations wrongfully tarnished by an irresponsible piece of “citizen journalism”

    It also wasn’t fair of them to specifically mention Bodhi by name, especially given that the representatives from the company were truthful, helpful, and asked not to be identified. Given the false and dishonest pretenses under which the “citizen journalists” acquired their information, Bodhi could very easily sue for libel.

  121. sf says:

    They only sure way to maintain a vegan diet is to grow and prepare your own food otherwise it just a lifestyle choice where the enjoyment from food is largely based on thinking the rest of the planet is busting a gut trying to cater for veganism demands.

  122. Takuan says:

    what if a vegan knowingly eats what they believe to be meat, but is actually mock-meat? At gunpoint?

  123. einheit47 says:

    @ Clif: “At the same time, most mammals possess a good deal of the same traits we do, in varying numbers and strengths, based on what their needs were to survive.”

    I can’t think of any other animals that have worked out anything close to agriculture.

    We CAN survive on a non-animal-based diet if we choose. However, this is a choice whose possibility eludes animals for whom meat-eating is required (obligate carnivores, like cats) and for omnivores who do not have a relatively controlled and diverse food source (say, humans before agriculture, and bears).

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I can’t think of any other animals that have worked out anything close to agriculture.

      There are ants who ‘farm’ aphids and milk them for honeydew, so some animals practice animal husbandry.

  124. Cicada says:

    @11- Goldmine- Would you be upset because of the dead kitten, or upset because you might discover that you consider kitten to be a wonderfully delicious thing to eat?

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