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Friday, March 11, 2011

Requesting Vegan

I have been going to A LOT of conferences, meetings and what-have-yous these past few months, and it has been increasingly hard to maintain my "humane living."

It's not that there are not enough vegetarian options -- requesting vegetarian is easy. When I was a kid, I certainly not alone in my vegetarianism, but it was not the norm. There were not the options that there are today, but I got by just fine. As I recall, there was just the lone Boca Burger, without its comrade of fake-meats standing beside it in the frozen Organic food section, or other fake meats in the refrigerated tofu section wedged in the produce aisle.

And my mom always made a vegetarian option for me at dinner. (I am not sure she knows how grateful and thankful I am for that, so thanks mom!). If she was making meat lasagna, she would make a pan without the meat. And there were always plenty of delicious sides that would have filled up my tummy, but she always went the extra mile to make sure I had a main portion.

Anyways, today it is even easier to be a vegetarian. There is always at least one vegetarian option at restaurants, and meat-free sandwiches at conferences (usually not enough, but always some).

Essentially, being vegetarian is now part of the norm. People are used it. In fact, three percent or 6-8 million people living in the United States are vegetarians. To give some perspective, Jewish people make up only two percent of the population.

Now, I will bet my bottom dollar that the cheese and dairy used in these sandwiches is not humane, and I have yet to find a readily-available vegan option. So, I have just been sucking it up and eating the vegetarian wrap or sandwich. But I want to change that.

Vegans, like vegetarians, are in the minority of eaters. Vegans make up roughly one percent of the population -- although there are questions as to their overlap with the vegetarian figures. Well, after breaking my humane standards these past three days at a conference, I am going to start making an effort to request vegan options now.

I don't think it will be too difficult. I saw an attendee at the conference receive a gluten-free meal everyday, so why should vegan be so difficult?

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