I like where I live, but one thing I have noticed is that most of the eating establishments are far behind when it comes to offering plant-based dishes. Our holiday work party was held at a local restaurant that offers Irish pub fare. I’ve been there before I changed to a vegan lifestyle, and the food is great when you’re eating a diet with no restrictions.
A couple of months ago, I took my fiance there after an extensive Google search for a place with vegan options. Of course, I failed to look at the menu of this place, and wrongly assumed that when a restaurant is marked with “vegan options”, it has something more than french fries.
Call me silly for expecting a restaurant serving Irish pub food to have vegan options, but guys: there was hummus on the menu. That is not an Irish dish, okay? So tell me why they had to put parmesan cheese in it! I was so excited when I saw hummus on the menu, and then when it was described to me by the wait staff, I was like, “Huh?”
Seriously, I am not about to get into the whole “Why even put ____ in ____?” because the absurd practice of stacking cow on cow with a few slices of pig (the divine bacon cheeseburger) tastes pretty damn good. Food is about experimenting, and I totally respect that. But it is pretty strange when you think long and hard about it, especially when you consider the resources that go into creating our beloved, flavor-packed abominations.
Freedom is pretty bitchin’, I must say. But there is a high demand for plant-based foods that is not being met across the board quite yet. Part of being free is being free to inspire change as a society, and of course we do that best with our dollars spent. It can be tiresome to see Dr. Oz-level food trends get catered to, while vegans can sometimes feel a bit left behind.
Last week, there was free pizza at my work for all to enjoy, and they had about 8 pizzas labeled “gluten-free” and not one that was simply free from all major allergens. It would be so easy for a pizza place to offer a vegan pizza that is also free from major allergens. Then, everyone would be happy. Gluten-intolerance is extremely rare – taking a peek at that link you can see that only about 1 percent of the population has celiac disease, which is at this point being widely acknowledged as the only form of gluten intolerance.
If you look at current statistics, about the same amount of people are vegan – 1 percent. So why is the gluten-intolerance crowd catered to so readily, while it’s impossible for me to find a vegan pizza at any pizza restaurant in a 50 mile radius? Well, because people are really gullible and susceptible to following trends, for one thing. Heck, purchase of plant-based foods continues to skyrocket and I jumped on the bandwagon earlier this year.
But why, oh why won’t restaurants offer me overpriced vegan dishes? In the words of Philip J. Fry, I just want companies to “Shut up and take my money!”
In happier news, it looks like MorningStar is offering a lot more vegan options now. When I first switched my diet, I was kind of shocked at how many meat alternatives have dairy and egg in them. Surely these companies have begun to realize that they can offer the same product to both vegetarians and vegans and make more money. Also, they probably would need less staff to answer questions like, “Hey, why do your meatless options have egg and dairy in them? Y’all are silly.”
I’ve realized over this past 8 and a half months that I am becoming more committed to my new lifestyle with each day, and I am excited at what the future holds for awareness of the positive impact going vegan can have. Anyone who stumbles across this: What has your biggest realization been in 2018? I know that 2016 was the official year of realizing things, but I have a good feeling about 2019 too.