Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Dining vegetarian

Jane Tomlinson blogs about the difficulty of dining out in the UK if you are vegetarian. As a vegetarian myself and being married to a vegan, I can sympathise totally with her situation. And apparently the situation has gotten worse in the eleven years since I left the UK.

I remember being told in one pub in Yorkshire to try such and such, "it doesn't have much cheese in it". They obviously just don't get it do they? For some people, being vegetarian is on a par with having a religion. It is not something that can be waived for special ocassions.

We have had so many bad experiences here in Nova Scotia trying to get a meal that we no longer even bother trying to eat out, except at a few places where we know we can get something to eat. One is Subway (hardly a fine dining experience, but at least one option when we are out for the day) where they do a vegetarian sub, but even then we have been disappointed because they are out of the few types of bread that Pat can eat. Ponderosa has a salad bar which is always a safe bet. And when Pat had to spend a few days in hospital she ended up eating fruit - the 'dietician' didn't even know that Jello is not vegetarian.

Now, the point is that there may well be some fine restaurants that would cater to our diets, but we have run out of energy trying to find them. We don't want to have to pour through menus and interrogate the staff about the ingredients. Would it be so hard for each establishment to have at least one vegetarian and one vegan option clearly identified on the menu with some comforting words to show that they haven't sneeked in something with gelatin, honey or whey in the recipe?


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