Mock Meat Restaurants
Posted by pradipd at 01/11/2010
I have a problem with the 'mock meat' vegetarian restaurants that abound in many large cities and also on Happy Cow. It is truly unnerving to stare at the menu with descriptions and pictures in many cases that reflect meat, fish and the like. It is really disappointing that teh owners of these restaurants who otherwise seem to be enlightened, have to resort to the very items that they do not serve, to describe their menu items. I have never eaten any animal product in my life, and I do not wish to see or know what they would look like on my plate. Today I ate at the TeHe Veg Bistro in Jakarta, and its menu read among other things, fried fish belly, fried frog, and all the other usual culprits like beef, steak, etc. Honestly, it was very disgusting, and today I vowed that I will never again eat in one of these 'mock meat' restaurants even if I have no other vegetarian choice.
I would like and hope that other members take a stand on this and also request HappyCow to exclude these restaurants from their listing.
Your perspective of one who has been veg your whole life is wonderful, truly, but somewhat specific or unique. I know folks who have eaten meat for fifty years and found the tool of having those foods to aid in transitioning to a plant-based diet invaluable. So I very much think there's a place for it even though it is not my personal fave.
In regards to Happycow, they are pretty good about saying mockmeats used here in the description of a cafe on the city page. I think I have seen that term used often enough that I get a general feel for what type of cafe it is.
Happy new year!
But many of us (myself included) are vegan not because we didn't like the taste of meat or milk/dairy products, but because we disapprove of the exploitation of animals and the inherent cruelty involved.
As such, I have no problems eating mockmeats, and I usually enjoy them. Similarly, I have no problems with "milk" made of soy or rice or nuts. No animals are harmed or used and as such these products are to be supported, in my opinion.
These products also make it easier for heavy meat eaters to transition into vegetarian and vegan ways of eating.
That said, I understand Pradeep's concerns. My mother is an Indian lacto-vegetarian and she doesn't like the idea of mockmeats and won't eat them. But she has a personal preference to avoid these products, based more on notions of personal "purity" (coming from her Hindu beliefs), than anything having to do with animal cruelty.
As such, if you don't like mockmeats, don't eat them or order some other dishes on the menu. At least mockmeats are still vegetarian, and often times vegan.
Although I do NOT want to eat mock meats (to be honest, the taste freaks me out, even if I know that they are made from vegetables), but they do represent a valid and viable option for many vegetarians.