This month, we see a beautiful sign of our movement's shift into the mainstream as the cover of Gourmet Magazine announces "Tips from a Vegetarian Chef + Amazing Meatless Main Courses." Further, the letter from the magazine's editor tells us that starting in May, "You'll find a monthly column in Gourmet Every Day featuring vegetarian main courses." The recipes under "Mission: Meatless" starting on page 158 of the current April issue of Gourmet are mostly vegan. A couple call for optional Parmigiano-Reggiano, which can be substituted with vegan parmesan, which is a lot closer to the original than most vegan cheese.
The letter from the editor (Ruth Reichl) this month is headed, "The Occasional Vegetarian."
"Like many people of my generation I went through a vegetarian period. It was early in the 70's, just after I'd read diet for a small planet and discovered how much more food there would be if we all ate vegetables instead of feeding the plants to the animals and eating their meat. That period didn't last very long. A vegetarian menu may be virtuous, but for a meat lover like me, it wasn't much fun.
"Time has marched on, and now it is becoming increasingly clear that we ought to change our ways. We live in a society that consumes more meat than any other group in history. There are currently more than three billion domesticated cattle, sheep and goats in the world - and that number does not include the 100 million pigs or the 9 billion chickens that we consume every year in this country alone. Livestock grazing and feed production now use 30 percent of the surface of the planet, and that takes a toll on the environment. Eating so much meat takes a toll on us as well: Most health professionals agree that we would be better off if we consumed less meat and more vegetables."
She goes on to write that traditionally, "meatless meals were seen as joyless" but, "Clearly, that is very old fashioned thinking. Isn't it time to put the joy back into the act of eating vegetables? Isn't it time we started to think of all the grains and greens that grow on the earth as a gift? And isn't it time that we realized that eating vegetarian meals is neither penance nor virtue but simply another mealtime option?"
She discusses great new pressure cookers that make cooking vegetarian food easy and refers us to the delicious meatless meal recipes in the issue of the magazine. She ends with:
"Back in the 70's I thought it was all or nothing, but we've moved on. Being an occasional vegetarian suits me just fine."
While it would be nice to see more than occasional vegetarianism, I don't think we could expect the editor of Gourmet magazine to start calling for all her readers to immediately go vegan. Meatless meals being her focus in this issue, with the promise that they will continue to be included, is a huge step forward.
Gourmet takes comments and publishes letters. Please send a quick appreciative note at
Notes from those who sometimes buy Gourmet will be especially helpful. The magazine should know that it is pleasing its readers.
My thanks to Teresa Hoxie-Keough for making sure we knew about this development.
Yours and the animals',
(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at http://www.DawnWatch.com. You may forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts if you do so unedited -- leave DawnWatch in the title and include this parenthesized tag line. If somebody forwards DawnWatch alerts to you, which you enjoy, please help the list grow by signing up. It is free.)
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Date: Fri Apr 6 11:39:16 2007