Today is ‘World Vegetarian Day’ – an odd ‘Day’ among many odd ‘Days’, not least because for most vegetarians, every day is vegetarian day. For many Buddhists, a large number of Hindus, and some schools of Christian faith (such as those in East Africa or Lebanon), meat-free days are a regular practice; while in the West, abstaining from meat and fish is usually an ethical choice, after consideration of animal welfare, the effect of the livestock industry on the planet, and health considerations.
That most of us in the West should and could reduce our meat consumption is an argument that has long been won. The difficulties arise, of course, when you’re eating out. Northern European and especially British cuisine has not been especially kind to vegetarians, with options on menus limited to a few clichéd dishes (you’ll do better with Indian and many Mediterranean menus, of course). While things have improved immeasurably in recent decades, there are still a lot of mushroom risottos and baked cheese soufflés as the token dishes on smart restaurant menus. The solution is to either resort to vegetarian-only cafés; or seek out omnivorous restaurants that make a serious effort including Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, Grain Store and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon.
So you don’t need the meat – bon appétit!
Find more great vegetarian restaurants in London
By Guy Dimond