Vegan Menu At Hilton

Wow, a major hotel chain is offering both a vegan and vegetarian tasting - 7 days a week. Where can you find this gourmet vegan fare? -- At the Hilton Anatole's Nana Restaurant in Dallas, Texas.  While the Carrot Marmalade served with passion fruit granita and peanuts, and the Cucumber Spaghetti with pistachio gravel, scallions, and sesame seeds, don't sound all that appealing to me, it's really exciting to hear that Hilton is offering vegan fare!

Over the two years that Jane and I have been vegan, we've noticed a "mainstreaming" of veganism.  More and more products seem to be available, vegan cookbooks abound, and even Oprah's talked about it...  We've still got a long way to go until we have the same options as omnivores.  However, we are no longer the "weird, bark-eating" people.  And, although the message that we don't need to eat animals to survive still hasn't gotten through to most people, the fact that you don't have to eat animals at every meal seems to be making some headway.

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Comments

  1. Re: “mainstreaming” veganism:

    I think what will help “mainstream” veganism is to segment it a bit. Many vegans lump in health benefits with animal rights and environmentalism, and they can’t be convinced to look at it as any other way. There are average people who may care a lot about the air they breathe, but see nothing wrong with eating animals. This is your much of your Prius-driving crowd. Likewise there are those who realize the health benefits of a vegetarian/vegan diet, but may be too self-absorbed with themselves to care about other things. Finally, there are those who care about animal rights and avoid buying “tested on animals” stuff, as well as puppies from pet stores, but draw the line at actually altering their diets accordingly – or perhaps don’t buy the fact that dairy products exploit animals too (mainstream “vegetarians” who can’t give up cheese!)

    I think the most mainstream avenue we have is the personal health issue. The more we talk about the long-term health benefits of plant-based diets, the more people will get interested in it – I just fear that the in-your-face PETA-style element turns many away, and they end up “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”. I can tell you from a personal point of view that what drove me to veganism was personal health and real concern for the environment (beyond just doing the fashionable thing and getting a Prius), and the animal exploitation element grew on me once I made the switch. If someone from PETA tried to sell me on veganism with an “in your face” animal rights crusade, I would have probably ignored them.

    I’m not suggesting we compromise our beliefs to “sell our product” – I am just suggesting a little pragmatism to help the average crowd get enlightened without being scared away in the process. Once they make the switch, they will eventually come around “all the way” :)

    - Leo

  2. Hi Leo,
    Yes, selfishness motivates many of us to do things we might otherwise avoid (health concerns are why Jane and I went vegan in the first place). Early on, when we started this blog, we would often talk about our reasons for going vegan and we’d get comments and emails from people telling us we weren’t truly vegan if we weren’t concerned with animal rights, or that we weren’t vegan enough… Over time we’ve become more concerned with animal rights, but that didn’t describe our diet. To us, vegan means not consuming animal products (that goes for leather too).
    Personally, I don’t think labels are all that effective, although I label myself all the time… People have ideas about the crazy, hippie, vegan fringe. It’s nice to be able to put out information (health or environment) that gives reasons the average person a reason to go vegan. Animal rights seems to work with the 20 something crowd, but not so much with people over 30 (too used to seeing animals as foodstuff?).
    We’re all about pragmatism here. I think we’re more likely to get fewer animals consumed by convincing people to eat meatless one day a week, or for one meal a day, than we are to get people to commit to an all vegan diet. It’s too extreme a change. Baby steps…

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