Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Vegan Challenge: VEGAN IN NYC

The lovely Sophia and I on the Brooklyn Bridge

Despite the frequency with which I am lucky enough to visit New York City, every time I go I still get into serious vacation-mode.  And my NYC vacation-mode tends to be less focused on relaxing and more focused on throwing together fantastic outfits, going for drinks at trendy bars, and eating way too much delicious food.

I was not about to drag my boyfriend and friend visiting from Toronto to a bunch of vegan places, so needless to say, there was some cheating on my vegan diet.

Some Thoughts on Eating Vegan While on Vacation:

Eating vegan at regular restaurants can be really boring.  In the day I had to subsist on salads with nothing on them, side plates (side mushrooms, side pickles, etc), and french fries.  At night I pretty much ate whatever was put in front of me. 

If you do have to go out to eat but your comrades are keen on meat, choose cuisines that are naturally extensively vegan.  Some examples are Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, and Mexican (corn tortillas and vegetables anyone?)

When you are out, just because the menu says its vegan, it doesn't mean it is!  I was pumped to see a vegan burger on one menu, but the burger came out on a non-vegan hamburger bun, which I only found out because I asked the waitress.
 ("Perhaps you should tell your customers the bun isn't vegan when they order the vegan burger." "Oh, yah, I guess I should.")

All in all, my foray into veganism in New York was a total failure.  I managed to avoid meat, save for a bite or two at a tapas place we visited, but being away from my own kitchen and going out to eat every day proved to be extremely difficult!

There is a fierce debate within the vegan community about a concept called the Paris Exemption - the idea that it is okay to eat meat on special occasions or if vegan meals are hard to find.  I agree with it on the grounds that something like veganism, or any other diet or lifestyle for that matter, should not be treated as dogma.  In my opinion, doing so can potentially lead to the isolationism of and friction between groups with differing opinions.  Flexibility is key to getting along with people who don't believe in the same things you believe in.  (But maybe I'm just saying that to justify the bacon wrap I had on Saturday night).

For an extremely interesting article on vegan fanaticism, visit this article by

Soph and I in Soho


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