Meet the vegetarians

 

Sir, – I refer to the recent article by JP McMahon “Do Irish vegetarians understand how quinoa and avocado damage human lives?” (Health + Family, January 27th).

I find his article an unhelpful contribution to the debate on ethics in food by further undermining and ostracising an already much-maligned community. In it he attacks vegetarians as if they are the only consumers of these crops. Most vegetarians and vegans tend to make the switch by adapting familiar meals by substituting out the meat, not by overly compensating with wholly new dishes comprised of exotic ingredients. He would do well, instead, to focus on the lazy meal planning of most restauranteurs who revert to these cliche options as a first resort. One only needs to look at the handful of decent dedicated vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Dublin (Veginity, Sova, Cornucopia, Blazing Salads, Happy Pear) to see that these ingredients rarely feature, certainly no more so than non-vegetarian establishments. In this regard, I applaud the options he provides as genuinely interesting and wish he continue to focus on supporting the burgeoning vegetarian and vegan community by championing more innovative plant-based dishes of this nature, and encouraging his professional peers to do so too. – Yours, etc,

GARETH ATKINSON,

Dublin 7.