Vegetarians and Burgers

In this burger debate it would be too easy to let the voice of Vegetarians go unheard. We weren’t prepared to let that happen. We spoke with Su Taylor of the UK’s Vegetarian Society. The Vegetarian Society is the oldest vegetarian society in the world and committed to promoting vegetarian choices and lifestyles.

Su was keen to answer our questions and discuss the Vegetarian’s take on the burger. First, we tackled moral implications concerning Vegetarians and eating meat burgers (or any meat for that matter). Su explained:

In a survery conducted on behalf of The Vegetarian Society, the majority of people said that  they gave up meat and fish because they did not morally approve of killing animals, or  because they objected to the ways in which animals were kept, treated and killed for food.  But there are as many reasons for becoming vegetarian as there are vegetarians.”

Su also pointed out the health angle provoking many people to become vegetarians:

 “Many  people are becoming vegetarian because it matches the kind of low fat, high fibre diet  recommended by dietitians and doctors. The environment is another contributing factor as  people become more aware of the environmental effect of raising animals for meat. Some  might also be concerned about wasting world food resources by using land to raise animals  for meat instead of growing crops that can feed more people directly”.

To vegetarians, eating a meat burger is environmentally unfriendly and unhelpful in the current food crisis climate. However, Su didn’t neglect burgers entirely. Instead she pointed us towards the Vegetarian Society’s approved range of veggie burgers. But are these any good?

Yes! But there are lots to choose from so it’s worth looking around the supermarket and your local wholefood shop” Su also notes the healthy aspect of these burgers. “It depends what it’s mae with and the way it’s cooked, but they can be much healthier. Veggie burgers come in all shapes and sizes nad are made from a variety of ingredients like pulses (Beans, lentils, peas, chickpeas), nutes, seeds, soya, Quron and wheat proteins“.

What do you think? Do you agree that vegetarian burgers might be healthier and more environmentally free than meat burgers? Is it ethically better to eat a Veggie burger than a meaty burger?



6 Responses

  1. I’ve tried Veggie Products and haven’t found any that were up to much…A while ago I was in Seechelt,British Columbia and was invited to a Vegetarian Group’s Banquet…They pushed the boat out what looked like the Canadian Food Mountain..I chose what looked like a Pasta Dish…After eating most of it,I was asked my opinion of the Grub. My reply that it was the worst meal I’d ever had did not endear me to my Host…Should I have lied or is truth better? I know and respect some vegetarians but they respect the fact that I like Meat. Ethics are not the Problem,Individualism is.

  2. I’m a meat eater and burger fanatic but every now and then a decent bean burger with a good salsa can really hit the spot… It’s not better/worse, just different.

  3. I would like to say to Lecorche – it’s a pity that the Canadian experience was not a good one, but don’t let that put you off! Meals don’t need meat to have flavour, give it another try. Visit the vegetarian society website for inspiration, and I agree, be individualistic, forget ‘veggie products’ – create your own.

  4. I think it is a question of ethics. Meat is a very wasteful form of food production – it takes 8 kg of grain to produce 1 kg of beef. There would be enough food in the world if everyone ate a vegetarian diet, and there would be less suffering caused to animals.

  5. What about fish? I love it! A lot of my friends are pesco-vegetarians or pescetarians.

  6. I am not a vegetarian; even if I didn’t eat meat I would not call myself a vegetarian, since I am a smallholder working with animals that could in theory end up in the food chain. Producing products such as milk and eggs often result in animals entering the food chain; vegans who consume no animal products, can probably take the moral high ground, but in this country they often try to emulate the standard British diet and use a lot of substitute products such as vegan cheese.
    I think that many people eat more meat than necessary, perhaps we should treat meat more like the southern Europeans, who bulk up the meat portion with a wider range of vegetables. If we consume less meat, but make sure that it has been reared, slaughtered and butchered to the highest standards the cost per kilogram may be higher, but we will have a better tasting more tender product.
    If cattle and sheep are reared at grass for a lot of the year, they have a valuable role in maintaining our uplands and lowland meadows. If we chose to eat native breeds of animals reared in this way, less grain will be necessary for fattening and the well marbled meat will be of superb quality.
    I am happy for vegetarians and vegans to choose a lifestyle that they feel is appropriate, and I feel that their comments encourage the omnivores among us to think more carefully about our food choices.

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