The advent of herbivorous “butcher” shops is good news – particularly so when it is considered big enough financial news to make the front page of the Wall Street Journal. The Thursday, April 20 front page headline reads, “These butchers sell baloney that’s phony” with the subheading, “Vegan shops hawk veggies that look, taste like real meat.”
The article, by Erin Ailworth, opens with:
“Michael Abramson has set up his butcher shop in Toronto’s Little Italy to look much like any other, with gleaming knives lining the wall, employees prepping cutlets and someone hand-cranking a sausage stuffer.
“There’s one meaty exception. His choice cut isn’t beef, it’s beet. He’s not proffering lamb, but yam.
“Mr. Abramson, a 62-year-old vegan, is the proprietor of YamChops, a faux meat market where every patty, link, and fillet is made from edible plants. To entice ‘veg curious’ meat eaters as well as vegetarians, he takes great pains to make sure his substitutes look as much like the real thing as possible.”
The bulk of the article is on page A8, where we read, “Mr. Abramson is part of a small but growing community of ‘vegetable butchers’ opening shop from Northern California to Sydney to The Hague, hoping to wow discerning diners with substitute lox crafted from carrots and jerky fashioned from wheat gluten.” The story includes a big photo of the deli case at the Herbivorous Butcher in Minneapolis, looking uncannily like a deli case at any other butcher, packed with various pastrami style meats and sausages.
Subscribers to the Wall Street Journal can see other photos on line, such as the Herbivorous Butcher’s sumptuous looking “Smoky House BBQ Ribs” and “Barbecue slabs on the grill” at Monks Meats in Brooklyn.
Unfortunately non subscribers cannot see those photos, or read past the first few paragraphs of the article. It discusses why vegetarians would want food that looks and tastes like meat, and ends with a nice quote from Josh Karant, who teaches about the politics of food at the Pratt Institute. He says that the brisket at Monk Meats won’t fool many carnivores, but he compliments it: “It’s totally its own thing: nothing bloody or Texan about it, but nice and smoky and salty and toothsome…Great with the slaw and pickles too.”
Journal subscribers will find the article on line at http://tinyurl.com/lgxzoa6 . (Others will find a few paragraphs of it.) It opens the door for letters appreciative of the coverage that make any point about health, environment, animal cruelty or animal rights that you feel would be useful in response to this article about the growing popularity of meat-free “butcher” shops.
The Wall Street Journal takes letters at firstname.lastname@example.org
Always include your full name, address and phone number.