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New York Daily Photo: Veggie Pride
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Monday, 19 May 2008

Veggie Pride

Sunday was the first Veggie Pride Parade in America. Ironically it started in the meatpacking district and ended in Washington Square Park, with various activities and speakers. The world's first was held in paris in 2001 - a surprise coming from the country that brought us foie gras. Marchers donned a variety of vegetable and fruit-inspired costumes. I am somewhat sympathetic to the cause, having been a vegetarian for decades, and now only adding fish to my diet.
A very interesting aspect of this movement are the various semi-vegetarian practices which for many are seen as types of vegetarianism. Many individuals now add certain flesh and animal foods to their diet, like poultry, fish, eggs or dairy. So we have terms like: pollo vegetarianism, semi-vegetarianism, flexitarian, pescetarianism, pesce-pollotarianism, ovo-vegetarianism, lacto vegetarianism and lacto-ovo vegetarianism.
And of course there are the hard core adherents who consider many of these terms misnomers and abstain from any animal products. At the extreme end of the spectrum, we have vegans, fruitarians, natural hygienists and raw foodists. Macrobiotic followers may or may not be strict vegetarians.
The motivations also vary. People are vegetarians for a number of reasons: religious, ethical/ animal rights, cultural, economic, and environmental. For an overview of vegetarianism - see here.
A number of us found one odd thing about the participants; the large number present who wore tattoos, piercings and other manifestations some might consider out of character with a natural, vegetarian lifestyle (including a loud hard-rock band) - one gets the feeling that for some, vegetarianism is more a faddish, style driven choice. I wrote about this in my posting, Vegan Chic.
But overall, I think the message of reduction of meat is a useful one - over consumption of food in the USA is a general problem and the reduction of red meat is a laudable goal for many, including members of the medical community ...


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