Vegetarian Butcher?

Imagine you're out doing some shopping on a Monday afternoon, trying to find a great meatless dish for that night's dinner, when you come across a butcher shop with all the traditional offerings - except they are all meatless versions. Delicious-looking knockoffs of chicken, beef and fish, a sausage grinder filled with locally-grown lupin beans... this fantasy is a reality in The Netherlands, where The Vegetarian Butcher's products are available in 180 locations across the country. Discovery of this unbelievably well-stocked store prompted a columnist in the UK newspaper The Independent to ask, "Is this the end of meat?"

This kind of approach allows us to reduce the amount of meat we're eating in a way that's easy and familiar. And that's the key to success, especially with yet another alarming study out showing the connection between meat consumption and cancer risk. Eating meat even increases our risk of getting lung cancer (are we breathing the meat or ingesting it?), believe it or not. Add that to the recent New York Times piece showing meat's lack of sustainability and we've got nothing but great reasons for reducing our consumption of meat. 

I approached this reduction in exactly this way: gradually, over time, adapting to each new change before attempting another. You might possibly have wondered how this happened in my life and found yourself wishing that I would record a video of myself explaining the process so you could find out more. Well now you can. As an entry into the Toronto Vegetarian Association "Why I'm Veg" contest, I posted just such a video, which you can view here. (Look for cameo appearances near the end by other, more photogenic family members.) If you click very quickly, as in now, today, you will see that my picture is posted on the TVA home page as the link to the contest. I be famous!

But despite all this flurry of activity (which, by the way, I couldn't have done without the love, support and video editing skills of my wife, Christina), I still don't disappoint when it comes to a new recipe of the week. As promised, this is the spring roll recipe we served at a recent family barbeque. Hope you like it and my video debut. If you do, please feel free to "Like" the video on facebook or tweet it or "Plus" it on Google+ (just click on "Share" underneath the video) or you can just forward this by e-mail to any friends you might think would be interested. We might as well start saving the planet and preventing lung cancer today. Why put it off?


  1. I live in the Netherlands and buy the Vegetarian Butcher's products at my local healthfood store. They are just delicious! After 25+ years as a vegetarian I can honestly say these are the best alternatives for meat I have ever enjoyed eating. Their veggie chickenstyle bits are a favourite in our household.

  2. The producer ( and inventor of the fake chicken product that make the Vegetarian Butcher popular received the Dutch SME Innovation award 2012 this year. Being a flexitarier is becoming quit popular in Holland. I do eat meet, but a also love or VleeschSmakers (

  3. Thanks for the insider info, Tracey and Wouter. Wish we could make it to the Netherlands to try this stuff out, or we wish these products would go global. It all sounds delicious!


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