Have no fear the first vegan butcher shop is here!

Nope I’m not joking!


I’m wondering how the Chinese sell their many types of faux-meat proteins. Once, long ago, a vegetarian friend took me to the biggest upscale Buddhist vegetarian restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown (it might still exist, can’t remember the name), and the number of made-to-be-like-meat dishes on the menu was surprising to me. I concluded there is a long and robust tradition of this in China (although don’t really know).

Anyway, I’m all for people eating less meat, and I guess some people really miss it when they stop or taper off. Me, I just like vegetables straight up, including beans and nuts, and have found a lot of processed vegetarian products too salty (for one thing) or over spiced.

Etymologically, the word butcher refers to male goats, someone who slaughters male goats (not cows, chickens, pigs, etc) so the word had already drifted to include carving up things other than goats.

Interesting concept. I have tried some of the meat analogs and I don’t mind them, however, I often wonder what kind of crap they put in them in order to maintain their shapes and textures??

I looked at the site hoping to find ingredient lists but to no avail.

It’s not there yet. From the FAQ page:


We will soon! With over 40 different kinds of vegan meats and cheeses on our menu we’ve been working diligently to gather all this information. Our goal is to have everything computed and posted online by the time our shop opens later this year.

I’ve been curios as to the mentality of many vegitarians and vegans. My office manager is vegan so out of respect to her I have been exposed to or more politely stated, shared in many vegan meals. Particularly near us is a vegan restaurant called the Loving Hut, where I have truly enjoyed everything I’ve eaten there, hardly if ever, realizing I’m eating tofu or whatever it is. Very, very good.

-BUT- (there’s always a But) given the vitriol attitude many vegitarians / vegans have against the consumption of meat/flesh, I can’t understand why they eat tofu burgers, chicken and meat. Obviously the shapes and designs are completely customizable, he’ll I’ve had tofu (I assume) fried shrimp that I could NEVER tell was “fake” shrimp. You take the breading off and the coloring and texture is spot on.

So that’s what I just don’t understand, why mimic what many find to be so offensive. Kind of the same thought process about non-alcoholic beer, like who actually drinks beer for its taste? Lol

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Because for many, it’s the killing that’s offensive, not the eating. As for me, I don’t eat meat because I don’t like it. I do like Tofurkey, though, and Boca Burgers, and Okara patties. But not tofu hot dogs, because they taste too much like hot dogs.


Cool! Didn’t look in that section.

Yeah, it’s a weird place to stash that information.

In my personal experience, the vitriol has gone the other way. Or at least the contempt. I might be unusual in only knowing vegetarians who were mild-mannered people of peace, who rarely talked about their choice to be vegetarian or vegan, but I seem to have come across a huge number of meat eaters who cannot let a discussion of vegetable-only eating pass without derision and sarcasm, and a questioning of the honesty or character of non-meat-eaters. Maybe the meat-eaters got that way from meeting nasty vegetarians – no doubt they exist – but at a minimum, it’s got to be even-steven by this point.

I had a friend who had been a vegetarian since his teens and in mid-life got a life-threatening medical diagnosis, unrelated to his diet, where his doctor strongly urged him to add meat and fish to his diet in anticipation of the rigors of a harsh, energy-sapping therapy. He did, but said what bothered him most in his new diet was the mouth-feel of meat and fish. He was unused to it, and disliked it. Perhaps if someone had made meat or fish for him with crunch or snap, it would have made the food more appealing to him.

Yes, but hot dogs don’t really taste like meat.

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I’d like to point out that you are talking about the first vegan butcher shop in the US; there has been one (vegetarian, though many products are vegan) in the Netherlands for several years now.
https://www.vegetarianbutcher.com/ They don’t sell anything quite so graphically “meaty” as that fake steak though. Neither does Yam Vegetarian Butcher Shop in Toronto, which has been open for a couple of years.

Not to mention the Buddhist vegetarian “fake meats” made in Asian countries for a very long time.

Here’s a little questionnaire for you. Do hot dogs taste most like a) meat, b) vegetables, c) fruits, d) grains. If you chose b, c or d, then your taste buds are very different than mine.

No doubt, but for many others, at least that I’ve seen or heard, there is an “anti-flesh” of any animal sentiment. That’s more what I’m referring to.

If I were a tofu manufacturer I could try to come up with some new design, color, template and just market it that way. Currently all I’m aware of are the blocks of tofu, or these imitation meat type products. Again, my first hand knowledge is very limited, I’m a carnivore to my core, just stating my observations.

No matter the food is delicious so in the end I guess that’s all that matters.

I’d answer e) none of the above. To me, they have an utterly manufactured taste that resembles nothing in nature.

I hope I’m mistaken, but I detect a slightly aggressive tone in your reply. I really don’t know why this would be some kind of “issue”. Tous les goûts sont dans la nature.

To me, hot dogs mostly taste like salt. And I like salt. Hot dogs? Not so much…

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It might be the same one I detected when you replied to me that “hot dogs don’t really taste like meat.” They do to me. And I’m probably not unique.

It’s not necessarily about yuckiness, there are plenty of environmental reasons to eat less meat. It’s not very efficient and uses a lot of water that could grow food crops for people instead of animal feed, and the feedlot industrial meat system in the US is a travesty. The hormones, the antibiotics, the open pools of animal waste… that’s what’s disgusting. That said, animals and their products are mostly delicious, and these days many of us have access to “happy” meat and local free range eggs and dairy products. I think the vegan butcher shop is silly. Maybe the midwest is more meat-centric and its harder out there? Don’t they have Whole Foods or farmers markets or CSAs?

Jeez, I certainly do. I enjoy the buzz obviously but I only drink beers that taste good to me, and many don’t, so I don’t drink those beers. Honestly I’ve never had a non-alcoholic beer that tasted any good - if I ever discovered one it would be nice to have it available to me when for one reason or another I don’t want to be drinking alcohol. I’m glad I’m not a celiac because I feel the same way about every gluten-free beer I’ve ever had.
More power to these folks if they’ve come up with decent tasting fake meats - a lot of people will be happy.

Plus the Seventh Day Adventist products that have been around, well I guess since the Seventh Day Adventists have been around, almost.

Lips and assholes are meat right? Yep, they taste like meat to me too!

(Yes I do like hotdogs!)

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo