Vegawarian Dinner

mujadera, lentils on rice, vegan flexitarian, vegawarian meals

Last night, my roommates and I hosted a dinner party for twelve. Out of the eight dishes, only the stuffed peppers had meat; the others were majadara (rice and lentils), garlic-mint carrots, and goat-cheese stuffed eggplants simmered in Hamutal’s amazing pepper sauce muhamarra.

Muhamarra: the addictive red pepper and walnut spread from Syria

This morning I considered the carbon footprint of the meal. Although the dinner wasn’t vegetarian, it was pretty close and very friendly to the guests who don’t eat meat.

In other words, it was Vegawarian.

A term coined by fellow Northwestern University alum Alex Hartzler, vegawarianism means “you are ‘aware’ that eating animals contributes more towards global warming than eating plants.

So, maybe, sometimes, you will choose the vegetarian option instead of the meat option.”

vegawarian, flexitarian vegan sandwich, black bread with vegetables held by a woman wearing a vegan t shirt

Vegawarianism (updated to 2020 – it’s not flexiwarian) is the outlet for guilty omnivores who cannot imagine cutting meat out of their lives completely. One vegawarian is New York Times food writer Mark Bittman, who publishes recipes for preparing duck breast along with articles about the problem of American meat overconsumption.

Is vegawarianism a form of green-washing harmful eating practices, or a legitimate, moderate approach to getting more people talking about our meat habits? Comments welcome.

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16 thoughts on “Vegawarian Dinner”

  1. Paul says:

    While some vegans may not like the compromise, I personally a welcome this increase of awareness. As a vegan, I at least want carnivores to be aware of the cost of their choices, and also to realize that there are choices other than full-time veg or meat-eater. I am happy to see people exploring what they can eat other than meat, rather than worrying about whether they can give up meat. I also believe that humans did not evolve as vegans, and the choice to forgo all animal products has health costs as well as benefits. I don't think we are going to convert everybody, because the human body is adapted to an omnivorous diet, and rebells when asked to eat only plants. OTOH, if humans survive the next 500 years (a big “if”), the remaining arable land will be devoted almost entirely to producing food for direct consumption. They will not have the luxury of squandering what little is left on growing feed for livestock. It saddens me to think that the choice to replace our animal agriculture with human food and biofuel feedstock could do more than anything else to avert environmental catastrophe, but that this shift almost certainly won't happen until the damage is done, and there is no choice left.

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  3. rivka says:

    omg, im not alone! my husband and i were calling ourselves “part-time” or “wannabe” vegetarians. we eat organic meat at home – btw, by “meat” i mean any animal – like ppl i knew in the US who ate kosher at home… and only prepare meat once a week, for shabbat, consuming leftovers sun-mon. we frequently have veggie shabbats as well though. we also have ventured into the world of vegan cooking.
    tzimchodaut: i love it.

  4. jd says:

    This idea, although thoughtfu, is pointless! There are simply much greater issues at hand, and many other better methods to reduce carbon emissions. Humans are carniverous creatures. Eat your meat, walk to work, if you can. Get it?

  5. Daniella says:

    amazing hebrew translation…i plan to use that. I think the people in the border territory between vegetarian and vegan could be practicing”VEEG-awarianism”, or tivodaut. And for those who aren’t sure what the meaning of vegetables is, perhaps vegnostic.

  6. hanan says:

    Finally i can be classified! I think this is a great way to get the messege across without frightening the meat eaters. I had a blog post on the carbon foot print of electric bycicles vs the rest of the possibilities, and among others i compared a regular bycicle. And, the result was that the carbon foot print per kilometer traveled of somebody on a meat diet and riding a bike can be higher then that of an electric bike, or even an electric scooter. This annoyed a lot of people which whom i talked about it. vegewarian could be a way out!

  7. vegewarians untie! 100% consensus has been acheived for the heeb translation: tzimchodaut

  8. Uncompromising vegetarians are rare in part cuz MEAT IS YUMMY…so vegawarianism strikes a chord with me, hitting the notes of eco and glutto simultaneously on my ideational clavichord. It does raise the question of what to call a vegan-inclined vegetarian who falls off the wagon and into forbidden frutarian fields. Suzanne Veganawarianism ? Rig-Vega-Fruta-Wahhabism? AntiDisCarniVeganarianistic?

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