Why did people choose to cook meat

Vegetarian chefs should cook with meat

_The chef Howard Dubrovsky is known as one of the earliest representatives of molecular cuisine in the now closed LAB in Toronto. Dubrovsky also stands out because of something else: he was a vegetarian for most of his life, and yet _in his newest restaurant, the_ Fonda Lola, Meat dishes on the menu_. He is currently working on opening a pub in London's East End. Apart from the fact that he expands his potential audience to include the carnivorous part of this world with his approach, the chef is pursuing a strategy with this apparent contradiction.

I guess I can call myself an Ovolacto vegetarian. I eat cheese, eggs and pastries and I will never give them up. 21 years ago when I was 14 and growing up in Montreal I decided to cut out meat. Back then, sustainable agriculture was just emerging and I wasn't a fan of industrial agriculture. So for me as a teenager, the only positive thing I could do was become a vegetarian.

I started my culinary career as a baker and pastry chef because it was the easiest way to avoid meat. At some point I felt the need to somehow create an awareness of where our meat comes from, how it affects the environment and how the animals are treated. Communicating this message when you are not cooking meat is quite unnecessary because you are essentially preaching to converts. Those who run a strictly vegetarian restaurant also have omnivores and flexitarians as guests, but most of the customers are vegetarians. So you don't stand up for anything that they wouldn't already represent. That's why I started cooking with meat.

In this way I can bring ethically raised meat closer to the guests in a non-preaching and non-vegetarian way. I don't want to keep rubbing it under people's noses and hanging up pictures of happy cows or even writing the names of the farmers on the card. If the waiters know where the meat comes from if a guest asks, and if you build good relationships with local farmers and talk to food journalists, that's enough for me.

MORE ON THE SUBJECT: Recidivist vegetarians

If I had only become a vegetarian later in life, I might now be more open to eating meat again. But I've been doing without it for 21 years and I think I would no longer be myself if I were to eat meat again. Actually, I want to say that I am partly afraid of becoming careless. Maybe then I'll order meat from a restaurant and forget to ask where the meat comes from. I know quite a few chefs who are wonderfully committed to ethical, sustainable, healthy and regionally bred or grown products, but still go to McDonald's. The risk of slipping down a dubious path if you open the door even a small crack is just pretty great. Even people with the best of intentions sometimes make mistakes. So in order to ensure that my behavior does not endanger my message and make it implausible, I simply exclude this possibility completely.

Recorded by Karon Liu

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