Why Doesn’t Maine Really Seem to Care About Vegan Dining Choices?
I am 100% neutral in my opinion.
First and foremost... The restaurants in Maine that do cater to these customers, you rock. You're smart enough to know there's money to made out there from everybody. Especially an underserved dining community... Like vegans and vegetarians...
I have a bunch of vegan friends, and I have no problem with their lifestyle. Sure, there are memes everywhere disparaging vegans, but that's not remotely what this is about. For years, I was a vegetarian. I ended up being called back to the wild by bacon. I think bacon probably gets more vegetarians to come back to the dark side than just about anything else.
But I saw this article on WalletHub.com that listed the most vegan and vegetarian friendly cities in America. Honestly, I kind of expected that maybe Portland would be on that list. It's such an intensely foodie city, that I sort of assumed we'd make the cut. But no, not even close. In fact, Portland wasn't even on the list of the Top 100 most vegan/veggie friendly cities. I was kind of floored.
So why does Maine basically ignore this group?
For one thing, we live in a state with a long tradition of game hunting and fishing. Even when animals aren't being hunted for sport, people will even get a good chuckle out of a poor dead critter, like they did this week in Hermon, Maine. So when you put all those things together, it makes for a state that just seems to barely remember not everyone eats meat.
Well to be fair, I wouldn't say these dining communities are ignored altogether in Maine, but they're overlooked. Like, have you ever ordered the vegetarian option at a wedding or reception of some kind? It's always, without fail, the after thought of the menu. It's always overcooked pasta and mushy vegetable "Primavera". Every time.
There are definitely places that will accommodate people with different eating habits, and those places aren't being called out in the least. In fact, good on you for having the foresight to realize there's a whole untapped dining market out there. But I guess we're not going to make the vegan Top 100 any time soon.
Grocery stores have come a long way, however. They're all about feeding everyone.