This is especially true when it comes to food, when we are not always logical between what we consider to be our values and the reality of our actions.
Who has never been lost between the different types of food? Vegetarianism, veganism, flexitarianism, organic food, gluten-free food, etc. To this can be added “healthy food” or “health food”, very subjective marketing names which blur the culinary landscape. How can we speak and act then on the basis of something we do not really know?
In reality, all these food forms are based on a notion of quality of food, which is supposed to bring us well-being and health.
However, a vegetarian, for example, is not necessarily concerned about the quality of his food. If animal suffering remains his priority, their health is only secondary. Some vegetarians may eat too much fat, too much salt or too much sugar without paying attention to the impact of what they eat on their health. In the same way that an omnivore may eat too much meat, too much fish, too many dairy products, which are also harmful to their health.
Of all these dietary patterns, we must strive above all towards a global approach and keep a consistency of values.
Respect for health
As a vegetarian, if we respect animals, we also respect humans, starting with ourselves. Eating quality food must therefore remain a priority for our own health.
But while some may think that a quality diet consists of eating good fish, lean labelled meat or organic eggs, others will think that it is better to focus on fruits and vegetables from the market as well as sprouted seeds!
Yes but… are these fruits and vegetables really interesting for us if they are full of pesticides? And are they interesting if they are organic but come from the other side of the world? …
In any case, it will always be useful to inform yourself about the products you want to consume and not to forget that everything is a matter of common sense.
Respect for nature
When we talk about nature, everyone has their interpretation. In general, we associate nature with the plant kingdom (trees, flowers, etc.) or even with our vacation spots! (the sea, the mountain…). We often forget that animals are just as much a part of this nature… and that we are part of it too.
In some hotel restaurants that I have been able to visit, the inconsistency is quickly felt when you dig a little deeper into the question of nature. Places whose decorative elements highlight nature can quickly turn into a camouflaged ecological fiasco. These places that focus on the natural side are actually far from the truth. We are sold dreams when in fact it is a nightmare for nature.
A catering offer essentially based on meat and fish, the Chef’s vegetable garden loses all its charm when you learn that it is not organic, pieces of trees as a coffee table, leather seats … Where is the respect for nature in all of this, when it is destroyed for decoration, rather than paying it a more intelligent tribute?
Respect for the animal
The animal is therefore the last to be thought of. Yet it is at the center of everything. Wherever we go, wherever we are, it is always there!
In these so-called high-quality places, the vegetarian offer is still too shy on the menus of course, and the plant-based offer completely non-existent. We may be concerned about how the animal was raised, but that’s where our questioning ends.
Knowing the history of the animal you are about to eat is already not so bad, but going further in the reflection would be much more fascinating.
To informed oneself, to learn, to understand … to always enrich oneself and improve what one can.
Taking an interest in what we eat and what we consume in general in a global approach means becoming aware of our actions and adjusting them if necessary. And even if sometimes we still feel lost, it is by questioning what is and by continually informing ourselves that we will potentially find answers.
Through our actions, we act above all for ourselves. To respect the living in any form whatsoever is to respect oneself.
For consistency of values
Being vegan teaches us to have a holistic approach. It means respecting all the elements of the living world and reflecting it as much as possible in our daily life.
Thus, values such as empathy, compassion, integrity, … take on their full meaning. These are naturally human values that can be (re)integrated into the history of our food.
For a Restaurateur, I see the potential of a new cuisine that reflects these values, the possibility of offering a global approach where nature takes its place as much as humans. It is about having a decoration in line with nature while respecting its needs. Not to use it to serve its customers, but to be inspired by it to better transmit the values of nature to customers.
The lack of coherence that can be seen in certain places and in certain speeches shows that it is urgent to act to restore an axis of values. This is to avoid amalgams and confusion of genres, and so that through the places they visit, clients can find their own coherence.
Translated by Malvika Kathpal