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Mar 28, 2008 03:01 PM

There a "kosher" board; why not halal or vegetarian boards?

I don't understand this. Every observant Muslim in the world- more than a billion people- keeps halal, but there is no board for them. And given the fact that vegetarianism is as much a religious demand as it is a "lifestyle" pretty much everywhere on this planet, why is there not a vegetarian board? Chow isn't just about arcane regional interests any more and this should be updated. I might add that such boards would be beyond "national" (as if only Americans are "kosher" or eat at "chains" but I'll save that for another rant) since it truly would represent chowhound's engagement with international eaters.

Yes, people can and do ask about halal or veg/vegan matters on other boards, but the same can be done very easily for kosher matters. I'm not asking that the kosher board be eliminated, but would like to see this matter addressed.

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  1. i've asked this question before to no avail. yes it's patently biased and unfair.

    but hey, this site ain't no democracy!

    1. I second the request for a Vegetarian/Vegan board.

      1. It mostly history -- the boards didn't spring up fully formed in the list we have now, they grew out of New York and that was a strong subset of the early discussion, hence, the kosher board.

        It's really not a very strong board division, though, and it creates a lot of unnecessary confusion for a lot of people. If we were recreated the boards from scratch, Kosher, at least not in its current form, wouldn't likely be among them. That's not to suggest it's going away, but it really doesn't fit the geographic divisions of the rest of site. The same thing is true of The Best and What's My Craving?

        4 Replies
        1. re: Jacquilynne

          Jacquilynne-- if "the mods that be" had it to do all over again, knowing what they do now, what would the boards look like? and would there be a veg/vegan board, a "religious dietary restriction" board. . . would there be a board for each state? what would be different?

          1. re: soupkitten

            And would there be any differences to the configuration of national boards outside the US?

            1. re: soupkitten

              I don't think there's an answer to that question.

              The boards have grown organically along with the conversation and the membership. Starting from nil with a board for every state would have created a lot of very empty boards, and would have kept the conversation from developing -- because people won't keep coming back to a board with no content. By starting small and expanding with our userbase, we've ended up with some less than ideal divisions (New York region gets 5 boards, 6 if you count Kosher, and all of Midwest except Chicago is on one?) but we've also built a site full of interesting, passionate discussions.

              If different board splits had happened at different times, that might have shaped the conversation differently over the years, for better or for worse. I don't know which splits (or lack of splits) may have been the critical choices over the years that helped or hindered the conversation if we'd done things differently, but I do know there's no 'do-over'. Chowhound is what it is, at least in part, because of the way those splits happened.

              1. re: Jacquilynne

                tx for the thoughtful reply, it's all interesting. . .

          2. Jacquilynne sifts through an extraordinary quantity of "supply-demand" data, and undoubtedly has sleepless nights determining the right things to do. I personally applaud her efforts, for the pleasures of this site I enjoy during lonely or idle moments, for my improved cooking, and for the friendships I have acquired here.

            1. With regard to the Halal I dont know enough about it, so you might have a point with that. However, I see vegetarianism as different from these. A person who keeps Kosher won't eat at all in a non-Kosher restaraurant where as vegetarains (most, in general, yes there are exceptions) will eat in a restaurant that serves meat provided there are alternatives available for them. At various points in my life I have kept Kosher and have been a vegetarian (am currently neither) but I have some insight into this. Again, a Halal board might make sense based on this reasoning I jsut personally don't know enough about the rules of Halal to be able to say.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jes

                1. There are plenty of people who keep kosher at home, yet will eat fin fish or vegetables at non-kosher restaurants. Arguably, they aren't *really* keeping kosher if they do this. Which brings me to...

                2. A vegetarian board is good idea, except that it might quickly devolve into a bunch of squabbles about what "vegetarian" means. Are you *really* a vegetarian if you eat cheese? What if it's rennet-free cheese? Then again, some people love squabbling...

                1. re: small h

                  yes but the kosher board focuses on restaruants that serve strictly kosher food.