HOME > Chowhound > Site Talk >


A New Board for Vegetarians?

How about creating a new board for vegetarians?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. While my first instinct was to say that wasn't a bad idea, a little voice in the back of my head quickly piped up, wondering how often omnivores would visit. The majority of people on chow have incredible recipes and suggestions, some of which are vegetarian even if they are not vegetarians. You might miss some good stuff, Doc. And so might the meat-eaters.

      And, as most vegetarians are savy enough to adapt a recipe to their needs, might that not be a little limiting?

      1. Aside from the knee-jerk Chowhound answer that there can never be any new boards, ever, for any reason (I sound snarky about this, but I actually mostly agree with it), there's no compelling reason to ghetto-ize posts about vegetarian food. Plenty of people on my home board request information about vegetarian restaurants, and they get it. Plenty of people on Home Cooking request information about vegetarian recipes, and they get it. So it's kind of a solution in search of a problem.

        There's also the little matter of defining the word "vegetarian," which always opens up a whole can of (gummy, of course) worms.

        1. This seems to come up every year or so. What do you feel the benefit would be? I'm an ovo-lacto veg, and I can't think of any benefits to a veg board.

          1. Well, there's a Kosher board, why not a vegetarian board? I've seen many a post looking for vegetarian options be hijacked by many other helpful suggestions, that are not, and end up being about the best way to grill a steak.

            Why not a targeted resource for those looking for an array of threads that fit the vegetarian bill?

            For those against the idea- do you realize how difficult it is to search through the entire site for the occasional thread that may or may not contain info for vegetarians, even if it contains the word "vegetarian"?

            p.s. me = not vegetarian most of the time, but eats meat less than once/week- I would love a board to talk about ideas and recipes that don't involve meat(s).

            3 Replies
            1. re: cheesemonger

              Well, I am a vegetarian, and I don't find it difficult to find ideas on this site that are suitable for my diet. I'm not sure why you find it difficult to find threads that fit the vegetarian bill. I just looked at the front page for home cooking and see loads of threads that are helpful to me. I'm just not going to open up the oxtail or lamb kidney threads.

              My concern about a vegetarian board is that non-vegetarians will not visit it. So the omnivore with a fantastic vegetarian green bean recipe will not see my plea for new ideas for green beans. I would guess that the vast majority of chowhounds eat a lot of vegetarian dishes; they sure do post about a lot of them. I don't want to be isolated from those ideas just because there might be a nice pork dish on the plate for some posters.

              There are frequent "need vegetarian idea" posts on the homecooking board. It seems to me those posts get lots of great ideas, from veg*ns and omnivores alike.

              1. re: cheesemonger

                The Kosher board is kind of a remnant from a different time, when the site was founded and was NY-centric, but even that board doesn't really cover cooking, just restaurants, so if you're using that as your precedent, you're still not going to get what it sounds like you want.

                1. re: cheesemonger

                  I don't think that the vegetarian area would get a lot of traffic from non vegetarians. If you're looking for a restaurant, the local board is a much better option. I know my board has posts fairly frequently about vegetarian options and they have no shortage of replies. I can't imagine that people who spend most of the time on a local board going to visit a vegetarian board often enough to provide timely information, since a lot of the more knowledgeable posters in a given area may not be vegetarian.

                  As for cooking, most people don't put meat/dairy into every dish they eat, so everyone's probably looking for vegetarian options on the home cooking board- be it for sides or for a main course. I don't think searching is all that hard. If you want a dish with green beans, for instance, just do a search for that and see what comes up that's vegetarian. Not all vegetarian dishes are going to be labeled as such.

                  1. I recall a recent inquiry about a Board for special diets. Last year a Gardening Board was added and few thought that was going to happen or would serve a large audience. The one aspect of a specific board that always appeals is the supportive discussions. Vegetarians and folks with special diets get taken to the CH wall. Dozens of threads get flammed, deleted over posts that aren't helpful and often unnecessarily ignorant and mean. It's unfair to offer a forum to all and then have to wade through the b.s. to find the gem.

                    CHOW also offers an array of recipes, articles, videos and such that cover vegetarian, special diets or unique food menus and could do a much better job of attracting CH members over to that side of the site.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: HillJ

                      I recall a recent inquiry about a Board for special diets.
                      oh how i'd love a GF board!!! i know it'll never happen, but a girl can dream...

                    2. At first this seems like a good idea, but then the various factions of "vegetarian" will rear their heads and call for separate boards for each type of vegetarian. Perhaps just a Vegan Board might be in order.

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: Tripeler

                        To me the biggest benefit would be more for shopping than for restaurant recommendations. I was just going to create a post about some veggie prawns I used to buy (and which were also served in veg Chinese restaurants) but which disappeared from shops and restos completely a few years ago. Omnivores would not be likely to know or care about products like this, but I would love to see a community of veggies who could help each other to find sources for veg products, especially the more esoteric stuff.
                        I live in the NY metro area and have access to stores in Manhattan, Flushing, etc. Also have searched every veg website I can find, but maybe there's something I missed. Would love to have a network of people with similar interests!

                        1. re: mrsdebdav

                          I agree with you mrsdebdav. I am a food lover, period. I don't follow a special diet but I am careful about what I eat and how much of anything I eat each day so that I can continue to enjoy food for years to come. HST, I would benefit from learning about new shopping experiences and food stuffs avail to explore and try that other CH's can share!

                          1. re: mrsdebdav

                            Have you tried May-Wah? According to their website, they carry veggie prawns. But I'm not sure if it's the specific one you're looking for.


                            1. re: mrsdebdav

                              I used to be a vegetarian separatist for exactly this kind of inquiry. Having a separate board would cut down on the inevitable, "Why on earth do you eat fake meat?," posts that wind up as responses to these kinds of inquiries. I would appreciate Chowhound being more inclusive to our vegetarian brethren, but I have come to believe the issue is beyond the scope of Chowhound.

                              Now, I think all hounds benefits from these kinds of queries and posts, even if they are deemed problematic.

                              1. re: MplsM ary

                                "Having a separate board would cut down on the inevitable, "Why on earth do you eat fake meat?," posts that wind up as responses to these kinds of inquiries."

                                You mean like the chains board has cut down on all those posters throwing in negative comments on anything chain? ;-D>

                                  1. re: Servorg

                                    Out of curiosity, does this happen on the Kosher boards? I don't know as I don't hang out there..... I often wonder if there's this "oh here we go again, another difficult kosher eater" mentality from others there.

                                    While I have no problems with chains as such, I can SORT of see why some people have issues with them (although not why they seek out those boards to vent). Chains don't always have great food, not always unique, what have you. Vegetarian food is not by its existence, bad food.

                                    It's the "oh we know what YOU guys are all like, and we just KNOW what's gonna happen " comments about vegetarians that I don't understand, along with the people who seem to lurk in wait of their moment to bring up the whole vegan/vegetarian differences. Allergy issues aside, I'd hazard a guess that there are plenty of people who would call themselves omnivores that never touch a vegetable, will only eat chicken nuggets etc. No one seems to race in with a "GTFO of here !!! you have no right to call yourselves omnivores!!!"

                                    (and yes, I acknowledge that there are a share of p.i.t.a. vegetarians out there, but that is certainly not a quality unique to that group)

                                    1. re: im_nomad

                                      From the stand point of Kosher food being (shall we say) taste challenged a lot of the time one could make the analogy to Chain food. But the biggest issue that crops up on the Kosher board is probably the spitting of Good Housekeeping Seals of Kosher Approval hairs by those who live and love to debate those particular endless bones of contention... (g)

                                      From my perspective both Chain and Kosher food discussions should (and for the most part do) revolve around the "lesser of evils" discussion in which hounds chime in with suggestions on what is "best - relative to the rest of the menu."

                                  2. re: MplsM ary

                                    I'm not a vegetarian, but I am a big fan of Chinese Vegetarian cuisine (as I am of many other cuisines). The obvious answer to "Why on earth do you eat fake meat?" is "Because it's delicious." Having said that, it's also obvious that non-delicious forms of fake meat exist, just like non-delicious forms of burgers or smoked salmon exist, and as usual, we'll have to sort out the good versions from the bad.

                                1. re: Tripeler

                                  It's this kind of assumption that makes even the threads not work.

                                2. Would it be veggie home cooking? Restaurants? UK? USA? Europe?...
                                  I don't eat meat but I get ideas from meat recipes - and I sometimes look in boards of cities I'll never visit.
                                  So I vote to keep vegetarians integrated with the rest of Chow society.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Peg

                                    I'm a vegetarian and I agree with Peg. The last thing I want is for vegetarian cooking, e.g., to become ghettoized. I appreciate many home cooking threads and get lots of ideas even from recipes and discussions that include meat.

                                    In addition, the "where to do I buy xxx" queries on a national or international "all vegetarian" board would be pretty useless, unless we're talking strictly mail-order. And mail order is adequately covered on the General Board. Where to find locally should be covered on the appropriate local board.

                                    1. re: Peg

                                      Why would vegetarians be alienated (aside from the obvious issues out there right now)? And I ask this as someone who doesn't eat meat. I hang out on the other boards all the time and even read the meat-based posts from time to time.

                                      If nothing else I think it'd be a gesture.