Why People in Wealthy Countries are Eating Plant-Based Food

Source: The Economist

IT IS lunchtime and a queue is forming for the burgers at Krowarzywa, voted the city’s best in an online poll: students, families, businessmen in suits. This is Warsaw, where (you might think) lunch is usually a slab of meat with a side order of sausage. But at Krowarzywa—which means “cow alive” and contains the word warzywa, meaning vegetables—no animals were harmed in the making of the food. The burgers are made of millet, tofu or chickpeas. The bestselling “vegan pastrami” is made of seitan, a wheat-based meat substitute.

Warsaw has almost 50 vegan restaurants. That does not mean it has all that many vegans. Kassia, a 20-something professional in the queue, says she has no ethical objection to eating meat. She comes to Krowarzywa because she likes the food. Kornel Kisala, the head chef, thinks that most of Krowarzywa’s clientele eat meat, but it does not worry him. “Animals don’t care whether you eat a vegan burger because it is fashionable or because it is tasty.” Altogether, 60% of Poles say they plan to cut back on meat this year. Eating vegetarian and vegan meals now and then is one of the ways some choose to do so.