Vegetarians do tend to get a bad press. In the eyes of many meat equals protein and the person who abstains from eating it, whatever their reasons, must by nature be scrawny, undernourished and underpowered.
The vegetarian (although not the vegan) could credibly mount the defence that, being more dependent than most on dairy products of the non-meat variety (egg, milk, cheese etc.), he or she is likely to consume as much if not more high-quality protein that their carnivorous counterpart. Egg white in particular offers the most digestible protein form commonly available.
There was a time when it was very difficult to be a vegetarian. The veggie was considered by most of society to be a trifle “strange”, and in most restaurants and eating houses a vegetarian meal was considered along the lines of a Sunday roast without the meat, or a ham sandwich without the ham.
More than this, the word itself evoked an image in the mind’s eye of a thin, bespectacled, slightly sickly looking chap (usually with a beard and sandals) tucking excitedly into a plate full of leaves, with perhaps just a squirt of vinaigrette to fend off its otherwise total blandness.
Nowadays of course vegetarianism is a whole industry, with soya being used to replace meats and milks, and the emergence of mycoproteins that impersonate, sometimes quite successfully, more or less every meat product on the market.
Restaurants now routinely cater for vegetarians, not by simply omitting a major component of the meal but by providing a range of stand-alone veggie options, nourishing, tasty and delicious meals in their own right.
At the Eco Restaurant Clapham several of the most popular pizzas are in fact vegetarian and are enjoyed by veggies and meat eaters alike.
Which tells you that whether you are herbivore, pescatarian or carnivore you will always find something delicious and exciting to satisfy your appetite.