Vegetarians and soy stuff?

(Uh… not quite sure if this post goes here)

Just wondering. How often do vegetarians who are vegetarians for reasons other than diet (i.e. religion, animal rights, etc.) eat the soy burgers that are advertised to “taste like the real thing”?

If there are any at all, doesn’t that mean that they would be somewhat promoting the consumption of cow-flavored stuff, anyway?

Fake or otherwise, it sort of (I stress ‘sort of’) adds up to the same thing, doesn’t it? I.e. wearing faux fur still sends off the message, “I like to wear animal carcasses. Since I’m not allowed to do that, I might as well get fake ones, and just look like I’m wearing them.”

Say, if there were “soy peopleburgers” that tasted exactly like the real thing, and just happened to taste really, really good, wouldn’t people have problems with that?

IANAV(I am not a vegetarian) but I guess that for some vegitarians, the important thing to them is that no animals are harmed when they consume the food. Now, animals do taste good (to at least some, if not most, people) so soy burgers allow vegitarians to enjoy food without harming animals.

Oh yeah, I’d like to note that the faux fur arugment was “borrowed” from a friend I overheard talking to someone in high school. I kind of spun off the soyburger thing from that.

I won’t speak for other vegetarians, but here goes…

I like meat. Even if I find the process by which it’s delivered to one’s plate distasteful (and possibly immoral), it it still very tasty, and has a satisfying consistency that I grew accustomed to during my non-veggie years.

To be perfectly honest, I find the smell (and possibly taste, if I were to eat meat willingly) a little weird now. I can’t get the connection with scorched animal flesh out of my head. But the taste and smell I remember is mimicked decently by substitute meat products.

That goes for the ones that actively mimic meat. Many veggie burgers (Garden burgers, for example) are quite delicious and don’t particularly remind me of meat at all. Which is why I get annoyed when meaties spit them out in disgust. But I have plenty of meat-eating friends that have grown to enjoy soy-based products in addition to meat. They’re hardly mutually exclusive.

Yeah. Garden burgers are quite tasty. Personally, I’ll eat anything that won’t kill me. My main concern was the vegetarian burgers that taste like real beef (I’ve tried Boca Burgers, and they’re not too far off from good ol’ cow).

There’s nothing wrong with trying to emulate a good taste, and nothing hypocritical about it.
That said, I think that soy veggie food tastes best when it doesn’t try to exactly match meat, but just tries to be the best whatever it is. It’s hard to match the real thing, and often not worth it to try: because it’s the texture, fat content, and juiciness, not the taste, that’s the really hard thing to get down.

FYI, there are vegetarians who won’t eat “fake meat” for precisely the reasons argued in the OP. There are also vegetarians who won’t eat it because they don’t like the taste.

I was once unable to eat a Thai vegetarian dish because it looked and tasted so much like roast beef it was genuinely starting to make me ill, but I don’t generally find the taste of soy (etc) products similar enough to real meat to be bothered about. Although, after 18 years I’ve kind of forgotten what real meat tastes like anyway …

I don’t think it’s the “cow flavored substance” part that vegetarians have a problem with. It’s the cow. Heck, if they could simulate cow flesh in a lab without having to actually kill cows, I’d be all for it.

Truthfully most vegetarians I know arn’t too into realistic meat substitutes. They may like something that takes the place of meat in something (like a garden burger), but mostly they leave the realistic tasting stuff to people who don’t eat meat for health reasons. When they do eat realistic meat substitutes, it is usually out of nostalgia. I’ll occasionally cook up a fake-hotdog chili dog, because chili dogs were one of my favorite childhood meals. The important thing is that I recapture a bit of my past- not that I simulate dead pig.

Thats also the problem with your fake fur argument. Fur stands for a lot more than just “wonton death”. It is an important part of thousands of years of fashion history. It has social and asthetic connotations that shouldn’t just be abanodon. I dare you to create an outfit that makes you think “Siberia” without having something that looks like fur. Luckly, fake fur is just about as good as real fur, and so we don’t have to kill animals anymore to get that look. Fake fur in fashion is all about symbol and connotation. It’s kind of like when women wear vaguely Asian looking shirts. They arn’t really Asian. They have nothing to do with the reality of Asia. But they still evoke Asia, and that is what is important.

I asked a question similar to this in my early days here and boy did it get me into trouble (I was mistaken for a troll IIRC) - I think my phrasing may have been a large contributory factor (“is fake meat the moral equivalent of cosmetics tested on animals?” or something like that, based on the assumption that a few pigs must have died during the process of creating and taste-testing/comparing the product). Anyway, I’m over it now :wink:

Part of the reason that the fake meat products exist is so that vegetarians can participate in social events where specific foodstuffs are consumed - if a non-veggie is hosting a barbecue (of the ordinary outdoor grilling kind, not the famous and much-loved marination process) and veggies are invited, the fake meat products offer the host a convenient way to cater for the specific dietary requirements of the veggie without too much trouble and while still keeping consistent the general food theme.

And some non-meat things taste quite meaty - portobello mushrooms, for instance, if made into gravy or stew - without anyone trying for a meaty flavour. Should we forsake these things because they happen to taste like something else?