Showing meat the door.

Last weekend, Daniel, Claire and I went to Metro Detroit’s Great American Meatout.

While looking up the <a href="
http://www.detroitevolution.com/”>Detroit Evolution Laboratory (I plan to blog about them separately) I followed a link to an organization called <a href="
http://vegmichigan.org/”>VegMichigan. Sorry for all the links, but that’s how I got to them!

Anyway, that’s how I found my way to the Great American Meatout 2008, an annual event that takes place in various cities throughout the world, with the parent organization Meatout, established in 1985, which calls itself “The World’s Largest Diet Education Campaign.”

The Meatout seems to aim, at least in part, to educate those in attendance about vegetarianism and veganism, teach how eating meat harms the environment, host experts and speakers, and offer vegetarian food samples and recipes from area restaurants.

Unfortunately, the night before Dan and I went out with Bad Influence #1 and Bad Influence #2, Meg and Zozzy, so we were a bit “under the weather.” Though Dan tried his best to stay at home with, “I have an idea — why don’t you and Claire go and I’ll stay here and work on music” — the three of us set off in our own hazes.

We tried our best to pick up information that struck us the most, tried to find food samples laden with chocolate or other things that might briefly entertain Claire, who displayed the most incredible child patience of all time in this boring adult event. Not surprisingly she loves vegan chocolate cupcakes.

As a new resident to the Greater Detroit area, is was wonderful for me not only to sample the food but to learn about some of the vegetarian restaurants in the area. Though I love, love, love Thai Cafe and Beirut Palace, etc., I want some variety in my life.

Now I know to stop by Udipi Indian restaurant when I’m out working in Farmington Hills, learned Taste of Ethiopia is the place to go in Southfield, and learned one way to get Claire eat more fruit is to make strawberry, banana and soy milk smoothies with just a hint of maple syrup, thanks to Atoms Java and Juice in Grosse Pointe Park.

Another cool thing we learned about was the Good Neighbors Garden, a community garden where residents of certain cities can help garden crops and flowers if they enjoy that kind of thing or they can rent a plot and garden their own flowers, fruits and vegetables. We immediately decided it was a great idea and grabbed the information, but I’m doubtful we’ll actually go through with our rash, “We should do it!” Either way, I’m glad to know one exists and maybe at some point we’ll take part.

The idea is that the annual Meatouts — no matter where they are in the world — are to take place on or about the first day of spring. If you missed it this year, keep an eye out for one in your town next year. Even meat eaters can find something worthwhile and interesting at the Meatout. Don’t be afraid. We won’t bite.

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