Living France - - Your Comments -

In re­ply to Robin Wilcox’s let­ter re­gard­ing veg­e­tar­i­an­ism in France, I am not a veg­e­tar­ian, nor is my wife. How­ever, my wife, be­ing gluten in­tol­er­ant, has to care­fully read all food la­bels and ques­tion all restau­ra­teurs closely, both in the UK and in France, where we spend six months every year, to avoid ac­ci­den­tally in­gest­ing gluten.

How­ever, there are spe­cial­ist shops over here in France that cater for those who have to eat ‘ sans gluten’ and restau­ra­teurs fall over them­selves to help. They of­ten pro­duce beau­ti­ful dishes es­pe­cially for her. They will also, with a lit­tle no­tice, get gluten-free bread for her. So I am happy to say that the French are gen­er­ally very happy to be pre­sented with such a chal­lenge, and they take her prob­lem very se­ri­ously. So to all you fel­low suf­fer­ers, come on in, the wa­ter is lovely!

What has this to do with veg­e­tar­i­an­ism? Quite sim­ply this: in or­der to please the peo­ple who make the ‘life­style choice’ of not eat­ing an­i­mal prod­ucts, man­u­fac­tur­ers have re­placed an­i­mal prod­ucts in many of their prod­ucts with ones that con­tain wheat, mainly to thicken their sauces, but there are other rea­sons as well. The food tastes no dif­fer­ent, but this means that my wife, who has no choice in the mat­ter, is un­able to buy prod­ucts which years ago she could have bought, due to the veg­e­tar­i­ans’ in­flu­ence. Yet eat­ing a small amount of an­i­mal would not hurt them!

The French see veg­e­tar­i­ans as peo­ple who do not take the mat­ter of food se­ri­ously. As Homo sapi­ens are nat­u­rally om­ni­vores, they re­spect this.

A health prob­lem is not a life­style choice. Thank­fully, the French see this and are sym­pa­thetic, help­ful and only want to solve the prob­lem. Pat and John Ham­mond Tarn and Dorset

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