Fasting on the Bayou

David Cassuto

I blog from New Orleans, where I am attending the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) annual meeting.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, tomorrow is the meeting of the Animal Law section. 

Today I field tripped with the Environmental and Natural Resource sections.  We first visited a swamp and marshland (there is a difference between the two) and after lunch, we toured the lower Ninth Ward to see both the remaining devastation from Katrina as well as some fascinating and hopeful rebuilding efforts (including Brad Pitt’s Make It Right project).  All in all, it was a wonderful day spent with great colleagues witnessing both the struggles and triumphs of the natural and human world. 

There was one rub, though.  We stopped for lunch at the Bayou Barn for a pre-ordered, catered event.  My expectations for such things are always low and I’m rarely disappointed.  But today, I was stunned.  Not only was there no vegetarian option, there was no way to even request one.  In a country where between 4-10% of the population are vegetarian, what are the odds that among a group of environmental  law professors, there might be a few folks concerned about the environmental and ethical implications of meat consumption?  And yet, here among people who know very well the implications of their dietary choices, those who choose not to dine on animals nevertheless remain lonely outliers.  

It’s demoralizing is what it is.

3 Responses

  1. I’m always appalled when that happens at environmental events. I was so happy when last year’s NELMCC board did all vegetarian catering. Animal rights advocates or not, this is the group that at the least should be the most sensitive to the issue, and to the environmental impacts, as you said.

  2. i read that the same thing happened at copenhagen; there was like 1 vegetarian food booth at the whole affair. this is a ripe area for advocacy.

  3. You were still in Louisiana, right? Last I heard, most beer was vegetarian. Improvise, David, improvise!

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