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Introducing our new vegetarian columnist

Posted 6:45pm on Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2014

Our cover story this week, will also launch a new, twice-monthly column about meatless dining, called “The Lonesome Vegetarian.” Its author is Fort Worth writer Marilyn Bailey, who’s been a vegetarian since 1990.

We’ll let Marilyn tell you more.

I intend this column to be a celebration of an under-appreciated corner of restaurant menus, highlighting a part of a booming dining scene that may not be quite so obvious in a place called Cowtown (or its neighbors to the east, all touched by the region’s beefy reputation).

This won’t be a “Meat Is Murder” kind of thing. I’m not against meat, at least when it’s responsibly produced (and my husband is an enthusiastic carnivore), I just don’t eat it myself. I was squeamish about it all throughout my childhood, and mostly ate meat that was so processed it no longer reminded me of an animal (pepperoni, exceedingly well-done burgers disguised with lots of toppings — not the healthiest way to eat). In my 20s, I finally decided to bring my diet in line with my true feelings.

That inclination was later reinforced by all I’ve learned about how animals are treated in factory farming, and factory farming’s environmental impact, but those aren’t the reasons I gave up meat. It was a more visceral thing.

My aim isn’t to preach to my fellow diners-out (though I do reserve the right to get grumpy occasionally with restaurateurs). I may slip up, but I’ll aim to be as generous and sanctimony-free as possible.

Just as I have no beef with meat eaters, I hope I won’t annoy vegans too much. I eat dairy and eggs, so not every dish I mention will be vegan, but I’ll try to look out for vegans, too. Let’s all be nice to one another.

The column is also meant to be interactive. We’d like to create a community of diners who share information and opinions about meat-free dining out in North Texas. I don’t know the whole scene: I haven’t done enough exploring of Asian restaurants. I am seriously under-informed about dining in the Mid-Cities and Arlington. And I still haven’t tried some recent major openings even in Fort Worth, including the Thai restaurant Spice on Magnolia or Sera on Forest Park for tapas and wine.

Have a suggestion, a veggie news tip or a rant of your own? Send it to me at veggie@dfw.com, or follow me on Twitter @LonesomeVeg.

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