Food without much thought…

By David Hunter

Something that always surprises me at bioethics conferences, especially given the number of vegetarians in the field, is the absence of quality or sometimes even any vegetarian food.

Take the recent International Association of Bioethics (IAB) Congress in Croatia. The lunches were fairly awful especially for vegetarians (although the KFC looking chicken for the carnivores didn’t appear that much more appetizing). The cake was quite literally taken by the lunch on Sunday though where there was no vegetarian option just chicken, shrimps and what looked like innocuous potato slices but if you looked closely or like me failed to look and took some bites you would find bacon pieces… Not a pleasant experience for a vegetarian.

It seems simple enough to ensure that there is decent food for everyone to eat, but it is surprising how often this isn’t the case. The worst example of inappropriate food at a conference I’ve seen though was at a EUROSAFE conference where after an hour long lecture on the ethical issues in pig crating (the practice of raising pigs in small crates to improve the efficiency of meat production) replete with fairly brutal pictures, we were fed slices of ham…

As Iain said at least there was some pretty good stuff to listen to, even if there was little to munch on for us vegetarians.

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