Re: Cutting boards and vegetarians
From: Jeff Hobson (
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 15:19:52 -0700 (MST)
Veena - Hi. Hope all's well in Pleasant Hill. 

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I suspect you will have difficulty
ending up with separate cutting boards & utensils for non-veg materials. 

I am a vegetarian and lived in N Street Cohousing (in Davis, CA) for almost
3 years. The community was about 1/3 to 1/2 vegetarian. In its earlier
years, it tried to be all vegetarian, but that didn't stick. Then (while I
was there) it had a policy that all community meals had to have a
vegetarian option. Almost always it was a *good* vegetarian option, not
just the meat entree without the meat. I believe this is still true.

So overall, N Street was/is more vegetarian-friendly than (to my
understanding) Pleasant Hill is likely to be. Nonetheless, the vegetarians
never succeeded in having any rules about segregating ladles, cutting
boards, plates, anything. There was an attempt for awhile to keep separate
pots & cutting boards, but it was routinely ignored and dropped away. 

It is also true that (in my time there) we vegetarians didn't push too hard
to get these ideas to stick. I'm a vegetarian on health and environmental
grounds, with a little dose of animal cruelty tossed in, and it is a habit
I developed myself, not one that has been passed on over generations of
tradition and practice. I think that was true of most (but not all) of the
other vegetarians at N Street. So the separate utensils issue was not as
important for me as it may be for you or others. It is possible that
"strict vegetarians" whose beliefs are grounded in a long and honored
religious tradition may be more able to get their desires to stick. On the
other hand, if you're the only vegetarians, it may be that the
responsibility will fall to you to maintain separate veg-only utensils. 

Jeff Hobson
* trying to start East Bay Cohousing in Oakland or Berkeley, where I look
forward to having debates about *how* to use the kitchen

At 11:41 AM 1/17/2000 -0600, Veena Achar wrote:
>I am a strict vegetarian and for our cohousing community kichen, I am
>hoping to have completely seperate cutting boards for meat and eggs. So
>aprt from this 'bugs' issue there are other issues like this that can
>become a problem for vegetarians. 
>We will also hopefully not use the same wooden ladles between meat and
>non meat dishes  and have labelled drawers that indicate what it for
>what. Being the only couple (so far) who are vegetarian in the group, I
>am very interested in knowing how this will all turn out. Education
>obviously will need to be a major part of things and I like the idea of
>holding workshops! 
>Would be interesting to know what other vegetarian cohousers out there
>do  right now in established common house kithens.. 
>Veena Achar
>Pleasant Hill cohousing, CA

Jeff Hobson, Project Manager
Transportation Choices Forum
phone:  510-540-7280
fax:    510-540-7229
email:  jhobson [at]

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