It’s meatless Monday in Aspen

Meatless Monday
, a national movement to encourage people to eat less meat, has taken off in at least one Colorado town. Organizers report that Aspen has embraced the concept more than any other place in America.

From The New York Times:

“It’s very interesting, but for some reason when people come to Aspen, they want to eat meat,” said Mimi Lenk, a vegetarian for more than a decade and the manager of Syzygy, a downtown restaurant where elk, bison and lamb are the big sellers.

A new nationwide pro-veggie effort, however — aimed at persuading people to go meatless at least one day a week — has been embraced here more than in any other city in America. At least 20 institutions and restaurants, including Syzygy, are offering vegetarian choices on Mondays under a plan announced this month.

“Nobody is saying, ‘go become a vegetarian,’ ” said Martin Oswald, a restaurateur who led the effort in signing up Meatless Monday participants among his food-industry friends. Mr. Oswald said he thought the dynamic that made Aspen such a prime place to expand Meatless Monday was not philosophy or health, but rather the cutthroat economics of the restaurant business — keeping up with the Joneses for fear of being left out.

“The key was to get enough restaurants involved, then I could say: ‘Well, that guy does it and that guy over there and this guy does it over here. Do you want to do it, too?’ ” he said, sitting across the table at one of his restaurants, Pyramid Bistro. That approach, with its hard-to-say-no overtones, worked well. “So far, nobody has actually refused,” he said.

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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