Being Vegetarian in Montreal: An Inside Scoop – Mira Katz

Mira Katz is an eighteen year-old student studying Physiology at McGill. She has been vegetarian her whole life, and has a passion for food and health. She is also the newest member of the Administrative Council of the Montreal Vegetarian Association.

As a student in Montreal, I can say I’m more than blessed to have McGill practically in my back yard. And, as a vegetarian I can say that Montreal is more than friendly to my dietary needs amid my busy life-style and tight budget. So, here’s my condensed 101 guide to the secret to my plant-based meat-free success.

1. Food shopping: Fruits and veggies are always in abundance in my fridge, meaning they take out an abundance from my wallet. Finding cheap and fresh produce may seem like a challenge, however I’ve come up with a helpful list: Adonis, PA, Akhavan (just to name a few). The true fun lies in the Asian grocery stores that offer an array of exotic protein-filled goodies that keep my meals exciting without breaking the bank. For those special treats I like to hit up my local health food stores like Rachelle-Béry and À Votre Santé. That’s where I pick up my Sweets from the Earth products to get my sweet-tooth fix (my favorites are the Spiced Carrot Cake and Blueberry Cheesecake…I love that they’re vegan too!)

2. Going out: Despite my passion for cooking, I have a love for dining and eating out. The thrill of ordering off a menu and then having it magically appear on my table then biting into a plate full of new flavors never tires me. For those special moments, my favorite vegetarian restaurants are usually my go-to spots: ChuChai, Crudessence, Pushap.

3. Activism: Now don’t get me wrong, cooking and eating and talking about food are definitely a huge component of the vegetarian package, but there are other key parts too. My smaller environmental impact and health benefits are very important, and play a huge role in my decision-making and general life-style. I got involved with the Montreal Vegetarian Association so that I can educate people about the benefits of limiting meat consumption and practicing socially and environmentally conscious eating. We give talks, make a resto-guide and share relevant information to help people make more informed decisions about the way they eat (vegemontreal.org). Making the world a better place starts on our plates…or maybe I’m just hungry!

Good luck!

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