by Niall Doherty

There’s a bar in the French Quarter that I’m quite fond of called Flanagan’s. It’s low key, away from the madness of Bourbon, often pretty quiet on a Friday or a Saturday night. The random people who hang out there are usually up for random conversations, and the bartenders are always laid back, cool to chat.

About a year ago I was in there and got talking with one such bartender. He was probably in his late-20’s, had a shaved head, a Sparta beard, and plenty of visible tattoos. I had just recently turned vegan, and I was doubting that this was the type of guy who’d be able to relate. But then I heard him discussing a detox diet with the cook, who could have been the bartender’s twin except for a significant height difference.

So we got talking about food, and it turns out that the bartender himself was vegetarian. I asked him why.

“Star Trek, man.”

Come again?

“Star Trek! The Vulcans are all vegetarian. They don’t find it logical to eat meat.”

I was never big into Star Trek, but I knew that Spock was Vulcan, and I knew Vulcans made decisions based on logic and reason, with no interference from emotion. And Mr. Bartender went on to tell me that the Vulcans thus thought it illogical and wasteful to spend all that time and effort feeding an animal, only to kill it and eat it.

“Why feed your food when you can just live off the feed itself?”