BY TARA ERWIN
Kaitltyn Munro, twenty-eight, clearly recalls the
moment in 2004 when she decided to follow a
vegetarian diet. “My mom was cleaning a chicken
breast for dinner and I remember saying ‘I will never do that,’” recalls the Lewiston native, who now
lives in Buffalo. “She replied, ‘you will when you
start cooking for yourself.’ I stopped eating meat
then.” Munro, an assignment supervisor at Time
Warner Cable News Buffalo, made the transition
to veganism a year later, a lifestyle she maintained
until 2010. Due to her hectic schedule, Munro now
sometimes eat eggs or dairy out of convenience,
but is “mostly vegan,” believing passionately in
plant-based nutrition and animal welfare. “I live by
the motto ‘do the least amount of harm,’” she says.
Does being vegetarian/vegan ever put a cramp
in your group dining plans?
When I became vegan eleven years ago, it
seemed like there were only a limited amount of
food options in the Buffalo region. My go-to restaurants were Amy’s Place and Falafel Bar. Today,
it seems like every place offers at least one vegetarian option. My girlfriend, Lisa Kumro, is vegetarian and a chef at the Mansion on Delaware, so we’re
always looking for new places with vegan options
in Buffalo and beyond. Some current local favorites
are the skinny Thai taco from Lloyd Taco Factory,
“beef” on weck sliders from Betty’s and the cashew
noodle bowl from the Lexington Co-Op.
How does the vegetarian/vegan restaurant
scene in Buffalo stack up against other cities?
Compared to other major cities, Buffalo is behind in not having a strictly vegetarian restaurant.
Several years ago, I went to Toronto and basically ate my way around the city. I remember going to
Vegetarian Haven and thinking to myself, wow, I
can order anything. When you’re used to scouring
the menu for something meat-free, it’s exciting to
go to a place when you can simply order and not
stress about it. With a large veg population in WNY
and growing restaurant scene, I’m surprised that
our options still are somewhat limited.
Along the same lines, what markets in WNY
are best for vegans/vegetarians?
Wegman’s: large variety, affordable prices
Trader Joe’s: affordable, healthy options
Price Rite: affordable produce and pantry items
Feel Rite: best deal on Vega protein powder if
you use a punch card
Do you have to be an adventurous eater to be
a vegetarian, or can someone who has a more
traditional palate find success?
I’ll eat anything if it’s vegan. I think it’s funny
when meat eaters are afraid to try vegan alternatives. Like, you will eat a hot dog and not think
twice about the ingredients, but you’re scared of
this piece of tofu?
PR specialist Tara Erwin is a frequent
contributor to Spree.
The adventurous vegan