With Bill Clinton going vegan, the scientific-case for weekday vegetarianism getting stronger, and even Anthony Bourdain saying we should probably eat less meat, the idea of a largely plant-based diet is moving from the fringes of culinary culture firmly into the mainstream.
Now The Guardian reports that France's top chef Alain Ducasse, a man the paper describes as "the most Michelin-starred cook on the planet", is reopening his luxury Parisian restaurant with a focus on organic ingredients and very little meat.
Ducasse is explicit for his reasoning behind the move, arguing that our planet's resources are increasingly in peril and we can't continue to eat the way we have been—with prime cuts of resource-intensive meat serving as the main focus of so many meals. Instead, Ducasse is choosing to feature dishes made from veggies, grains, seafood, with meat featuring as an occasional and thrifty accent.
I've always had a hard time imagining the whole world going vegan, at least overnight. And I've also been driven to ponder the viability of a truly vegan food system. That's why I find moves like Ducasse's so exciting. When culinary and cultural influencers like him decide to show how delicious, creative and attractive a cuisine based around veggies and sustainable seafood can be, it eaises the prospect of a much broader shift to a plant-based diet.
And that can only be a good thing for all of us.