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Author Sarah Kirton
Sarah Kirton
Updated on Oct 16th, 2023
Fact checked by Deborah Leigh

The Herbivorous Butcher 2023: A Delectable Vegan World

Step into the world of The Herbivorous Butcher, a visionary vegan butcher shop that offers an array of mouthwatering plant-based meats. Meet the passionate sibling co-founders, Aubry and Kale Walch, who bring their love for food and commitment to a vegan lifestyle to the forefront. DeliveryRank finds out more.

What lies behind the inspiration of this family-run enterprise?

You know, Kale and I have a significant age gap between us. He's 13 years younger. We made the move to the United States from Guam when I was 13, and he was just six months old. Being in a new country, we only had each other to rely on, and that brought us closer. I've always had this strong desire to be in business with my brother. I can't imagine partnering with anyone else.

Our shared passion for food, especially considering my vegan lifestyle since I was 14 and Kale adopting a vegan diet at 16, became a major source of inspiration for our business. Our love for the planet, animals, and the culinary traditions of Guam motivated us to take the leap and start selling at the farmers market, and our journey has only progressed from there.

What challenges did you face while getting the business off the ground?

Many. Neither of us had much money or extensive food industry experience. I had some experience working at Whole Foods Market, while Kale had worked in various restaurants. However, our cooking skills were primarily developed at home. So, convincing people, especially in a place where meat and potatoes are dominant, to try our vegan products was a major obstacle. 

Starting our business at the farmers market meant we had to overcome skepticism from meat and dairy farmers and gain their support. We also went through the usual struggles of securing funding and convincing others to believe in our vision. But despite these hurdles, I believe that perseverance and a genuine passion for what we do can make a real difference.

How does The Herbivorous Butcher address the increasing global demand for meat alternatives and the environmental impacts of traditional meat production? In what ways do your products contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable eating?

Indeed, all of our products are vegan, which may come as a surprise since being vegan doesn't automatically guarantee being better for the environment. The environmental impact depends on factors like the level of processing involved and the origin of the product. Thankfully, we address these concerns in our approach. 

We meticulously create everything in small, painstaking batches by hand. Additionally, we make a conscious effort to source our ingredients locally, minimizing the need for extensive shipping. By adopting these practices, we strive to achieve a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional shopping methods.

Can you tell us more about the nutritional benefits of your plant-based meats? 

Certainly! One of the advantages of being a small business is the flexibility we have in tweaking our recipes with each batch. We take the time to test and ensure that every batch meets our standards. This ability to make quick adjustments on the go is a significant advantage compared to larger companies that often have numerous layers of approval before any changes can be made. It's one of my favorite aspects of being a small business owner.

Our aim is to offer alternatives that are more nutritionally balanced and promote overall well-being. We want to show people that a vegan diet can be delicious, satisfying, and contribute to their health. By providing options that are closer to whole foods and incorporating nutritious ingredients, we strive to offer alternatives that are not only appealing but also nourishing.

Could you describe the production process and any unique methods or ingredients that contribute to the exceptional taste and texture of your products?

As for our production process, it varies depending on the specific product. For example, our porterhouse steak benefits from the addition of tomato and vinegar, which gives it a hint of a bloody aftertaste. We also use our homemade beef broth to infuse savory notes that mimic the juiciness of a real steak. Some of our newer plant-based meats benefit from innovative mixing techniques that help develop the proteins in a way that mimics the texture of shredded chicken. It's really fascinating to see how these methods have evolved and required a lot of experimentation to perfect.

Each product has its own unique quirks and production methods that contribute to its exceptional taste and texture. We thoroughly enjoy the process of creating these plant-based alternatives and discovering new ways to make them stand out.

Beyond providing a healthy and ethical alternative to meat consumption, what larger impact do you hope to achieve through The Herbivorous Butcher? 

Our main goal has always been to bridge the gap between the meat-eating world and the vegan world in a way that feels accessible to omnivores. We strive to create a comfortable transition for people towards a vegan diet. Our concept of a vegan butcher shop, where our products closely resemble their animal counterparts in appearance and taste, is our way of encouraging omnivores to explore plant-based alternatives.

We understand that for many Americans, having a plate with meat, starch, and vegetables holds great importance. Therefore, our approach is focused on helping individuals make the switch, even if it's just for one meal or one day at a time. We believe that gradual changes can have a significant impact. It's not about forcing people to eat an impossible burger, but rather providing options that are both comfortable and healthy.

There are numerous ways in which adopting a plant-based diet can have a significant impact. Even just one day of going meat-free can result in substantial water savings, equivalent to approximately 160 showers. The environmental benefits of reducing meat consumption, even on a weekly basis, are tremendous.

However, we feel it goes beyond environmental impact. There is a compassionate aspect involved in making a conscious decision to eat plant-based. Choosing to forgo animal products demonstrates empathy towards animals and acknowledges their well-being. It's a decision that aligns with a greater sense of compassion for all living beings.

This conscious shift in dietary choices has the potential to extend beyond food. It can lead to a broader change in mindset and behavior, fostering a more compassionate outlook on life. It's a transformative experience that can reshape one's values and actions, instilling a deep level of empathy and compassion at a fundamental level.

By embracing a plant-based lifestyle, we not only contribute to environmental sustainability but also open ourselves up to a more compassionate way of living. It's a powerful and profound change that has the potential to positively impact individuals, animals, and the world we inhabit.

If you would like to find out more about The Herbivorous Butcher, visit https://www.theherbivorousbutcher.com/

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