This week's dining review features The Wild Cow in East Nashville, where owners Melanie and John Cochran have put forth the best vegetarian effort we've seen locally. While there was a lot we liked about about the restaurant, there was a lot the owners didn't like about the review. Thanks to Melanie for her passionate response, which is reprinted below:
This is Melanie Cochran, co-owner of The Wild Cow. First of all, thank you for taking the time to review our restaurant. I appreciate the positive comments and tidbits of constructive criticism. I'm emailing you now, not because I'm upset about the negative things you wrote about us, but rather because I'm offended by some of the assumptions you made about us and vegetarians in general.
First of all, I wish you would have asked us why we chose the name, The Wild Cow. Instead, you offered your own interpretation, which was not only highly incorrect, but also very disrespectful. The name came from our disapproval of the factory farm system where animals spend their entire lives in despicable confinement; many times, they can not even turn around during the durations of their lives. We chose the name, The Wild Cow, as a symbol of more humane farming, as it was before factory farms took over.
I also hoped you would have taken the time to speak with us about why we chose to not serve meat and only limited dairy products. Our reasons are varied and numerous. Surely you are aware of the undeniable animal cruelty that exists in the VAST majority of our nation's meat. I'm also sure that by now, you must be aware of the immense environmental destruction caused by the factory farm industry. This is not to preach about vegetarianism; rather, it's a request that you show some respect for people who make sacrifices to make the world a better place. For us, choosing to not perpetuate cruelty and environmental destruction is a serious decision that could be considered comparable to a religious belief. I would like to believe that you would not ridicule someone's ethical decisions, but your article proved me wrong.
Also, the line about you envisioning a server here wearing a protein patch and longing for meat was not only ignorant (do some research on protein please), but also very disrespectful. May I remind you that we are clients of the Scene? It's one thing to give an honest review of our food, but it's a totally different thing to ridicule our ethical beliefs and make vastly innacurate assumptions (we have no desire for meat, nor do we count the days since we've been "clean"). We are healthy and happy as vegans, knowing that we are not contributing to one of the most harmful industries in our society.
No matter how you feel about our restaurant and our food, I believe that you owe vegetarians/vegans an apology and I hope that you will do some research about why we choose this lifestyle before you continue to ridicule it. We are healthy and happy, knowing that we are not contributing to one of the most harmful industries in this modern era.
So to sum up: I respect your opinions about our food; that's not the issue. The issue is that we found certain aspects of the review (especially the line about the server wearing a protein patch and counting down the days since she's been "clean") to be unprofessional and disrespectful. In addition, I feel that responsible journalism should be based on facts (asking us questions), rather than incorrect assumptions.
Thank you for your time,