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Carnivore

How about some steak, St. Louis? Photo by Hillary Levin, hlevin@post-dispatch.com

When it comes to St. Louis embracing vegetarian ways, it seems to be more a matter of "won't" rather than "can't."

Our fair and hungry burg clocked in at No. 58, out of the largest 100 cities in the "Best Cities for Vegans and Vegetarians" list compiled by personal-finance website WalletHub.

It seems like we could do better, given that we were ranked No. 24 in one of the three main categories — "diversity, quality and accessibility" of vegetarian choices.

This included share of restaurants with vegetarian/vegan options; number of farmers markets, organic farms and community gardens; juice/smoothie bars; access to fresh vegetables; and availability of vegetarian cooking classes.

Also, we were in the middle of the pack, No. 52, when it came to grocery and restaurant prices on vegetarian and vegan items.

But then when it all came down to choice, embracing a "vegetarian lifestyle," we were in the bottom quarter, No. 75.

Seems like we're not that good about actually eating fruit and vegetables, we don't have a lot of vegetarian or vegan meetups, and we're not known to have vegan and vegetarian festivals.

Most major-city neighbors did better: Chicago (13); Indianapolis (21); Nashville, Tennessee (29); Kansas City (31); Cincinnati (38); and Louisville (52).

Only Memphis, bless its pulled-pork heart, finished lower at No. 91.

To virtually no one's surprise, the top five cities were: Portland, Oregon; Los Angeles; Orlando; Seattle; and Austin, Texas.

The worst big vegetarian city? El Paso, Texas.

Joe's St. Louis e-newsletter

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