Two trendsetters in the vegan culture are sister and brother duo Aubry and Kale Walch, who are opening America’s very first Vegan Butcher Shop — not in Los Angeles or New York — but in Minneapolis. They just finished their initial Kickstarter fundraising campaign to help with the funding of this venture, and the response has been amazing. They easily surpassed their Kickstarter goal on December 1st.
“I told Kale about my idea of meat-free meat and two weeks later he quit college to help me follow my dream,” states Aubry. They have the collective goal to cater to omnivores, meat reducers, and flexetarians. “We want to make it easy for people to find meat alternatives, which, at the very least, will allow people to cut their meat intakes. If we could get people to cut their meat intake even by three days, we’d be making a huge step for the animals and the environment.”
Like most people, Aubry and Kale weren’t raised vegan, but it was a lifestyle that they grew into. Aubry, who has been a strict vegetarian for 18 years, started her path towards veganism through one of her early jobs. “Fourteen years ago I was a grocery store bagger. When the meat would come through the register scanner, I would stop and think ‘this is flesh from a dead animal.’ Looking at that much carnage made me curious about vegetarianism.” She sites Peter Singers books (i.e. ‘Animal Liberation’, ‘Practical Ethics’ and ‘The Life You Can Save’, to name a few) as being a big motivating force. “I decided I no longer wanted to be part of the problem.”
Her brother, on the other hand, had a very different calling. “I did it for health and vanity reasons.” Kale realized he was unhealthy and overweight, and decided that his sister just might be on to something with this veganism. Not only did it work, but it gave him a different outlook. “After becoming vegan, I became more and more aware of the atrocities of factory farming. That is why I want to do something about it.”
Aubry and Kale’s new outlook led to the making of their own ‘meat’ for friends. “We just got tired of buying fake meat products that were loaded with sodium and things you need to Google to learn what they are!” Their friends started spreading the word about these “meatless” meats, and soon the demand was so high that they opened up a booth at the local farmer’s market, which was a big hit. The idea and plans for opening a meatless butcher shop soon followed.
The two have perfected their seasoning and smoking process for their meatless meats, while keeping a focus on the texture of the food. To say that they are eager to open The Herbivorous Butcher is an understatement. It’s been a journey that began 18 years ago for Aubry, and with the help of her brother Kale, they will soon see their dream fulfilled. Minneapolis, get your taste buds ready for something brand new, and who knows, it may just change your life a little bit too.
The Herbivorous Butcher shop is on schedule to open its brick and mortar store in mid-April 2015 (and Scout 22 will be there for the Grand Opening). For more information about the shop or the two entrepreneurs behind it, visit theherbivorousbutcher.com or https://www.facebook.com/theherbivorousbutcher.