An interesting article caught my attention recently. A landlord listed his property for rent with an added bonus….. he offered a $200 discount on the $2,200 monthly rent to prospective tenants who pledged not to eat meat. Is it a creative attempt to publicize his rental property with a nifty discount? Or a concerted effort to blast the word about his favorite cause…… environmental activism via vegetarianism? Well, maybe it’s a bit of both.

The landlord is a member of Vegetarians of Washington, a nonprofit group dedicated to improving “the health and well-being of people and the world we live in, both by encouraging mainstream Americans to discover the advantages and pleasures of vegetarian food.”

He compares his preference for vegetarians to no-smoking policies, though he concedes that those are generally put in place to preserve the property from stinking—far more than to reduce lung cancer. So, he basically is using his rental property as a platform for his own self-interests. I can’t help imagining a meat eating tenant inquiring on the rental and finding out that he will have to pay more because he eats meat!! Some say being a vegetarian is actually a more expensive lifestyle due to the higher priced food and fresh produce needed to sustain the diet. A vegetarian tenant who is approved for this property may save a few bucks to offset his expensive lifestyle.  Meanwhile, meat eaters might consider this a weird (and new?) form of housing discrimination. Who knows! This landlord may find out that his “preferred” tenant may still be barbecuing tofu and drinking organic beer into the wee hours, and roasting stinky brussel sprouts while the neighbors are trying to enjoy a steak. And then of course what if someone is not truthful about being a vegetarian…..will this landlord go through the trash to investigate??