There are those of us who are concerned about our health and that of our fragile blue planet -- and then there are those of us who can't resist the temptation of an Egg McMuffin. Most of us lie somewhere in between, but all of us can appreciate the irony of scheduling a sausage festival and a vegetarian "Meatout" on the very same day.
Carnivores can call the Hermann Visitor Center, 800-932-8687, for more info on Wurstfest; herbivores should contact the Vegetarian Society of St. Louis, 314-995-2699, for more info on Meatout.
Wurstfest: Hermann Fire House No. 2, on Hwy. 100 W.
Meatout: Govinda's Vegetarian Restaurant, 3926 Lindell Blvd.
Visitors to Hermann, Mo., can begin the Wurstfest on Saturday by heading to the Stone Hill Winery, 1110 Stone Hill Hwy., to sample and purchase bratwurst, leberwurst, schwartenmagen and summer sausage under the pavilion. German musician Marilyn Loehnig and the Rhineland Wurstjaegers Folk Dancers (do they throw links at the audience?) perform at 2 p.m., and the winery offers a sausage-making demo and equipment display.
The Hermannhof Festhalle on First Street bursts its casings with meaty fun for a statewide sausage-making contest with celebrity judges from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., followed by a swing dance with music by the Starlighters at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday begins with a whole-hog-sausage breakfast at Hermann Fire House No. 2, on Hwy. 100 W., from 7:30 a.m.-noon, followed by a Wiener Dog Derby featuring a dachshund parade, race, and costume and length contests at the Dick Ochsner Ball Field in Hermann City Park at 2 p.m.
At the other end of the spectrum, the St. Louis Vegetarian Society and St. Louis Animal Rights Team are the local sponsors of the national Meatout 2001 on Saturday. Govinda's Vegetarian Restaurant, 3926 Lindell Blvd., hosts an all-you-can-eat Italian vegetarian feast for $10 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. The meal is also vegan, meaning the food contains no eggs, dairy or anything else connected to sentient creatures. The converted are asked to bring along their meat-eating buddies for a taste of the good and guilt-free life.
While at Govinda's, be sure to dig the Krishna propaganda in the form of the vitrine in the lobby containing models of man at various stages of the human journey -- it's groovy.