One Year Journey Of Adopting A Meatless Diet

Sunday, January 08, 2017
Today marks my one year anniversary of being a pescatarian–a person who consume seafood but not meat. Embarking on this meatless diet is nothing close to easy, but I've never once regretted it. Little did I know, watching Earthlings, a documentary that exposes the suffering endured by animals, has drastically changed my life and made me more conscious about how animals have suffered from human demands. Despite plenty of discouragement from people–be it my family or close friends–I continue to persevere, and eventually, choose to omit eggs and dairy products from my diet as well.

There are ups and certainly downs to this lifestyle and here are some of my thoughts based on my personal experience.

Firstly, having cravings and temptations, in the beginning, are inevitable. Somehow, the aromatic smell of food can be so alluring, you might want to take a bite. My nemesis–beef burger. It's the number one dish on the 'Things-I-Miss-Eating' list, followed by bacon and mutton biryani. Truth be told, I'm afraid of forgetting how each one of them tastes like.

Secondly, you will feel like a burden whenever you're dining out with your friends. I'm really grateful to have friends and families who are ever so willing to accommodate to my diet. From deciding on a location to splitting the bill, most of them were incredibly flexible and generous.

Thirdly, vegan desserts lack in flavour no matter what ingredients the recipe calls for. An unfortunate truth, but a truth nonetheless. I've yet to taste one that met my expectations. The texture and taste of a buttery sweet treat can never be replicated by using substitutions like vegetable oil, banana, or flax seeds. Your best bet is actually Asian's desserts, such as mango shaved ice and beancurd, to help you kerb your sweet tooth cravings.

Finally, you will always be bombarded with questions whenever you bump into someone who is new to your diet. When I first started, many people were curious and filled with 'WHYs'. The need to explain still remains till today, therefore, this post is dedicated to those with questions and confusion.

Here's a short excerpt of an old article I've written on veganism: "Based on a research, 42% of 8,000 vegans became one after watching an educational film, such as Cowspiracy or Earthlings. Surprisingly not, I adopted a meatless diet for the very same reason. Watching Earthlings and seeing how the animals suffered really broke my heart. Leading a meatless lifestyle is a good way to take a stand against slaughterhouse or related industry and operations in a peaceful manner."

First and foremost, be vegan for the right reasons. Over the years, the aesthetic appeal of a plant-based diet like the popular acai bowl has attracted many to join the vegan trend. As for me, I adopted this lifestyle for ethical reasons–avoiding food that causes animal suffering and premature death. In the egg production, for example, most male chicks are culled because they do not lay eggs. Or, newborn baby calfs in the dairy industry were forcefully taken away from their mothers–either killed or slaughtered for meat–within the first hour of birth.

That said, I will consume animals only if they were properly reared and killed, and witnessed with my very own eyes. Since I've yet to come across any, except for Lim Chu Kang's goat farm, cutting them out from my diet are for the best.

Another excerpt from the article: "One of the main concerns many non-vegans have is, "Where do I get my daily protein intake?" Contrary to popular beliefs, a plant-based diet actually offers more protein than a diet pack full of meat. For a long time, consumers have been drilled by the farm industry, culture, and society into believing that proteins only come from meat. Shocking, isn't it?"

I could go on and on about the lies the food industry have brainwashed us. From food production to fur clothing and performing acts, the society is basically exploiting animals for selfish reasons. Marketers claimed that the world does not have enough food, yet obese people live among us, and approximately one-third of the food produced in the word gets wasted. By statistics, this is so not right. The demands for animal products and entertainment only benefit those who can afford it (but don't need it), while there are millions of people suffering from starvation across the world.

Here are some helpful links and videos to watch:

Earthlings (recommended)
Cowspiracy -
How do animals experience pain?
Who says eggs aren't healthy or safe?
Dairy industry explained in 5 minutes (recommended)
Best speech on Veganism (recommended)

I hope, by the end of the article, I have addressed most your concerns and uncertainties. I don't know about you, but I can't just watch and do nothing about it. Whether you've chosen to accept the lies or decided to make a difference, it's your choice. Respect what others want because disagreement becomes inappropriate when it turns hostile.

Till then.