The Vegetarian

The Vegetarian

The title of this doodle is “The Vegetarian”.  Yes.  One day I may look like that.

Recently, I have become a social meat eater.  But why?  Nothing as dramatic as quiting alcohol since January 2008.  Of which, I still owe you a why.  And I will.  Meanwhile, why give up on meat?

A simple answer would be: romancing with a different lifestyle.  To be frank, I have little feeling towards another chicken dies because I want one of its legs for my lunch.  Though now that my dietary doesn’t necessarily require the killing of say a chicken, it seems like a good thing to do.  I am more intrigued by the studies that say meat takes much longer time to digest compares to vegetables.  Or in one of the talks, the exact words used was “meat rots longer inside our stomachs”.  Gross, I know.  But maybe there is an ounce of truth in it.  Maybe we don’t need to eat meat to live.

I do eat vegetarian meals from time to time.  Catholics abstain from eating meat on the Fridays of Lent.  Or to follow the older tradition, the entire 40 days of Lent.  My Chinese heritage encourages me to abstain from eating meat during key occasions, such as the first meal of the Chinese New Year.  Even when I am outside Hong Kong, I still follow that tradition till today.  It was hard, especially when I was studying overseas.  No one around me seemed to understand.  But I know if I do follow, my parents would be happy.  Even when I am thousands of miles away from them.

What on earth is a “social meat eater”?  If I am on my own, I would stick to vegetarian diet, provided that I can find it.  If I am with my friend, I would order vegetarian dishes if it is not too much of a trouble.  Otherwise, my next choice would be seafood.  I probably wouldn’t feel bad eating meat with my friends.  Because this decision of mine is neither based on religion nor on the basis of health.  It is a lifestyle choice.

Now, how do I feel eating vegetarian dishes most of the time?  Initially, I felt unfulfilled, to be honest.  I got hungry very often.  Normally I would get depressed.  Like during the days when I have to stick to non-meat dishes (such as Lent).  This time round, unknown to me, I do feel happy not eating meat.  More than one week has passed and I think my body begins to adapt to the lack of meat diet.  I eat fruits when I feel hungry at night.  I choose brown rice when it is available.  Back to how I feel.  In fact, I feel great, happy.  Seems more agile.  Less lethargic.  Maybe because my body doesn’t need to work so hard to digest the food, I don’t know.  All of a sudden, I feel like doing more exercise.  What a transformation!

The next thing I wish to do is to work out a nutrition table.  If I am going to be a serious vegetarian, or social meat eater, I need to make sure that all my daily nutrition intake is taken care of.

23 thoughts on “The Vegetarian”

  1. Hey Wilfrid, you have hit the nail on the head on what I have been trying to do lately, which is to at least be a piscetarian and semi-vegetarian when alone. Socially, it is difficult to truly be a vegetarian (or vegan even) as the bulk of my friends are still pretty much carnivorous or omnivorous.

    Other than reasons of health and prevention of cruelty to animals (I am sure you have watched Earthlings featuring Joaquin Phoenix? If not, please go check it out via google), I am also conscious of the amount of pollution which goes with the business of animal husbandry. One kilogramme of beef is equivalent in greenhouse gas emissions to driving a mid-size car for 3 hours and leaving all the lights on the house on during that period!

    Perhaps when I get back to Singapore we should catch up over a vegetarian meal? There are some pretty good restaurants serving them in Singapore.

    1. Walter – Ah, thanks for sharing. I suspect there are more “part time vegetarians” than I think there are. In fact, there are more decent vegetarian eating places that I think there are. Perhaps because people are not too vocal about their dietary preferences when it comes to “part time” choices.

      Yes, I am with you on the cruelty to animals. I have once watched a documentary – was it Supersize Me? – that a modern animal farm has humongous impact to the environment. OK, I will certainly Google Joaquin Phoenix when I am at home.

      Certainly we shall catch up over a vegetarian meal buddy! I will have to take the recommendation from you though 🙂 Call me OK?

  2. Ah and I was going to ask you why you have been posting photos of vegetarian food lately 🙂

    I have quit alcohol too and that puzzles alot of people till today. Someone blurted out “but how is that possible? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t drink.”

    Kudos to you for your resolute with regards to this!
    I am vegetarian twice a month and I find myself eating more!!! hahahha cos I just load up on the carbs thinking I don’t get enough nutrition from the lack of meat.
    I am still trying to adjust though!

    Looking forward to your future posts with regards to this so we could all learn a thing or two 🙂

    1. G – Woot?! You too have quited alcohol?

      I think your body just need adjustment to a lighter meal. Because over the years our bodies are so conditioned to digest those hard to digest meat. Hey, as I recall, you don’t like to eat green vegetables though. What do you eat then if you go vegetarian twice a month?

      Yes, let’s do sharing, support, and learn a thing or two from each other 🙂

      1. Ever since I lived in HCMC, I eat greens alot more!
        Heheheh I changed!

        So when I am vegetarian, I go for the Asian Tofu salad from Soup Spoon.
        If not I just eat bread or drink mushroom soup!

        Yes I agree that our body needs adjustment.
        So now I feel much better that I eat lighter, not so heavy meals!

        1. G – Oh, yes. Vietnamese eats a lot of vegetable. I lived in Paris briefly and my relatives cooked lots of beautifully green Vietnamese dishes.

          For me, I prefer the Chinese vegetarian food. I think I need to build up a brand new set of recipe to sustain this new diet, lol.

  3. Hey Wilf, I’ve recently taken an interest on health and food as well (probably due to age, hehe). I think the vegetarian debate is quite interesting. I’ve heard the arguments for it (e.g. environment, morality, etc.) but there’s also arguments against it. The book “The Vegetarian Myth” is one highly recommended to me, but unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to read it.

    Also, I saw Food Inc. a few months ago, which is an excellent documentary I highly recommend for any person who eats. Featured in it is Michael Pollan who wrote The Omnivore’s Dilemma — another book that I’ve been wanting to read.

    1. Andre – Hey, I have taken a look at the excerpt of “The Vegetarian Myth”. It seems interesting though there are critics on the validity of certain points and tones.

      I think at present, I am more interested to read on nutrition and see how I can cover it with my chosen diet, ha ha ha.

  4. Ya… Make sure you take sufficient nutrition if you decide to be a serious vegetarian. 🙂

    For me, before pregnancy, I used to take a lot of vegetables in my meals… also based on slimming reason… 😛 Now, I take more meat to make sure my baby is strong. 😉

    BTW, not sure whether you have read any reference on eating according to your blood type… From what I heard, normally blood type A (i.e. me) is a vegetable eater and blood type O (i.e. Benny) is a meat eater… which is quite true. But for the B and AB, I am not too sure…. May be you will find it interesting to know. 🙂

    1. Lora – I am not sure how “serious” I am … ha ha ha. But I have been wanting to reduce the intake of meat.

      Hmmm … yes, you should stick to the proven tradition Chinese diet for now. Oh, by the way, mom asked me to get “sweet vinegar” for you from Chinatown. I asked her what it looks it and she says black liquid. OK, I will try, ha ah ha.

      1. hahaha… Make sure you buy the RIGHT ‘black liquid’. lol.

        Recently, I bought a confinement cookbook. They have the actual name of the vinegar and even have some advertisement. I may show you one day and it should help. 😉

  5. How about turning into a vegequarian (vegetables + seafood) ?
    Seafood offers lots of essential minerals such as zinc and phosphorus which is good for the human body too 🙂

    1. Tigerfish – You mean pescetarianism or pesco-vegetarianism? Yes, that is a very good option too. If I cannot find vegetarian food, my next option is seafood 🙂

    1. Ssumin – I guess it could be hard to sustain if it is not a all-for-nothing mentality. At least to me, I have given up meat in any day of the week. So the decision on what to eat – or what not to – is relatively easy.

      Anyway, I shall do another checkpoint after a few months and see if I can keep up with it. It will be hard once my mother from Hong Kong visit us, or when we visit Cynthia’s mother in Indonesia.

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