I love vegans

Last year, I wrote about my choice to be a vegetarian (rightfully a pescatarian back then), and how I crossed over to the green side. Recently, about two months ago, I fully committed myself to being a full-pledged vegetarian — and there goes my love for sushi, sashimi, and shellfish. Why would I do this?

To be honest, I watched this video two months after deciding to give up seafood. Regardless, it made me contemplate on my choice and I’ve to say: I’m happy that I’m a vegetarian.

As mentioned in my earlier post, vegetarianism forced me to explore other grains and foods that I wouldn’t normally purchase at the grocery store. And beyond vegetarianism, I have delved into consuming organic, sustainable and eco-friendly products, and starting to understand why they are better than their counterparts.

Vegetarianism is a lifestyle choice. It’s a struggle, on both the financial and mental aspects because they are a little pricier, and, it’s not easy. Coming from South-East Asia where the variety of food is in abundance, vegetarianism is a struggle. There are often times when I reminisce on my childhood favourites — like laksa, chicken rice, and hokkien mee. Even as I’m typing this, I can remember the dishes so well. However, the moment I recall the images of the chickens hanging from the racks at the stores, any fond memory of those dishes are wiped out of my mind — completely.

Vegan organic birthday lunch in 2012. Sweet pleasures of life.

Vegan organic birthday lunch in 2012. Sweet pleasures of life.

Moving on from food. The organic, sustainable and eco-friendly products that I’ve been consuming recently range from dishwashing liquid, food ingredient products, and clothing. It’s expensive, no doubt about it. I try to buy them when I can, but I’m not perfect. However, whenever I do consume such products, a certain sense of satisfaction surges through me, knowing that I’m doing my part for the planet. Being vegetarian is just one subset of it, but being a consumer of products other than food is another huge part of the lifestyle.

My home country — Singapore — is hugely affected by the forest fires that are blazing the fields of Sumatra, Indonesia, which is the world’s largest producer of palm oil. I don’t need to be in the country to know extent of the pollution because I’m fed with a plethora of Facebook updates daily and in all honesty, the situation is quite bad and it’s affecting Singaporeans, Malaysians and Indonesians (and let’s not forget about the poor Orangutans and other animals). So, how can the world population play their part? Well, perhaps if more of us learn to consume sustainable products, Indonesia’s forest fires wouldn’t happen that often. That said, yes, plantations would close down, and people would go into poverty. I’m not sure if there’s a win-win situation, but maybe all of us can meet in the middle. I do not expect half the world population to believe in sustainability, eco-friendly living (though that would be ideal), but if at least an eighth (might be too big of a number still) of us change, the world would change. This isn’t a problem that lies solely in Indonesia. This is a world-wide problem.

The haze that is affecting Singapore.

The haze that is affecting Singapore.

Regardless of the number of people changing, just by changing ourselves, we know that we’re doing our part in the world. Consume less plastic products; less unsustainable meat/clothing/etc; more fresh and sustainable products. Change starts from within the individual. Let’s try to live and love the world — the green way.

Photo credit: CNN