Long time no post! But I haven’t forgotten about my list.
I was vegetarian from 4th May until 4th June.
I thought this would be a relatively straightforward task, but never having been vegetarian before I had never considered there may be different definitions for what is considered “vegetarian”. I initially assumed that vegetarian meant “no animal flesh” and vegan was “no animal products”.
However the first time I went out for a meal I ordered Vegetable Pho – it wasn’t vegetarian, she told me, as it is made with stock. That is how I learned generally vegetarians don’t eat meat stock/broth. I asked my sister about this and she said usually vegetarian means “the animal was not killed to produce ____”.
Of course it depends on the vegetarian. As someone who is attempting this challenge from an ethical standpoint, as a way to increase my knowledge of vegetarian cooking and therefore be less dependent on the factory farming industry, I just found this a strange place to draw the line between “vegetarian” and “vegan”.
I am very reluctant to criticise anyone who makes an effort to decrease their animal product consumption, however being okay with eating milk and eggs but not okay with stock just seems so strange to me.
Well anyway, I did not find eating vegetarian too difficult this month. My parents and boyfriend went out of their way to provide me with vegetarian options when we were eating together, not to mention my sister who eats vegetarian most of the time (and organic meat the rest of the time).
The most difficult times were probably eating out at restaurants because I am used to ordering meat. There were also a few times at restaurants where I didn’t realise I was ordering non-vegetarian food and the waiters helped me out – I truly had never thought it would be more complicated than “no meat”! Particularly things like stock and fish sauce.
I am not going to stay vegetarian because I don’t believe there is anything wrong with eating meat. I believe factory farming is inhumane and our current demand for meat is too high, so I think it is very important to support the organic farming industry and reduce our consumption of meat. It is very important to be educated about supermarket labelling such as “free range” and “organic” and what it actually it means. Vegetarian cooking can be incredibly delicious and hearty and we do not need meat with every meal – I think once or twice a week would be more than sufficient.
Being a Mindful Meat Eater
FAQs on Factory Farming in Australia
Free Range Labelling in Australia
Stop Eating Overfished Seafood