Singapore Vegetarian Meetup Part 2
Continued from previous post… …
- Singapore Vegetarian Meetup Part 1 (marksohjr.com)
It certainly is exciting to know that our vegetarian community is growing bigger and more vibrant day by day. And this growth is not only limited any particular place. No matter its my home – Singapore or any other parts of the world. Our Veg community is certainly growing! In UK and USA, there is Meatless Monday; and here there is also Veggie Thursday More and more people including public figures such as singer, actors, politicians, athletes are joining in 🙂 Here is a list of them. And some photos.
But 20+ years ago, when I was a kid. When “a bus ride on SMRT buses for 2 person cost only 30 cents“. There used to be only 2 places in the area where I lived offering vegetarian food. the 1st runner-up is a stall at the old Woodlands bus interchange selling simple and “honest” traditional Chinese vegetarian economic rice. And the champion, who got the first prize? Yeah of course is my home the chef – my mother.
Nowadays other than the 500+ veg eateries listed on Vegetarian Society (Singapore). Many non-veg restaurants also offer veg options. In fact, as of time of writing. Dempsey finally has 1 pure veg restaurant Beets. As for the rest of the restaurants in that area, just like many elsewhere. Also make sure they have some offerings to make their veg customer feels welcomed. For example, Botak jones backyard @ Dempsey have some veg options, another restaurant by the name of Meat works (Honestly, the name is a bit of a turnoff for me) actually offers Vegan burger.
Another restaurant – Laksania, specially created 4 laksa option for us.
But on the other hand, I found that many of these restaurants still do need some support. Not only to patronize them. But more importantly, to spread the word out, that they are here. Last year I did a meetup @ Real food, The Central. During the lunch, a member came up to me and told me that, although she had been to the shopping center and walk past this very restaurant many times. She never knew this place offers vegetarian food.
Another restaurant, Yuan Yuan which serves authentic Thai veg food. Although some within the veg community already knew about its existence, could not locate it. (Our friend does not have a much online presence initially).
Whenever I meet new friends. Some of the common comments they would make includes
- Veg food is boring, other than tofu and green veg. What else?
- No meat, Where can you get enough proteins?
- They use lots of mock meat, full of MSG, preservative, colorings etc. And it’s mostly created/taste and named just like the real stuffs.
Well, on these topics. Let me try answering some.
Ans 1) So you thought there is nothing else other than Tofu and green vegetables. Humm… I can only say : Com’on, its time to open up your world. Come out and join us, and you will see what the world has to offer. How creative humans beings can be! Just look at some of the photos I have taken over these years from various restaurants and countries.
Qn 2) No meat! You will have problems getting enough proteins!
Ans, Is that a joke? Go for Quinoa it has all the essential amino acid you need. And of course, plenty of other vegetables, beans or nuts have it as well. If you are really interested in this topic, read up on books such as The China Study by Colin Campbell and get yourself some solid information, and websites such as this 1.
Qn 3) They use lots of mock meat, full of MSG, preservative, coloring etc. And it’s mostly created, taste and named just like the real stuff.
Ans: Totally agreed, been living in a veg community since day 1. I do know people who work for these mock meat companies. And have my fair share of stories to tell, yes it makes me feel a bit Mah lu and a great need to change.
A story 1 friend used to shoot me with:
A gentleman had a heart attack and admits to a hospital, the surgery was successful and when the patient regains conscious.
Doctor: You must have been eating lots of meat, fried and high cholesterol stuffs right.
Patient: Oh no, I have been a vegetarian for many years.
Doctor: Got it, you must have been eating lots of Chinese vegetarian food then!
I used to be eating nothing but mock meat. But these few years, Lots of things have happen, and I have learned some new things.
In my recent trip to Morocco, eggs are always served during breakfast. But anyway, it’s not my problem anymore. Had a meetup dinner some months ago @ Classic Lao di fang, Park mall. I has been asked by the members to order the dishes, since I had been there before. And I can proudly say, most of those dishes I choose, are not mock meat. Some favorite dishes of mine includes white radish, pumpkin, bitter ground, spinach and tofu.
Things certainly are changing, nowadays most new vegetarian establishments advocates more on plant-based diet, and have taken great effort to ensure their dishes are attractive, tasty, balanced in nutrition and mock meat free. Some examples include
As for the pros and cons of mock meat, let’s talk about that in detail in another post. With the spread of more information on nutrition, healthy living (Such as The Veg School, which I am involved in) and more alternatives offered. Things will certainly get better 🙂
It is due to all these reasons, that here I am. Trying to do something, to contribute back to the Veg community in a small and simple way. After all. We need each other. Been through the 1980s era where after 8pm. Cook Vegetarian food is virtually nonexistence in most public places. I do see a need that we, veg consumers and the veg suppliers need to support each other (just like a pair of chopstick) Without either 1, the other is really nothing much.