More and more people choose not to eat meat these days. Is it healthy?
REDSTAR interviewed a few people and came back with their answers.
I was flexitarian for most of last year for environmental and ethical reasons. I used to be quite a picky eater and didn’t like that most veggie food had a lot of mushrooms. Then we studied the politics of food at university… reading about the meat industry, I felt quite sick. It was hard to disconnect my choices from their consequences, so I switched to completely veggie, and it’s been easy.
I’m quite fortunate in terms of ‘becoming’ a vegetarian in that I have always been one. My mum went vegetarian when she was pregnant with me because of ‘mad cow disease’; she didn’t want meat near her. While it’s convenient for me (in some ways) to continue how I’ve always eaten rather than to transition to eating meat, I do really believe in the environmental aspect, and love animals, so I’m happy to not eat it.
Technically speaking,，I don’t consider myself as a vegetarian. I just cut all kinds of meat from my diet, for several reasons. I happened to pick up a book on living a low-carb life. After learning how ignorant I was about protecting the environment, I decided to quit beef at that time cause to some extent, I was a meat-lover especially considering I had just come back to China after a three-year degree in the UK, a country famous for dreadful cuisine. But the idea to keep a meat-free diet started to get rooted in my mind, so when I read something from a scholar in Taiwan about how eating meat is seen as a form of killing and increases your inclination to violence and aggression, I thought it was the moment to stop eating meat. And I have been feeling quite good about it since.
AJ Wang, Entrepreneur
Being vegetarian, (‘chisu’ in China) is normally tied to religious belief, and typical Chinese vegetarian food appears too plain to most people. Boiled bok choy with tofu is an example of Chinese vegetarian food. I never considered the negatives of meat until my health check suggested that I have high blood pressure and some other minor issues that relate to too much meat intake. So I wanted to become healthier, but also keep eating good food! I went to a well known vegan and vegetarian restaurant in Beijing, and realised vegetarian food is delicious; I also realised that ‘steak = happiness’ is a media-driven idea and I should think independently. I eat various nuts, garden leaves, cheese, dark bread and oatmeal, and I make milkshakes with Yagult, avocado, banana, apple, etc. I also stopped adding salt to my food, my blood pressure normalised in a month. I feel so much better and lighter, I lost 15kg in 4 months, a diet was never this easy. Plus, Trump is pro-meat lovers: my vegetarian life reflects my regard for him!