You may be telling yourself that you’d like to become vegan, but, you’re sorry, the food is just BAD. Especially when going out, the vegan food that’s available? It’s. Just. Not. Acceptable.
Of course, you won’t STARVE, but you won’t be EXCITED either. There is no enjoyment, no sensual pleasure — and shouldn’t food be about enjoyment and pleasure, at least to some extent?
Not to mention satisfaction.
Truth is visiting some vegan restaurants is definitely not a culinary adventure. More like a culinary disaster. And if you consider yourself a foodie, maybe even worse — like committing a culinary hara-kiri or sepuku.
Don’t you just HATE it when you try to do the right thing — which in this case is eating vegan, but when you go out to a restaurant with a group of friends, you look at the menu and find out that there are only one or two options for you to eat — usually a boring salad, a pasta marinara or a sad vegetable side dish that you try to make into a main event by creatively combining ingredients that you see on the menu…
And even if you do find something that looks okay — you still have to make sure you don’t receive pieces of chicken on your greens, or cows secretions in your soup.
It’s exhausting, not to mention embarrassing.
(Like the last time I traveled with my son, and he ordered a salad — which, to our surprise, came with pieces of chicken corpse mixed right with the greens — NO MENTION about this on the menu — F*CK! No wonder people are not becoming vegan just by the virtue of dining out with me — I certainly cannot hope to convert anyone right then and there to this way of eating and living — because they cannot picture themselves having to eat THAT! and having to go through THAT!)
But here is the truth — the fact that vegan food in restaurants (or anywhere else) is often LACKING, usually BORING, and sometimes downright AWFUL — doesn’t say or prove ANYTHING about vegan food in general; it just shows lack of proper SKILLS, TRAINING, INGREDIENTS — as well as CREATIVITY, IMAGINATION and sometimes just GOOD WILL on the part of the cook — and it’s usually all of those at the same time.
If you don’t like the vegan dish, it’s usually the lack of skill, the recipe, or the preparation, or perhaps the combination of ingredients is not the most fortunate – but it’s NOT the proof that vegan food cannot be tasty.
There is no limitation as far as taste, texture, or number of dishes that you can create – this way of eating provides infinite variety, styles and tastes – Italian, French, German, Polish, Chinese, Thai, Indian, Mexican. If you don’t like a certain dish, it doesn’t mean that you won’t like another.
Usually, it’s the cook’s fault (like I said before — lack of skill and creativity are the main culprits). Or your fault (you’re not approaching the food with an open mind. For example, if you try a dish that has been veganized, you want things to be EXACTLY the way you remember them). Or both (especially, if you are also the cook).
Sure, I understand. When you are hungry you want your food to be tasty and satisfying, there is nothing wrong with that.
But think about it this way. If you go to a restaurant and you try a steak and you don’t like it, it’s not prepared the way you like it, it’s too dry, or too raw, or whatever — you don’t conclude that all stakes are awful and stop eating them. You just decide that this restaurant or this particular dish is not good.
With plant based eating, because of the assumption that vegan eating is just regular eating minus the meat and other animal ingredients – usually what is left on the plate is really not that exciting. Usually, it’s really f*cking boring. Depressing even. Potatoes or French fries, string beans (cooked but without butter are dry and taste-less), maybe some steamed carrots and broccoli, plain pasta marinara, green salad, some bread.
You won’t starve, but you’re not excited either. This is definitely not a culinary adventure. More like a culinary disaster. And if you consider yourself a foodie, maybe even worse — like committing a culinary hara-kiri or sepuku.
Because chefs are trained to use butter, cream, cheese, and meat in almost all their dishes, those who aren’t as creative when faced with a task of creating something vegan for a guest, create some type of a veggie dish that they know, but without all the usual animal ingredients it somehow ends up tasting bland and unsatisfying – even though there’s no reason it couldn’t be delicious and satisfying – with the right preparation, experience, and love.
(Plus some basic knowledge of how to substitute those ingredients with their plant based counterparts. It’s not a rocket science, really.)
Sometimes the reason that the food is lacking is even more prosaic – the simple reason is that they don’t have those ingredients at hand available in their kitchen. In that sense, we still have a long way to go, although by the virtue of more and more people asking for plant-only, dairy-free, meat-free dishes, this will be begin to change.
The good news is that things ARE beginning to change — slowly. More and more vegan restaurants are opening up, and more regular restaurants often have delicious vegan options. Another harbinger of change is that there are now plant-based culinary schools where chefs can learn the new ways of cooking.
It’s happening, for sure.
So, Why Not Just Wait? Why Do It NOW?
Why do YOU have to suffer – by which I mean why not just eat like everybody else, for now, until things become EASIER, more CONVENIENT — and therefore more REALISTIC for everyone?
Why not just WAIT until somebody else does the work, so you don’t have to?
Think of it this way.
By becoming vegan, you are being the change that the world so desperately needs.
By becoming vegan, you are standing on the side of those who are helpless, who are invisible, who have no power, no voice.
By becoming vegan, you are the trend-setter.
You are on the fore-front of the revolution.
You are helping billions of those who have no voice, who cannot defend themselves from our greed. Our gluttony. Our indifference.
You are the proof that one can live in accordance with one’s values of compassion and justice – that your own culinary pleasure is not a reason enough to inflict pain and to kill.
You are helping to set new standards – beyond just restaurant menus and what’s served on your table every day.
It’s not about broccoli or tofu or carrots – it’s a revolution of consciousness.
It’s bigger than anything you ever witnessed before.
It’s a next step in the human development and history of the world as we know it.
It’s not a diet, it’s a social justice movement.
It’s a social justice fight that you’re joining with a spoon and a fork.
Ending the biggest oppression, stopping the biggest crime committed by humans in the history of our civilization.
It can happen with or without you.
It’s a choice that everybody makes every single day.
When this change happens, you’ll be able to look back and say – I did that.
When your children or grandchildren ask you where you were when that change was happening, and what you did for the animals, to end that holocaust – you’ll be proud of yourself that you helped that movement grow. That you were not on the wrong side of the history and the justice. That you did the right thing.
Even if you don’t like broccoli. Or tofu.
But you know what matters.
And you are ready to make the right choices. To take responsibility for your actions. And start being the human being that you always believed you were.
If not now, then when?
If not you, then who?
PS. This has been on my mind — so I wrote it down and published on my blog and my social media. I may even use it as a chapter if one of my upcoming books. What’s on your mind? And have you been sharing your thoughts lately? Or you just suck it up and keep your feelings inside of you — not to antagonize, not be different, not be labelled as an obnoxious, angry vegan, or a weirdo?
The world needs you. The animals need YOU to start speaking up and sharing your truth.
I invite you to join the #SpeakYourTruth CHALLENGE and unleash your inner warrior. It’s about sharing our truth with the world, telling it like it is — the way we see it, and taking ACTION. Join HERE.