Reflections of a vegan

By Ke Rensi Source:Global Times Published: 2017/11/6 16:58:40

When I decided to go vegan a little more than five years ago for health reasons, I cheated many times - sometimes because I ran out of vegan options, sometimes because I was too afraid that people would think I was picky, and sometimes simply because I lost the willpower.

It was easier to give up on meat than on eggs and dairy. Even now, when I see snacks whose nutrition facts label contain eggs or milk, I would grumble and put them back on the shelf. Luckily, as I learn more about veganism, especially how to prepare nutritious vegan meals, I've felt more comfortable sticking to a plant-based diet.

Ever since I went vegan, I've felt as if I became a debater on U can U BiBi, China's most popular online talk show. My friends asked me, "Why do you want to be a vegan? You don't even eat fish? Fish is scrumptious!" Recently, an Italian friend told me that he saw many angry vegans in his home country and wondered if I was one of those radical animal rights advocates. His question got me thinking about how people can promote veganism through nonviolent communication.

Many vegans and omnivores live in their respective "bubbles," completely justified in their lifestyles. While vegans blame omnivores for inflicting pain on animals, omnivores sneer at vegans' asceticism.

I was not born a vegan, so I'm in no position to feel morally superior to meat-eaters. But even if I were born vegan, I wouldn't lay a guilt trip on non-vegans.

Many non-vegans fear that veganism means starving or depriving themselves of the pleasure of eating great food. Their concerns are partly valid given that vegan restaurants are still quite a rarity in China. Only when we have more vegan options and cooking tutorials can we cultivate more vegan taste buds.

Yet, according to Public Radio International, back in 2014, 4 to 5 percent of the population in China was cruelty-free, which means over 50 million people no longer eat meat or dairy. I believe the increase in demand will encourage more entrepreneurs to open vegan diners, invent meat substitutes, sell plant milk and so on so that, eventually, the day will come when people no longer need to kill animals to satisfy their needs.

This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times.


blog comments powered by Disqus