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Category : Vegetarianism

From tofu lamb chops to vegan steak bakes: the 1,000-year history of fake meat – The Guardian

Another year, another skirmish in the culture war. The launch of Greggs latest offering, a plant-based steak bake, has revived the kerfuffle that surrounded the bakery chains vegan sausage roll. Amid a flurry of hot takes and taste tests, up popped Piers Morgan to complain: A meatless steak is not a bloody steak.

Meanwhile, some vegans have been complaining about KFC and Burger King adding plant-based burgers to their menus. One animal rights activist told the Guardian last week: Theyre trying to buy us off with these products, and pretending theyre our friends. Happy Veganuary, everyone.

This may seem a peculiarly modern obsession can science produce something that has a similar taste, appearance and texture to meat, but isnt meat? but it has been simmering for over a millennium. As early as 965, the frugal-minded Chinese magistrate Shi Ji was promoting tofu as mock lamb chops, according to William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagis study, History of Meat Alternatives.

The Chinese often used tofu (made from soya) and seitan (from wheat gluten) because of their availability and physical properties. You can manufacture them into squishy, lightly fibrous substances, says Malte Rdl, a research associate at the University of Manchesters Sustainable Consumption Institute. By the 1620s, the process was so advanced that Buddhist monks at a banquet had to be reassured: This is vegetarian food made to look like meat.

In Victorian Britain, where the first vegetarians were motivated by health concerns as well as a belief that eating animals was immoral, meat, though expensive, was central to an aspirational diet. So early vegetarian propaganda emphasised the poor quality of most cheap meat, as well as the virtues of self-denial and thrift not so different from the modern fixation with wellness and minimalism. The debate among vegetarians over how much to sacrifice their ideals in order to appeal to those still eating a mixed diet is also reminiscent of the current scepticism about fast food chains.

The Victorian vegetarians were very concerned with not wanting to be like meat-eaters, says Rdl. Some people say: We shouldnt give in, but then other people say: We need to become more popular.

But the repetitiveness and simplicity of a diet of mostly vegetables hamstrung the efforts of reformers, with the Daily News reporting in 1897 that the vegetarian movement had yet to make their fare appetising. And so, from the late 19th century, meat substitutes started to emerge, made from nuts, seeds or grains.

Many came via the Seventh Day Adventist church in the US. As director of the churchs Battle Creek Sanatarium in Michigan, Dr John Harvey Kellogg pioneered several meat substitutes, among them protose, a nut-cereal preparation which, he said, resembled meat to a considerable degree having a slight fibre like potted meat.

But in general throughout history, meat substitutes have suffered from the curse of comparison to the real thing, says Rdl as though there were even one single thing to aim for. All meat tastes differently depending on how it is cured, who manufactured it, what spices are added, he points out. There might be some meat that you like, or dont like, but you wouldnt say its not meat, because its from an animal but for meat alternatives, that argument doesnt work.

If people dont like it, theyll say its not like meat, therefore its not good. As soon as you know its not an animal that youre eating, you are immediately more critical.

The idea of meat alternatives as a second-rate option was reinforced during wartime, when consumption of less meat was either encouraged or mandated through rationing. During the first world war, nut meat was advertised in national newspapers, and even wholegrain bread was marketed as a meat alternative, on the strength of having a higher protein content than white bread. These meatless and less-meat diets predictably receded in peacetime.

During the second world war, soya was used to replace or fortify products though not very palatably. Soya was left with an image problem that persisted until the 1960s, when the US company Archer Daniels Midland developed the meal extender textured vegetable protein (TVP), offering all the protein but less of the unpleasant aftertaste.

In 1971, Frances Moore Lapps bestseller Diet for a Small Planet was credited with making vegetarianism fashionable in the US. Seth Tibbott, then a college student in Ohio, was among those to convert, although plant-based products were not widely available at the time. He recalls eating soy grit burgers: ground-up soya beans combined with wheat flour and fried: They tasted horrible, but they digested worse. I was very keen to find a soy product that digested well and tasted good.

In the 1980s, he went into business producing tempeh, made from fermented soya beans. It wasnt very profitable, he admits. It was way before there was any interest in plant-based foods, thats for sure.

Then, in 1995, spotting a gap in the market for Thanksgiving, he created a turkey substitute from wheat protein and tofu and named it Tofurky. It really hit a chord, he says. No meat alternative had caught fire in the way Tofurky did then, and in the way that Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger are catching fire now. It just became part of American culture.

But the potential of soya, and TVP in particular, was viewed with scepticism in the UK. A 1975 Guardian editorial headlined A soya point arched an eyebrow at the faux-bacon, ham and sausages on sale in the US, noting: No one has yet managed to produce a meat flavour which is totally convincing, particularly beef.

In 1960s Britain, meat alternatives had been mostly associated with the hippy movement, and the macrobiotic food trend from Japan. Gregory Sams, who is credited with inventing the veggie burger, fashioned a patty from seitan at his London restaurant Seed, which was frequented by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Later, in 1983, Sams sesame- and soya-based VegeBurger got a commercial release; an Observer report remarked on its pleasant texture and agreeable, if a little bland taste.

Then, in 1985, along came an undisputed hit in the form of Quorn, a low-cost meat substitute based on a microorganism in the fungi family and a process of fermentation. It had been 20 years in the making one decade in development, another awaiting food safety approval. Key to its popularity were the meat-free mince, sausages, patties and even pepperoni and nuggets that could be seamlessly subbed in for meat products. Today it features in Greggs sausage roll and steak bake. Rdl says people are far more receptive to plant-based proxies for processed meats than they are to, say, a soya steak (although, he adds, there are now really nice ones available).

Where we started with the Quorn pieces and vegetable pie, we now have over 120 products in the UK market, says spokesman Alex Glen. This makes it very easy for people to replicate their animal diets. Yet, until relatively recently, Quorn was mostly targeted at vegetarians and vegans, rather than meat reducers: people who have no intention of giving up meat altogether but want to eat less, typically for health reasons. That market emerged in the 1990s, says Tony Watson, who in 2012 founded the soya-based brand Meat the Alternative.

The former butcher saw the writing on the wall and switched to working on improving meat analogue technologies for the DuPont organisation. Those technologies have not changed much in the past 15 years, says Watson pea is increasingly being used as a meat substitute, but still has a long way to go with regards to texture but the market has, with phenomenal growth in the number of consumers eating less meat in the past two years.

YouGov research carried out for Waitrose last year found that a third of Britons were eating less meat and fish than two years ago, with 32% planning to reduce their consumption even further. Just about every high-street chain, including Pret a Manger and Wetherspoons, is increasing their meat-free offerings as result.

But Watson says it is frustrating to see many companies throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks, being overly led by the tiny but vocal vegan community (less than 1% of the British population, he points out) and producing poor-quality products not suitable for meat-reducers. He expects many small meat-proxy producers to be driven out of business by rivals with bigger budgets for product development or marketing.

Among the biggest are Impossible Foods and Beyond Burger (which became a publicly listed company last year), both offering plant-based patties that are sweeping fast-food menus in the US and UK for their similarity to beef down to the blood. Their success and the momentum it is creating for meat alternatives has great impact for sustainability, says Rdl.

But it also highlights a strange paradox underpinning the centuries-long pursuit of the perfect meat proxy: by trying to seamlessly remove meat from our diets, we are actually reinforcing its importance. Theres this kind of association of meat and the good life a bit of luxury, a nutritious diet that means people want to replicate it in vegetarian terms, says Rdl. Because meat is so entangled with how we understand diets historically, its really hard to imagine ways outside of it.

He points to a vegetarian sausage producer he interviewed for his PhD thesis on meat alternatives. She had no desire to replicate the texture or flavour of meat in her vegetable-only products but nonetheless spoke with pride of the traditional springiness of the casing. In other words, she was congratulating herself on enveloping her meat-free product with something modelled on animal intestine.

When we successfully replace meat with a meat-free substitute, we overlook the possibility of a diet that is free of it altogether. It just kind of keeps this idea of meat-eating as the centrepiece, says Rdl of food culture, if not our diet. Counterintuitively, the strange and storied history of the hunt for the perfect proxy really proves the point: We dont have an exit strategy from meat.

Seth Tibbotts memoir, Search for the Wild Tofurky, will be published in April.

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From tofu lamb chops to vegan steak bakes: the 1,000-year history of fake meat - The Guardian

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Year of the veggies: going vegetarian in 2020 | News | – St. Albans Messenger

Vegetarian eaters are no longer a minority in North America. Theres as many as 8 million of us here, according to a Harris Interactive poll.

The carnivores question is: Why?

Idealistic vegetarians might say its for the environment, a research-based assertion. The University of Michigan published a study in 2018 determining one-fifth of Americans are responsible for about half 46 percent of our countrys greenhouse gas emissions. And those Michigan researchers concluded thats mainly because that fifth of the population eats more meat, specifically beef.

Anyone who has spent time around cows knows they are constantly expelling methane so much methane, in fact, that the United Nations determined farmed livestock, chiefly bovines, are responsible for roughly 15 percent of human-related greenhouse gas emissions.

Now none of our large-scale farm operations are emission-free even fertilizing soil has adverse effects for the climate. Too much nitrogen in fertilized soil can spike nitrous oxide, which is 300 times worse for climate change than carbon dioxide, according to those Michigan researchers.

But cutting out farmed meat, or even reducing ones meat intake, is smarter for planet health than the alternative, cutting out the fruits and veggies.

What about human health?

Before vegetarianism was widespread in the U.S., researchers focused on nutrition in meat that vegetarians would not be eating. Meat is a significant source of protein, and also has healthy vitamins and minerals.

Now researchers understand that the vegetarian diet is nutritious on its own, and in a different way. But whether thats better for humans isnt scientifically proven, especially since vegetarians tend to be healthier in other, research-confounding ways as well theyre less likely to smoke or excessively drink, and are more likely to exercise.

But Harvard research says vegetarians eat less saturated fat and cholesterol, and more vitamins, dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium, magnesium and plant chemicals, all associated with lower LDL cholesterol, the bad kind, lower blood pressure, which is good and a lower body mass index, also good and all traits of longevity and lower disease risk.

Because of that, vegetarians may be significantly less likely to die from heart disease or suffer type 2 diabetes, and they may be slightly less likely to develop a form of cancer as well.

As one considers trying a vegetarian lifestyle, note there are several kinds of vegetarians. Vegans are the extreme they dont eat anything produced by another creature. Lacto-ovo vegeterians do eat dairy products and eggs. Lacto vegetarians eat only dairy products on top of vegetables and fruits, while ovo vegetarians eat only eggs on top of vegetables and fruits.

Regardless of which lifestyle looks right for you, the path to implementing a vegetarian existence is the same. One can go cold turkey, something one will not eat again as a vegetarian, or gradually adopt the lifestyle, the difference between jumping into a pool or slowly sinking in, starting in the shallow water.

The difficult part of the transition will probably be the social aspect. Oh, sure, people might scoff, express confusion, ask what a vegetable is, but the real challenge is adapting ones social habits.

The entrees list at your favorite restaurant might seem significantly slimmer. Remind yourself you may be as well.

Finding the right meal after an endless days work may take longer than popping in the chicken Lean Cuisine. Remind yourself you have the time to spend you may still be kicking while your TV dinner-consuming pals are six feet under.

No more reaching for the barbecue chicken during NFL season. Remember that while your friends may be in danger of a cholesterol-related event from their game-related excitement, you can jump, kick, howl and cheer without fear. Of that, anyway. Try not to trip and fall through the hors doeuvre table like last year.

One social area vegetarianism may instantly improve is dating. If your date orders, say, an appetizer of nachos littered with beef, politely decline and explain why.

If your date adjusts the order accordingly, proceed.

If your date chuckles and shakes their head, remember the above-mentioned life expectancy.

If your date says, Im so sorry, and, as they decry your symptoms, you realize theyve confused your diet with the fictitious disease lycanthropy, best you politely leave.

Mastering these social situations simply takes time. Vegetarianism is a rhythm, and like any rhythm, learned through practice.

And theres no time better to practice than the start of a new year.

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Year of the veggies: going vegetarian in 2020 | News | - St. Albans Messenger

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Veganuary: What hopeful vegans need to know before giving up meat in 2020 – Inverse

With the new year and decade here, many resolve to make changes to their lifestyle. Maybe its a new exercise regimen, dry January, or the currently trending Veganuary which is exactly what it sounds like.

If youve considered giving up meat, or animal products altogether, in 2020 youre not alone more than 500,000 people have already pledged to go vegan on the official Veganuary site. And while maintaining a climate-conscious diet is certainly on many peoples minds, nearly half of those whove pledged to eat vegan for the first month of the year did so for health reasons.

According to experts, it is true that cutting out meat can result in health benefits but only if you do it safely. That means keeping in mind all the nutrients you are (and arent) getting from plant-based eating. Its important not to transition blindly or to assume that by dropping meat alone, your health will improve.

Assuming youre not loading up on high-carb, processed foods like pasta and sweets, one benefit of going vegetarian or vegan might be a reduction in inflammation, says Chris DAdamo, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Thats a benefit of eating minimally processed foods in general, DAdamo tells Inverse.

DAdamo explains that plants have an abundance of nutrients, especially in their non-processed form. Plant-based diets also typically mean that one is consuming more fiber, which can help with satiety making you feel less hungry and curbing overeating.

In addition to decreased inflammation, positives can include a healthier weight, better energy metabolism, suggests at 2019 study published in Nature. The researchers reviewed hundreds of studies on how vegetarian diets influence health and determined that plant-based diets, compared to conventional diets, can benefit weight, metabolism, and systemic inflammation.

The researchers write that one of the reasons those benefits arise is because of changes to the gut. Studies suggest that eating plants can cause the microbiome to foster a favorable diversity of bacteria species.

In October, Stephanie Papadakis, a certified holistic nutrition consultant at Gut of Integrity, told Bustle that the antibiotics used to raise meat are also part of the reason why the gut experiences a change when one goes meat-less.

If you cut all meat out of your diet, you would likely see a positive shift in the number of beneficial bacteria in your gut, Papadakis explained. Many conventionally raised animals are given hormones and antibiotics, which can shift our own beneficial bacteria in the same way taking antibiotics can.

Other studies have shown a potential reduction in the risk of heart disease, commonly linked to red meat consumption. But theres a bit of a grey area there another review 2019 paper, this one published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, suggested that red meat does not actually carry the health risks weve previously thought it to have. But many doctors and nutritionists still say that cutting out red meat is still a good idea.

When looking at health benefits of vegetarianism, one factor influencing results can be the health of vegetarian population overall, says Drew Frug, an assistant professor at Auburn University.

On a population level, we see that any derivative of a vegetarian diet is associated with improved health compared to the average omnivore, Frug tells Inverse, but we often neglect the fact that vegetarians are typically pursuing multiple healthy lifestyle behaviors such as exercising regularly and not smoking.

And while in humans, its nearly impossible to prove that meat is not beneficial to the diet, its also widely accepted that humans can be perfectly healthy without consuming meat, Frug says.

Like many areas of nutrition, red meat is open for debate. But if youre thinking of going veg, there are some more immediate health concerns to keep in mind.

While plant-based foods can benefit your body in various ways, there are some health aspects to consider if youre cutting out meat. DAdamo notes that vegetarian and vegan diets can sometimes lack important nutrients, like iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and the lesser-discussed creatine, choline, and omega-3 fats.

Just cutting out animal products in favor of plant foods is not necessarily going to be healthy, DAdamo says. Really this comes down to eating minimally processed food, eating whole foods, regardless of whether there are animal foods in it or not.

To get at those potential deficiencies, vitamin supplements can be key. DAdamo says that taking a B12 supplement is something that every vegan should be doing alongside monitoring the levels of other nutrients.

Essentially, its important to consider going vegetarian as part of a bigger health push. Cutting out meat, in and of itself, is not going to improve health, notes DAdamo. But it can lead be healthy if done in the context of a minimally processed, whole-food-based diet.

On the Veganuary website, a list of foods that are vegan by accident includes treats like Oreos, Doritos, and several types of beer. Perhaps this part misses the point but the list includes some real food, too, like oatmeal and hummus.

The same goes for trendy meat alternatives, like the [Impossible Burger], Frug says. Since the burger is highly processed and high in saturated fat and sodium, some pro-vegetarian nutritionists and researchers argue that its not a healthy alternative to a beef burger.

This is a good representation of extremes in the vegetarian diet, Frug says. If all I do to call my diet vegetarian is exchange one fast food meal for another, I would expect zero health benefits, metabolic, or physical changes.

On the other hand, replacing fast-food meals with minimally processed vegetarian dishes would mean consuming less saturated fat, sodium, and likely total calories. Therefore, diet change would lead to improved blood pressure, blood glucose, and body composition.

To ensure youre truly keeping it healthy, Frug says: Learn to cook.

There are plenty of healthy vegetarian options in restaurants and grocery store freezers, but foods will almost always be healthier coming out of your kitchen, he says.

Frug adds that legumes in particular are among the least expensive nutrient-dense foods you can find at the grocery store, so following a vegetarian diet does not have to be an expensive endeavor.

For DAdamos part, he says that going vegetarian or vegan might be a totally legit way to improve your health. But he also says there are other options. For example, low-carb, paleo, and Mediterranean diets all work for some people too.

The reality is that there are many ways to be healthy, DAdamo says. Theres no one right way.

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Veganuary: What hopeful vegans need to know before giving up meat in 2020 - Inverse

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Food of the decade to be driven by vegetarianism and micro cuisines – Business Today

Food of the new decade wouldn't be dramatically different from what we saw over the last two years. Lifestyle choices would accelerate the shift towards healthy eating. Those who can afford would choose artisanal produce over industrial options. There would also be a focus on micro cuisines, home chefs, and cloud kitchens. For any restaurant business, home delivery is now an important revenue generator.

Here are the key trends that would play out over the next 10 years, driving the business of food:


"What will set the tone for the next decade is the rise of vegetarianism and veganism," says Michelin Star Chef Alfred Prasad, who is the Mentor Chef at The Oberoi, New Delhi's Omya restaurant. "It has become a lifestyle choice among the millennials. They are much more careful about the impact on the environment, including their food choices. The young are far more decisive in their choices," he adds. People are opting for vegan cheese in places such as south Delhi; takeaway vegan and gluten-free companies are sprouting.

Ethical sourcing

People want to know where their food comes from. This will disrupt the supply chain as it exists today. In products such as fish and meat, companies that offer greater visibility in how the animals are raised, for instance, are gaining traction. A related trend in the rise of millets. "The so-called ancient grains that we talk about is set to grow a lot more. Rice uses ten times more water than millets. Therefore, ethical choices are set to gain momentum," Chef Prasad says.

Culinary travels

People will increasingly travel to eat. And this is giving rise to micro-cuisines or a greater appetite for regional cuisines. "We, Indians, are happier to discover regional food, which hadn't happened for the longest time. Cuisine-oriented travel is now driving Indians. People are looking for homestays and getting a taste of the culture and zooming in a little more on lesser-known micro-cuisines," Chef Prasad says. Even luxury hotels have now caught on to this idea. Recently, The Oberoi, Gurgaon, showcased the micro-regional cuisine of undivided Bengal - present day Bengal, Bangladesh, Assam, Bihar, Odisha and Burma. "The idea is to collaborate with someone who has a story to share. Second, it is a motivator for my team. They pick up new skills. The third is the introduction of new ingredients. New ingredients can create magical moments," Manish Sharma, Executive Sous Chef at The Oberoi, Gurgaon, says. The Bengal showcase, for instance, introduced Kalonunia rice, which is grown in the foothills of places such as Dooars, Jalpaiguri and Coochbehar. On an earlier occasion, Sharma introduced black garlic, grown locally, into the hotel's cuisine.

Cloud kitchens

Home delivery from cloud kitchens would continue to get stronger given the disruptions food-tech platforms have ushered in. Riyaaz Amlani, the CEO and MD of Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality, which owns brands such as Social, says that home delivery is currently a Rs 20 crore business for the firm. "In a couple of years, it would be a Rs 150 crore vertical. We have also created a few brands dedicated to home delivery - in burgers, in Chinese, in Italian, and in sandwiches," he says. The ordering-in behaviour is very different from eating out. People go out for experiences but prefer brands that offer value when it comes to home delivery. "It is also a different business - the input costs are different, the discovery and delivery costs are different. The overheads are less. So products are priced differently online versus offline," Amlani explains.

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Food of the decade to be driven by vegetarianism and micro cuisines - Business Today

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Why Are There So Few Vegetarians? – Psychology Today

One of the most significant moral dilemmas of our time turns up daily on our dinner plates. Our appetite for meat requires the sufferingand death of billions of animals every year and is one of the leading drivers of climate changeand biodiversity loss. The meat industry is responsible for the kinds of environmental disasters we associate with oil spills, and overfishing is tipped to deplete global fisheries within three decades.

Once we might have pleaded ignorance of these harms, imagining happy pigs rolling in mud on lush family farms. But films like Food, Inc., books like Eating Animals, and a startling World Watch report on livestock and greenhouse gas emissions, have all left us well-informed about the problems we personally finance almost every time we eat.

Once we might also have shrugged with regret that our hands are tiedwe need to feed ourselves, after all. But today, at least in developed countries, we have a world of choice. A wide rangeof fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains can be purchased at any local supermarket, over 30,000 plant-based cookbooks are available on Amazon, and meat-free meals can be found on most restaurantmenus. Choosing the vegetarian option is about as difficult as saying Ill have the vegetarian option.

Many find it hard to give up meat

Source: Photo by Szabo Viktor on Unsplash

Only 5-10% of people around the world adhere to a plant-based diet while the vast majority reachfor more bacon. However, around a third of Americans and even more Europeans identify as conflicted omnivoresthey eat meat but feel bad about it. When the door to an expanding smorgasbord of plant-based fare stands wide open,why do so many of us dither on the threshold like housecats? Clearly there are psychological barriers to meat-free living even if there are not pragmatic ones. These barriers are like small wallseasily climbed, but enough to slow our moral progress.

Perhaps the most obvious barrier we face is our strong preference for the taste of meat. The transition to meat-eating was a significant chapter in the evolution of our species, and our carnal desire is deeply ingrained, both culturally and biologically. When our meat-eating habits are challenged by an opposing motivationsuch as our wincing aversion to animal crueltywe experience cognitive dissonance; an uncomfortable feeling of psychological conflict which we then try to resolve. The easiest means of doing so often involves shifting our perceptions and beliefs, rather than our behavior.

Brock Bastian and his team at The University of Melbourne have shown how cognitive dissonance plays out when meat-eaters are reminded about the suffering of farmed animals. They showed participants a picture of a farmed animal, such as a cow. One group of participants were told that the cow would be moved to a different paddock to eat grass, while the other were told it would be taken to an abattoir, killed, butchered, and sent to supermarkets as meat products for humans.All participants were then asked to rate the degree to which they believed the cow possessed various mental capacities, such as the ability to think or to feel pleasure and pain.

Participants who were told that the animal would be slaughtered for human consumption attributed significantly lower mental capacities to the cow compared to those who were told that it would simply be moved to another field. It seems that by denying the minds of food animals we can feel better about eating them. Bastian and colleagues suggest that this processchanging our thoughts so that they are aligned with our actshelps perpetuate all kinds of morally questionable behaviors beyond meat-eating.

We also fail to act on the reasons against eating animals because, at least where ethics is concerned, we dont seem to be swayed by reasons. The average person appears to derive their sense of right and wrong intuitively, rather than rationally, and individuals who rely more strongly on intuition tend to hold stronger moral convictions.

Matthew Stanley and his colleagues recently provided a stark demonstration of our indifference to moral reasoning. Across several experiments, participants were presented with carefully crafted moral dilemmas (e.g., whether or not to leave a note after making a minor scratch ona car) and asked what they would do in each scenario. After making each decision, participants were given reasons that either supported or challenged their initial decision, and were then allowed to revise that decision. Regardless of which set of reasons they examined, participants were much more likely to stick with their initial choice than to change their mind. They also grewmoreconfident in their choice, even after being presented with reasons that arguedagainstthis choice.

Importantly, reasons do influence our behavior in other contexts, such as economic decision-making and consumer choice. They just dont seem to matter much to our sense of what is moral.

If reasons dont persuade us of what is right and wrong, then what does inform our intuitive ethics? One answer we can give to this question is norms. Most Americans think its OK to eat pigs and cows because it is normative to do so in the US. This is especially the case for those who place a lot of value on tradition, such as turkey for Christmas dinner. Conversely, many Americans might disapprove of eating horses, dogs, or whales, none of which are commonly consumed in the US. The principle seems to be:if most people around me do it, then it must be OK.

Bjrn Lindstrm and colleagues at the University of Zurich have provided clear evidence for our reliance on this Common = Moral heuristic when judging right from wrong. Across nine experiments, they showed that participants judged selfish behaviors as less immoral when they were described as being relatively common. On the flip side, generous and prosocial behaviors were judged to be less moral when they were described as being relatively rare. Participants also thought that the same selfish behaviour was more deserving of punishment if it was relatively rare, compared to if it was relatively common. From this we can surmise that most people think eating animals isn't too bad, ethically speaking, simply because it is common.

Given the many psychological barriers to plant-based eating, it is no wonder that most of us still eat meat. As a species we are wired to reduce the conflict we feel about our meat-eating habits, not to change those habits. We also are disposed to construct our morality intuitively, around norms and heuristics rather than reasons and arguments, rendering us less responsive to arguments for ethical vegetarianism.

Of course, such bugs in our nature can be overcome, as they have been throughout the history of social and moral progress. As a fringe view becomes more widespread it reaches a tipping point, accelerating and overturning the status quo. It remains to be seen if the rising tide of plant-based eating can similarly breach the psychological levees of carnism.

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Why Are There So Few Vegetarians? - Psychology Today

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Going vegetarian for the love of god, and animals – The Star Online

Making a change to our diet is never an easy thing, especially if our favourite foods and drinks are not exactly healthy ones.

While there will certainly be challenges and temptations along the way, these two individuals show us that it is not an impossible task.

A religious push

Dr Vigneshwaran Kandiahs journey to becoming a vegetarian first started as a religious duty.

In 2016, he decided to observe 10 days of vegetarianism for the Hindu festival of Navarathiri.

At that time, his meat consumption was pretty high, so becoming a vegetarian for even a short period of time was quite a big deal.

Those 10 days became two weeks, which became a month, then two months, and it just continued on from there, he says simply.Dr Vigneshwaran's vegetarian diet now mostly consists of fibrous vegetables and tofu. Dr Vigneshwaran Kandiah

The 34-year-old trainee paediatric surgeon shares that one stumbling block he experienced was that most of his friends consumed a lot of meat and there were limited options for him when they ate together.

Also, I was used to eating meat, so the first two months without it were really hard, he admits.

His busy work schedule didnt help either, as he had no time to cook or eat healthily.

When I became a full-time vegetarian, I had very bad dietary practices, because I ate very simple food like bread and biscuits most of the time, it was just something to fill my stomach, he says.

He adds that he actually put on a lot of weight despite being vegetarian, which he also attributes to a lack of exercise.

Eventually, Dr Vigneshwaran realised that he had to totally overhaul his diet as he wasnt eating well at all.

It helped a lot when his hospital began providing vegetarian meals.

Nowadays, I mostly eat a lot of fibrous vegetables and tofu, and my diet is not very carb-heavy, he says, adding that he doesnt even crave meat anymore.

The cravings I have are for things like sambal or curry, and there are various ways that can be incorporated, like with tofu (or mock meat once in a while), so I dont need to eat meat, he says.

He shares that since becoming a vegetarian, he generally feels healthier, less constipated, and even smells better!

However, he admits that he just cant live without eggs, and still eats them.

Dr Vigneshwaran also warns that just becoming a vegetarian doesnt automatically make a person healthier.

Ultimately, you cant expect that by eating green, youll be like 100% healthy it doesnt work that way, you still need to exercise, he says firmly.

Also read:

For the love for animals

Plant-based lifestyle advocate Davina Goh shares that you shouldnt think about what you are missing out, but rather, what you are going to gain from changing your diet.

I think when you think about what youre losing out on, thats not a good way to start, because then its going to be negative all the way and youre going to be missing things.

So I always tell people, instead of thinking about what youre going to lose out on, think about what youre going to gain from it instead.

It can be a really beautiful adventure, if you see it that way, she says.

Goh became a vegan after 12 years of slowly researching the lifestyle and altering her diet. LOW LAY PHON/The StarHer own journey began when her compassion and love for animals jarred with the fact that she was eating them.

In college, she wanted to become a vegetarian, but her parents refused to let her eat only vegetables at home.

My parents at that time like most well-meaning parents always wanted the best for their kids, and for them, a balanced, healthy diet had to include meat, she says.

Goh spent the next few years being a pescatarian (eating only vegetables and seafood) and researching vegetarianism.

But it took her 12 years to dive fully into adopting a fully vegetarian diet, after taking part in a Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) demonstration.

For the Peta demonstration, I was given a costume that looked like a fish.

I had to wear it and pretend to lie dead in the middle of Bukit Bintang Square with signs that said Try to relate to whats on your plate.

And thats when I realised that I couldnt really be asking people to relate to fish when I was eating fish myself, so thats when I decided to become a vegetarian, she says.

In 2016, she went one step further by becoming a vegan, even documenting her journey and listing vegan recipes she had experimented with on her blog.

As she had already changed her diet incrementally over the years, becoming a vegan was a relatively easy transition.

I believe that what really helped me was that my body really got the time to adjust to the lifestyle, so I didnt have any withdrawal symptoms or health issues after I became a vegan.

People who do it cold turkey have to be prepared for their bodies not liking it. I always recommend that people take their time, she says.

Since then, Goh says she feels more energetic, doesnt have dizzy spells and has an enviable cholesterol level, even though all her family members suffer from high cholesterol.

To ensure that she remains full throughout the day, she relies on a varied diet.

I eat different kinds of vegetables green, leafy vegetables and tubers, as well as legumes, nuts and grains, and complex carbohydrates like pastas and oats.

Introducing plant-based foods little by little into your lifestyle will automatically make things more palatable and you wont need to use so much salt or sugar.

I would also suggest an abundant use of herbs and spices they really make all the difference in my cooking.

In terms of adding more flavours, I like to put in things like apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, and for the sweet side, I like to put date syrup, coconut sugar and molasses to replace kicap pekat.

And theres a secret ingredient that vegans love to use Its called nutritional yeast its so good and that jazzes up every meal, she says.

A positive outlook is essential for those who want to change their diet to be healthier, she adds, otherwise they are destined to fail in their quest.

To help you make a start in healthy eating, Goh shares two of her simple, but delicious, vegan recipes:

This ulam peanut pesto dish is purely vegan, but delicious in taste. Photo: The Star/Low Lay PhonULAM PEANUT PESTO

Serves 3 to 4


To make


Serves 2


To make

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Going vegetarian for the love of god, and animals - The Star Online

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Meat Loaf reveals hes ditching animals from his diet and going vegan for Veganuary – The Sun

ROCK legend Meat Loaf is going vegan for Veganuary in a bid to help the planet.

The 72-year-old refused to rebrand himself as Veg Loaf for the month as part of a Frankie & Benny's campaign but has pledged to ditch animals products.


He told the Daily Star: "When Frankie & Bennys first approached me to rebrand to Veg Loaf I said no way in hell.

"But, Id do anything for our planet and dropping meat for veg, even for just one day a week, can make a huge difference.

The Bat Out Of Hell singer is no stranger to vegetarianism, having stopped eating meat for 11 years in the past.

It was a stomach churning restaurant order while out with friends in 1981 that changed his attitude to food.



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He told the Mirror: "I ordered rabbit and they served it with its head on, no ears and its eyes closed.

I said, Take this away and I want vegetables and a salad, and from that moment I became vegetarian for maybe 11 years.

He returned to a meat diet after health reasons forced him to lose weight.

I stopped because I wanted to lose weight," said the star. "The carbohydrate diet worked to a point, I lost 30lb but it went right back on. I lost 70lb on the low-fat no-sugar diet.


You dont need calories, you need a lifestyle change and less fat.

Veganuary encourages people to try a vegan diet for a month at the start of the year.

It's typically tied to New Year resolutions as people look to change their ways and become more healthy.

The month-long event is dedicated to trying to change people's attitudes, help the planet and the animals as well as improve your own personal well-being.

A vegan's diet consists solely of beans, grains, fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables.

However, there are many substitutes which can be used in place of animal-based ingredients.

For example, cow's milk can be replaced with soy milk, and vegan margarine is a great alternative to butter.

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Meat Loaf reveals hes ditching animals from his diet and going vegan for Veganuary - The Sun

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Food We Talked to Vegetarian Latinos About How They Handle the Holidays – Remezcla

You kind of have to lean heavy on the appetizers.

Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla

Well, my immediate familyembraced [vegetarianism] fully. My mom actually learned recipes for vegan tamales, vegan champurrado, just anything that was a traditional staple she learned to make a vegetarian version for us, because it was two out of three kids that were vegetarians and the third one didnt mind eating vegetarian food.

As far as my extended family, theres a few scattered vegetarians, so there was always a vegetarian dish but usually, it was just sides or something carby like rolls. You kind of have to lean heavy on the appetizers, as opposed to the main meals. The game plan was usually to order ahead from a place we knew had vegetarian food, and it was almost like we were having a second dinner. It was almost like an exclusive club [where] the vegetarians hung out in a certain table, where we would bring our own dishes in solidarity like the kids table for vegetarians. -Pablo Hernadez

Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla

We made empanadas for my Friendsgiving and [my mom] helped me make them with veggies only. Shes also learning, which is nice. Shell taste them and shes like, Yeah, theyre good but you know would be better with meat.

Shes more interested in making sure that she makes stuff for me to eat, which is nice because I was starting to just make my own dishes and I think shes trying to [ensure] that I can still eat the traditional food. Even with arepas, I love thoseshe purchased the Daiya soy cheese and made arepas from them, so little by little shes starting to come around, but I mean its taken six years for her to finally give in. I think theres ways, but it is a lot of pressure to just kind of eat whats in front of you because for the sake of tradition, you almost want to do it, you know youre like, Oh, the holidays [are] fine, but I dont like the taste anymore.

So the previous years, I would [make] cookies or I would make something that still involved animal products. I would even offer to cook regular dishes that I was used to cooking, but I wouldnt eat my own stuff I was spending time and money on stuff that I didnt even eat. I would get there, sometimes eat before or I would eat a little bit of whatever side dishes I could eat. I was more so thinking of the full party rather than, Im going to be hungry. Thats why this year, Ive taken side dishessweet potato mash, mac and cheese that didnt have dairyI almost didnt want to take it because I knew people would say something or comment, Oh, this is vegan? Thats why I would just cook the regular dishes because I rather everybody eat whatever and then just leave me alone. -Carolina Montenegro

Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla

For the holidays, I usually make my own food. I kind of find out what my family is eating, like if theyre making tamales or pozole or just different food, so then I can recreate that certain dish and veganize it, just so they can kind of see, Hes eating the same thing were eating without any meat or milk products. Just little by little Ive noticed that my family taste my food. Last year, I made tamales and my grandpa, now that hes getting older, hes not able to tolerate beef as much, so he tasted my tamales and hes like O estaban bien sabrosos!He even took some home. -Adrean Rodriguez

Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla

My family is so big that this year were throwing Christmas in a hall because we dont fit in someones house, theres just too many of uslike 100. It is tough because everybodys bringing meat, but Im just there to enjoy the moment with my family, Ill eat rice and beans. On days like that, Ill have the moro or the salads that they bring and just limit myself. Unfortunately, I dont really get to indulge in all of the amazing things that they cook, but Im just there for the moment. I appreciate that theyre not forcing it on me. Theyre just like, I mean thats great but what are you going to eat? Thats always the question, but I can deal with that. -Maria Brito

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Food We Talked to Vegetarian Latinos About How They Handle the Holidays - Remezcla

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Turkey and sprouts and seitan, oh my. Welcome to a different kind of Christmas dinner –

BOTH OF DAVE McEvoys children are vegetarian, something which is particularly surprising given their dad is the man behind Termonfeckin Delicious Turkeys, the bronze standard, as it were, of the turkey world.

Family diversity aside, McEvoy toldFora that he hasnt seen any changes in peoples orders for Christmas food.

Change always happens extremely slowly. For me to notice a change would be quite difficult Im probably at the premium end, so the last people who are going to be changing are my customers, he said.

The tradition of Christmas turkey is hard to break, he added. If it is broken, itll be over a couple of generations.

Over the year, weve seen and heard how plant-based eating trends like vegetarianism and veganism are moving from the fringes of society more towards the mainstream.

Fast food giants such asBurger King, McDonalds and Dominos Pizza are all exploring and trialling plant-based options, while home-grown talent Eddie Rockets has begun rolling out a significantly more vegan-friendly menu.

Delivery apps like Just Eat and Deliveroo have also recordedspikes in orders for vegan food in the past year but note that the humble spice bag isnt going anywhere fast.

Meat consumption globally is on the rise, but the concurrent demand for more plant-based options is still there.

People are thinking more about the climate. Certain people, including my own two children, have become vegetarian but they were vegetarian before it started, McEvoy said. I can see culturally that young people are moving away from meat.

Huge lack of knowledge

Having been in the food business since 1990, McEvoy said there have been significant changes but theyve been slow.

Whats more, from an environmental perspective those changes have tended towards the inefficient.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, people would eat a whole chicken. Today people only eat the chicken fillet, so youre talking about a third of the chicken going to waste or the chicken legs are exported out of Ireland to countries that will eat them.

Thats pretty much the same across all meats, he added, which means a lot of the animal has to be exported.

Consumers arent always logical in what they do. Theres a huge lack of knowledge in consumers in terms of how meat and food production happens. Their consumption is often lead by whims of supermarkets and people who have bright ideas.

Unsurprisingly, McEvoy has also seen a bump in demand for turkey crowns the turkey without the limbs and has adapted accordingly.

In one way Im a very unusual business in that I deal directly with customers. I would only sell about 10% of my turkeys as crowns but in a lot of butcher shops you would find maybe beyond 60% crowns.

Theres also the fact that turkey-buying is very seasonal so even people who are more plant-based eaters during the year will allow themselves some turkey for Christmas.

Source: Sam Pearson

Festive roast and friends

Supermarket chain SuperValu has seen a trend in plant-based eating in the past year but like McEvoy, assistant PR manager Yvonne OBrien noted that the traditional Christmas turkey isnt going anywhere.

Even so, the company has expanded its options for Christmas party food to cater for those who would prefer plant-based, she said.

We have noted that consumers are also looking for an element of convenience for the traditional dinner. There has been a shift fromtheWhole Turkey to Boneless Turkey Butterfly, she added.

In the meantime, Unilever-owned brands such as Knorr, Hellmanns and Magnum are all experimenting with more plant-based options. In 2018 the company also acquired The Vegetarian Butcher, which makes burgers for a Burger King.

Up-market high-street retailer Marks and Spencer is also getting a slice of the action with its vegan festive roast, vegan mince-pies anddauphinoise potatoes.

Similar, but different

While the big players have been mixing it up and introducing plant-based options to existing and extensive product lines, smaller producers have been ticking away in the background with their own meat-free Christmas dinners.

Dublins Sova Vegan Butcher has been supplying its loyal clientele with a made-to-order stuffed turkey roulade in recent years, while old-school Cornucopia offers a nut-loaf and the Happy Pear has a vegan wellington.

Newcomer Sam Pearson of the Vegan Sandwich Co. has also thrown his hat in the ring this year after the popularity of his vegan chick*n fillet roll, sold at the Honest to Goodness farmers market he came out with a vegan turkey roast to-order.

The roast, like Sovas, is seitan-based a product made from the protein in wheat which has an easily mouldable texture.

I knew there were a few people that would have ordered it but I was not expecting the demand that there was pretty much as soon as it went up, he toldFora.

Pearson is making close to 150 meat-free turkey roasts this year and had to close orders two days earlier than expected.

Its not just vegans ordering from him either though they certainly make up the majority many who are trying to reduce their meat consumption are also getting curious.

People want to be able to have a Christmas dinner thats similar and so the roast has a similar flavour and texture but with no animal products, he said.

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Turkey and sprouts and seitan, oh my. Welcome to a different kind of Christmas dinner -

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Manushi Chhillar on Winning The Sexiest Vegetarian Personality By PETA: My Parents Were Vegetarians & They Gave Me The Choice – Headlinez Pro

Manushi Chhillar is gearing up for her debut in YRFs greatest historical film Prithviraj starring celeb Akshay Kumar. Manushi Chhillars infectious magnificence was as soon as stumbled on globally when she received the coveted Miss World title in 2017 and appears to be like to be devour even sooner than her gigantic Bollywood debut, Manushi is adding more feathers to her achievement hat! Manushi has now been voted the Sexiest Vegetarian Personality by PETA!

The glowing girl has been a sturdy point out for vegetarianism and has expressed her views on the subject even on world platforms. When asked to react on the Sexiest Vegetarian award, Manushi says, Being a vegetarian has no doubt been a map of life for me. My fogeys had been vegetarians and whereas they gave me the choice I by no procedure felt devour I was as soon as missing on something. Ive continually been a vegetarian and contain by no procedure felt devour I needed to trade that.

Manushi propagates that being a vegetarian, she has witnessed several health advantages. She says, I end factor in vegetarian food is amazingly nutritious and has colossal health advantages by regulating ldl cholesterol, blood stress, amongst others. As an animal lover, my core is at peace with this determination and Im happier being a vegetarian.

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Manushi Chhillar on Winning The Sexiest Vegetarian Personality By PETA: My Parents Were Vegetarians & They Gave Me The Choice - Headlinez Pro

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

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