Becoming a Vegetarian
Vegetarianism vs the world
Vegetarianism from the time I was growing up has come a long way, there are plenty more choices for customers on the menu when they go out to eat and many more recipes out there that people use to adapt to the vegetarian lifestyle.
In Europe alone, around 10% of the population are vegetarians and across the globe…there are 375 million vegetarians!. But why? why are people changing to a vegetarian/vegan diet?
It wasn’t so that we woke up one day and a good 375 million people decided they wanted to be vegetarians, for some, they were born into it and for others, they changed to it.
So what does it mean to be a vegetarian? Let’s find out.
What is vegetarianism and Pure Vegetarianism?
Being a vegetarian means that your diet is free from the consumption of meat, fish and eggs. This also includes refusing the intake of any by-products of animal slaughter.
Vegetarianism takes on the form of cleaner and healthier eating. Allowing your body to accept fruits, vegetables, seeds and various different forms of food that stay away from animals and their by-products. There are confusions out there where some vegetarians are okay with eating fish. This is not what true vegetarianism is.
Fish: Fishes are animals too, they’re classified as seafood.
Eggs: Eggs are commonly used for cooking and baking, then there is the occasional Halloween where people choose to throw eggs! – Not quite the form of consumption but it is a use.
Eggs are a choice in a vegetarian diet, there is a group of people who are known as pure vegetarians, pure vegetarians do not consume fish or eggs at all. Even though there is no direct view that eggs are a product of animal flesh, they’re considered non-vegetarian. This is primarily followed through Hinduism because they believe that it minimises the death of animals, this introducing the section of Pure Vegetarians.
Vegans: Vegans are those who do not consume any animal products, by-products, dairy, fish and eggs. They live a plant-based diet.
Are there egg equivalents?
If you love watching cooking shows have an interest in cooking, you’ll come to understand that there are plenty of ways you can avoid eggs. This also includes baking.
In 2017 Kayla Mcdonell wrote an article of various different subs for eggs. Here are some examples:
- Applesauce. Applesauce is a purée made from cooked apples.
- Mashed Banana. Mashed banana is another popular replacement for eggs.
- Ground Flaxseeds or Chia Seeds.
- Commercial Egg Replacer.
- Silken Tofu.
- Vinegar and Baking Soda.
- Yoghurt or Buttermilk.
- Arrowroot Powder.
Can I Be A Vegetarian?
If you’re used to having a non-vegetarian diet, it can be tricky to transition sometimes. It’s all down to the desire of wanting to change and maintaining that discipline do so. Any body can be a vegetarian, it just takes practice. Just like in the hit Disney movie Ratatouille Chef Gustos moto was that “Anyone can cook”, likewise with that mentality, anyone can be a vegetarian. You just need to try.
Easier said than done? So how can you do it?
- Having a plan to change, it doesn’t need to be a dramatic change, it can be incremental
- Setting out meal plans and sticking to them. Start by making a vegetarian dish once a week. It takes 30 days to bring in a new habit, set the habit.
- Introduce more vegetables, more fruits, seeds and nuts.
- Using technology to help. With the exponential growth in the digital world, there are tonnes of apps out there that can help you plan and remind you to stick to it. Some of them even come with ideas on what to make. If you’re someone who spends a lot of time on your phone (I know you are, even as you read this) it might be a good way to stay motivated and keep tabs.
Some recommended apps:
Setting up this plan and sticking with it can help you break out of a meat diet, it just requires persistence. You can join our ‘Motivated Vegetarian’ list for regular tips and motivation techniques that can keep you moving.
Why Change to Being a Veggie
So far, we’ve spoken strongly about becoming a vegetarian. But why change to becoming one in the first place? Being a non-vegetarian has its disadvantages and affect your health negatively. Here are some examples of the effects that can be caused by regular consumption of meat:
- Bad Digestion
- Heart Disease
- Stroke – Creates blockages in the blood vessels
In January 2017 Joe Loria wrote an article for ‘Mercy for Animals’ that stated the top 10 health concerns of meat consumption.
In addition, other than the health benefits that can be gained, the other advantages that will help us take care of our planet are, prevent animal cruelty. 2018, the RSPCA took in 18,337 animals in their wildlife centres and investigated more than 130,700 cases of complaints towards animals.
For cattle, sheep and pig slaughter statistics across the UK
November 2019, Beef and Veal production: 83,000 Tonnes. 0.6% lower than November 2018
November 2019, Sheep slaughterings: 28,000 Tonnes. 1.9% higher than November 2018
November 2019, Pig slaughterings: 85,000 Tonnes. 2.6% higher than November 2018
Where You Eat Matters
We all love eating out, there’s no doubt about it. If you are following a strict diet and a means of practice for vegetarianism then where you eat out should be chosen carefully. With many restaurants, fast food places and takeaways, they have more vegetarian options now than they ever did before, pretty awesome right? But what about cross-contaminations?
Have you ever read a box of cookies, cakes or chocolate and it says ‘may contain eggs’?
That’s because these things are handled in the same environment as they would produce foods with eggs, as careful as people try to be, there’s never that 100% guarantee on if something is truly eggless or even vegetarian.
Of course, the intention never is for that to happen when you order a vegetarian dish but it could happen.
The same prepping utensils, workbenches etc are used to make things that used for handling meat. Unless a specific place has a different set of these things just for vegans and vegetarians. (Not very likely).
Gourmet Burger Kitchen, incredibly tasty, mouth-watering and a well-made combination of fries and a milkshake makes it one of the best meals…But who is it perfect for really?
Phone call log: Friday 26th December 2018 @ 13:48pm, Wimbledon and Bromley branches.
Gourmet Burger Kitchen handles their vegan and vegetarian burgers separately to the other burgers that they have. Vegan and vegetarian burgers are cooked in deep-fried oil. The other burgers that they have been done on the grill.
The interesting thing here is that commonly, you wouldn’t indicate that there is an issue here, however, they also fry their onion rings in the same oil, onion rings that are coated in a batter that is made from milk and eggs. This is an example of cross-contamination and how certain foods can be affected by this.
We’ll never truly know if the vegan burger is vegan and nor will we know if it’s completely vegetarian, provided you’re not following an egg-free diet.
What it’s Like At Urban Guj
At Urban Guj, we do not handle foods with any forms of meat or eggs. We do however handle foods with some forms of nuts and dairy but you’re more than welcome to ask a member of staff of what is friendly for vegans and what is not.
With all the foods that we make, they’re made fresh to the order. Utensils are swapped around, parchment papers are changed, surfaces are disinfected and kept clean. We strongly aim to minimise the risks of cross-contamination and cater to vegans and vegetarians.
With more and more restaurants opening and catering for different groups of people, there is plenty of choices out there, there’s now never really a need to compromise on how you want to follow your diets, the food you want to eat and where you should go to eat it. Eat clean, eat fresh.
Healthy Vegetarian Meals & Recipes
There are thousands of recipes that are available for people online today, to learn, develop and innovate. Vegetarian society has a collateral of information, recipes and tips on keeping yourselves in gear as a vegetarian.
We’re developing a list of all of those people who are and aspiring to be vegetarians and provide incredible weekly tips, advice, resources to keep the journey going. Be sure to join our list of some pretty awesome content.