We were an omnivore/vegetarian household for a long time, with Vero a long-time fish-eating veggie and myself an omnivore outside the home.
Then, on New Year’s Eve 2015, we watched Forks over Knives.
That was the kicker for me and so we’ve been a vegan family since.
These days, travelling with the kids and on a budget, sometimes our food options are limited. In Sri Lanka and India the kids wouldn’t eat anything spicy and for them everything was too spicy. Sometimes they would eat a chicken sandwich, eggs for breakfast, a grilled cheese; we’re not so fanatical that we’ll limit their diet to our standards.
That said, after 6 weeks in the country they were hooked on Sri Lankan vegetarian rice and curry! Hurray!
If you haven’t tried it, it’s a vegetarian meal of basmati rice, lentil dhal, and two or three different vegetable curries such as pumpkin, eggplant, beans, or potatoes. Delicious and nutritious, and often the cheapest meal on the menu! Perfect travelling food.
We tried to eat it for lunch and dinner (don’t worry, it varies from resto to resto so it’s not exactly the same every time) but it wasn’t always possible. For the most part, we eat in cheaper (the cheapest we can find, sometimes the whole family of four ate for $4 CAD) restaurants so often they don’t even have a menu, you just have to ask what they have.
India was more varied, a little more expensive but just as easy to feed ourselves.
Eastern Europe is a different story. Vegan options in Romania, for example, are few and far between. A lot of time can be spent checking menus outside of restaurants and pondering the potential of side dish combinations.
So far it has not been difficult enough to give up, even temporarily. It has been a hassle from time to time.
The way I see it, there are three main reasons to stop eating meat, dairy, and fishy stuff.
- Your health. That’s the one Forks over Knives hammered home for me. I was one of those “If I eat that stuff in moderation, it shouldn’t be too bad, right?” kind of meat-eaters.
- The environment. This one’s obvious if you’ve ever been to a feedlot or a pig barn. Also, according to Food Choices, 44% of the world’s methane (the worst greenhouse gas) comes from the meat industry (cow belches).
- Empathy for other living creatures.
What does the order of that list say about me? Tiny, self-centered human.