Another vegan encounter: Greenology

On another quest for meatless-ness in Shanghai, we found ourselves in Greenology, a multi-story vegetarian restaurant with a gourmet edge; a perfect first date spot for all the foodie Buddhists of Shanghai. They prepare a different menu for each floor, we ate on the Forest floor. We were put in a private room and supplied with endless amounts of tea, both the classic green as well as a more adventurous saffron and cinnamon blend. Click on the images below to view a slideshow of the intricate (and surprisingly meaty) dishes we had the pleasure of eating:

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Meat-free New Year’s resolution

With every New Year comes a resolution, and despite all our good intentions, the diets and other healthy lifestyle promises are often crushed under the weight of the New Year’s Day hangover.

We’ve broken ours already.

For those of you who are more strongly willed (read: less pathetic) than us, we congratulate you, for the rest of you we have come up with a solution: A meat-free month.

Today is the first ‘Meatless Monday’ of the 2014, and thus the perfect starting point to a 30-day meatless commitment; PETA has created an online pledge, you can find it here.

But how far will you choose to go?

Vegan or Vegetarian?

Choose vegan and you’re up there with the big guns. It’s tough, Beyoncé could only hack it for twenty-two days, but even then the results were obvious.

It’s a big commitment, but it is easier now than it has ever been before, with plenty of meat substitutes to minimise the shock. Bill Gates has even invested in manufacturing egg substitutes so he can have convincing vegan mayonnaise.

It would be a quick way to shed those holiday pounds.

Lots of celebrities are vegan for non-weight loss reasons (as we looked into last year) but it’s impossible to overlook the blatant impact on their physique. Natalie Portman is a vegan all year round, her motivation may be the animals not the body benefits, but she never seems to have a problem with love handles, post-holiday or not! 

Choosing vegetarian isn’t a cop out though, it would be a lot easier, but you would still get a healthy detox out of it as long as you don’t coat everything in cheese!

Any dietary choice that involves boosting your intake of fruit and veg is going to boost your appearance, and who wouldn’t want better skin and shinier hair? 

Either way you’d be doing the environment a favour by cutting your meat consumption. Who knows, maybe if enough people stop eating steak it will stop snowing in Egypt.

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‘Meat Tax’ could be the answer

We’ve established that meat production doesn’t contribute positively to the environment, bar its products’ undeniably beautiful taste, smell, and sound (listen to that bacon sizzle).

While it’s true that a melt-in-your-mouth beef carpaccio brings a bite of romance to the world of food porn, perhaps it’s time to address meat as the luxury item that it is by assigning it a corresponding tax.

tax

Taxing meat would put perspective on our daily indulgence

An article published in Nature Climate Change has brought forward this ‘meat tax’ idea for the simple reason that if meat is more expensive less of it will be bought and consequently less will need to be produced, ultimately resulting in reduced carbon emissions.

Scientists, Ripple, et al., explain in their article, “Influencing human behaviour is one of the most challenging aspects of any large-scale policy, and it is unlikely that a large-scale dietary change will happen voluntarily without incentives.” This tax would be the incentive.

It makes sense. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to change, sometimes we need a little nudge, that’s why plastic bag consumption in Wales has reduced by 80% in the two years since the 5p bag charge was introduced.

It works, that’s why an identical 5p charge on plastic bags is going to be introduced in England in 2015, so why wouldn’t it work for meat too?

PETA have called for a ‘sin’ tax to be put on meat, like that found on cigarettes, alcohol and petrol. The name, superfluous as it may be, does come with a valid meaning; despite creating the image of steak being grilled over the flames of hell, a ‘sin’ tax is implemented to balance out the health or environmental costs. Just as cigarettes have been linked to lung cancer, diets heavy in meat can cause heart disease. And petrol and meat farming both put a strain on the environment.

Whether a tax is imposed or not, meat should be treated as an indulgence (it tastes like one too). Keep that in mind this Meatless Monday

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Meatless Monday is here again and this week we’ve gone international! Got Meat. have popped over to China to check out Shanghai’s well-established vegan restaurant: Vegetarian Lifestyle.

The restaurant wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, it didn’t stink of hemp-flavoured incense, it wasn’t filled with dreadlocked hippies, it was indistinguishable from any meat-serving restaurant, even when it came to the food.

The meal was delicious, you heard the man, and it did not feel like anything was missing even though we were aware of the lack of meat. It begs the question, if avoiding eating meat was always this easy, would more people do it?

The world’s population is getting more and more conscious of the damage meat production is doing to the planet they live on, so why hasn’t there been more of a reaction? People don’t buy hybrid cars because they look cool, or install solar panels because they add to the décor of their roof; they do it because they feel a responsibility to the planet they live off. So regardless of how delicious bacon is, wouldn’t more people give it up if going vegan was as easy to do as buying a bag-for-life?

What do you think?

Meatless mondays

The Norwegian military are in conflict with a new enemy: Climate change.

It’s not just meat on your plate, keep in mind the consequences.
Image provided by dothegreenthing

While the United Nations holds it’s Climate Change Conference in Poland, the Norwegian army have committed to their own fight against our climate change problem by going vegetarian on Monday.

It might seem like an odd choice, but cutting out meat for only one day a week is expected to cut down the army’s meat consumption by 150 tonnes each year.

A spokesperson for the Norwegian military explained, “It’s a step to protect our climate. The idea is to serve food that’s respectful of the environment. It’s not about saving money. It’s about being more concerned for our climate, more ecologically friendly, and also healthier.”

According to The Future in Our Hands, a Norwegian environmental group, the average Norwegian eats more than 1,200 animals over the course of their life, including 1,147 chickens, 22 sheep, six cattle and 2.6 deer.

That’s a lot of meat, especially as farming is estimated to be responsible for at least 18% of greenhouse emissions, maybe more, Bill Gates thinks it could be closer to 51%

It’s a small change that could make a big one!

Would you ever give up meat for the environment? Let us know in the comments below.

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