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:


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.


Al Gore has become the latest celebrity to jump on the vegan bandwagon. The An Inconvenient Truth creator has been a vegetarian since the making of his documentary in 2006 and now he’s gone the whole hog (definitely not literally) and committed to veganism.

Farming didn't use to be all that bad. Photo courtesy of Boston Public Library

Farming didn’t use to be all that bad. Photo courtesy of Boston Public Library

Being a climate change fanatic, Gore’s reasons for his dietary change are probably environmental, which is admirable and honestly the only reason I would ever contemplate giving up meat (but not eggs, never eggs). Other celebrities on the vegan list cite different reasons for taking the step.

Russell Brand, one of my favourite people, was pushed over the vegetarian/vegan border by Forks Over Knives, a documentary exploring the negative impact meat has on our health.

But that’s not really fair is it, no offense Rusty but surely being sensible about the amount of meat you eat as well as the type of meat would be enough to keep yourself healthy (quality over quantity eh?). I’ve eaten meat my whole life and I don’t have diabetes.

The top reason for the move seems to be animal rights. Natalie Portman, formerly a vegetarian because she believes “animals have personalities” was turned onto the vegan view by Jonathan Safran Foer’s book Eating Animals (read an excerpt here). The book does make some good points about animal cruelty in farming:

“I felt shame for living in a nation of unprecedented prosperity — a nation that spends a smaller percentage of income on food than any other civilization has in human history — but in the name of affordability treats the animals it eats with cruelty so extreme it would be illegal if inflicted on a dog.”

But again, that’s not really fair is it. What about organic farming? Livestock that are treated, I won’t say lovingly, but with respect. Foer calls free-range food labels “bullshit”, accusing the guidelines of not being strict enough. This may be true in some circumstances, but surely that means farming welfare restrictions should be more highly controlled rather than cutting out meat from our diet altogether.

To each their own…personally I like a bit of beef tartare on a Tuesday afternoon.

The big V