Friday, March 09, 2007

Food for thought

From the desk of Mama Piggy:

My yummy, animal-friendly lunch.

I have overheard this question many times while buying my meals at vegetarian food stalls.

“What meat is this ah?” The man pointed to the mock pork ribs.

It never fails to tickle the funny bone in me. No offence to those who ask this question, but does it really matter what “meat” it is? I mean, surely you come knowingly to a vegetarian stall and you know everything there is like, NON meat?

I can only conclude that those who ask this question want to know what it would taste like. But a more suitable question would be, "What dish is this?" Agree?


Anonymous said...

Well, I suppose such folk would take great offense if I were to answer, "Human Meat". I'm sure these are the same bunch of bozos who'd expect the stall owner/other people not to take offence when asked such daft question. But god forbid when and if others offend them same.

Sad or what.

Anonymous said...

Mama Piggy,

Glad to hear you are on a more animal friendly path.

There's some interesting stuff on vegetarianism at:

Senhor Broccoli

Kootoo | Muffin | Milo said...

Anon, i guess it's more of how you ask the question to show more "sensitivity". For example, the person could have asked the stallowner "What dish is that?" which would have been very neutral. Guess also that the stallowner is used to such questions :P

Senhor Broccoli, it's been a while since I went "green", albeit not totally yet. Let's go for more of those yumsy vegetarian popiah at Joo Chiat!!

kuro.shiro.neko said...

i have wondered about this myself too!

i guess it's because vegetarian stalls dont have names for their dishes, and also, the look of the dishes do imitate meat dishes. so thats why people ask "what meat".

if you go to vegetarian restaurants, i think they do have proper names for the dishes, instead of x-referencing to meat dishes.

KXBC said...

I love my vegetables very much but not vegetarian dishes sold in restaurants and hawker centres.

I don't like processed soy products stuffed with MSG, salt and flavoring to mimick meat products.

It's weird why there are people (generally speaking) who turn vegetarian because they say killing animals for food is no good, sinful etc but yet still want to comsume meat-like vegetarian products. I cannot reconcile that at all. Given they abhor killing, shouldn't their diet then be "pure" vegetables and soy products like tofu (simple unprocessed ones) and not mock meat like mock char siew which looks and tastes like meat?

Just ramblings on a horrible Monday morning.

Kootoo | Muffin | Milo said...

kxbc, i am no expert on being a vegetarian, but my take is that we should not dwell on form over substance. Indeed you should look at it from the point of view that at least people like me are not eating real meat and resulting in more animals being killed to satisfy our palette!

We must also realise that there are "lesser mortals" among us (me included) who have just embarked on the path to vegetarianism, we have cravings for "meat". Hence the mock meat to help us "stem" or "fulfil" that craving. And why do we crave for meat if we say we want to go veg? Guess because we were brought up as meat-eaters, ok ok, omnivores :D

Sure, I certainly hope that one day I can take all the veggies in their "pure" form. But does it really matter, whether I am eating all veggie rather than mock meat? My intent is pure and my conscience is clear :)

KXBC said...

kmm, I not talking about you lah.

But speaking to the general population at large, I don't understand the rationale of having mock meat. It just seems to defeat the whole purpose of eating non-meat products. We already know mock meats are non-meat in nature. So why is there a need to camouflage the product and in the process, make it unhealthy through the excessive use of MSG, salt and flavoring? Trying to bluff ourselves? Trying to make ourselves feel better that the meat tie is not completely severed? I just feel it is weird and I am a much lesser mortal than most people.

For my case, if I ever turn vegetarian, be it due to non-killing of animals or health or religion (which won't happen as I don't believe in religion), I will take vegetables and tofu as they are. Healthier and probably cheaper too. But for now, being a practical person who eats out every meal, I will not turn vegetarian. I still cannot live without fish and chicken.

IMHO, I think the texture and flavour of mock meat suck. I prefer the broccoli in your pic. Stir fry is nice. Just steamed with a little olive oil drizzled over it with a light pinch of salt is heavenly. Can throw in some baby carrots too. :) This is making me hungry.

Kootoo | Muffin | Milo said...

One man's 'meat' is another man's poison! Let's not be judgemental. At the end of the day, if I choose to go vegetarian and take mock meat, it's my choice. What really matters is that no animal died because of me. Peace to all :)