" No Meat May's mission is to inspire and support more people to shift to plant-rich diets, so we can build a healthier, kinder, more sustainable world." This was the first time I had heard of the Australia-based NMM although they have been around since 2013, and the first time I participated. I did so by following a vegan diet as well as blogging about Metro-Vancouver vegan restaurants and posting pics on Instagram of the vegan products and recipes that we had tried. This is actually the third month this year that I have gone entirely animal product free and each time it is easier, I feel better, and I feel more determined to do what I can to contribute to the well-being of the planet.
Someone suggested (actually more than one someone) that I should take a more moderate and reasonable approach (and I am by no means religious about it; nor do I proselytize). I wonder how the animals on factory farms or by-catch sea creatures killed for no reason would feel about being reasonable? (Enough of that! No proselytizing!)
This month, I saw the documentary, Seaspiracy. I watched it and was very moved and suggest that you see it also. The director of that movie will be at The Vancouver Planted Expo which we are very excited to go to on June 4 and 5. I knew there would be plenty of criticism of the documentary just as there was for the documentary Cowspiracy. If you choose to read that criticism (and why would you not?) ask yourself if it is even true, does it negate the essential points of the film? Plus I wonder where the money would lead? It seems that everyone's opinions are motivated by self-interest and greed rather than evidence. Just a thought. Let's move on!
This month, we tried some amazing new vegan products (or at least new to us)!
The Butler Soy Curls are something that we had to travel a bit out of our way to get but they were pretty special and provided another meat substitute option.
This Sweet Potato and Kale Pot Pie featured the soy curls. The closest thing that I can compare them to is tofu skin but they are a little more substantial and are dried and so easy to store!
TMRW products are locally produced meat substitutes made strictly of ingredients that are pronounceable!
We used the shreds to make some pretty decent tacos. We cheated and used Old El Paso seasoning which was way too salty but hey, at least we did make our own tortillas and our mango salsa was passable. The TMRW shreds were really good as far as texture and flavour are concerned and were perfect for these tacos. We find that TMRW products are a bit on the pricey side but there is a good variety of decent products.
Another locally made vegan product is Blue Heron Cheese. We were able to use our 2022 Plant Curious Coupon Book to make this purchase at Save-On Foods. These were interesting cheeses with a tart earthy flavour and nice texture. Again, they seemed a little pricy but good cheese always is.
We tried some other cheeses that we found. Of all the non-vegan foods that I do miss, cheese is the one that I miss the most so that is why we try quite a few. The blue on the left did not have the texture or blue veins but it had a very good blue taste. The cream cheese on the right was not good at all.
So it seems like there are always new vegan products available and some of them are quite good. We are big fans of the Real Canadian Superstore as they have all kinds of affordable decent vegan options. I regularly buy their coconut sour cream and oatmeal yogurt. Their vegan products carry a green label so just look around.
As usual, all these products are more novelty than necessity. For dinner, I am always happy with my curried lentils or black bean chilli with some quinoa or brown rice, lots of stir-fried or roasted vegetables and a little bit of tofu. Perfectly healthy and tasty, planet friendly and cheap!
At the risk of repeating myself and everyone else, there are 4 top reasons to go vegan or at least lean into the plant based eating thing:
1) Your grandchildren are going to bear the brunt of climate change if we continue on our current path. I do not want to be a part of the problem and animal agriculture and ocean fishing are a big part of the problem.
2) Nothing makes the mistreatment of other living things ok even if factory farming makes meat cheaper!
3) It is so much better for your health!
4) It's pretty cheap if you take it easy on buying vegan cheese.
I am not saying that I will never eat meat again but clearly, I shouldn't. None of us should but it's a huge change to make even if it is getting easier.