I love meat. I eat too much meat. I made the decision to cut down on the amount of meat I eat for a number of personal reasons, and this led to the discovery of a whole new world of food. Instead of having two food types, a steak, and some chips, I now get a range of different flavours, vitamins, and proteins from a meal that is normally half the price and also heaps tastier.
Living in Cape Town, deciding to make the change to vegetarian or vegan is just as easy as becoming a surfer or an avid hiker. There is a nearby vegan or vegetarian restaurant wherever you are and most restaurants in Cape Town offer vegan or vegetarian options (Tashas has one of the best “V” options for a non-specific vegan restaurant).
Let’s talk food
One of my favourite little spots is Jessys Waffles. With the slogan, “Eat Locally, Think Globally”, they are one of the best vegan restaurants in Cape Town and they specialise in waffles. They are open early till late (9pm most evenings), and the watrons are the nicest people you will ever come across. It’s the kind of place you will decide to go to while sitting at a different restaurant, 20 minutes before they close and call them and make an order just so you get your craving. Also, if you have already eaten, go for the half portion and not the full – we learned the hard way. If you are hungry, go for the full, you will be pleasantly stuffed and ready for a nap.
Their menu is incredible, a mixture between savoury and sweet, which is ideal if you are sharing or if you want to order a half-and-half. We have had the Queen of Hearts, Frittafle, My Sweet Captain and She’s Bananas.
So, why on earth would you go to a vegan waffle cafe and not just go get a waffle anywhere in Cape Town? A) Because they taste AMAZING B) It has nothing to do with being vegan or devouring meat, well it didn’t, they just make flipping good waffles. It made me want to try more and more plant-based meals and see what I could make. Once I started eating less meat, I actually felt a lot better, I was less tired, I had less bad stomach days and I felt a lot happier. I also started eating breakfasts, because I now make smoothies and not think that breakfast has to be eggs and bacon and avoid it because it is such a mission. So after all this, I did some research and watched a few documentaries (see the bottom of the blog for top 3) and decided to cut down a bit.
How has this affected me?
I haven’t changed much, I just don’t eat meat every single day, twice a day. But even if I one day decide to completely cut out all animal products from my diet, it shouldn’t be something that I or anyone should feel embarrassed or judged about. The, “I am kinda giving it a go” or “I don’t really believe in the whole thing, just seeing how it is” statements are because people who do go vegan are often met with, “Oh, that’s so silly and so hard to do, you can’t make a difference” or they are just simply giggled at because of the choice. The true reality is, veganism is hard. It is very hard. But if people want to make a difference, in order to try their utmost best to save the planet that people have destroyed (they have predicted that there will be fishless oceans by 2048, when I will be 55 years old) or they just feel like eating lettuce for the rest of their life, then just let them. It’s that easy. Just. Let. Them.
Veganism, one of the fastest growing trends in 2018, likely to get even more popular in 2019. With a 400% growth in the past 5 years, the global meat-alternative industry market reaching almost $ 6 billion, the non-dairy market set to reach $ 11 billion this year (2019) and the 92% growth of vegan products in the UK, USA and Australia, just show how this trend is rapidly growing the more aware people get about the environment and the animals we share the planet with.
Now, trends are fickle and don’t last very long and that is why we often call them “garbage trends” – fidget spinners, the fortnite dance, the word triggered, and of course saying the word hashtag etc – obviously nobody is saying go watch videos of a slaughterhouse and only wear shoes made from coconuts, the idea behind a lot of people turning to veganism is just to be more aware of the effects of eating meat on the environment.
I used to chuckle at the fact that one hamburger and showering for 2 months, use the same amount of water, but then you realise that one hamburger is the product of a cow, which requires tons of water (for drinks and to grow its crops to eat). That is just beef, there are multiple farming industries that do the same damage. So going vegan isn’t necessarily because of animal rights and the way animals are treated when being made into food, but also the environmental factor that farming large numbers of cows (and chickens etc) has on the environment. So eat meat, but maybe think about cutting down a bit, for your own health and the planets.