Thanks to Angela I have become acquainted with a group of vegans in Singapore.
Despite being an omnivore myself, I found meeting and hanging out with the vegans has encouraged me to overcome my self-proclaimed chlorophyll allergy and to eat more vegetables.
Besides a healthier diet, here are some other reasons I love to hang out with them.
They are health conscious
From watching their diet to exercising, vegans are usually a healthy bunch dedicated to keeping their body and mind free of toxins. It’s inspiring and educational to learn what goes into their bodies and they are often a living, walking wikipedia of healthy foods and routines.
They are eco friendly
Sustainability and being ecologically friendly are hallmarks of both vegans and backpackers.
As backpackers, we’re minimalists who should subscribe to the reduce, reuse and recycle philosophy while renouncing consumerism. This encourages us to find multiple uses for the items in our backpacks and lightens our loads.
Most vegans are also similarly conscious about their environment, supporting events such as the Really Really Free Market, where used but still usable goods are exchanged rather than sold and purchased.
Finding a new home and new use for a gently used product breathes new life into an already purchased product, reduces waste in our environment and helps us save money.
They know nutritional value of foods
For a backpacker who often doesn’t have access to a kitchen, it’s nice to learn how I can get some kind of nutritious food that doesn’t require cooking.
Certain nuts and seeds, for example, can fill your tummy and provide significant nutrients when on a long bus or train ride.
When you arrive at your destination, a meal of simple vegetables, noodles and soup could be all it takes for a quick snack. From hanging out with them, I learned that if those simple vegetables include Moringa or Kale, for example, you are set as they are among the green leafy super-foods.
They are driven people
It takes a lot to be vegan in this world, especially if you weren’t born into a vegan family and you are the only one amongst your kin who has chosen this lifestyle. Thus, I admire the commitment of the vegans to convert and stick to this path despite daily temptations of meat dishes all around them.
They have to walk a longer distance to find their food and explore more places to find “the little vegan store in the corner”.
Furthermore, they are committed to promoting their vegan causes and I like the positive energy they have about them as they evangelise about their lifestyle.
They can cook
Last of all, most vegans can cook. And until I entered this vegan world, I felt vegetables were bitter green portions on the table that I tended to avoid.
But a vegan pot luck and a recent vegan BBQ that I attended showed that vegan (or vegetarian) food can be delicious!
Not only can vegans prepare edible basics, they are also pretty good cooks. They creatively find ways around animal products in their various foods, condiments and sauces.
We respect our choices
This group of vegans I have met respect my choices as an omnivore as I respect their decision to avoid any animal products. Food preferences aside, I’m grateful to have met and tasted such great greens.
In fact, I used to hate eggplant amongst all the vegetables. Yet just this weekend, with some great sauce, I found myself unable to stop picking away at the eggplant dish while dining with family.