I've never really been fond of meat since I was young, so the conversion to vegetarianism which took place last year wasn't difficult. Despite being raised in a Buddhist family, this conversion was not primarily motivated by religious reasons. Simply, I've decided that I do not need to consume anything that perished in fear and pain. Moreover, like fellow vegetarians or vegans, I'll be able to reduce the risk of having certain diseases and health disorders. 

The rest of my family are meat-eaters. I don't try to convert them, so hopefully they'll also stop trying to persuade me to consume meat. Friends and acquaintances on the other hand, have been kind enough to not cross the line. Though vegetarianism in Malaysia isn't all too uncommon, I'd love to befriend lots of people who maintain this lifestyle as well! 

So, how common is vegetarianism or veganism in where you live? Besides, why and how long have you been vegetarian or vegan?

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Hi...Greeting from Indonesia.

Welcome to Vegfriend site! Hope you enjoy to be with us here!

Hi Xiao Kang! Thanks for creating this platform for people like us to come together!

Hey Joanne! I'm from Malaysia too.

I was a hardcore chicken-chop and burger lover, apart from a huge fan of meaty food, especially, well, CHICKEN. Hence, when I decided to become a vegetarian last year, it shocked my family and friends.

I'm raised in a Buddhist family too but my conversion was, just like you, not for religious reasons. When I first converted, I did NOT think of the benefits of vegetarianism towards health or environment AT ALL, really! All I thought was the sufferings the animals face for having their families torn apart and their members killed in front of them. Who doesn't want their family or lives? Who wants to die? Why do we need to build happiness on the expense of the others?

Initially, I missed meaty food such as siew mai and chicken curry. However, I asked myself, why those food is tasty? The reason is simple: herbs and spices, which come from plants. Besides, if meat is tasty, it should be tasty when eaten RAW, which, in actual fact, is gross! Imagine eating meat uncooked with the fat and skin still intact. Yuck.

Ever since I become a vegetarian, I have lost weight successfully-about 7kg-for the first time in my life, without hardcore dieting. I am happier and more energetic too. Besides, I am more health-conscious and aware on the environmental issues, as I read more about the vegetarian diet. I want to become a vegan by 2018, i.e. my graduation from college.

As of today, I have just celebrated my first veggieversary. :D (I turned vegetarian on 3/4/2013)

Hi Sharon, good to meet you!

Being in a meat-eating family, have you ever been forced to consume meat after declaring that you're vegetarian? Besides, how do you handle social gatherings like weddings (since meat is practically always served during Chinese wedding banquets)? 

Yes, the weight loss is a bonus! It's way easier with a vegetarian/vegan diet! ;)

Hey Joanne! I am fortunate that my family is open to the fact that I am a vegetarian and I will be one for life. In fact, my mother explores new ways to cook vegetables, such as making soups using burdock, corn, carrots and tomatoes instead of bones as base, replacing chicken with monkey head mushrooms in some chicken dishes (turmeric chicken, chicken soup etc.), and oyster mushroom in honey sauce instead of fish. (Honey is not vegan, I know, but I'm not going to ban that for the time being :P )

My family also told me that they learned to eat more vegetables and consume less meat, which saves a little money (fruits are still expensive though) and helps my dad to lose some fat. They also eat out less. However, they will not become full-time vegetarians because my dad loves meat ad my sis is a picky eater. Mum needs to taste-test the food. Reducing meat is better than not reducing meat consumption at all, so I am glad with that. :D

At home, my mum cooks three vegetarian dishes which are usually stir-fries and soups, along with a dish with meat. I don't eat the dish with meat and that is it! I seldom attend social gatherings, but if I do, I pick the vegetables out of the meat should there is no option available. This IS gross but it is a way to avoid troubling the hosts, since I follow my parents to gatherings usually. If it is MY gathering (e.g. college gathering), I request a veggie dish. One dish is better than none. In occasions where I can request vegetarian options for me, I will happily make requests. It is a no-brainer.

As for weight loss, while a vegetarian/vegan makes weight loss easy, processed fake meat products will easily sabotage one's diet, hence I avoid it like the plague, unless if it is served during activities where I am expected to eat everything served. I usually limit myself to a maximum of three pieces in that case.

Hm... perhaps I can try to get my parents to reduce their meat consumption too, for the sake of their health. My mom still uses spare ribs when boiling soups, but she adds more vegetables into them with me in my mind. I drink them (without taking the meat) to avoid confrontation with her. 

As for processed fake meats, I don't take them either. My mother also doesn't order those when we eat out at vegetarian restaurants. 

Hi Stephan! It seems you've been reaping the benefits of your current lifestyle! Keep it up!

Love tempeh! :D

Yea, we only get the ones manufactured from soybeans as well! Besides tempeh, I do love red beans porridge as well (basically just red adzuki beans boiled together with the rice).

No worries. :)

They look yummy! How do you make them?

I cook the red beans together with the rice, and sometimes I add mushrooms too. I use brown rice, but I'm sure any kind of rice would work. :)

Thank you Stephan! I'm wondering if adzuki beans would work. :P Perhaps I'll give that a try!


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