A year ago my partner and I decided to become vegan. We did it for health reasons even though neither of us have any obvious health problems. While I can’t speak for others, it’s been a positive change for us. We feel better, it’s good for the planet, and I no longer fear food.

When I first moved to Thailand about ten years ago, I wasn’t eating pork, also for health reasons, and I primarily cooked vegetarian meals at home. However, moving here changed that lifestyle as many apartments had nonexistent kitchens, or tiny makeshift ones. The language barrier was another excuse to eat what was easiest to order and what was available. Eventually I started to eat pork again.

Ah, the ‘ol pig head offering… [Wat Chtuphon Chiang Rai, 2014]

Beef, at the time, was expensive and rare. Thais also cooked steaks on the overdone to shoe-leather range which further pushed it out of my diet. But one of the shocking things that most foreigners have to contend with here is the treatment of animals (and possibly in most of Asia).

The irony of this is not lost since Thailand is primarily a Buddhist country, but itโ€™s common to see pigs and chickens transported in stacked cages or even slung over on motorbikes. My own Thai aunt and uncle boil and pluck feathers off of dead chickens in front of their house. I visited a Thai friend’s tea farm only to discover that they kept their chickens in cages so small they werenโ€™t able to turn around. And donโ€™t get me started on the treatment of dogs and cats.

When we moved to Rayong we were shocked to see that our local Tesco supermarket sold chicken meat in large open metal bins. Rolls of plastic bags and tongs sat on top of huge piles of raw chicken breasts, thighs and other body parts. When COVID hit, I thought surely they’d change this arrangement, but they didn’t.

But like many, I looked the other way. I told myself that I didnโ€™t eat that much meat. I rarely handled meat at home, as I had always found it gross and without hot water on tap, I had to take extra steps to ensure that my cutting board and knife — or anything that came into contact with raw meat — was sanitized as best as possible.

Remember kids, questionable meat is only questionable if you ask questions. [Chiang Mai, 2014]

Itโ€™s also taken for granted that one regularly gets diarrhea or food poisoning here, and I had a really bad case after eating some sort of mystery meat. So, when my partner announced he wanted to give veganism a try, I readily agreed. Iโ€™ve hated how we expats have accepted that food poisoning is a way of life here, and I was eager to clean up my diet, especially in light of the recent death of a friend due to high blood pressure.

In the beginning, the hardest thing to do without was cheese and eggs. The BF always had prompted me to buy eggs believing it was the โ€˜perfect proteinโ€™. Eggs are also common in Thai cooking, even if diary is not. So, for a time, we controlled our diets by cooking at home. Since then weโ€™ve gotten braver and better about communicating our needs at made-to-order places. Happily, tasty plant-based meats have arrived in Thailand.

But before all that, here are the changes that happened for me.

More energy + better digestion

One of the first things I noticed was how annoyingly chipper and optimistic I was when I was teaching in the morning. Although now I donโ€™t notice it anymore, I probably take it for granted. I certainly haven’t had food poisoning in over a year, which is a record for me in Thailand.

My partner regularly suffered from heartburn, and we both thought it was because of his excessive fondness for coffee. After going vegan, the heartburn mysteriously disappeared, even as his overindulgence in coffee persisted. Similarly, while diarrhea was a reliable feature of the landscape, it also vanished in the bargain. We suspect he may have had a dairy allergy but never knew.

These days, I donโ€™t get that super stuffed heavy feeling in my gut, no matter how much I eat (and I like to eat). If I do overeat, the feeling of over-fullness subsides soon enough.

Meat and cheeses are simply much harder on the digestive system. [If you look up foods to avoid when having digestive problems, these come up. Also, meat and fish can take up to 2 days to digest.]

Made to order papaya salad [Lamphun, Thailand, 2017]

A waistline if you please

Iโ€™ve never had one. Iโ€™ve always been more on the goddess-belly side, and while thatโ€™s never really gone away, my obliques are more pronounced. And no I havenโ€™t been doing more abs or anything.

And no, mom, Iโ€™m not super skinny. But it was definitely one of my concerns that on a vegan diet I would lose a lot of pounds which others have experienced. Neither my partner nor I have had any great weight loss, and we exercise regularly. Iโ€™d say the changes we’ve experienced were more subtle, so I wished we had done a full health check before becoming vegan.

Where No Vegan has Gone Before

Iโ€™ve been re-watching Star Trek: TNG, and in Gene Roddenberryโ€™s future, not killing animals for food came up in an episode. As Iโ€™ve mentioned, I discovered a couple of plant-based meat products here and one of them is Omni Meat, a Hong Kong startup that won one of the Roddenberry Prizes for climate-change. Interesting coincidence, eh?

Here’s the episode that got me going down this rabbit hole.

http://www.redhotvegans.com/2012/10/where-no-vegan-has-gone-before/

A vegetarian friend maintains that we will look back at how we treat animals now a bit like the way we look back at slavery. That is to say, the way we treated animals was so atrocious that it’s unbelievable we practiced factory farming.

Back to school to learn new rules

One of the biggest things we had to do was unlearn a lot of what the food industry has taught us, like โ€˜you need milk for strong bones and teethโ€™ or โ€˜you need meat for proteinโ€™ or โ€˜carbs make you fatโ€™. Asians have been eating a diet based on rice and noodles FOREVER and theyโ€™re among the slimmest people in the world. There have also been countless studies on longevity, and their diets and lifestyles. Itโ€™s no surprise that diets rich in fruits and vegetables are good for you.

Now, to be clear, just because you are vegetarian or vegan does not make you automatically healthy. But the learning curve has included making sure we are getting all the vitamins and minerals we need. This has made me wonder if you are not on any particular diet, do you even bother to look this stuff up? I didnโ€™t. So you could argue that one of the reasons why vegans are healthier is theyโ€™re making sure they donโ€™t fall into the โ€˜but youโ€™re not getting any ___โ€™ trap.

Eating an abundance and variety of fruit is pretty easy in Thailand.

Open to new options + choices

When we ate out, we had to take a closer look at menus, and this forced us to try new things. Because, let’s face it, most of us simply order the same thing over and over again. Iโ€™ve also been learning a great deal about vegan cooking. This has expanded our menu, and itโ€™s been easy too. Normally, people center their meals around a meat option, but without it, Iโ€™ve been enjoying cooking and learning new dishes and the tricks that help make veganism satisfying and delicious.

It turns out that eating โ€˜a rainbow on your plateโ€™ is also one of the key ingredients to a healthy gut, and therefore, a healthy body. Even if youโ€™re not interested in going vegan, Iโ€™d encourage you to eat a variety of plant-based foods for your health. Fiber Fueled, a best selling 2020 book, has recently come up on my radar, and while I have yet to read it, Iโ€™ve been checking out interviews with its author, Dr. Will Bulsiewicz.

Final thoughts

Lastly, I wanted to mention something my partner said. As I was sharing my feelings for a deeper love for animals, he replied that it made sense because we probably live our lives pretending what happens in factory farms doesnโ€™t really go on. Therefore, we carry background or low-grade negative feelings in an effort to be part of our culture and traditions. But what he said next really struck me. He said being vegan challenges what we assume to be human nature โ€“ we don’t need to conceive of ourselves as inherently predators, conquerors, or killers — and I agreed.

Eating meat is considered more macho, masculine, and Alpha-male. Vegans, on the other hand, are the jackasses, soy-based ninnies who want to spoil the party and all the fun. But aren’t we trying to be more inclusive, planet-friendly, and evolve from old ideas of us versus them? So, why all the vegan hate?

Wow, Google. Bias much? [Screenshots from 7 Dec 20]
Slide to compare paleo vs veganism. DuckDuckGo is more neutral.

One of my Chinese students was talking about his interview for an international school in Singapore. They asked the candidates, “Do you believe eating animals is unethical?” I was surprised that this was one of three questions asked. I think whether folks want to eat their vegetables or not, the future of food is knocking on our doors. (Crickets, anyone?)

But as more and more people make the switch to more plant-based, I know the meat and dairy industry will double down on propaganda and โ€˜newsโ€™ to keep folks grazing on beef. [Hello, Google, my old friend.] My hope, however, is that we will choose compassion, empathy, and love. In other words, that we will choose to redefine what it means to be human.



Resources:

  • LiveKindly (a pop culture all things vegan organization that I follow on Instagram)
  • Plant Based News (is exactly what you think it is, I follow on YouTube)
  • Fiber Fueled by Dr. Will Bulsiewicz (how to heal yourself through the power of plants)

55 replies on “๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ Reflecting on a year of veganism (in Thailand)

  1. A really interesting perspective – I’m a vegan curious vegetarian, who keeps caving, but this was great. Although I was only in Cambodia for about 4 months, the issues around how to communicate dietary preferences and how to cope with the ways animals are routinely handled resonated with me. It’s a balance between accepting cultural difference and making personal choices that sit comfortably with ourselves. Food for thought, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What I’ve noticed is in SE Asia they are ‘much closer to their food sources’. In other words, they see and experience butchering of animals far more than those in the West do. In the US for instance, meats are neatly packaged and unless you live in a hunting community, you won’t likely see blood or bones or anything like that.

      For sure, we want to be sensitive to different ways of life, but Thais are becoming more and more aware of the treatment of animals too. There’s an Iron Chef cooking show here and the producers got in trouble for using an endangered animal as the main course. And a YouTuber was called out for burying a live chicken in order to create a ‘foie gras’… But vegetarian is looked upon as a strange thing to be.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Congratulations Lani. I edge closer to a vegan diet every day (cheese is still my weakness), but itโ€™s definitely becoming easier.
    Your comment about how weโ€™ll look back on the treatment of animals really struck me. I hope that time comes soon

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank, Su ๐Ÿ™‚ They are working on vegan cheese. I think pretty much any animal product or byproduct is going to have a plant-based alternative in the next few years.

      Cheese is an understandable weakness. There’s definitely no cheese alt here! And I wish there was! ๐Ÿ˜›

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Iโ€™m not a fan of alt-products generally. I worry that the processing will mean they contain things I donโ€™t want to eat, and they add a whole level of environmental concerns at a time when Iโ€™m trying to get away from factory food. Sometimes it feels as though whichever way I turn, the food I eat has the capacity to do more harm than good.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. During my several years in ChiangMai (about 20-years back), I settled mostly into chicken from a local mom&pop whose chickens just ran around outside. I recall their grill being a half of a 55-gallon drum. I felt like most of the times I ended up with intestinal issues, it was due to water. I was an early adopter of UV-ing my bottled water, and that seemed to do the trick. Presently in the US, it’s pretty much fish anymore. The US pork industry is, in my opinion, just an unmitigated disaster.

    I did the vegan thing for a year, and just felt like I was always low-energy. Maybe I could have figured it out over time, but it just didn’t work for me. But I have friends who’ve made it work for themselves.One, who is impressively fit, has told me that he does “cheat” just slightly with something made from sheep wool (lanolin?).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, there was a time when we were more in harmony or in balance with meat production. Obviously small farms who raised their own meat, milk, and eggs can go on doing their own thing because they’re in charge of the whole process. But it makes me chuckle because there almost always seems to be a kid in a family like that who falls in love with the animals and declares vegetarianism. ๐Ÿ˜›

      Diets are incredibly personal, so everyone needs to figure out their formula. I’m guessing most folks live with lethargy, allergies, or food discomfort which strikes me as kind of wild. In that we accept it instead of trying to figure it out, but I suppose if it’s low grade, why bother? Some teens here have not only become overweight but have developed horrible acne… You’d think families would intervene, but … that’s how badly folks want to eat what they want! Or are unaware of the consequences… maybe both! Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Always love a good ‘diet’ post โ€” thanks for sharing.
    Interesting how google quietly guides our introductory questions isn’t it….that social dilemma doco spoke on that didn’t it
    And you’re right saying that a vege diet is not necessarily healthy…mostly on account of the sugar that is likely to increase with the fruit/juices/snacks. For me I think it’s probably a good choice though and I will probably end up vegetarian or at least eating less meat (which is only really seafood these days) Anyway your approach is the best way…move through diets and see what works for you.
    Hey did you see that ‘lab/clean chicken’ company in singapore that is growing chicken in labs? $50 USd for a chicken nugget…but no doubt a sign of things to come, and a good thing generally

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, I didn’t but I did see that lab grown meats were considered a red herring because we can get our nutrition from plant based sources.

      It’s crazy tho’ for sure. Lab grown meat! Can’t say I want to be the first to try it! ๐Ÿ˜›

      Glad someone caught the Google bias! Thanks for mentioning that. It was sort of addicting when I noticed it and now I want to try to ‘google’ all sorts of controversial things.

      And honestly I was expecting this post to be politely ignored so thanks for taking the time to read it ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Red herring may well be on the menu with a little food colouring! I’ve been reading a bit on the lab meat…interesting stuff. While we could survive without meat there’s a couple of billion people who might object to the idea…so this looks like some sort of practical solution…perhaps.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. So interesting! Thanks for sharing. I’ve been vegetarian for few years (and vegan on and off) before last year when I was convinced to start eating some meat because of some mysterious health issues (spoiler alert: eating meat didn’t help hihi). I’m thinking about switching back to being mostly plant based vegetarian and even my meat lover boyfriend is interested in removing meat from his diet. Reading your post inspired me even more! So happy you and your partner took this decision. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your story, too. I hate trying to figure out food issues though so I sympathize. What’s causing this or what’s causing that? I hope you’ve figured it out, if not, I hear food diaries work best. Actually, I kept track of everything we ate for our first vegan month… No reason, but it’s a record now. ๐Ÿ˜› Good luck, you can do it!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Well done on finishing a year of being vegan, Lani. Although that said, changing one’s habits always get easier the longer one sticks with them. I always think being vegan must be quite a challenge. I’ve been a vegetarian for around 12 years now, and although I don’t eat enormous amounts of eggs or dairy, they are still featuring quite strongly in my diet. Especially milk in my morning coffee. I can remember how much lighter and healthier I felt when I just changed my diet, but like you say, one quickly become used to the new way one feels. As for the mistreatment of animals – I simply cringe in how we think it is okay. That was not the reason why I became vegetarian, but has definitely become more important in how I view the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, 12 years is quite the accomplishment! Yeah, I know other vegetarians ๐Ÿ˜› and it would seem that participating in dairy does help get by in the current world we live in. Plus, so many treats involve dairy! When I was vegetarian I ate rather poorly relying heavily on junk food, but these days there are so many wonderful resources to help folks eat better. Thanks for stopping by, Jolandi! xo

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      1. So true – many treats do involve dairy. Luckily I’ve always loved homecooked meals, so although I won’t claim that I eat super-healthy, I definitely do not gravitate towards junk food, which is lucky for me. I was definitely meant to be a vegetarian, Lani. I’ve never really enjoyed the taste of meat and find it repulsive these days. Although that said, my husband does eat meat, and I do still cook it, even though it is not something I enjoy. But hey, love requires compromises. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  7. You can really be proud of your achievement, Lani! And I’m happy that veganism works so well for you.
    You’re right by saying that most people don’t give too much thought about the connection between health and their food habits. Although I can understand that they don’t as it takes a lot of time to find out what’s causing certain things in your body to happen. It took me half a year for instance to figure out that nescafe was the source for some digestive problems I had. I thought at first it might be milk, or sugar or wheat products and tried skipping them to see what happens. Just to find out that none of these usual suspects were to be blamed. Now I only drink real coffee and mostly cold-brew at that. And voilร  – no more digestive problems, at least not from that area. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    What you said about the meat industry also strikes a chord in me. I love animals and seeing how they’re treated makes me feel sick. I don’t eat a lot of meat, maybe twice a month, but it’s still too much if animals have to hurt like this. So I buy mainly from firms and companies I know to treat the animals better.
    Sadly veganism wouldn’t be an option for me – take vegan cheese products: they’re mostly made from cashews – and I’m allergic to them! So parmesan cheese it will be for me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry to hear you have a nut allergy! I love nuts ๐Ÿ˜› I really need to read that Fiber Fueled book I mentioned because Dr. B goes into food allergies as well, and I’m curious.

      It is hard to track down what’s making you sick or uncomfortable, for sure. Keeping a food diary is also a P in the A . I’m glad you figured out what was giving you problems though. A big deal!

      Thanks for reading, Sarah! xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not all nuts luckily, just cashews and pecans. I think a peanut allergy would be much worse! It’s somehow contained in many foods in traces.

        Have a lovely week ahead! xo

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve naturally and slowly eat less meat over the past 20 years. Now it’s about 3-4 times per month. Each time approx. fistful of meat. I tend to eat: bison, lean beef, seafood. I will buy thinly sliced proscuitto (salty though).

    I didn’t realize how much my digestive system changed until we vacationed in Europe (spain and france) and Japan, Seoul where I ate meat nearly daily because I wanted to try some different dishes not available readily in CAnada. I felt constipated and often needed at least yogurt for breakfast, fruit and veggies.

    In Japan, I didn’t find piles of veggies to eat there. I started to fantasize about platter of Chinese veggie dish… I didn’t know this difference until I got to Japan.

    I think my system can no longer process much meat often anymore. No, I don’t think I will become vegetarian but for sure the way how I’ve figured out an healthy diet for me at this stage, works well for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hopefully, over time, we all figure out what works for us and what our body needs and wants. And balance it out with any cravings and desires.

      I think most people though eat without consciously thinking about what’s in it or is this good for me or why should I care, etc.

      So my hope is in the very near future, a healthier and sustainable diet will be at the top of everyone’s mind!

      Thanks, Jean.

      Like

  9. An engaging post, Lani – I enjoyed reading about your journey and particularly your success with this change in lifestyle & perspective. As the only vegetarian in my family, to find healthy things to enjoy on the road is particularly challenging. But with time & experience, like you, I’ve discovered how to enjoy travel eating.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for asking, Lani.
        My journey is a long one. Started in High School when I read Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” – the description of the meat-packing factories grossed me out so much I couldn’t eat much meat after that. As a teen, I didn’t feel like I could ask my very foodie family for a vegetarian diet, so I just avoided meat as much as I could.

        Then when I started working, I was in sales so had quite a few work lunches to attend. I decided that I would tell my clients and colleagues I was vegetarian so I would not have to pick out the meat in my food.

        From then, it was an easy transition. It was only when I was pregnant with my first daughter that I woke up one day craving hamburger patties – I guess I just needed the iron. So I started to include some meat in my diet after that.

        Shortly after my 2nd daughter was born, my stomach would hurt after I had any meat (figured this out through the process of elimination). So I stopped eating meat again, and have been mostly vegetarian for about 20 years (I say mostly, because I am not terribly strict – I will have chicken curry without the chicken, and tonkotsu ramen without the chasu).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow, thanks. I totally understand. There are times eating out when it’s best not to know what exactly is in it, so we’re vegetarian more than vegan. Normally though we’re able to navigate these things, but Asia. Plus, the social element — like there’s an upcoming Christmas party and we’ll eat the pasta and bread… like I don’t want to be difficult too.

        That’s wild that a book changed you that much and in that way! Love it. My mom was also quite picky because she felt bad for the animals.

        In any case, thanks for sharing your story and happy eating! xo

        Like

  10. I really loved reading this, I totally agree with you. Eating the meat we have available today, with the way the animals are treated and what they are fed, etc is not good for our bodies or the environment (or the animals).
    My sister went to Thailand and they had a really hard time finding quality meat and ended up eating mango sticky rice for nearly the whole two weeks lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Yeah, I think when you first come over it’s shocking because cleanliness and quality is different than what we’re used to. Some cities are more accommodating to veganism than others, but the other day we saw yet another plant-based meat product from Thailand – yeaaa!

      And thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I really enjoyed reading your article! Especially this year, Iโ€˜ve thought so many times that I should give it a try and be at least vegetarian. Itโ€˜s pretty tough in Japan, though, as most dishes seem to contain some kind of meat or fish. (I imagine itโ€˜s quite similar to Thailand where you order vegetarian and then have these little shrimps in the soup as they consider that more of a condiment). Your article gave me a lot to think about. You are right, we must research and re-think our daily food choices and not just accept what is presented to us as normal by the society we live in. In fact, one of the things you wrote were what I was just wondering today and said to my boyfriend: will this whole phase of humans eating meat be this completely bizarre chapter in future history books where people wonder how that ever was acceptable? Anyway, thanks for the nudge! If you feel like writing more about being vegan in Asia, I look forward to reading it ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, that’s nice of you to say. My fear was that when folks saw ‘vegan’ in the title, they’d run the other way. People really like their meat and don’t want to change their diets. I also appreciate your open-mindedness. Thanks again ๐Ÿ™‚

      P.S. Yes, Thais have moved rather far from the veg heavy meals to more meat these days and they have a tendency to freak out if you say you don’t eat meat.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Since reading your article, I already made a small change and always ordered the vegetarian meal when it was available at the restaurant ๐Ÿ˜Š And it tasted great!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Can’t believe I missed reading this!

    Love the post, Lani! I’ve been a vegetarian for the past 15 years but going vegan has been a difficult journey for me. I have reduced my dairy intake a lot (I finally switched to black coffee!) but there are days when I just can’t stop myself from eating cheese/chocolate. Vegan cheese and chocolate are rare and expensive in India.

    I also resonate with your thoughts on veganism. My journey also began when I visited my grandmother’s village and saw a chicken being killed in front of my eyes. I could never unhear the loud, scared noises that the chicken made before it was slaughtered and have never been able to eat meat after.

    Being vegan has actually helped me lose weight. So the longest I’ve gone without having dairy is 5 days and through the 5 days with my regular diet and workout – I managed to lose 1 kg! So I’m convinced I want to follow a vegan lifestyle – if only it weren’t so tempting!

    I’m also trying to be more sustainable and being vegan is such an easy way to contribute to that lifestyle.

    Here’s hoping I do better in 2021.

    Happy Holiday Season to you! Are you celebrating Christmas? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, thanks! No worries, I feel like tis the season and folks are busyyy.

      And thanks for sharing your struggles and thoughts. I can only imagine what it must have been like to see a chicken killed. And I was just thinking this morning about how much antibiotics are given to animals to make them fatter and survive their factory farm existence.

      15 yrs is a long time. Don’t beat yourself up. Congrats on going black coffee! It’s rather exciting that Starbucks over here offers alt milks but we rarely go there, but still, progress! They make it taste no different, must be their frothing machine ๐Ÿ˜›

      Cheese is tough and yeah, I hear ya, we don’t have vegan cheese in Thailand, but the other day I saw another Thai company offering vegan meat.

      You’ve already done a lot! โค Happy holidays to you too. Going to enjoy the time off and possibly do some local travel in the new year. And you? xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. ๐Ÿ˜Š

        Funnily, I don’t have holidays this at the year end since I’ve joined my dad in business and local businesses here in India don’t shut for Christmas and New Year’s. ๐Ÿฅบ So just going to be working! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Congrats on your veganversary!! (I’m sure that’s a word). I hope I can convert at some point, or at least to vegetarianism. Or at the very very least get my MIL to cook less meat dishes. She seems to think that we want to eat meat but I’ve told her several times I actually prefer vegetables and tofu. When I cook myself I almost always make lentils or chickpeas… I love pulses! Strangely, they are barely used in Chinese cooking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the same with Thai foods. Pulses are so good for you too. I hope you can move towards a more fruits and veggies diet, Marta! And thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  14. Great post and very timely. I donโ€™t think Iโ€™ll rid myself of meat entirely and I have an obsession with cheese. BUT, I am rewiring my brain to make healthier choices when it comes to food, which means more veggies. I thankfully have not had food poisoning in Thailand, but I can see how it could be problematic ๐Ÿ˜ฉ. Glad the new lifestyle changes are working well for you! Happy new year! Thanks for the follow ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really adored how Joanna was inspired by your Spreading A Little “Happy” post and how you chose to start something positive.

      Yeah, meat and cheese ๐Ÿ˜› The good news is alternative and plant-based products are really getting quite good at mimicking the taste of our favorites.

      But based on what I’ve read, a variety of foods is best, so I hope you have fun trying new things. HNY to you too! โค

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, thank you! My friend at gojulesgo became vegan and introduced me to vegan cheese. It was shockingly good. Maybe Iโ€™ll mix it up! Have a great day Lani!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. This is really interesting. My partner and I are considering moving to Thailand from New Zealand. Interesting to hear that food poisoning happens a lot there. We’re not full vegetarians, we only eat chicken and fish, but seeing those chickens like that in Tesco would make me feel sick too! I will follow you now as I’m interested to know your experiences in Thailand. My blog is about animals, spirituality, books, philosophy if you would like to follow. Cheers ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Can we trade places? ๐Ÿ˜€ I’d rather live in NZ. ๐Ÿ˜›

      Have you been to Thailand before? I’m guessing yes, and that’s why you’re interested in moving here. I’ve recently thrown up a resources page that has some recommendations for you: https://lanivcox.com/%f0%9f%94%96-resources/

      And Thailand, like many places, really depends on where you move to and what you’re looking for.

      Spent some time reading and listening to Xavi on your blog. SO IMPRESSED. โค

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually I haven’t been there to Thailand yet, it was just a whim really, no solid plans just a thought. My partner and I feel locked in as nobody is allowed to go anywhere. New Zealand is the wonder story of the world for beating covid. However, in terms of making a life for yourself here as a millennial, people struggle, housing is ridiculously expensive with an inability to ever own a home here if you don’t have rich parents. For a realistic view on the capital,Wellington have a look at their Reddit. New Zealand is overpriced and overrated for the quality of life you get here. I’m Australian, but moved here to be with my partner 9 years ago, but considering moving to somewhere we can afford a decent house for less than the average 1 million nzd. Thanks for your resources on Thailand. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m really glad you liked the post on Xavi…he seems like such a cool guy!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I understand. Living here is affordable, and this has been absolutely highlighted during shutdown when we’re out of work, waiting for life to open up again.

        I’m from Hawaii and really expensive to live there. The fresh air, perfect weather is accompanied by horrible traffic ~ so yeah, I get it.

        Well, when this is all over, I hope you’re able to have a look around first. Thanks for finding me ๐Ÿ™‚ I look forward to reading more of your content. Cheers.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah would love to come there and look around. I would love to visit some wildlife sanctuaries there. Likewise if you ever want to come to Wellington (and we are still here) would like to show you around, it’s not all bad, people are friendly here and they have good cafes. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes really glad I connected with you too โค

        Liked by 1 person

  16. In general, I think we need a lot more consumer awareness about where our food–especially, for those who consume it, meat or eggs or milk–comes from. I grew up with chickens, and my neighbors had chickens, pigs, cows and goats, and they were all treated well and had good lives with a spacious and well cultivated living area. Then when they got older, they were killed quickly and painlessly, and were very carefully prepared for food. I’m not really against either animal products or eating meat occasionally that comes from humane, animal-focused open pasture environments, but even that requires a significant reduction in the amount of meat/animal products that are being eaten, especially for it to be effective on a broad scale.

    I do think it becomes much, much harder to be vegan or even fully vegetarian when there are other significant diet restraints. I’m gluten intolerant and my husband has many allergies (including allergies to soy, avocado, peanuts, lots of fruits, and more), in addition to other dietary requirements. Fish and eggs are both a pretty important part of his diet, and I think that’s okay.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This might sound strange, but I don’t have a problem with people who raise their own chickens for eggs, for example, because there isn’t any harm being done. But because of the massive scale of egg consumption (just to stick with the egg example), there is plenty of harm being done in ways that I certainly was unaware of.

      In any case, perhaps small-scale farms in greater numbers, as opposed to giant ones, is a kind of answer to those who want it.

      As far as folks with food allergies, there’s a book called Fiber Fueled which I think touches upon not only why so many have food allergies but what we can do about it. But I have to disagree, I think with plant-based products on the rise, more of these foods will address the majority of people’s personal issues and needs.

      Until then, I understand folks have their own specific needs.

      Lastly, I’m excited about all the food technology happening these days. And believe this is the beginning of the revolution of how we eat ~ Cheers.

      Like

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