Why Eat Less Meat

 

We, the vegans and vegetarians, all have our origin stories. It is the first question that everyone asks when they find out that you no longer eat meat. Okay, so it is the second question after, "So, where do you get your protein?"  The second question is usually, "Why?" 

Each of us has our own reasons. A lot of time those reasons evolve and compile into many reasons once we start learning about the lifestyle. Some people drop meat/animal products because of the health benefits or the welfare of animals, while others focus on the environment. Each one of these are valid reasons to leave behind the Standard American Diet. 

Once we learn about these aspects, most vegans and vegetarians want to start preaching from the roof tops. I know I did. Family dinners become awkward and edgy, and the answer you give after someone asks you "why?" often comes across judgmental. While those efforts are simply based in passion, the pleas mostly go unheeded and rejected. 

As I have become more aware of how uncomfortable most people are talking about their food and where it comes from, I have begun to learn that kindness, openness, and most of all sharing delicious food works much better than the impassioned speech.

So, when someone is genuinely interested in eating less animal products, how can you gently present them with the facts, but keep the judgment and hurt feelings in check? One excellent way is to share resources, such as Why Eat Less Meat, with them.

Why Eat Less Meat is the kind of site that walks its readers through a series of facts, studies and statistics, and challenges its readers to weigh their meat consumptions to the consequences for their health, the environment, the food industry, and the animals.

I like this site, because as the author explains in the introduction, the name-calling and feelings do little to help people see the facts and figures clearly. Why Eat Less Meat lays out the reasoning in a very organized and well-written way grouping the into the above four categories.

The site is simple, concise and not over-whelming. However, it could not be considered totally comprehensive either. So, if you are simply looking for an excellent introduction to the "Why?" question, then this is a great start. 

A great quality of Why Eat Less Meat is the abundance of resources and citation. So, for those that crave further explanation or verification, each claim is well documented and clearly cited.

The site does not supply too many resources on how to go vegetarian or vegan, but it gives a perfect and open-minded jumping off point. Overall, Why Eat Less Meat  is a compact and direct site that allows the reader to make their own judgments and decisions about their lifestyle and diet. 

www.whyeatlessmeat.com

Know of any other great sites that you use for facts, or that you send veg-curious people to? Write them in the comments below!

 

THESEXYVEGAN.COM

 

Okay, okay, so this post is a bit of a double dip. You will find it in the website and podcast section of my website. But, what is wrong with a little double dipping among the vegan (and veganish) community right? (Sorry to my germaphobic readers). However, the Sexy Vegan is both blog and podcast, so let the doubling dipping begin.

I first heard about The Sexy Vegan quite a while ago. I think I followed him on Instagram and called it a day. I did not really get exposed to him until many moons ago..... No, literally, it was a few moons ago (like two months). I was poking around my podcast app, and I stumbled upon the name that I had basically completely forgotten about. 

What a fool I was to forget such an amiable and helpful vegan chef! However, there was one real advantage to my forgetful ways--BINGEING! Yes my dear readers, I binge listened to so many episodes. My early morning wake ups were made bearable. In fact, I might even deem them enjoyable. (Although, sorry Sexy Vegan, not even you can make the first alarm clock chimes bearable. But, my morning makeup routine transformed into a quite lovely and charming time.)

If you do not know much, or anything, about The Sexy Vegan. Here is a quick crash course. His real name is Brian L. Patton. He is a cookbook author of The Sexy Vegan Cookbook: Extraordinary Food from an Ordinary Dude, and The Sexy Vegan's Happy Hour at Home, and in the past, he produced YouTube videos that featured his original recipes. Currently, he runs a podcast, called The Sexy Vegan Radidio. (No, I did not miss spell this. If you think this extra id is silly, it is. But, I challenge you to say it three times and not feel happier because of it.)

His website and podcast are pretty seamlessly intertwined, one certainly benefits from the other. Yes, you could only look at one or listen to the other, but to get the full experience, I suggest you look at both. But before I explain the interlocking qualities of The Sexy Vegan's site and podcast, let me give you an idea of what to expect from this podcast, and why you might enjoy it. 

I love The Sexy Vegan's work for two reasons: his personality, and his culinary expertise. If you have an interest in hearing funny and engaging people or you love to cook, this is the right podcast for you.  If you happen to be fond of both qualities, then you have hit the jackpot. Brian is a really likable fellow, and after one or two episodes, you feel like you know him. I believe some of his amiability comes from his humor, wit, and his ability to laugh at himself. Thus, Brian feels like an honest and pleasant person. 

Beyond his personality, Brian's content is solid. Regardless if you are vegan or not, his content is entertaining, flavorful, and informative.

Here is how the average episode goes: He often starts out with a anecdote and intro about the day's show, follows with an interview, and ends with a recipe. While his intros mainly show off his aforementioned  personality, his interviews focus on other notable names in the vegan world. Mostly, the people he brings on the show are involved in the vegan food community, but occasionally, he will expand beyond culinary topics. Past episodes have featured names like: Jill Pyle from Vegan Cuts, Julie Hasson of Vegan Casseroles, and Miyoko Schinner from Miyoko's Kitchen. During these interviews, you will get to know the back story of the interviewee, their views on veganism, and, of course, vegan cooking. The benefits from this process are exposure to new ideas, products, and books.

 

The final part of the show will make the chefs-at-heart listeners so happy. Often, in the cooking world, you get three types of general cooking: convenience cooking (the quick and dirty), the average cook cooking (simple but not processed), and the fancy cooking (over most of our heads). The Sexy Vegan nestles right in the middle of average ability cooking and fancy. Certainly not to say that his skills belong anywhere near average, but that is where I see his target audience. Which, if you love the kitchen, and spending time creating deliciousness, then this is your sweet spot. On the spectrum between average and fine, you learn new techniques, but it is still very attainable.  He brings the knowledge and skills of a trained chef to someone who just loves spending time with their ingredients, stove, knives, and pans.

Now, I do not mean to say that those people who have zero to no ability in the kitchen will not enjoy his show, but you may need to work up to his recipes or dabble with them a few times first. 

In regards to his cooking style, The Sexy Vegan is not like most vegan chefs on the internet today. He is not necessarily pushing super clean healthy eating. Brian will work with many different ingredients, from whole foods to processed ones. He recipes range from Edamame Wonton Soup to "Chicken" Fried Yuba. So, if  you are looking for a cleaner diet, his recipes are not always specifically designed to be overly healthy. However, if you are not fully vegan, you may find that his substitutions are much lower in fats and cholesterol than your previous diet. Thus, if you are looking for fun and decadent recipes, The Sexy Vegan is a good place to start. But, if you are seeking very clean meals, learn from Brian's skillful techniques and tweak his recipes to fit your dietary needs.

And finally, we return to the website and how it comes in handy! Brian posts the audio to his podcast, but he also adds pertinent and useful content for each episode. For example, he will post written recipes, which for me is crucial. Otherwise, you would be in the kitchen stuck rewinding and fast forwarding the episode to replicate his dishes. Also, for the newer cooks, he posts how-to videos which demonstrate skills needed to execute the meal. In addition to the educational videos, there are other supplemental videos and pictures that often showcase the material discussed during the interview.

In summary, The Sexy Vegan Radidio is a enjoyable and delicious time. The episodes  are about 30 minutes in length, and considering his intro, interview, recipe formula, each minute is fast paced and packed with information. Thus, if you get into The Sexy Vegan Groove, you will find yourself craving his company and his food!

If you have listened to/read The Sexy Vegan's work, leave a comment below discussing your experience. And, as Brian might sign off, "Stay Sexy!"