June 11, 2020

Cebu Lifestyle

A sneak peek into Vegetarians and Vegans lives | How do they survive in Cebu, Philippines?

Hello everyone, how are you coping with Coronavirus pandemic? Are you becoming more health conscious and after knowing that you have higher survival rate from Coronavirus if you have good immune system? Today, I will take you to the Lun Haw vegan cafe and share with you on how to eat fresh here in Cebu, Philippines. This cafe was introduced to me by our ex student from St. Petersburg, Anastasia (Nastya). Nastya is a vegan and she had adhered to this idea for almost 5 years.

First of all, let’s learn something about vegetarianism and veganism today!

Terms commonly used by Vegans / Vegetarians

Meatatarian – A person who exclusively or predominantly eats meat
Raw foodism – Also known as rawism or following a raw food diet. This is the dietary practice of eating only or mostly food that is uncooked and unprocessed
Fruitarianism – This is a subset of vegan dietary that consists entirely or primarily of fruits in the botanical sense, and possibly nuts and seeds, but without animal products
Monoediation – Involves eating only one type of product at a time
Breatharians – a person who believes that it is possible, through meditation, to reach a level of consciousness where one can obtain all sustenance from the air or sunlight
Pescatarian – a person who does not eat meat but does eat fish
Vegetarianism – is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat (red meat, poultry, seafood, and the flesh of any other animal), and may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter
Veganism – is the practice of abstaining from the use of all animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals.

Comparison of Vegetarians vs vegans

Personally, I think vegetarians live better than vegans. See below on why:-
1. Vegetarians can keep a pet at home. They can sometimes go to the zoo and circus. Vegans are against this. They believe that the animal should not be kept in conditions not natural to them. They are also against fur, wool, leather, silk and other materials of animal origin. Besides, they are also against products with gelatin and cosmetics that have been tested on animals.

2. Vegetarianism involves the rejection of meat, but not the rejection of animal products as food. Vegans do not eat meat, fish, seafood, eggs, milk, cheeses, cottage cheese and other animal products, and even honey, because beekeepers take it from the bees that worked on it!
All vegetarians and vegans do not eat meat, fish, seafood, which is obtained by killing (hunting, fishing, meat factory).

See below a video illustrating how the world will become if everyone became vegetarian?

Honestly, I have never practiced anything like this in my life. I’m omnivorous and never thought about how people’s lives are changing under the influence of any idea. It was very interesting for me to watch how Nastya choose her food, how she is interested in the food composition, what proven places she knows in order to eat. She studies a lot on the food nutrition facts and she knows what kind of food she can eat and what she can’t. I think the good thing about vegetarian or vegan is that they are more aware of the surrounding and their intake. Eating in the 3D school cafeteria was never a problem for her. Chefs will always prepare something suitable for students if they cannot consume certain foods for certain reasons. There are many students from Saudi Arabia in the school who cannot eat halal food, including pork. So the chefs always cook something else for them as alternative.

When Nastya invited me to go to the Lun Haw vegan cafe for a taste of vegan cuisine, I could not refuse because I think that trying something new is interesting and informative. In the evening after classes, we decided to walk to this cafe. The vegan cafe is just about 20 minutes walk from 3D Academy. On the way, Nastya told me how she came to this choice. For her, veganism is a movement for social justice. Being vegan means being responsible for your daily choices (do not wear things from animals, avoid products that are tested on animals). This is not difficult. This can be learned.

Understanding that one person can save several animals is what makes her choose to become a vegan. She became a vegan after reading books and watching films, realizing that our eating habits take away the lives of other species on this planet, cause unbearable suffering and leave enormous environmental damage.

When we arrived at the cafe, there were a lot of visitors there to my surprise! I had no idea that the cafe was so popular. Mostly they were foreigners. We heard German, Spanish and Russian. The institution is quite small, but comfortable. The menu is quite diverse. There are soups, hot dishes, desserts, and various drinks. I did not know that vegetarianism could be so diverse. For a person who is not familiar with vegan diet, everything is quite simple – vegetables and the absence of animal meat. But it was a surprise for me to find out that there are many alternatives for preparing a variety of dishes without the use of animal products. For example, people who adhere to veganism are replacing meat with vegetable protein (soy, nuts, herbs), honey with wedge syrup or dates syrup, agave or Jerusalem artichoke syrup. They choose cheeses based on coconut milk and drink soy, nut, and rice milk. They avoid eggs when baking and replace them with banana, applesauce or other suitable foods.

In the meantime, we made an order. I ordered green soup and lasagna. Nastya ordered a white soup and a vegetable sausage. I was looking forward to what will bring me? After about 15 minutes of wait, our soup was served. What can I say? It was unrealistically delicious, but very sweet, maybe the taste is adapted to the Filipinos’ sweet tooth. My green soup consisted of chopped herbs and coconut milk. It tasted so sweet. If I were a sweet lover, I would be wildly delighted with such wholesome food. So if you love the sweet taste, you can safely order any soup offered. You will like it :)))

The next dish served was lasagna. Like soup, it was delicious but unusual for me. Without meat I was constantly haunted by the thought that something was missing here. I didn’t have enough practice for the gradual transition from habitual food to vegetarian to fully enjoy the new unusual taste. Alas, it is impossible for you to become a vegan in just one day. You need to go for this practice consciously. Most importantly, you need to understand why you are doing this and what idea you are trying to convey to the world. That takes a lot of determination.

We didn’t order anything else, but decided to take a walk to Ayala Mall to buy vegan cakes there. According to Nastya, they were the tastiest she had ever tasted. Let’s see! I have never tried vegan sweets but I really liked the idea. I chose chocolate brownie in the vegan pastries store. It was not as sweet as the normal brownie but I love it. Normal brownie is too sweet for me. So yes, this vegan brownies is now my new favorite treat in the near future. Until the Coronavirus quarantine finished, I plan to buy this as my main dessert!

It was an interesting and unusual experience for me. The good thing about studying abroad is that you always meet all kinds of people. There are always many students of different nationalities in our school and it is very interesting to notice any differences in mentality and the issues happening in their countries. Everyone you met opens a new window of perspectives to you. Before the COVID-19 quarantine in the Philippines, I met a lot of interesting students from different parts of the world in 3D Academy, ranging from the famous makeup artist in Japan to the measure of one of the cities of Turkey. All of them were interesting to me, just as I was for them. From them, I realized foreigners know so little about Russia. All they know is vodka, Putin, and that Russia is the largest country in the world. We always learn something new each day.

Perhaps if you meet Nastya one day you will be influenced to start practicing the Philosophy of veganism one day. Or maybe you will meet someone else, find something for yourself and want to adhere to make a difference in your life. In any case, a new experience is always a new window of opportunities out there. What if you like it, but you still don’t know? Step out and enjoy new experiences by yourself after the Coronavirus pandemic! Before that, stay safe and stay healthy!

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