Inspiration for becoming a vegetarian

For me vegetarianism and now veganism opens new doors — foodwise as well as thoughtwise. In this moment I feel I am on the culinary peak of my life. I am over the radicalism of my earlier years as a vegetarian considering only moral aspects and now just want to share this wonderful simple lifestyle with you and inspire to new approaches — in your kitchens, heads and hearts!

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali suggest vegetarianism as a requirement for meditation practice. Only on the base of this diet can reach higher states of being. Besides these positive effects on the purity of mind, thinking about vegetarianism also brings up a whole lot of other thoughts — a different view on our world and it’s creatures that habitate it. Let me tell you my story of thinking and feeling vegetarian!

As it all began

I decided to turn vegetarian when I was 12 just before christmas, as my favourite animal, a rabbit, was slaughtered for the christmas dinner. From the sentimental tears of a 12 year old I started to educate myself what is going on in the sad realities of indutrial lifestock farming et cetera but most of all I felt the need to stop eating my friends!

My understanding

Obviously I don’t want to procrastinate in the repetition of phrases like “animals also have a right to live” (because simple fact: they do have!). But I would like you to approach the whole theme from an emotional side:

Imagine the world around you without the chirping of birds, the excitement of a dog wagging its tail, without dragonflies swirling around your head on a hot summerday close to the river. In my vision humans need interaction with other species than its own because that shows us other aspects of life on this planet and with this also a part of ourselfs!

I don’t like to understand myself as a seperate being that exists only for the sake of living the so called “my life” — constantly circulating around myself. I prefer to think and feel in relations.

Fast lives, business, comfort and lazyness make it easy to close your eyes towards that suffering that a lot of animals are experiencing. Modern cities don’t give us a lot of space to actually develop and maintain a relation to other creatures — so how can we possibly feel related to them?

It seems we humans think we own it all — animals, other people, plants — the whole planet. This is a very one-sided relation! One reality is, that because of our mentality of “owning it all” others have to suffer — day by day.

You don’t want yourself or your family to suffer from hunger or violence for example. So why should you want any other creature to suffer from this? As we understand ourself as part of a bigger unity, how do we deal with this contradiction?

The consciousness of knowing

The consciousness of knowing “I make somebody suffer” for me is the best reason to stop for a moment and think: “Do I really need to buy this chickenbreast that is on discount in Pingo Doce today?” or “Do I really need to eat meat 5 times a week?!” Isn’t there maybe other ways to substitute this? Other ways to prepare an easy, healthy  and delicious dish without animal suffering involved?

And YES, there are many ways: simply ask me, wait for my future blog-posts or join us at the wonderful veggie-gourmet at LOTUS.

People usually ask me “Don’t you eat meat? (with eyes wide open in disbelief). Not even fish?” and I think “Do you eat meat?” — in my truth, my relation this is really hard to believe…

There we go, we have these centuries and centuries of traditions and mindsets that taught us “the ultimate truths”. I was always a big fan of deconstructing the truths and instead looking for freedom and truths that are based on my personal relation with something/and somebody. And actually it is not so hard to relate when you start imagining how another creature feels. If you kick a dog you know he won’t like it, as you wouldn’t like to be kicked…

In the end every person has to discover her or his own viewpoint on this and make their own (in best case) conscious choice.

My Favorite Vegetarian Places in Oporto

Here is my personal list of favourite vegetarian places in Porto:

Restaurante Da Terra,
Lunch & Dinner-buffet
Rua Dr Afonso Cordeiro 71, Matosinhos e R. de Mouzinho da Silveira 249, Porto

Casa da Horta
Lunch & Dinner, vegetarian Francesinhas (they sell ecological products as well)
R. de São Francisco 12, 4050-548 Porto

Macrobiologic food, lunch&dinner, organic shop
Rua do Bonfim 134 140, Porto

Black mamba
Vegan burgers
Rua Mártires da Liberdade 130, Porto

Also have a look at the vegetarian restaurant/shop-finder worldwide: Happy Cow

Veggie for more creative kitchens, hearts and minds!