Monday, 7 May 2012

Happy Birthday Buddha

If you have read the About page of Mange-Two you will know that this year Ruqayya and I are travelling through Australia and currently reside in Brisbane.
Yesterday was a special event in the Brisbane calendar - Buddha's birthday. This was a Buddhist festival held on South Bank with thousands of people celebrating over three days. The climax of the festival was a spectacular firework display over the Brisbane river.
Neither of us are Buddhists but that didn't stop us delving in to the entertainment and food on offer.
Buddha shrine at the festival

How to mock meat

The main attraction for me were the stalls selling Asian food, all of which was vegetarian, despite having signs offering "chicken", "duck" and other meaty sounding morsels. We later learned from our friend Cameron that these were in fact mock meats. Mock meats can be made from all manner of ingredients such as wheat gluten, rice, beans or tofu and are designed to be a meat substitute in some vegan and vegetarian cuisines.

The diverse food stalls and markets had us sampling fried noodles, rice dishes, spring rolls, an array of tempuras, fried tofu, curry puffs, sweet and sour dishes, hot and spicy plates and a few other naughty but nice meat free sensations.

During the day the vendors were selling at around $5 for plain fried noodles and around $9 for a rice and curry dish. All good food and reasonably priced.
However, once the firework display was over and the crowds had started to dwindle all of the market stalls were trying frantically to get rid of all of their produce at ridiculous rates.
There were shouts of "Everything one dollar!", "Buy one, get one free" and bits and pieces of fried delights or mock meats on sticks being thrown in to the bargain to tempt the peckish bystanders.

I am a definitely a meat eater, but have seriously reduced my consumption in recent years. More of my friends and colleagues are veggie and vegan and the health facts of a meat free diet are all around us. This event really opened my eyes to a world I hadn't really explored before.

Can you justify why you eat meat? Is it because you love the taste? Is that taste worth more than another animals life?

I always say that I'd rather have a great veggie meal than an average or unethically farmed meat meal but I'm starting to really question my reasons for tucking in to animals and I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter. 

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