DID you know that going meatless even just once a week can have positive effects on the environment?
When a person takes out meat from his diet and eats more plant-based food instead, he saves gallons of water, pounds, and pounds of grain, forested land, and pounds and pounds of potential carbon dioxide.
A plant-based diet is healthy for the body and for the planet.
Also, come to think about it - eating more plants lessens waste because they are sold with less packaging especially when one buys at wet markets.
If you think you cannot live without meat, oink, este, think again!
Bacolod City has good vegan restaurants that can give you inexpensive, healthy food for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and merienda.
Nutribites at Bacolod Adventist Medical Center (BAMC) serves breakfast from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Its advantage as a hospital, uhm, bistro is that one can go have a meal so early. Nutributes has a substantial assortment of vegetarian food.
There are bread; local delicacies such as alupi, inday-inday, puto and fresh lumpia; fruit and vegetable juices and shakes, and the already well-known "meat" dishes using gluten and other good plant sources of protein.
There are dishes du jour such as kimbap on Wednesdays, shawarma on Thursdays, etc. Nutribites' sister is Veggie Bites and is a good place for those who want a real restaurant ambiance.
Here's another restaurant that went vegan. Vedge Health Hub's "no egg, no dairy” menu has a more continental feel. I absolutely love their smoothies which are healthy and filling and just right for those who need to eat and go.
Drink up on their delicious fruit and vegetable combinations in a glass.
If you're lucky, you can catch their siomai sauna bathing in its steamer. For merienda, try their batchoy complete with "chicharon" topping although there's nothing like the real thing.
But, please make a cute pink pig happy and spare its life and reward your good deed with a slice of cake or two.
Yes, good, guilt-free cake such as ube, matcha and strawberry. Uh-huh. Cake.
Then, there's Sian Tian. Oh, we all know Sian Tian, this small, clean, crowded-at-lunchtime oriental restaurant now famous for its vegetarian spring roll with the shredded vegetables, crushed peanuts, dash of hot pepper sauce.
Have merienda there for a change and have some barley soup or really good siopao with the distinctive Chinese spices.
Sian Tian emphasized that it does not use garlic or onions in any of its recipes because these allums can cause undesirable effects on the passions according to Buddhist beliefs.
If a love for the environment does not set your heart aflame for going vegetarian, think of these other benefits: 1) reduction of excess weight 2) protection against certain cancers, 3) lower risk of heart disease, 4) budget-friendlier than meat, 5) helps in managing diabetes and 6) gives more nutrients from whole plant food.
Love your body, love the environment.
(For more Negros stories, go to www.betsynegrense.com)