October is the month to go Vegan! The first of October every year is World Vegetarian Day. Every day, there are at least several people deciding to lead a healthier lifestyle by becoming a vegetarian.
Vegetarianism involves a diet that excludes any food of the flesh and other products of animal origin. Many reasons come to mind having to live a vegan life, but such a decision could only stem from a clear conscience, one that rejects animal cruelty and promotes a healthy diet. Vegetarianism is not just a habit of picky eating but rather a principle that supports empathy and requires sheer commitment. During this day, let us join our vegan friends and show our compassion to the creatures beneath us on the food chain.
History of World Vegetarian Day
Vegetarianism has become a popular trend ever since Albert Einstein was rumoured to have been a vegetarian. However, the origin of vegetarianism dated back to ancient Greek and Roman.
Great philosophers such as Plutarch and Pythagoras are believed to be a vegetarian and followed a meatless diet, as they were against the practice of animal sacrifices to the gods. Religious followers such as Hindus, Buddhists, and Jainists follow a vegetarian diet as they believe in non-violence and reincarnation.
The very first World Vegetarian Day was established in 1977 by the North American Vegetarian Society (NAVS) and further endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union in 1978. It aspires to promote and educate the public on the health and social benefits of vegetarianism.
Benefits of Vegetarianism
Many reasons motivate a person to follow a vegetarian diet, and most of them do so to stay healthy. According to medical science, a vegetarian diet may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer, and exposure to foodborne pathogens. If you are concerned about your physique and planning to lose some weight, a vegetarian diet may help you to control and reduce your fat and cholesterol intake.
Aside from the health benefits, being a vegetarian also contributes to the well-being of the environment. Changing your diet may bring a small but significant effect on the ecosystem, lessening the damage due to the uncontrolled animal agriculture. Besides, vegetarianism is not only about taking care of your self but also of the animals, saving them from the suffering of the slaughterhouse.
How to celebrate World Vegetarian Day?
- Vegan for a Day
During this auspicious day, there is so much that you can do, even if you are not a vegetarian. Give yourself a chance to experience what it means to be a vegetarian for one day or even a week. You will be surprised to find out how healthy and tasty a vegetarian diet can be, even just for one day.
- Vegan food, of course!
Almost every celebration revolves around food, and this is no exception. There is a variety of vegetarian cuisine out there for you to indulge in or take this opportunity to enhance your culinary skills in preparing vegetarian dishes. A good meal should be shared among loved ones. Invite your friends and family and plan a menu of delicious vegetarian dishes to share with them.
With more and more people are going for a vegetarian diet, restaurants have come up with more innovative vegetarian dishes, especially for a non-vegan like most of us. If you happen to be in the vicinity of restaurants that serve vegetarian cuisine, take this opportunity to try some of them.
Kuala Lumpur is home to some of the best vegetarian restaurants in Klang Valley, serving menus that suit almost all palates. Here are some of the restaurants that you can try.
1. The Ganga Café
Indian cuisine offers some of the best vegetarian dishes around the world. Located Taman Bukit Pantai, Kuala Lumpur, Ganga Café specialises in Gujarati vegetarian cuisine, and it is a favourite spot among the locals. From all-you-can-eat buffet on Sundays to a la carte meals and banana leaf rice, Ganga Café menu is rich with different mixtures of spices, fruits and vegetables, with a taste almost equivalent to that of any meat dishes.
Address: 17, Lorong Kurau, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Business hours: Mon-Sat (8am-10pm), Sun (10am-3pm,6pm-10pm)
2. Simple Life Healthy Vegetarian Restaurant
Simple Life is a restaurant franchise that serves vegetarian food in most shopping malls in Klang Valley. Their menu ranges from Pan-Asian foods, Chinese fusions to Thai cuisine. Their signature dish, Organic Lei Cha, is a traditional nutrient-rich Hakka tea-based beverage or gruel, is a must-try for vegans and non-vegans out there.
Address: LG-232A, Lower Ground Floor,The Gardens Mall, Lingkaran Syed Putra,Mid Valley City, 59200 Kuala Lumpur
Business hours: Mon-Sun (10am-10pm)
3. Chat Masala
Located in the heart of Brickfields, Chat Masala is the epitome of Indian vegetarian cuisine. With so many vegetarian options, it will be hard for you to make a choice and resist. Their crispy Dosai served with some dhal and coconut chutney is a must for breakfast. They also serve some affordable and delicious North Indian dishes, such as Palak Paneer that will get you craving for more.
Address: 259, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur
Business hours: Mon-Sun (7.30am-11pm)
4. Temple Vegetarian Heaven
This humble canteen is located at Dharma Realm Guan Yin Monastery in Jalan Ampang. This eatery serves a truly vegetarian lunch that contains no MSG, sugar or preservatives, and prepared by experienced Buddhist cooks. If you are looking for a vegetarian lunch during the weekdays, join the rest of the Malaysians in line as the place is always crowded during lunch hour. They serve more than 20 vegetarian dishes, ranging from a simple fried bean curd to a stir-fried mixture of green vegetables; their lunch plate is definitely worth the wait.
Address: 161, Jalan Ampang, 50450, Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, 55000
Business hours: Mon-Fri (9am-3pm), Sat-Sun (Closed)
Don’t forget to save World Vegetarian Day on your calendar and celebrate this day with plenty of greens, friends and family. For more information on vegetarian restaurants, you can always log on to foodpanda and order your favourite vegetarian dishes.