Or pretty much any substitute for eggs, caviar or ‘real’ milk for that matter!
Lab grown meat and other high technology meat substitutes
It’s all rage nowadays, meat grown in a lab is exploding. Bloody burgers being pictured. Meat chunks, shreds and slices and even seafood like products are being developed, all over the world.
As a long term vegan, these products are not for me! I can’t even imagine what I would do if faced by one of these bloody burgers.
I stopped eating meat years ago and two things happened during this time.
On becoming vegan
First, my body seemed to have stopped being able to digest meat
Let’s back up a few years back. I didn’t become vegan overnight, it was a process. First I stopped eating red meat, than white meat, then fish… For a while, even when I had stopped eating chicken for example, if I was invited somewhere, I would still eat a few bites, if this is what was serve.
But my body soon decided these little transgressions were not ok. And I recall one or 2 really bad nights, where my tummy complained vehemently about such transgressions.
After realizing the issue, there was no going back. It seems that I just couldn’t digest meat anymore.
I think my tummy became slightly lazy or something. Digesting red meat and digesting salad (although this is not what I eat predominately!) doesn’t request the same effort.
The second thing that happened is that the taste of meat simply disgust me
As meat was slowly being cut out of my diet, it started disgusting me. The sight, the smell and the taste.
For a while I was indeed using meat substitute, by habit. Some didn’t taste like meat at all and that was fine with me. But soon even the ones that only mildly tasted like meat, disgusted me.
Now, some of these products maybe wouldn’t remind you of the taste of meat if you tried them, but my old memories lead me to think that the taste of some of such substitutes was way too close.
So I stopped buying them. And things started looking differently in my plate. And I learned to cook differently.
My guess is that this happens to a lot of long term vegans. And this means that we just wouldn’t know what to do with a bloody burger, even if no animal was armed in the process of making it. Vomit on it at first sight maybe?!
Meat substitutes still have some benefits
I still think it is still great that meat substitute and alike are being developed. Cruelty free products. Slaughter free meat… These are great for meat eaters to reduce their ‘real’ meat consumption, to reduce their environmental footprint at the very least, as it seems that a burger grown in a lab isn’t environmentally as bad, as a real burger. Plus a cow didn’t die for it, so that is a big plus, in my opinion.
Maybe some of these products can even be helpful for people transitioning to a vegetarian or vegan diet, although I’m not quite sure how and to what extend. I certainly was happy to find vegan cheese when transitioning from a vegetarian diet to a vegan one. These cheese helped me detox. They stopped the craving because indeed, real cheese is addictive.
I just think that these products are not for long term vegans!
Most long term vegans, just like me, have no wish to eat anything that resemble or taste like meat. Quite the opposite.
Obviously, I can’t speak for all vegans, but most of us do not feel deprived. We do not crave meat or eat meat when no one is watching. Most of us do not feel like we have lost something by stopping eating meat, quite the contrary!
Are vegan substitute all highly processed?
One of the argument people make against vegan substitutes is that such products are highly processed and full of E stuff. I don’t think it is the case for all, but I also think it depends where they come from.
Big companies who have been making ham and suddenly decide to do vegan ham, will continue to use the same nasty stuff they have always used. Indeed these will most likely be full of E stuff, just like all of their other products, vegan or not.
Small specialized companies who for example, craft marvelous vegan cheese do not. They have a totally different philosophy.
I still recall trying a vegan chicken like nugget, a few years back and the taste and texture was so close to real chicken that I stopped eating it, until the men who had created it reassured me! It was tofu but it had been worked mechanically, like a puff pastry, to give it its texture. It wasn’t E stuff, it wasn’t any additive, it was rolled and folded, rolled and folded… It is still a process, but not a harmful / unhealthy one.
Not every vegan substitute is highly processed, not in the sense we think about such terms.
Becoming vegan is a journey
It’s been studied, it’s been proven, a vegan diet has numerous health benefits. Yet, it’s not an easy journey, there are lots of trial and errors along the way.
On my side, I can say that becoming vegan has certainly broaden my diet but it definitively took time. I now eat a lot more vegetables, grains, beans, etc. than when I was filling my plate with dead animals or meat substitutes. Yes I supplement my diet in B12 vitamins (don’t get me started on this, please!).
In such a journey, I made mistakes and I sorted them. Certainly not by reverting to eating meat! Despite what plenty of articles are telling you online, I seriously don’t think that is what your body is craving!
If this is a journey you are newly on, do know, that with time, adjustment will need to be made to your diet.
Just like you adapt your workouts depending on your cycle or your general well-being. Just like you go to sleep earlier sometimes, when you are tired, in winter maybe… You may have realized that once in your thirties, you can’t eat the same portions you ate in your twenties and you certainly can’t drink the same quantity of alcohol and still function the next day. And you adapt as you learn about yourself, as you better listen to your body! And the same thing will probably happen with your vegan diet.
Adapting your diet will most likely be necessary, every now and then and it doesn’t mean reverting back to eating meat, real or not!
Check out what I eat nowadays.