A personal account on what it meant to be vegan in a Chinese household
My name is Natalie, and I’m one of the co-founders and also the Head Chef at Planted Meals. I’ve been on a vegan diet for four years, and my transition was mainly inspired by wanting to make our planet a greener and more sustainable place to live.
I come from a fairly traditional Chinese family. In addition to the standard dishes that all Chinese families feast upon, we also celebrate the major Chinese holidays, like Chinese New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival. Many of these celebrations surround food, and many of the dishes that are featured in these celebrations—which are often chosen for their auspiciousness, each dish representing something different—contain animal products. Needless to say, eating with my parents became a central point of contention when I first switched to a vegetarian diet.
Just because you’re vegan now, doesn’t mean your favourite recipes can’t come along for the ride.
“What will I even eat?” is one of the questions those who are thinking of adopting a plant-based diet often ask. There’s a common misconception about what it means to eat meals that are entirely plant-based, like how it means sad salads of wilted lettuce and tomatoes for every meal.
But the hashtag #whatveganseat on Instagram quickly debunks this myth. Plant-based diets can be satisfying, nourishing, and most of all, as comforting as your favourite meals that feature animal products.
Here are some easy ways to veganize your favourite recipes.