Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The flexi-tarian brigade

Me - So what else is new?
Dad - I'm thinking of turning vegetarian.
Me - You're WHAT?
Dad - Thinking of turning vegetarian.
Me - REALLY??
Dad - Yeah. It's generally healthy, I think.
Me - Hmm... that's good.
Dad - With some exceptions, of course.
Me - Haha! Thought so. Like what?
Dad - Singapore's chilli crab and mutton curry cooked by my niece.

At first I laughed at him, but the more I thought about it, the more okay it seemed to me. These days the whole definition of what constitutes a vegetarian has changed and selective vegetarianism is a very practical option for people who want to change their diets but not too drastically. In any case, non-vegetarians are not exactly carnivores, are they? But it's nice to see the line that divides people on the basis of food blurring out. Gone are the days when vegetarians were only of three kinds - vegans, lacto-vegetarians and lacto-ovo-vegetarians. There are a lot more preference-based options now available to people who are not religious about vegetarianism, and want to follow it for health reasons.

So I have decided to make a list (you guys know how I have a thing for lists) of the different types of these selective vegetarians or flexi-tarians as I call them.

The certain-days flexi-tarian
These are people who are vegetarian on certain days. Some people don't eat non-vegetarian food on Mondays and Thursdays. I believe it has some religious reason behind it.

The I-won't-eat-cute-animals flexi-tarian
These people do not eat animals that they find cute. I'm not kidding. Perhaps the selection is based on which animal soft toys are common and which aren't. I guess the ugly animals have it tough, yeah?

The I-won't-eat-certain-meats flexi-tarian
This is perhaps the largest group of non-vegetarians and the best rebuttal against the belief that non-vegetarians will eat anything that moves. These people avoid certain meats either for health reasons for personal preferences. A friend of mine does not eat land animals. I think I kind of fall in this group. I don't eat squid, octopus and a lot other animals abundant in the Singapore diet.

The don't-ask-and-you'll-never-know flexi-tarian
These flexitarians prefer not to know what's in their food if they can help it. Logical, as once you know, you'll start thinking of all the times when you had the dish in the past and all the times in the future that you can't have the dish because "now you know"!

The if-I-don't-see-it-it's-not-there flexi-tarian
These are people who do not care if there's non-vegetarian stuff in their food as long as they do not see it. A typical example would be vegetarians eating prata with chicken gravy.

Sometimes I wonder why certain people are vegetarian and why certain people are not. I wonder if I should ever switch - since I'm fairly health-conscious, don't particularly fancy meat all that much and totally love the vegetarian food (the kind you get in India). I guess it has something to do with Singapore then. I have lived on vegetarian food in India for prolonged periods and loved it too, but there was this time I resolved to be vegetarian for a month in Singapore - I nearly starved to death. Not that the non-veg food here is mind-blowing or anything but I believe that if it boils down to a daily basis, I'd rather eat salted newspaper than the kind of everyday vegetarian food found in Singapore. :/

Ah well.

Maybe, like Dad, some day, somewhere, somehow, I will feel like turning vegetarian.

With the chilli crab exception, of course.



23 comments:

Urv said...

Bhai, sab log agar ghaas phus khane lage, to phir sher kya khayega.

Bhaago bhaago, sher aaya.. err I mean Thwack aaya.. :)

satish said...

GOLD

SRK said...

hmm... flexi-tarian is an interesting term...
one of my friends calls himself an omnivore...
SILVER?

RP said...

ha ha ha... flexi-tarian?! lol...
but, yeah, you find far many flexitarians than purist.

btw, returned to this world after long and was really surprised at your energy to be active all along!! hats off! and your new template looks quite cool.

V said...

You missed out the eggitarians - veggies who have eggs.

Bivas said...

okay Bronze :-)
what in the name of vegetables are you doing posting something in the middle of the day?! Whatever happened to the office mein only work and and no youtubing and other stuff? ;-)
On the flexi eating habits...well...I am a preferrably-veg kinda person and find it amusing when people say there is no veg food except Paneer!
On the flip side, I also know of non-veggies who stopped eating meat when they actually saw the slaughtering process!

Clueless said...

Okay, I saw the title of the post on my RSS feed bookmark thing (whatever you call it), and for a minute, I thought you had posted pictures of guys flexing their muscles. Then I came to my senses, of course, but that one minute was awesome fun. *dreams* ;)

I think I fall somewhere between those last two categories. And I blame it completely on Singapore too - damn place doesn't have any decent veggie food! If I was still in India, I'd have never resorted to eating shrimp paste and prawn crackers. *shame*

soleil said...

As opposed to Clueless, when I first saw the title, I thought "tarian" was some word in Hindi. How wrong was I? :p

Singapore is not the easiest place to be a vegetarian. My poor dudettes are a testament to that. Many times they have tried to get food from other stalls besides the Indian stall and I've had to ask the stall owners in my broken mandarin if the soup was veg or not only to find that it isn't. So they stick mostly to the Indian food stall which serves yummy food by the way. I can't wait to go to India :)

Sayesha said...

#Urv,
//Bhai, sab log agar ghaas phus khane lage, to phir sher kya khayega.

Ghaas-phus khaane walon ko! Aur kya? Kitna easy question poochha... cheh! :P

#Satish,
Naah! :P

#SRK,
Yeah man... I think we are all omnivores! :)

#RP,
Hey welcome back! Tu bhi nahin badla... wohi profile pic! I still remember that. :)

#V,
Achha... I thought lacto-ovo-vegetarianism covers that? :)

#Bivas,
//Whatever happened to the office mein only work and and no youtubing and other stuff? ;-)

Muahahahaha! Lambi kahani hai. This post has been around as a draft for a few days now... I was supposed to post it yesterday after getting home, but I forgot to take my keys and got locked out of the house. :/ By the time Viv got home to 'rescue' me, it was too late to get online. Today I had lunch at my desk so decided to hit Publish. :)

Youtubing at work toh I will never do... that would be too much man! :P I do indulge in the occasional gmail checking and once in a while replying to comments if I want to take a long-ish break. :)

//find it amusing when people say there is no veg food except Paneer!

I agree with you.. I think Indian food especially has so much potential for a variety of (tasty) veg dishes! :)

#Clueless,
//I thought you had posted pictures of guys flexing their muscles.

SHEESH!!!! :P

//If I was still in India, I'd have never resorted to eating shrimp paste and prawn crackers. *shame*

Hawwwwww! Confession aur woh bhi bar mein??? :P :P :P

#Soleil,
//As opposed to Clueless, when I first saw the title, I thought "tarian" was some word in Hindi. How wrong was I? :p

Hahaha! The closest word would be taliyan, meaning "applause". :P

//I can't wait to go to India :)

You should!!! You will go bonkers with the variety of yummy veg food there! Clueless' wedding??? :D

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

I want good food!! Yummy waala mutton curry! Swadisht chilli crab!! :(

Bhai, aap abhi aage ye likkho ke jin logo ye sab khaane ko milta hai wo kitne bure hote hain. I'll feel better!

youtham said...

hahaha

salted newspaper

lol

utham

Sayesha said...

#Sudipta,
Hehehe... I had chilli crab last week! Yum! :P :P :P
ps: Singapore aao, I will take you for a swadisht chilli crab meal! :D

#Youtham,
Ah, you resurfaced! Where have you been? Haven't seen you around in a while!

Clueless said...

Hawwwwww! Confession aur woh bhi bar mein??? :P :P :P

Hee. That's what happens when you're drunk - you say stuff you didn't mean to say in the first place! ;)

Also, Papa called this morning and said, "Shrimp paste, really?!" and I had this big smile on my face cuz I just knew that was gonna happen! :D

Sayesha said...

#Clueless,
Hahahaha! I am expecting another call from him anytime now... about the "drunk" part! Hahahahahaha! :D

Clueless said...

I am expecting another call from him anytime now... about the "drunk" part!

You've ruined me! *over-dramatic sigh*

I love it! :D

mathew said...

I think the term non-vegetarian itself is absurd..we are only eating animals which in turn are vegeterian..so basically what society perceives as non-vegetarians are in reality 'refined vegetarians' who consumes only the purest vegetarian extracts.

I ll make a good lawyer..wont I!!;-P

soleil said...

Clueless' wedding???

Haha yeah! Whoever gets married first and I'll jump at the chance to go to India! You have any guys in mind for her? I think I saw a few French hotties I can recommend ;)

mythalez said...

well ... there shud be another classification name too .. in which chicken and lamb only consumed (and not seafood, beef pork etc) ..

that wud help me state my eating preferences when asked by conference buffet organisers etc :D

nycbewda said...

Bhai Kaise ho

Thats true bhai India ka vegetarian food is the best. Aur apun pure vegetarian (Did I miss out Egg, Chicken, Fish in my menu :):):) )

PS : Bhai thoda bahut busy hogaya tha. Abhi apun apna operations base NYC se Houston ko shift kardiya.

Shan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shan said...

GOLD. May be we can't give place as the reason. Singapore is not such a tough place when compared to other countries to get something like Indian food..One thing I want to surely say...Nw a days we forget that there is some place called kitchen in our sweet home...Sayesh Soon expecting a blog something like 'Ghar mein kitchen kahan hein'...

Sumanth said...

Amen to the chilli crabs part.. but of course accompanied with beer.. :D

Sayesha said...

#Clueless,
Hehehe! Bewdi! :P

#Mathew,
Hahahahaha! Khud bhi pitega, apun ko bhi pitwayega! :P

#Soleil,
//You have any guys in mind for her? I think I saw a few French hotties I can recommend ;)

Ah! Pictures, please! I am in the short-listing committee, you see! :D

#Nycbewda,
Arre pure vegetarian! Aao aao! Long time no see! And you moved! No wonder they say "Houston, we have a problem!" :P

#Shan,
Hahahaha! You're telling me about the kitchen? I cook vegetarian dinner every day! My question is - why isn't there good vegetarian food freely available? And why must good vegetarian food always be Indian? :/

#Sumanth,
Arre look who's here! Aao thakur! Man that meal was awesome, wasn't it? No beer for me, I'll stick to the crab. When are you in town next?? :D