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  • Writer's pictureSona Parmar

Fake-Steak and a Juicy Carrot

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

Being in London over the last few days, I have started to set up various lunch and dinner dates with loved ones. What is very noticeable to me, as we choose a venue from these marvellous restaurants, is the number of vegan options available (one restaurant chain has recently announced 50% of their menu is vegan).

On the face of it, this is an incredibly positive step. Ethics aside, one only needs to watch Cowspiracy to understand the total lack of sustainability of our current overindulgence in non-vegetarian fare. I guess this new push is exactly in accord with the tattoo on my wrist, the Sanskrit word ahimsa (non-violence).

On Friday, I will get my second tattoo: prati-paksha-bhaavanam. It means to think out of the box, to see things in the opposite way to how you see them now. It is essentially about shifting your paradigm.

This is exactly what I began to think about as I saw these new menus. Yes, we are not engaging in himsa (violence) towards animals, but what about the violence to ourselves by eating these synthetic meat substitutes. How is this going back to basics and becoming more natural? This aftertaste reminded me that my first responsibility is always to myself.

"You never change anything by fighting the existing reality. To change something build a new model that makes the old model obsolete." (R. Buckminster Fuller)

When you have a mindset shift that is so deep, a true paradigm shift, you don’t even remember what you were running away from. We’re not thinking about fake-steak, rather about delicious lentil recipes. It’s not about super-processed, vegan butter, rather about dipping bread in olive oil. And you don’t need a milk substitute, because you’re busy enjoying dhosa for breakfast.

If you are always thinking about what you don’t want, how will you ever allow the inspiration that will allow you to create something truly new?

Given that we all are so resistant to change, why not operate from a place where we don’t have to? Eggless cakes and coconut-milk ice-cream are not things that we really want to aspire to.

As always, I talk about food and yet, how we do anything is how we do everything. Really think about this.

When you shift your mindset completely, you don’t allow space for the old. It no longer has a role to play. I like to think of it as a relationship with a redundant ex-boyfriend.

Focus on creating something bigger, better, sleeker, more fabulous.

Going towards the juicy carrot(s) and completely forgetting about the unforgiving stick (AKA fake-steak).

You always get what you focus on.

Choose wisely.

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