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Meat-Free Eating is Worth A Closer Look

Updated on January 14, 2013

The Fasted Growing Trend This Decade

20 years ago, some people were wondering why on earth anyone would choose a vegetarian lifestyle. Today, many people are wondering how to do it themselves.

The meat industry is slowly and steadily winding down.

This year more than 1 million people in the UK alone will choose to stop eating meat and these numbers are increasing every year. Vegetarianism is sweeping the world. Why? People are slowly realizing that not eating meat is the most positive action that you can take for our planet, our animals, our health and overall spiritual wellbeing.

If you're already vegetarian, hopefully this lens will reaffirm your choice. If you're sitting on the fence, we hope you'll be inspired to go without meat at least one day this week.

Here you'll find facts, quotes and recipes. Meat-free eating does not mean you'll be eating tofu and lentils every day. Quite the contrary - meat-free eating ignites a new passion for food. When you give yourself a new set of ethical guidelines to work within, you experiment widely and enthusiastically within that family of foods. You begin to take a real interest in this way of life - it is life changing and it is truly beautiful. Try it - just begin with one meat free day each week and strive to decrease your meat intake from then on. If you don't like it, then stop. When you do try it, make sure you use quality ingredients, research quality meat-substitutes (the good ones are eerily authentic, like Quorn) and find a repertoire of great new recipes. Or if you're eating out, make sure you choose a decent restaurant!

If this lens can inspire even one more person to eat less meat this year, then it's been worth the time taken to write it. Welcome to a glimpse into this wonderful way of life.


Did you know that pigs are more intelligent than dogs and smarter than three-year-old children?

Read this and try and have one meat-free night this week.

Change Your Diet. Change The World

Eating meat-free is the most effective single thing you can do to make this world a kinder, fairer and better place whilst improving your own health. Here's why:

1) Saving Animals

In the UK alone, 850 million animals and hundreds of millions of fish are killed every year to put meat on tables - that's more than three million animals a day. Before they are slaughtered, hundreds of millions of these animals lead desolate, disease-ridden lives on factory farms. Turning vegetarian means you're no longer supporting and contributing to that cycle of death.

Find out more about how the meat business brings misery & suffering to hundreds of millions of animals

2) Saving the Planet

Rainforests are cleared for grazing; methane from livestock causes global warming; soil is eroded by the millions of cattle compacting the earth; slurry poisons our waterways; and the seas are laid to waste by overfishing. The global appetite for meat and the industrial techniques of the meat industry are destroying the Earth.

Find out more about how eating meat and fish is ravaging our environment on land and sea

3) Saving Others

While 750 million people go to bed hungry every night, one-third of the world's grain is fed to factory farmed animals. A typical Western meat-based diet can only feed 2.5 billion people: a plant-based diet will feed every one of us.

Find out more about how eating meat contributes to poverty and starvation

4) Saving Yourself

Vegetarians live longer and suffer less from diseases such as heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity, coronary artery disease, certain cancers and diabetes. Vegetarian diets can be used to treat illnesses and reverse disease. When you eat a slaughtered animal, you are not just ingesting it's carcass but it's diseases (many animals are diseased that are slaughtered), hormones used to bulk up the animal, antibiotics they are pumped with and you are also eating the adrenaline and terror produced before and whilst the animal is being killed. This is negative energy. These animals see each other die and they sense and are aware of what is going on. It's all to easy to block this out when you buy meat from your local supermarket.

Find out more about how a vegetarian diet will benefit your health

Facts kindly reprinted from Viva the Vegetarian International Voice for Animals

Carnivore - Herbivore - Man - Physiological Comparisons

Some people think it's our right to eat meat - we're at the top of the food chain, we can eat what we want. Just because we can eat whatever we want doesn't mean that it is right for us.

Research indicates that we function better if we don't eat meat. Our body blueprint also suggests we are not designed to eat meat.

Carnivore - Has claws

Herbivore - Has no claws

Human - Has no claws

Carnivore - No skin pores, perspires through tongue

Herbivore - Perspires through skin pores

Human - Perspires through skin pores

Carnivore - Sharp front teeth for tearing, no flat molar teeth for grinding

Herbivore - No sharp front teeth, has flat rear molars

Human - No sharp front teeth, has flat rear molars

Carnivore - Intestinal tract 3 times body length so rapidly decaying meat can pass out quickly

Herbivore - Intestinal tract 10-12 times body length

Human - Intestinal tract 10-12 times body length

Carnivore - Strong hydrochloric acid in stomach to digest meat

Herbivore - Stomach acid 20 times less strong than meat eaters

Human - Stomach acid 20 times less strong than meat eaters

Click here if you want to know more.

"When we kill the animals to eat them, they end up killing us because their flesh, which contains cholesterol and saturated fat, was never intended for human beings."

William C. Roberts, M.D.

Editor of The American Journal of Cardiology

Fast Fact

Vegetarianism is growing fast in the UK (six million people in the UK now call themselves vegetarian & there are 10 times as many vegans as there were a decade ago).

Government figures show that 9,237,000 fewer animals were killed in the UK in 2007 compared to 2006. Five million fewer chickens were killed, two million fewer turkeys and two million fewer ducks.

The UK is indeed going veggie!

Famous People Who Don't Eat Meat

Orlando Bloom ~ Jude Law ~ Leonardo DiCaprio ~ Natalie Portman ~ Liv Tyler ~ Penelope Cruz ~ Bridgette Bardot ~ Alyssa Milano ~ Miley Cyrus ~ Fiona Apple ~ Rosanna Arquette ~ Pamela Anderson ~ Kim Basinger ~ Alicia Silverstone ~ Naomi Watts ~ Kate Winslet ~ Benji Madden ~ Joel Madden ~ Jerry Seinfeld ~ Christy Turlington ~ Christina Applegate ~ Joaquin Phoenix ~ Lenny Kravitz ~ Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) ~ Yasmin Le Bon ~ Amber Valletta ~ Steve Vai ~ Leonardo da Vinci ~ Plato ~ The Dalai Lama ~ Shania Twain ~ Tea Leoni ~ Demi Moore ~ Moby ~ Avril Lavigne ~ Chris Martin ~ Annie Lennox ~ Richard Gere ~ Tommy Lee ~ Natalie Imbruglia ~ Erykah Badu ~ Stella McCartney ~ Christian Bale ~ Krist Novoselic ~ Sophie Monk ~ Carl Lewis ~ Henry Ford ~ Carre Otis ~ Summer Phoenix ~ Thomas Edison ~ Nikola Tesla ~ Michael Franti ~ Angela Bassett ~ Tobey Maguire ~ Steve Martin ~ Paul McCartney ~ Kristen Bell ~ Bryan Adams ~ Alec Baldwin ~ Elvis Costello ~ Morrissey ~ Julie Christie ~ David Duchovny ~ KD Lang ~ Albert Einstein ~ Edward Furlong ~ Jennie Garth ~ Lisa Bonet ~ Daryl Hannah ~ Traci Bingham ~ Casey Affleck ~ Kirk Hammett (Metallica) ~ Annalise Braakinsiek ~ Linda Blair ~ Kirk Cameron ~ Damon Albarn (Gorillaz/Blur) ~ Belinda Carlisle ~ Rachael Leigh Cook ~ Ted Danson ~ Doris Day ~ Danny De Vito ~ Shalom Harlow ~ Woody Harrelson ~ Josh Hartnett ~ Anne Hathaway ~ Tippi Hedren ~ Mariel Hemmingway ~ Dustin Hoffman ~ Chrissie Hynde ~ Portia Di Rossi ~ Ellen Degeneres ~ Jenna Jamieson ~ Daniel Johns ~ Andy Kaufman ~ Susan Sarandon ~ William Shatner ~ Frank Iero (My Chemical Romance) ~ Brooke Shields ~ Mena Suvari ~ Nastassja Kinski ~ Leo Tolstoy ~ Carrie Underwood ~ Chelsea Clinton ~ Chrissie Hynde ~ Emmylou Harris ~ Missy Higgins ~ Andre 3000 ~ Andrew White (Kaiser Chiefs) ~ Andy Hurley (Fall Out Boy) ~ Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers) ~ Ben Lee ~ Chris Geddes (Belle and Sebastian) ~ Corey Feldman ~ Ian Parton (The Go! Team) ~ Jamie Hince (The Kills) ~ Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy) ~ Prince ~ Scott Schoenbeck (Dashboard Confessional) ~ Ziggy Marley ~ Jack Johnson

"I know what it feels like to be hurt,and I don't want to cause that pain to any other person or creature. But somehow, in society, we numb ourselves in order to make money or to feel better about ourselves, such as with cosmetics or food. We say to ourselves, I'm going to use this animal. I'm going to say it doesn't have much worth so that I can allow myself to do these cruel things. And that just isn't fair."

Alicia Silverstone

What the Studies Say

For decades, a common public misconception was that a vegetarian diet lacked protein. The meat industry began a series of promotional commercials with slogans such as "meat is real food," implying a vegetarian diet was somehow lacking. As more information came to light about the benefits of being vegetarian, the public misconception changed. It then became, "Vegetarians can get enough protein, but it isn't easy", which is equally untrue. Not only is it easy to eat a balanced diet, the idea that it requires special effort whether vegetarian or vegan is highly overstated.

Concern is due when the entire diet is limited to a few foods, as is the case in many third world countries where rice, for example, might be the only staple. In industrialized nations, however, where people eat a variety of foods on a daily basis, eating too much protein is likelier than eating too little, even for vegetarians and vegans.

The British Medical Association (BMA) was first to shed light on the many benefits of a vegetarian diet in a 1986 report. Based on a large volume of research, it concluded that vegetarians not only tend to have lower cholesterol, but also significantly reduced instances of coronary heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, certain types of cancers, gall stones and large intestine disorders.

Beginning in 1983, The China Study, looked at 6,500 participants over the course of several years, documenting their dietary habits, lifestyles and health. This comprehensive study was a combined effort of the Chinese, United Kingdom and United States. The first results were made public in 1989, and were unequivocal. The less meat consumed, the lower the risk of developing common chronic diseases as noted above. The study also debunked the Western myth of promoting meat as a necessary source of iron. Among the largely vegetarian-based diets of the Chinese, the average vegetarian had twice the iron intake of the average U.S. citizen.

The highly respected World Health Organization (WHO) offered their own findings on vegetarian and vegan diets in a 1991 report. WHO confirmed the results of the BMA and the China study, but also found that meat and dairy-rich diets promote other diseases as well, including osteoporosis or low bone density, and kidney failure. WHO went so far as to predict the cancer crisis the world now faces is based on the meat-rich dietary trends of Western nations. The report candidly faulted governments for public Dietary Guidelines that promote meat and dairy as necessary foods, urging more vegetarian-based policies where animal products are relegated to optional status.

Another organization to weigh in on the matter of vegetarian and vegan diets was the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). This group consists of some 5,000 U.S. doctors, including the editor for The American Journal of Cardiology, William Roberts. Criticized by some as biased for their humane ethics, the PCRM reviewed over 100 published studies from around the world. It confirmed that significantly lower disease rates are directly linked to vegetarian and vegan diets. In their 1995 report, the PCRM urged the U.S. government to update dietary policies to reflect these findings. In 1996, government policies addressed this for the first time, stating that a vegetarian diet is healthy, meets Recommended Daily Allowances, and does not lack protein.

About the same time as the previous studies were being conducted, The Oxford Study was underway. Gathering data over a period that spanned an excess of 13 years and involved over 11,000 people, it not only confirmed lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other diseases among vegetarians, but also found a 20% decrease in premature mortality rates. Simply put, if you eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, you have a 20% better chance of living longer than if you eat meat, according to the study.

The positive findings of vegetarian and vegan diets are also echoed by the American Dietetic Association (ADA), which ranks among the list of proponents. The ADA is one of the most highly respected advisory boards worldwide.

Criticism may be attempted as to how the data was interpreted, or the politics of those supporting it. However, until redundant, solid, peer-reviewed research causes organizations like the ADA, BMA, and WHO to reverse their positions, this is not really a valid argument. For over two decades the body of worldwide medical evidence supporting vegetarian and vegan diets has been growing, is overwhelming, and to date, is indisputable.

Article kindly borrowed from Wise Geek

"As soon as I realized that I didn't need meat to survive or to be in good health, I began to see how forlorn it all is. I've seen, for example, pigs waiting to be slaughtered, and their hysteria and panic was something I shall never forget."

Cloris Leachman

Fast Fact

The World Cancer Research Fund estimates that the incidence of cancer can be reduced by 30-40 per cent if people consume plant-based diets, are physically active and maintain a healthy body weight.

Reference: World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research. Food Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer. A Global Perspective 1997.

How Being a Vegan Can Save You and Save the World

Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World
Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World

Number 1 Best Selling Book.

Kathy Freston wasn't born a vegan. The bestselling author and renowned wellness expert actually grew up on chicken-fried steak and cheesy grits, and loved nothing more than BBQ ribs and vanilla milkshakes. Not until her thirties did she embrace the lifestyle of a veganist - someone who eats a plant-based diet not just for their own personal well-being, but for the whole web of benefits it brings to our ecosystem and beyond. Kathy's shift toward this new life was gradual - she leaned into it - but the impact was profound.

Now Kathy shows us how to lean into the veganist life. Effortless weight loss, reversal of disease, environmental responsibility, spiritual awakening - these are just a few of the ten profound changes that can be achieved through a gentle switch in food choices.

Filled with compelling facts, stories of people who have improved their weight and health conditions as a result of making the switch, and Q&As with the leading medical researchers, Veganist concludes with a step-by-step practical guide to becoming a veganist easily and gradually. It is an accessible, optimistic, and illuminating book that will change the way you eat forever. No less delicious, still hearty and satisfying - just better for you and for all.


You put a baby in a crib with an apple and a rabbit.

If it eats the rabbit and plays with the apple, I'll buy you a new car.

Harvey Diamond

Why I Stopped Eating Meat

For everyone this is different. Most people who stop eating meat have thought about it on and off for a while before they make the switch. Then it's usually an incident - something you read, something you see or something you learn - when you finally say enough is enough.

For me, even though I enjoyed eating meat I'd always been a bit funny about it. I was brought up on meat, but I was also very close to my various cats, dogs and rabbits and I felt a little wrong eating any animal. I didn't think it was right for an animal to die just because I wanted to eat it. I was aware that animals felt pain, fear, joy and love.

I continued eating meat until I was 27. Not a lot of meat, I'd already given up red meat but I was still in the 'final transition' stage. I remember I was eating at a pub, and as usual I was picking at tiny, almost invisible veins in my grilled fish. My partner at the time said I really should just stop eating meat and I knew I should just do it.

The same week I was in the car with my sister driving down a highway behind a huge livestock-transport truck heading to a slaughterhouse. There were over 100 cows cruely crammed into this huge double-decker road-train and I forced myself to look at the cows as we passed. I disliked the fact that I was supporting the death of these gentle animals by eating them. As we passed, one cow looked through the metal bars at me for at least the 30 seconds it took for us to overtake the truck. This cow and I looked at each other directly in the eyes - him through his metal bars that held him in the truck and me in the freedom of the car passing him. It was like he looked into my soul. I knew they were frightened and terrified and that bothered me. I knew I couldn't stop this cow from going to his death but I could stop my part in putting to death animals from that day on. Right then and there I vowed I wouldn't eat meat again. And I haven't. It's a decision I'm most proud of and most empowered by. That's an awesome feeling.

I was saddened by that experience - even now typing it, it still saddens me. Natural death is normal. Killing is not normal, it's not healthy nor is it progressive. It's regressive and cruel and it's extremely sad. The pain and suffering that the meat industry embodies does not sit well with me or my ideals of a better world.

Nine years on and ceasing to eat meat is the one decision I am proud of every day. Although I could pay more attention to the 'health' aspect of my diet like by eating more raw vegetables and fruit, I never get sick. I heal extremely fast, I look younger than my years and I don't ever take medication.

I want to learn all I can about this lifestyle because it has become a passion. This lifestyle creates big ideas of where this world could go. It creates positive reactions that affect so many more avenues of your life than simply cooking and eating. It begins to affect everything in a more postive way.

I always like hearing why people choose to stop eating meat. The practice is growing and the catalyst behind each person's switch interests me. Some well-known names tell their reasons why here.

"The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?"

Jeremy Bentham, philosopher

Some Myths About the Meat Industry

Down on the farm cattle enjoy the easy life...just chewing the cud in large green pastures.

In intensive farming ranches, cattle are treated as mere industrial products for the duration of their short, miserable lives. Many suffer an array of pain and indignities, such as removal from their mother at an early age, confinement in feedlots where they are pent-up side-by-side, dehorning, castration, force-feeding (perhaps with sawdust, sewage and animal remains added to the feed), being milked to exhaustion, suffering from infections, being pumped with hormones and antibiotics and then finally death by slaughter.

Beef is an efficient and convenient source of nourishment since the animal concentrates nutrients from whatever it eats into its own flesh.

Cattle, the "Cadillac" of farm animals, are energy guzzlers and one of the most inefficient converters of feed. Only 11 percent of what the cow eats ends up as actual beef. At least one-third of world grain is fed to cattle and other livestock; just think how many people that could feed.

The separation of the calf from its mother is not distressing to either.

Professor A. Webster, an expert in animal husbandry, says "The most potentially distressing incident in the life of a dairy cow is the removal of her calf." So that the cow's milk can be collected for human consumption, most calves are removed as soon as possible; they may remain together for only a matter of hours, whereas in nature the calf would suckle for six months to a year. Most of these calves end up in dark crates where they are purposefully kept malnourished and unexercised in order to produce soft, white veal.

Efficient slaughterhouse techniques mean cattle suffer little distress and pain on the killing floor.

Animals can see, hear, and smell the horrifying activity going on in the slaughterhouse. 'Downers'-the sick or injured cows-are kept waiting at the scene to be killed last or are left for dead in a pile. In the rush to kill as many cattle as possible, many may not be properly stunned prior to the tortuous slaughter process and are therefore still alive during the initial stages, often being hung upside down writhing on a hook by one leg, which breaks from the weight.

A veteran USDA meat inspector from Texas describes what he has seen:

"Cattle dragged and choked... knocking 'em four, five, ten times. Every now and then when they're stunned they come back to life, and they're up there agonizing."

"They're supposed to be re-stunned but sometimes they aren't and they'll go through the skinning process alive. I've worked in four large [slaughterhouses] and a bunch of small ones. They're all the same. If people were to see this, they'd probably feel really bad about it. But in a packing house everybody gets so used to it that it doesn't mean anything."

Slaughterhouse, 1997

"I do not like eating meat because I have seen lambs and pigs killed. I saw and felt their pain. They felt the approaching death. I could not bear it. I cried like a child. I ran up a hill and could not breathe. I felt that I was choking. I felt the death of the lamb."

Vaslav Nijinsky

Pammie's Animal Activism

Pamela Anderson is 43. She's a vegan, an advocate for animal rights, and an active member of the animal protection organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), taking part in several campaigns for animal rights. She became a vegetarian in her early teens when she saw her father cleaning an animal he had hunted.

One of Anderson's campaigns as a member of PETA has been against the use of fur. In 1999, Anderson received the first Linda McCartney Memorial Award for animal rights protectors, in recognition of her campaign. In 2003, Anderson stripped down for PETA's "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" advertising campaign.

She has also campaigned against Kentucky Fried Chicken. In 2001, Anderson released a letter in support of PETA's campaign against Kentucky Fried Chicken, stating "What KFC does to 750 million chickens each year is not civilized or acceptable." She later made a video about KFC's treatment of chickens. In January 2006, Anderson requested that the Governor of Kentucky remove a bust of Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC, from display but her request was refused even when she offered her own bust in exchange. In February 2006, Anderson decided to boycott the Kentucky Derby because of its support for Kentucky Fried Chicken.

She has also campaigned against seal hunting in Canada. In March 2006, Anderson asked to speak to Prime Minister Stephen Harper about the annual seal hunt but she was refused. In May 2006, she petitioned random individuals on the street for their opinion on the Canadian Seal Hunt. In December, 2009, Anderson, photographed in a t-shirt with a drawn picture of a seal pup on it, was featured in a new ad campaign for PETA. She appears next to the headline "Save the Seals" in the ad and urges the public to help end "Canada's annual seal slaughter."

Anderson joined forces with PETA in a campaign for the boycott of fruit-juice maker POM. The "Pom Horrible Campaign" has resulted in the company halting animal tests.

Don't Eat Me

"It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living by its purely physical effect on the human temperament would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind."

Albert Einstein

Meat and Dairy = Osteoporosis

Sounds like a joke but it's not.

Meat and dairy products raise the acid level in human blood, causing calcium to be excreted from the bones to restore the body's natural pH balance. This calcium depletion results in osteoporosis.

Contrary to the common belief that dairy products are necessary to prevent osteoporosis, dairy consumption actually increases the likeliness of this crippling disease.

Remember this?

"The highly respected World Health Organization (WHO) offered their own findings on vegetarian and vegan diets in a 1991 report. WHO confirmed the results of the BMA and the China study, but also found that meat and dairy-rich diets promote other diseases as well, including osteoporosis or low bone density."

American women have been consuming an average of two pounds of milk per day for their entire lives, yet thirty million American women have osteoporosis.

1 in 4 will have demineralization to the point of fractures.

1 in 10 will die an osteoporosis-related death.

The good news is, it's reversible.

The meat and milk industry sell you lies along with your purchase. This is also reversible.

Find out more here.

Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure

One of the world's most respected nutrition experts details why a vegan diet is by far the best choice for anyone with a family history of heart disease, the number one cause of death in the United States.

The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World
The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World

This fact-packed study exposes the cruelty, wastefulness, and ecological impact of mechanized meat production. Says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk, "A vital and wonderful book and easy to digest, this is a perfect read for anyone with a body, a mind, and a heart. The Food Revolution is the most positive book of the decade."

Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry
Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry

This book blows the lid off USDA and meat industry claims that animals are humanely slaughtered and lends new meaning to the adage that "if slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian."


Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.

Samuel Butler

The Food...

Great vegetarian food relies heavily on quality ingredients. If you don't have time to cook, there's likely to be an good range of meat-free meals available at your supermarket. More and more restaurants are also seeing the importance of serving great vegetarian food.

When it comes to meat substitutes, there are many great brands on the market today. There are also many mediocre brands. Google or a vegetarian website or forum in your country is a great place to start. I won't list the best brands here as it's different in each country and best brands here in Australia may not be available in the US and vice versa.

Although I like meat substitutes there are many people who won't eat meat substitutes because the good ones really do resemble and taste like meat. The issue for me was never the taste of meat, but rather where meat came from.

You know what's a bit sad? When someone makes the switch to meat-free eating, only to find horrid meat substitutes, bland recipes featuring unmarinated or ill-suited tofu or the too-frequent appearance of chickpeas or lentils. Even worse are popular recipes that have been modified by simply taking the meat out. People forget they need to fill that taste-space with another complimentary ingredient. And we wonder why some people fall off the wagon or develop vege-phobia. I don't blame them, they're been scarred and it's gonna take some hard work to get these people back.

If you believe vegetarian food is dull or tasteless, then you have been a victim of bad vegetarian cooking and I urge you to give it another chance. Check out some yummy vegetarian recipes below.

Quick Note About Tofu

Most of us have tried bland, curd-like, boring tofu. Bland tofu is largely responsible for driving people back to steak in record time. Tofu should never be bland.

Crispy Marinated Tofu is great in Burgers. Tofu in a stir fry should be lightly fried, crispy on the outside and spongy in the middle and it should soak up the sauce from the stir fry. That's good tofu.

40 Great Dishes without Meat

Until I get some recipes up, here's a list for now - these dishes can be found in recipe books, vegetarian recipes online and in cafes and restaurants.

See if any of these meat-free meals make you hungry. If they do, Google the recipe, cook it and eat it. Yum.

(1) Thin, Crispy Based Pizza with Potato, Mozzarella and Rosemary

(2) Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni with Fresh Tomato Sauce, Shredded Basil, Mozzarella and Freshly Grated Parmesan. Serve with Crusty Bread (recipe below)

(3) Risotto with Persian Feta, Grilled Asparagus, Toasted Pine Nuts, White Wine and Finely Diced Pumpkin. Sprinkle with shaved parmesan, sprinkle with parsley and serve with bruschetta

(4) The Best Veggie Burger Ever topped with onion rings, vine ripened tomatoes, cheese, freerange egg (optional), avocado, lettuce and Secret Sauce. Crispy chips on the side

(5) Tender Potato Gnocchi with Vine Ripened Tomato and Cream Sauce with a Hint of Pesto. Serve with Fresh Garlic Bread

(6) Crispy leek, potato and Persian Feta pie with tomato relish. Serve with chips & salad

(7) Lasagna Layers with a Seasonal Vegetable and Tomato Sauce, Béchamel Sauce, Mozzarella and Topped with Crispy Mashed Potato (recipe below)

(8) Oven Baked Scalloped Potatoes with Cream, Cracked Pepper & Parmesan Cheese

(9) Hearty Winter Minestrone served with Crusty Bread

(10) Grilled Tomato, Bocconcini and Basil Bruschetta

(11) Crumbed mushrooms

(12) Crisp and flaky Gruyere & Mushroom Pies served with Tomato Relish

(13) Nachos with Guacamole, Fresh Tomato Salsa, Melted Cheese & Sour Cream

(14) Flaky Vegetable Pasties with Rich Tomato Sauce. Serve with Salad & Chips

(15) Four Cheese Ravioli with Fresh Tomato & Cream Sauce, Topped with Freshly Grated Parmesan and Parsley. Serve with Fresh Crusty Bread

(16) Rocket, Basil, Tomato and Leek Quiche. Serve with Tomato and Bocconcini Salad

(17) Sweet Soy Crispy Marinated Tofu and Vegetable Noodles served with Spring Rolls

(18) Potato Curry Served with Jasmine Rice, Naan Bread and Pappadums (recipe below)

(19) Tortellini with Fresh Mushroom and Cream Sauce

(20) Pita Pizzas with Haloumi & Mushroom served with Fresh Rocket & Vine Ripened Tomatoes

(21) Crisp and Flaky Corn, Cheese and Asparagus Pie. Serve with Chips and Salad

(22) Leek, Cheese & Seasonal Vegetable Frittata. Serve with Crusty Bread

(23) Spanish Omelette

(24) Penne with Creamy Pesto and Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce

(25) Pasta Oven Bake Served with Salad and Crusty Bread

(26) Oven Baked Mushroom and White Wine Risotto. Serve with Crusty Bread

(27) Crispy Mini Lentil Balls served with Pita Bread, Hummus, Feta, Semi Dried Tomatoes, Fried Haloumi, Carrot Sticks and Couscous

(28) Tofu, Crisp Veggies and Cashew Nut Stirfry. Serve with Spring Rolls and Soy

(29) Fried Potato and Asparagus, Baby Spinach, Persian Feta and Toasted Pine Nut Salad

(30) Crispy Risotto Cakes with Melted Mozzarella Centers. Serve with Aioli

(31) Flaky Filo Rice Pie Served with Chips and Salad

(32) Borlotti Bean Moussaka with Herb Tabouli Salad and Crusty Bread

(33) Arancini (Large Crumbed Rice Balls) with Vegetable Mornay Centers

(34) Crispy Hokkien Noodle Cakes with Broccoli, Sesame Seeds, Sweet Soy & Ginger Sauce

(35) Winter Oven Baked Vegetable Casserole. Serve with Crusty Bread and Salad

(36) Roast Potato, Persian Feta, Olive and Semi Dried Tomato Foccacia

(37) Felafel Wraps with Tahini and Tabouli

(38) Bocconcini, Basil and Tomato Salad drizzled with Olive Oil and Balsamic

(39) Spicy Potato Salad with Crispy Crutons

(40) Big Breakfast with Scrambled Eggs on Sourdough Toast, Grilled Tomato and Mushrooms, Hash Browns, Avocado, Baked Beans and Meat-Free Sausages

Vegetarian Recipes Links

There are literally thousands of vegetarian recipes on the net. Here are a couple of links to get you started.


Recipe (1) Pita Pizza with Mushroom, Haloumi, Fresh Rocket & Vine Ripened Tomatoes

These pizzas are filling but light, healthy, inexpensive, delicious and low in fat. I think I stole it from a travel program on TV. I make it from time to time and vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike love it.


1 pita bread (any size is fine)

1 teaspoon tomato paste

1 mushroom sliced

Haloumi cheese, sliced thinly

1 handful of baby rocket

2 vine ripened cherry tomatoes

Spread the tomato paste onto the pita bread. Slice the mushroom and haloumi and place wherever you want on the pita. Throw into a hot oven or grill and cook for about 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it, it should cook on top, toast on the bottom but not burn. Times are different for every oven and griller so supervise it.

When it's done, take it out. Toss a handful of fresh baby rocket over the pizza, throw on some diced vine ripened cherry tomatoes, add a sprinkle of rock salt, and a drizzle of olive oil. If you use good ingredients and don't let it burn, it's yum.

"While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal conditions on this earth?"

George Bernard Shaw

Recipe (2) Vegetable Lasagna with Crispy Mashed Potato Topping

I love potatoes so much I want to add them to everything. There are no big chunks of eggplant or other vegetables in this lasagne. Chopped small, vegetable peices are smothered in a fresh tomato and basil sauce, layers of bechamel sauce, layers of cheese and pasta topped with a crisp mashed potato topping. Yum.

2 Packet of Instant Lasagne Sheets

1 Large Jar of Vegetarian Tomato Spaghetti Sauce

3 Tomatoes

1 Small Carrot

1 Medium Onion

1 Clove Garlic

6 Small/Medium Mushrooms

200 Grams Ricotta

4 Large Potatoes

30 mls Milk


1 Packet Grated Mozzarella Cheese

1 Packet Bechamel Sauce

Crush garlic, finely dice the onion and peel and grate the carrot. Add them to a pan with a little olive oil on medium heat until onions and carrot are softened. Chop tomatoes and mushrooms and add these to pan also. Simmer until all is soft and mushy, probably about 20 minutes. Add another splash of olive oil and add the jar of spaghetti sauce. Stir all the sauces together.

Put the oven on 180c. Make up the bechamel sauce according to the packet. Get out your oven-proof dish and ladle enough spoonfuls of the tomato sauce into the base of the dish to cover it generously. Add a heavy sprinkle of grated mozzarella, a very light sprinkle of ricotta, a layer of pasta sheets, then repeat the process. Make sure they're enough liquid to soften the pasta sheets. End with tomato sauce ontop with cheese.

Boil the potatoes, peel and mash with butter, salt and milk. Make sure it's creamy and smooth and seasoned correctly. Heap it onto the lasagne. When I make this, I add mountains, I love creamy mashed potato. Then pop it into a hot oven and bake for maybe 40 minutes, until the pasta is softened and the potato is crispy.

A note about this recipe. It's great, but, if you leave it in the fridge for a night, it seems to settle it. When it's been refrigerated you can cut it into tiny cubes and bake them. The first night seems to be a little sloppy, maybe because the liquids and sauces haven't set yet. Who knows. But it's good. Try it in place of steak one night this week.

Serve with crusty bread and light salad.

We stopped eating meat many years ago. During the course of a Sunday lunch we happened to look out of the kitchen window at our young lambs playing happily in the fields. Glancing down at our plates, we suddenly realised we were eating the leg of an animal who had until recently been playing in a field herself.

We looked at each other and said: "Wait a minute, we love these sheep - they're such gentle creatures. So why are we eating them?" It was the last time we ever did.

Paul and Linda McCartney

"To a man whose mind is free there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of man."

"For with the latter it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. If any man were to refer to it, he would be thought ridiculous. And that is the unpardonable crime."

Romain Rolland

Author and Nobel Prize Winner 1915

Recipe (3) The Big Breakfast

A big weekend breakfast with just you and a newspaper, with a partner or with a bunch of friends is the best way to kick off the weekend. It's usually a timely hangover cure as well.

Sourdough bread or English muffins is a good place to start. Sides you can combine for breakfast include the following:

- Eggs...any way you choose..

- Avocado

- Hash Browns

- Sauteed Mushrooms

- Tomtato, fresh or fried

- Baked Beans

- Feta cheese

- Asparagus

- Vegetarian bacon

- Vegetarian sausages

- Holandaise Sauce (packet is easiest to manage for breakfast)

Hopefully you already know how to cook these things. After a while your want for bacon will leave you. That time comes some time after you understand what bacon really is. And regarding the vegetarian bacon and sausages - we discussed meat-substitutes earlier. Explore the good brands in your country. The web is a good place to start.

And finish with a huge glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.

Linda McCartney sausages were my favorite. They're much better than eating real sausages and you don't have to contemplate half way through exactly what's inside them. You can have them with a bit of fried bread, tinned tomatoes. Delicious.

Simon Cowell

Recipe (4) Mild Potato Curry with Rice and Pappadums

This one's yum, inexpensive and simple and you'll have leftovers for the next day.

Serves 4

- 1 medium brown onion

- 2 small carrots

- 1/2 kilo butternut pumpkin

- 6 large unwashed potatoes

- 1 can diced tomatoes

- 1 tablespoon tomato paste

- 2 tablespoons vegetarian chicken stock

- 1 teaspoon curry paste

- Cumin

- Tumeric

- Sweet hungarian paprika

- Small amount crushed garlic

- 2 cups of rice

- Brown Sugar

- Pappadums or Naan Bread


Peel and finely dice carrots, 1 potato & 100 grams butternut pumpkin. Bring 500mls of water to the boil and add vegetarian chicken stock. When chicken stock has disolved and water is boiling, add finely diced carrot, potato and pumpkin. Boil until half the water has evaporated. Cut remaining potato and pumpkin into large 2cm cubes and add to boiling water. Boil for another 10 minutes.

Finely dice the onion and add to the fry pan on high heat with 2 tablespoons of butter. When the onions have softened, add the garlic, 200 grams of curry powder, 100 grams of tumeric, paprika and cumin. Also add about a teaspoon of finely chopped garlic. When spices have absorbed the butter, add just enough water to create a paste.

Take off the heat and stir. Add paste to diced carrot, potato and pumpkin mix, stir thoroughly, add one tablespoon tomato paste, 3/4 can diced tomatoes, half a handful of brown sugar and stir throughly on medium to low heat.

Allow to simmer and bubble slowly, stirring every 2 - 5 minutes to prevent sticking onto the bottom of the pan. Cook until curry has thickened, then allow standing time (this is usually done while cooking rice). Put rice on stovetop or in the microwave with water and cook until just tender. I hope I don't have to explain how to cook rice. Shallow fry some pappadums, lightly fry some naan bread and you're done.

This dish is even better tasting the next day.

One farmer says to me, "You cannot live on vegetable food solely, for it furnishes nothing to make the bones with."

And so he religiously devotes a part of his day to supplying himself with the raw material of bones; walking all the while he talks behind his oxen, which, with vegetable-made bones, jerk him and his lumbering plow along in spite of every obstacle.

Henry David Thoreau

Recipe (5) Chef Salad (with not a lettuce leaf in sight)

This salad is filling, very yum and I think I invented it. I'm sure it exists in it's many forms over the world but this is my version. Everyone always asks me to make it because it's tasty. Try it - remember, quality ingredients, especially the tomatoes and the wafer thin biscuits. Look for good quality tomatoes with that yummy garden aroma and flavor. If you can't find them in your area, buy whatever tomatoes you can get, and think about growing some yourself.

- 1 cob corn

- 1 avocado

- 2 potatoes

- 2 medium free-range eggs

- 1/4 a block of feta - something creamy like Persian

- 1 small can of Four Bean Mix

- 5 Vine Ripened Cherry tomatoes

- 1/2 cucumber

- 1 salad onion

- 1 carrot

- rock salt or sea salt to taste

- Wafer Biscuits (the very thin ones)

- Chopped Chives

Boil the eggs and chop everthing else up into little cubes (or whatever shape you fancy) and put it all in a big bowl. Add the feta also. When the eggs are soft boiled, peel them and chop them into quarters. Place them in the bowl and mix it vigorously. The soft boiled eggs, creamy feta and avocado somehow blend together to create a creamy yummy sauce.

To serve, spoon some salad in a bowl and get a handful of the thin wafer crackers. Crunch them in your hand and sprinkle them all over the salad. It adds a super yummy crunch with the most fabulous texture which is delicious in combination with the flavors in the salad.

Note: The crackers are super super important here. They must be thin and wafer-like. They're probably located near the gourmet cheese cabinet/section at your supermarket. Remember: Thin, wafery and delicate. Don't get normal biscuits - it'll ruin the whole recipe :) Try it.

This Is Where It Counts...

Do you think you could cut down on the amount of meat you consume?

See results

A Letter to Butchers, Slaughtermen and Meat Farmers

You have probably noticed that the meat industry is winding down. Many of us are choosing to no longer eat animals. This is good for humankind.

Soon you may need to do something else to make a living.

Why not plant some lemons, herbs, succulents, olives or grapes - anything that grows and is useful. Take up a new hobby such as pottery, worm farming or restoring furniture - look at all possible ways to make money from these pursuits.

Bake bread. Grow and sell flowers, strawberries, the juciest tomatoes or asparagus at your local weekend farmer's market. If you don't have one in your area, start one. Find out what you have a passion for doing and see if you can transfer that activity into an area where you can make money. And you certainly can. Create things. Nurture and grow life. When this day arrives, it is NOT the end of your way of life, it's just the beginning. It's a transition to a better world and we will all help you.

Endeavor to cease doing things that are destructive to the environment, other creatures, and ourselves and figure out new ways of existing.


"I have been particularly concerned with the sufferings of chickens for many years. It was the death of a chicken that finally strengthened my resolve to become vegetarian.

These days, when I see a row of plucked chickens hanging in a meat shop, it hurts. I find it unacceptable that violence is the basis of some of our food habits."

The Dalai Lama

A Picture Tells a Thousand Words

Look closely. The goat is content in the safety of its human caretaker - it has no fear. Wouldn't this be nice to see in the eyes of all living creatures in captivity - not terror and pain. Until we stop killing to gratify ourselves, we can never really move forward.

Try to cut down on meat this week.

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."


Hopefully these words have inspired you to go meat-free at least one day this week. Are you planning on cutting down on meat? Have you already stopped? Perhaps you think this is a load of crap and you just want to tear this lens to shreds. Either way, beliefs are much better out than in. Comments are open. Share your thoughts.

What Are Your Thoughts?

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    • SquidooFanatic profile image


      7 years ago

      great lens, so much info! Ive been a vegetarian for 15 years but still learned some new things on this page.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I recently saw ''Meet your meat''. I was shocked!! Congrats on your lens!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      tis is the best lens i've ever read! actually ever! please please please write more it is sooooo fantastic! i don't eat meat except fish for omega 3 and protein (although i bet i get enough 'coz i looove lentils and chickpeas!) and my bff number one only eats white meat and fish. bff number 2 is a devoted carnivore :(

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What a great collection you have here!,Awesome info and helpful..

    • ElizaRayner profile image

      Eliza Rayner 

      8 years ago from Boulder, Colorado

      fabulous page you have here. So full of so much information that is so important. These messages need to be told and told and told until everyone realizes the truth in them. thanks.

    • dreaminglucid1 profile image


      9 years ago

      my vegetarian bumper sticker site, if you'd like to stop by is

    • dreaminglucid1 profile image


      9 years ago

      I enjoyed the lens. Lots of great info and quotes. I can't say which reason is most compelling to me as to why we shouldn't eat meat: health, morality, or environmental protection. I've been doing it for 15 years, now though, and have had no problems getting protein and necessary nutrients. You can learn a lot about yourself when you give up something unhealthy that you crave. Anyway, I thought you might like my

    • cyberpunkdreams1 profile image


      9 years ago

      Excellent lens. I do think that there are some very strong arguments in terms of health and the environment for eating a limited about of meat (as long as it's free range, organic and ethically reared). For example, well maintained and used pasture land is much better ecologically than a monoculture cereal crop.

      However, I do think eating meat every day is absolutely insane. Once a week at most is all anyone needs.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I am not a vegetarian, but I agree, a balanced, sensible vegetarian diet is likely much more healthy.Originally, as was illustrated in your lens, man was not intended to eat other creatures. I don't like the idea of animals suffering. I make my living looking after the welfare of animals.

      The problem of animal husbandry, even for stictly the production of cheese and eggs, though, still may pose a problem for those concerned about animal welfare. I get my eggs from a local producer. I've never actually seen the inside of the barns. I can't due to biosecurity restrictions. They look clean and well kept, but I know they cannot be free range chickens.

      I recognize that there are many problems in this world. The mistreatment of animals is just one. I don't look strictly to human organizations or efforts to fix them.


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