From my friend Sofia – check out her blog, Flex Your Voice – she posts some great images and inspiring quotes.



I post this from a heavily meat eating country, Indonesia. Vegetables don’t grow too well in tropical regions (fruit does, though) and the diet here reflects that. It also reflects the prevalent lactose intolerance in Asians with its lack of dairy products.

It’s not a huge surprise, but even at an environmental organization, there are no vegetarians. Even at environmental events, there is often no vegetarian choices. This would never happen in San Francisco.

Of course, as you all know, I’m not a vegetarian. But my diet has, naturally, gone more and more veg as I’ve gotten more and more into cooking. Indian food also has a natural vegetarian tilt – every dish can easily be made without meat. The same definitely cannot be said about Indonesian food.

And as an environmentalist, the facts are fairly clear. Meat is much worse for the environment than vegetables. Becoming a vegetarian is better, in terms of CO2 emissions reduced, than buying a hybrid car. Add in the effects of mass domestic animal farming (disease, pollution, waste, etc) versus clean, organic farming.

But facts aren’t enough to make me switch – but lately, I’m feeling a call from deeper inside. I enjoy vegetables more – I feel better when I eat them. If I truly want to be the best person possible, then meat just isn’t part of my future. My cooking skills are finally good enough that I can survive a veg-free diet.

So, I’ve pretty much decided, upon leaving Indonesia (no kitchen to placate my cooking desires here) to begin the process towards becoming a vegetarian. One caveat, is that I do plan to keep dairy in my diet. My love for cheese and ice cream is just too strong, but even that I will try to moderate. First to go – red meats such as lamb and beef.

Can I do it? I think so. Because I feel it deep inside. It feels like the right thing to do.

Asia Undercovered


Understand Asia. Nithin Coca's weekly roundup of the news, memes, trends, and people changing the continent.




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