“Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” Einstein
So Monday night I had a few friends take me up on my invitation to the screening at the Riverview Theater of Get Vegucated! I was really excited to get another exciting night out with some wonderful people! Corryn, Nick and Kat joined Deanna (a friend I met through the gym) and me! We started our evening out with what I like to think of as an easy gateway to vegetarian and even vegan lifestyle eating. How is that done you may ask, Indian Food!
We met up at Gandhi Mahal, which is this amazing restaurant just off Lake Street in Minneapolis. My neighborhood has such a diverse mix of cultures (Friday, Girls night out we were at Midori’s Floating World Cafe which is right across the way from this place!) it is truly a blessing to live where I do!
In keeping with the theme of the night most of us chose to eat vegetarian. I had the Garlic Naan along with “The Gandhi Thali” Which is described as…
An assortment of foods prepared in the way that Gandhi would have approved of. Includes vegetable pakora, aloo pakora, and papadam with chutneys; samples of Sag paneer and vegetable curry, with Basmati rice, and raita yogurt sauce. Comes with Ruhel’s special mango chutney or pickles and kheer desert.
While it looks like a pile of mushy food you really don’t miss the meat! Often when I have been to this restaurant I get a similar meal and I get the meat version. The chunks of veggies and potatoes are hearty and make you feel full but not heavy. Dinner was full of all kinds of conversations and laughter, and then we headed to the theater.
When we arrived at the theater there was sampling of So-Delicious Coconut milk going on. They had both the vanilla and the chocolate kinds available! We had just finished up dinner, I had saved room for popcorn so I refrained from a sample at that time but tucked the container away in my pocket for later.
The movie started, and has a run time of somewhere near 77 minutes. There was a short introduction and a Q&A after the showing. The movie was informative, however it did feel, as many of these do, a bit one-sided. I understand the need to show, and tell about so much of the cruelty and mistreatment of animals that takes place. Deanna was brought up on a farm, and could pick out the cows by name. She has recounted stories about the “blue” cow, a cow that looked blue due to the black and white alternating hair on the cow. Raising them on a small family farm is much different that the mistreatment that was being spoken of in the movie. I have also been regaled with stories from other friends about how certain animals that taste “funny” because they were the nice one or the mean one on the farm.
The film did serve as a reminder that the cost of meat is very high, I am not talking about the monetary cost, but that is going up as well. The cost to the workers in the slaughter houses, the cost to the environment, the cost to or world. I left with a lot to think about. Luckily there was enough humor in this movie to balance out the footage that I would deem as graphic. Like those awful commercials that I see on TV. Poor animals.
I enjoyed seeing the stories of three people that the documentary followed. I was pleased that they showed the struggles that were encountered along the way. Struggles that we all encounter whether we are eating vegan, vegetarian, or just eating healthier I cold very much relate to Tesla’s struggles as she tried to change her eating habits while being around others who don’t eat the same way she chooses to. Not to spoil anything but eventually she finds what works for her, which is truly what it is all about.
I have no plans on becoming a vegan. I do dabble as a vegetarian for weeks at a time and I may just undergo a 30 or 60 day “vegetarian challenge” in the near future. For me it isn’t so much of a challenge as a choice. When I have eaten less meat I do feel a bit different, however I find that I just can’t find enough protein to sustain me without including dairy and eggs in my diet.
At the end of the movie the discussion was just a Q&A format along with a few observations from some audience members. One of the comments was very positive about how this film showed what many others didn’t which is that those “Free Range” and “organic” labels often don’t mean what people thing they do. Do you know where your food comes from was the point that was made. The topic of soy was brought up by one gentleman who was very much anti-soy. There is a lot of conflicting research about soy out there. I for one will say make the decision for yourself on this. I fall on the side of thought that says it is fine in moderation and plan to stay on the side of the less processed soy is better The program called Vegan At Heart.
There are lots of meat alternatives out there, from Boca burgers and Smart Dogs to Quorn Chicken and Tofurky! Lots of people call these things cheater food but if it helps you bridge the gap then I say go for it in moderation.
So all that being said what is your fave vegetable? Fave vegetarian recipe! I’m looking to spice things up!