My friend Lisa asked me if it was possible for her family to go on a trip to Quezon Province and partake of healthy, hearty, yummy meatless meals totally devoid of animal proteins.
I told her it was, indeed, possible, and to prove it, I thought of a perfect place in Lucena City to take Lisa on an “ocular trip”.
And so, on a Hyundai Accent CRDi diesel 1.6L, Lisa and I braved the Friday night traffic of southern Metro Manila, Batangas, and Quezon provinces (yes, those jams, road repairs, slowpoke trikes trucks added to the hunger pangs). Finally, after four hours on the road, we finally arrived at Reasons Cafe at Quezon Avenue corner Barcelona St., Lucena City.
But first, some notes on the Accent.
This fuel miser hatch sipped a frugal 7.5 liters per 100 km (or 13.33 km to the liter), quite remarkable considering the kind of traffic we went through (averaging just 28 kph on provincial roads on our 150-km run). The hatchback is agile enough to zip in and out of tight spots, and provides enough power to perform tight overtaking.
At Reasons, my friend, tattoo artist and performer Odessa Karuka Lopez greeted us. Odessa is at once the owner of Reasons, drummer of the punk band Choke Cocoi, and a staunch supporter non-profit organization Foods Not Bombs (Philippine chapter), an all-volunteer global movement that shares free vegan meals as a protest to war and poverty.
Unlike the Accent, our appetites went racing right from the start. For dinner, we made short work of the sizzling sisig served with brown rice, vegchon kawali, fish tofu, and White Pizza. For lunch the next day we ordered Pancit Lucban, mushroom burger, and Banh Mi.
For just P150, the sizzling sisig is generously made with veggie meat, tofu, mushrooms, spices, and vegan mayo.
The vegchon kawali, which goes for P150, is deep fried tofu skin and tapioca served with rice.
The pan-grilled “fish” tofu is wrapped in roasted seaweed, served with special sauce, sesame oil and chili garlic sauce, and is priced at just P100.
The White Pizza is topped with button mushrooms, olives, bell pepper, onion, garlic, basil, oregano, lucban longganisa soy meat and smothered in white sauce), and is priced at P150.
Reason’s version of Pancit Lucban, a traditional Quezon stir-fried noodle dish served with spicy vinegar, costs just P160, but the serving is huge.
The mushroom burger, at P120, is made with mushroom patties, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, ketchup, Vegan mayo and mustard.
Bahn Mi, the traditional Vietnamese sandwich, is made with smoked veggie meat, pickled veggies, cucumber, coriander leaves and sesame seeds, and goes for just P100.
And then just a few days ago, Reasons introduced its vegan longsilog. Odessa declared: “Eat your greens, the cool way. Try our latest addition, the Vegan Longsilog! Not to be confused with Vigan Longganisa.” Check out the appetizing photos.
Our tummies were thus filled with the goodness of the earth’s bounty, and not a sentient animal was killed in the making of this feast. In Lucena City, this IS the reason to go vegan, indeed.
Reasons is open every day except Sundays. Reasons is also open on Holy Monday up to Holy Wednesday, and resumes on Monday after Easter.
But if you need a really earth-shaking reason to go vegan or vegetarian, read this:
The animal industry contributes significantly to global warming. The erratic and extreme weather we experience today is partly the result of our appetites. Although the causes of climate change is no doubt multifaceted, livestock propagation to meet the world’s incessant appetite for animal products has been assessed to be a significant factor in environmental destruction.
Worldwide greenhouse gas emissions have been attributable to animal products such as cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, camels, pigs and poultry (chicken). The “Livestock and Climate Change” published in one of the issues of World Watch magazine reported that livestock and their byproducts actually account for at least 32.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of annual worldwide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the prerequisite substance for climate change.
Climate experts have warned that 2017 would be the last year that the International Energy Agency has estimated for all countries to lower their CO2 emission. Otherwise, if the target is not met, the rise of global temperature to 2ºC by 2050 will be irreversible. US environment correspondent Suzanne Goldenberg recently wrote in The Guardian a study published in Environmental Research Letters, warning that drastic changes in food production and at the dinner table are needed by the year 2050 in order to prevent catastrophic global warming. She wrote that growing feed crops for cattle and pigs produces more GHG emissions than crops that go directly into the human food chain. Eating less meat, she concluded, would reduce demand for fertilizer as well as reduce the amount of manure produced.
Nitrous oxide, released by fertilizers and animal manure, is the most potent of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change. The UN’s climate body has called for deep cuts to those emissions. Some scientists are at work growing artificial meat which would avoid using fertilizers and manure. This was cited in The Guardian as early as April 2012, which said this situation has been “arguably the most difficult challenge in dealing with climate change: How to reduce emissions from food production while still producing enough to feed a global population projected to reach 9 billion by the middle of this century.”
#smallercarbonfootprint #crueltyfreeANDyummy #NOanimalsHARMED #noviolenceonmyplate