China Diary

Day 199: Go Vege!


Yeah, the editing is progressing nicely. We have now a nicely flowing construct in our hands, the first half of the movie is ready, and already knowing that the second half is pretty much in shape, it’s mostly the last part we have to focus on, which still has one thing that I’m not too crazy about. Let’s see how to tackle that…

…in the meantime, nothing much has happened other than that. I went for a hefty breakfast – my food routine here is heavy breakfast, no lunch and then heavy dinner. I’m sure all nutrition experts HATE this new, amazing diet that gets you fit in less than 36 hours!

No, truly. I love the breakfast here. It’s pretty Chinese, but there’s one thing you never find anywhere in China: a big plate full of CHEESE. Man, I love me some cheese. I shouldn’t really eat it too much, I have high blood pressure, but in China, the land of No Cheese, it’s just amazing. Even now, as I’m laying in my bed, knowing that breakfast opens in 3 hours, I can taste the salty, sweet, greasy cheese on my tongue.

Ahh.

I really don’t have too much to tell you about my adventures at this point, so that’s the reason I’m just listing the food I’ve eaten. Indeed, yesterday I went to this small, dinghy hole in the wall -type of an establishment and received the typical: “what’s that huge foreigner doing here” and then the “what, you’re going to order THAT…?” nonverbal communication round I’m so used to… But since I’m trying to cut off meat from my diet, at least for the most part, I’m on a mission to find out if it’s possible to eat decent vegetarian meal here, and let me tell you, it’s possible, but some assembly is required.

In the end, I found myself sitting with a huge bowl of noodles, a big pot full of tofu pieces and cold cucumber. Admitting that this dinner makes no sense would be a sign of weakness so I just nodded and chomped the food happily. Never admit you don’t know shit what you’re doing, number one rule of being a director, or being a foreigner in China.

Really? Cutting off meat from your diet, you might be asking?

Indeed. Now let me tell you why. It’s got nothing to do with health or even individual animal rights. It has a lot more to do with two things:

  1. We humans have written ourselves a mandate to completely subject the world we live in to our use. The most blatant show of this is the way we treat other living animals: we either kick them into extinction, or if they are worth the protein to us, we mass breed them to be slaughtered endlessly, without any care of the sustainability of the nature, or in any way caring about the well-being of the animals. This has been necessary to human evolution, but to us Westerners, meat industry is no longer necessary. I’d prefer stepping out of that machine, at least in a way that I reduce my meat input to say one meat day a week.
  2. There’s really not enough reasons to eat meat, other than it tastes good. And that’s not good enough reason for the total rape of planet Earth we do for that sake. Our tastebuds can be taught different, but Earth can’t fucking handle the mass production of animals sustainably. It’s just not a good idea. Thank god for Indians who don’t eat meat that much, or Muslims who don’t eat pork. If they were pigs like us Westerners are, eating  everything that moves, the bigger the better, all the resources of this planet would be diverted into trying to keep red meat on table for each of the 6 billion people on planet Earth, every morning, lunch and dinnertime. Not possible.

There’s third reason, too. It’s really what I’ve seen here in China. See, every time you go to a restaurant, you are just in awe on how much uneaten food is thrown away at every dinner. We in Finland have been taught to finish our plates, or at least “eat the meat”, but in China, this is definitely not the case. The table is ordered FULL of stuff, and one third of every dinner is tossed out as uneaten matter. It’s incredible! And that time 1,6 billion people, every day, the amount of food thrown away every year, the amount of animals born, raised, fed, kept warm, kept moistured, transported, slaughtered, transported again, packaged, transported once more and eventually delivered to stores and restaurants just to be thrown in the garbage, every day, is impossible to understand.

Saving planet Earth doesn’t begin with China, but it ends here. If the Chinese learn to recycle, eat less animals and throw less food out, the effect will be seen throughout the world. While it makes absolutely no sense for a Finn like me to not eat meat every day, it is some kind of a social experiment and a statement that, when multiplied by millions, can also be heard over here.

Well, I have spoken.

Ugh.

PS. One more thing, the less I eat meat, the more I lose weight. Which is good for my blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Now, there’s no scientific reason to that, but maybe it just has to do with the fact that if you start paying attention to what you eat, and even if it’s more about whether or not you are eating meat, you are already paying more attention to things you might not pay that much attention to, and start making subconsciously more healthier decisions. Maybe that makes sense. Maybe it doesn’t.

The hell I know…

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