How Much % Plant-Based Are You?
To us at veggino, a plant-based lifestyle is one that’s based solely on plant products. Sometimes the distinction is pretty clear: a vegetable salad with sesame dressing is plant-based, while a Big Mac with cheese isn’t. But we also believe that not everything is black and white, and you don’t have to choose a Yes or No answer to the question ‘do I lead a plant-based lifestyle?’. To determine how much % plant-based we are, or how much % plant-based our lunch today was, we don’t count the number of leaves in our salad or the number of drops of mayonnaise. We take a high-level view of our plate and ask ourselves: about how much of what’s in here is plant-based?
We believe what matters most is what kind of impact our choices have on our core values. It’s never a precise calculation: we don’t weigh our food and calculate how much of it was plant-based vs. animal-based. What matters at the end of the day is the big picture impact of our choices, not how particular we are. Being 100% plant-based isn’t a sacred obligation, and having a bowl of yoghurt with your granola isn’t blasphemy. We don’t count our calories or proteins and divide them into groups of right and wrong. Rather, we take a holistic view and ask ourselves: when making my choices, do I consider the impact they have? And do my choices reflect that impact?
I’ll give you an example. Until about 10 years ago, my typical breakfast consisted of a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios with about 300ml of cow’s milk. Sweet, easy to make, and better than a lot of breakfasts out there – much better than no breakfast at all! But from a plant-based perspective, how was I doing? A stickler might say that once that first drop of milk exploded on those sugar-sweet rings of oats, my breakfast was no longer plant-based. Not even 1%. But we would take a different view. We would estimate how much of the contents of my bowl was made of plants (oats, corn starch, and whatever else they put in there) and how much originated from animals (milk, honey). What do you think? 50-50? 60-40? Sounds about right.
Try this method of estimation on your next choices (it’s usually right for dietary choices; for clothes, a leather jacket is 0% plant-based, as- I would say- are leather shoes). Take a general look, and make your own decision. Don’t try to be precise. Do you see a trend? As you make your estimations, are you encouraged to increase the plant-based part of your plate? Even 10% or 20% is a change. That’s what veggino is all about!
I believe that animals are here to share the Earth with us, not to satisfy our desires. This led me to drop meat from my menu at an early age. In 2011, after learning about the process involved in the production of eggs and dairy, I started researching about veganism and decided to become plant-based. As I continue to learn and experiment, I still marvel at the many benefits that a plant-based lifestyle offers. I’ve lectured in schools about animal welfare and I hope that through veggino, we can help people in Japan explore this life-changing journey. The number of plant-based people worldwide has been skyrocketing in recent years, and it’s Japan’s turn now!