Monday, November 23, 2009

Going Meatless In Kuala Lumpur

In observance of International Meatless Day, which falls every 25th November, this blogpost will be dedicated to the topic of vegetarian and vegan eateries in Kuala Lumpur.

The International Meatless/Animal Rights Day was started in 1986 by the Sadhu Vaswani Mission in Pune, India, in honour of Sadhu Vaswani's birthday. Sadhu Vaswani was a spiritual leader who championed animal rights and vegetarianism, among other causes.

Interestingly, many of the prime movers behind 'Meatless Day' campaigns are not the vegetarians, but non-vegetarians, environmentalists and animal welfare advocates. A vegetarian diet, even if only once a week, has the following benefits:

1. Benefits to human health: Vegetarians have lower rates of cancer, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, kidney stones and gallstones.

2. Environmental benefits: According to the UK government’s Climate Change Programme 2006, if everyone in Britain were to abstain from meat one day a week over a year, this would save 13 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. The carbon savings would be greater than taking five million cars off the road. Nitrous oxide used in fertiliser applied to crops grown to feed cattle with, and the methane generated by livestock in their waste, are all potent greenhouse gases. Livestock farming is an energy, water and fuel intensive industry. Reducing the meat you consume will save precious natural resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

3. Animal welfare concerns: The existence of alternative media has made more people aware of the cruelties of battery farming. We eat, utilise, domesticate and raise animals; therefore, we owe them a better life.

As my friends at Food Not Bombs KL aver, vegetarian food is ideal because it is 'non-denominational' and 'non-violent'.

Vegetarians, vegans, piscetarians and 'occasional vegetarians' in Kuala Lumpur are spoilt for choice when it comes to vegetarian eateries in the City.

The following is a list of my favourite vegetarian eateries in KL:

1. Tian Yan Café & Restaurant
Address: 5, 7 & 9, Jalan 3/93, Taman Miharja, Jalan Cheras, 55200 KL.
Open daily (11am-9pm) except during Chinese New Year.

This café serves fast food as well as Chinese food. The mushroom 'twinkles' and 'chita' salad are highly recommended snacks.

2. Annalakshmi Restaurant
Address: 46 Jalan Maarof, Bangsar.
Contact: 03 2284 3799

Annalakshmi is an international chain of vegetarian restaurants operating in a unique concept of "Eat to your heart's content, pay what your heart feels". Their buffet meals are delish, and their ulunthu vadai are addictive.

3. Giant Bowl Vegetarian Restaurant
Address: 10, Jalan Klang Lama, Batu 4 1/2, 58000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 016-3322-949, 03-3323-9949

Giant Bowl is famed for their noodle and rice dishes, but don't be surprised to find meatless dim sum and satay on their menu!

4. Sangeetha Vegetarian Restaurant
Address: 65, Lebuh Ampang, Masjid Jamek, Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 03- 2032 3333

A South Indian thali meal followed by falooda or kulfi for dessert at Sangeetha's -- now that's a meal fit for a king!

5. Bakti Woodlands Vegetarian Restaurant
Address: 55 Leboh Ampang, 50100 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 03-20342399

This is where my friend Amril and I used to come for uthappam and bajji. The food is inexpensive and tasty.

This International Meatless Day, please make a pledge to go meatless at least one day a week!

"To a man whose mind is free, there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of man. For with the latter, it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. If any man were to refer to it, he would be thought ridiculous. And that is the unpardonable crime."
- Romain Rolland, author, Nobel Prize 1915


Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

I'm the 'occasional' vegetarian .it does not bother me to have the odd vegetarian meal as I feel the consumption of meat taxes my body systems besides the other benefits.

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

Good on you, Keats! I think the Hindu practice of going lacto-vegetarian/vegan on Tuesdays and Fridays is an excellent one, as it allows omnivours to go cruelty-free at least twice a week but does not leave them feeling deprived.

mum said...

am glad to say I am 100 per cent vegetarian.

are you proud of me or what?.

I too did a post on vegetarian restaurants...

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

Well done, Mum-in-Malaysia! You are an inspiration to all who think that you need meat to be strong and healthy! Such utter nonsense, no? Celebrating a special occasion shouldn't mean animals have to die for us! It should be a special occasion for them, too!

Angie said...

Annalakshmi in Bangsar is still around? I love that place. Was sad when the one in Megamall closed.

Yum, Indian vegetarian...

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

Hi Angie! I am pretty sure Annalakshmi in Bangsar was open as recently as 3 months ago cos Vegan Eugene had dinner there with Maye and Gary and I got left out cos I forgot to check my phone messages! :P We should have dinner together sometime. Chettinad cuisine! Patrick must come too!