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Duration | 2:19

Category | Env. Protection

Organisation | Tzu Chi Foundation (Singapore)

Volunteers host friends and neighbours at home for vegetarian cooking session  

There is a saying that it is easier to promote kindness than to persuade people to give up meat, because it is difficult to change people’s dietary habit. However, Tzu Chi volunteers are ready to brave the difficulties and step up on their effort to promote vegetarianism amid the pandemic. Task groups have been established in various communities in Singapore to make it easier for the public to accept a meatless diet using different ways. Among them, “Veggie Kitchen” is an initiative where volunteers host their neighbours and friends at home for a vegetarian cooking session. Under a casual atmosphere, the visitors and their host find fun in cooking and enjoying vegetarian food. 

Volunteer: As the only vegetarian in my circle of friends, would that make me an alien? 

Volunteer: It is easy to promote kindness but not vegetarianism.  

Volunteer: Thank you. (Nice?) Delicious. (Just to let you know that vegetarian food can be very delicious) 

Volunteer: Uncle, do you eat vegetarian food? Would you like to give it a try? 

Volunteer: Master Cheng Yen has been appealing to us to adopt a meatless diet. We must heed her advice seriously.  

Volunteer: Time and tide wait for no man. We need to step up our effort to share with more people the purpose of going meatless.  

Volunteer: Many people might not be aware of it if we do not share.  

Vegetarian restaurant owner: If more people are promoting vegetarianism, I believe it will bring significant changes to the society. 

Volunteer:Whatever is right, just do it.  

With a pandemic still raging, more of us should be awakened by this great lesson by nature. Tzu Chi volunteers no longer practice vegetarianism in low profile. They are now actively promoting a meatless diet.     

Since 2020, small groups have been established in various communities to promote vegetarianism. The groups brainstormed a number of ways to encourage people to give up meat, and “Veggie Kitchen” is one of them where neighbours and friends were invited for a vegetarian cooking session at a volunteer’s home.  

Tzu Chi volunteer, Nancy Chew Ann Jee : It requires some strategies to persuade the public to give up meat. Cooking together can be fun, and it can be an effective way. I find this a good method to convince ourselves and others.  

Volunteer: It depends on personal preference. Some prefer sour, some prefer sweet. Your choice of seasoning depends on your family’s preference.  

Listening to explanations, watching the demo, taking photos of the ingredients, and then cooking it at home. This is an easy start to cooking vegetarian dishes.   

Tzu Chi volunteer, Nancy Chew Ann Jee : As I personally put in effort to cook, so I could inspire the participants to develop an interest in cooking. Meanwhile, they can start cooking on their own and influence their family to go meatless.  

Be it a specialty dish or newly learned dish, what matters is interaction. More than 50 sessions of “Veggie Kitchen” have been held thus far. Due to a resurgence in COVID-19 cases and tightening of safety measures, “Veggie Kitchen” has been switched online since May to keep sharing vegetarian recipes.  

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