Over the past 25 years I have travelled and lived in a number of Asian countries. This has given me an insight into the rich tapestry of spiritual practices there, with vegetarianism being a common thread.
I have made friends with many Chinese Taoists and Buddhists, Indian Hindus and Sikhs, and Malay Muslims; our mutual spiritual interests have given us a common platform on which to begin our friendships.
In addition, my husband and I have been vegetarians for nearly 30 years and we have found this to be of interest to many Asian people. Confucius, who is well respected by Chinese people all over Asia, stated:
“The true gentleman should simply stay out of the kitchen where animals are killed and meats prepared.”
There are Chinese and Indian vegetarian restaurants all over Asia and these are popular places to meet and talk with friends. The food is cheap, usually clean and mostly delicious. My two most favorite restaurants are an Indian vego in Singapore which serves the best masala dosa (a rice pancake rolled up with deliciously spicy vegetables) served with an iced homemade yogurt drink (lassi), and a simple Taoist restaurant in a little Malaysian town called Serembam, which serves an appetizing array of tofu and gluten dishes.