Since you’re not a vegetarian, I guess I can understand why you “can’t for the life of me figure out why anyone would want to eat this stuff.” But I’m guessing if you really tried, you could figure it out. You seem pretty smart. Or at least well-written.
But since I am a vegetarian, let me help you understand.
This video Paul McCartney put together is one of the many reasons I stopped eating meat two years ago:
The truth we all often ignore, but know in our hearts is true — - i.e. that animals have feelings, experience pain, and are ‘thinking’ creatures — this alone should be enough to convince us all they deserve their lives as much as we do. But beyond this, the outrageous cruelty pervasive in ‘animal processing’ should make anyone think twice about eating meat.
But here’s the deal. Even though I made the decision to stop eating meat, that doesn’t mean I don’t like meat. It doesn’t mean I don’t miss it. It doesn’t mean I don’t wish I could make some of my old favorite recipes if there was any way to do so without killing an animal.
I am with you that one of the best ways to stop eating meat is to cook really great vegetables! Also by the way, pasta is vegetarian. Pizza is vegetarian (as long as you leave off the pepparoni and meatballs). Peanut butter is vegetarian. Etc. My point being, there are a lot of totally awesome foods that you can eat without feeling like you’re missing anything at all.
I’ve tried a bunch of the ‘fake meat’ products and some are definitely better than others. But whether you’re a kind person like me, who just doesn’t want to kill animals. Or a vegetable person like you, who apparently doesn’t care about the animals, but cares a lot about his own health. Then I say we can both benefit by including the ‘fake meat’ whenever you can.
As you pointed out, the good ones contain less fat and more protein than real meat. Often they have other benefits as well — in addition to providing more fiber, plant-based ‘meats’ have fewer health risks. If you overcook meat you risk carcinogen based cancers. If you undercook meat you risk e coli, salmonella, and listeria.
Out of all the ‘fake meats’ I’ve tried, the best thing I discovered was fake beaf crumbles. It allows me to make tacos that taste JUST LIKE meat tacos. Something I really missed. Oh what a happy day it was when I discovered this! Just make sure you add a little olive oil when you cook the crumbles. You do need a little fat in there :) But I’m not kidding. I think it’s probably the taco spices that make it work. Plus once you add lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and taco sauce, the crumbles get a little buried. But the overall taste is identical. I am sure I could trick a meat eater into thinking they are regular tacos.
The other thing these (crumbles) are fantastic for: chill!! Same deal. Once you add the beans, spices,onions, peppers, jalepenos, (…and a bit of olive oil), etc…those crumbles taste exactly like burger meat. Fantastic!
So just because I’m a vegetarian, doesn’t mean I have to give up chilli for the super bowel or Friday night tacos. I get to have my cake and eat it to. Score one for me and one for the cows I’m saving every day.
So there you have it, since you couldn’t find any reasons why you would want to eat this stuff, I wanted to give you a few. Hope you give it some thought. I promise you the animals will thank you! And me too! ;)