Home » Features » A Brief History of the Love-Hate Relationship with Mock Meats

Does the eating of mock meat
mock vegetarians who gave up real meat,
or non-vegetarians who cling to real meat?

~ Stonepeace

A theory says mock meats (vegetarian/vegan food that mimics the appearance and taste of various real meats) were initially invented by meat-sellers for making more money, so that when some folks turned vegetarian, they can sell them the mock version of their meats, as long as they would like to have some food which resembles real meat. I think this is a skilful means, albeit accidental and commercial in nature, that helps to gradually wean people off real meat. In time to come, more vegetarians manufacture and improve more mock meats themselves. That said, there are many creative ‘think-out-of-the-box’ vegetarian patties and such that do not resemble any meat, while tasting better!

With more mock meats tasting similar to, and sometimes even better than real meats, those who are attached to meat merely for its taste have increasingly less reasons not to turn vegetarian! Nowadays, there is the mock version of almost every popular meat… chicken, fish, prawn, beef, mutton… Mock meats do add to the variety of vegetarian food, ensuring that it is never dull in comparison to non-vegetarian food, that in terms of taste, vegetarians have nothing to lose! Of course, proper nutrition by balancing diet with actual fruits, grains, beans, nuts, vegetables etc. is important. It’s good news though, that these days, more mock meats are created using healthier ingredients.

Despite the above understanding of the rationale of having mock meats, there is a question raised by many a cynical non-vegetarian, who think vegetarians who eat mock meats are hypocritical. The question asked is usually in this format – ‘If you really do not wish to eat meat, why eat mock meat? Doing so, aren’t you still attached to meat?’ The honest answers of many vegetarians are surprisingly simple, and often wise and witty. Here are some to share.

1. ‘When I eat mock meat, I don’t think of it as meat at all – because it isn’t meat anyway!’
2. ‘If I’m really attached to meat, why am I not eating meat?’
3. ‘Maybe it’s you who’re attached to meat, which is why you don’t settle for mock meat!’
4. ‘I’m attached only to the taste of mock meat, not to the taste of meat!’
5. ‘Well, no animal gets killed for my mock meat while animals get killed for your meat!’
‘Better for the animals that I’m attached to mock meat than to their meat!’
If you have another answer to add, please add it to the comment section below!

Whether mock meat was created
out of compassion or greed,
it can always be eaten
out of compassion and not greed.

~ Stonepeace

Related Articles:

Can’t They Imagine Them Being Killed?
The Invisible COnveyor Belt of Meat & Murder
Indirect Guilt By Indirect Association
How Half the World Can Go Veg

17 Responses to “A Brief History of the Love-Hate Relationship with Mock Meats”

  1. when someone asked me why i take mock meat, i told them i’m lazy.. cos mock meat has no bones and very friendly for chewing (build your gum/jaw muscle).

  2. Simon Zee 31 March 2011

    If you make a conscious decision not to eat meat, it is already filled with compassion. Therefore eating non-meat food in any form doesn’t really matter.

  3. mmm… Some mock meat taste super floury. if given a choice, i will go for the greens. If already in my bowl, no choice but to swallow the flour. =x

  4. hmm… Some real meat taste bloody, which is why I choose to go for the greens!

  5. Dawn Tan-Low via Facebook 1 April 2011

    i’m so glad that the daily enlightenment is finally on fb. 😀 I have tasted dishes at vegetarian stalls that tasted so much like the real stuff that i did not continue to finish the dish. And i always wonder why.

  6. Thought we should drop the idea of eating meat in the first place. Then there will be no need or demand for mock meat (emulated after animals’ flesh).

  7. I always thought there is a difference between aversion to meat (or mock meat), and deciding not to eat meat out of compassion. But sometimes, both are aligned together too!

  8. I guess eating mock meat is the same as eating sweets or biscuits that are in animal shapes.

  9. audrey tan 3 April 2011

    i am adding variety to my food without harming any animal.

  10. Jimmy 5 April 2011

    We are accustomed to the taste we previously had, eating mock meat is skillful means for buddhists to go vegetarian and practise compassion. You will surpised vegetarian sliced ‘fish’ beehoon taste just as great if not better, minus the fish bone. Discard this meaningless controversy, try go vegetarian and savour the happiness of being compassionate.

  11. The mock meat I eat does not cry.

  12. Shen Shi'an 6 April 2011

    The mock meat I eat has no face or mother!



  13. jane ong 1 July 2011

    It just an art of eating another type of food. Be it in the form of duck,fish or whatever, it is creative presentation, as long as no animal is sacrificed during the process, I call it compassionate eating! :happy:

  14. Desmond Peck Choon Pin 16 January 2012

    Mock meat is meant to make vegetarian meals more appealing to non-vegeterians. That can be a good thing!

  15. on days when i am supposed to be vegetarian. however if someone lies to me that the dish is vegetarian but it is not and i ate it, who’s fault will it be?

  16. The liar is at fault for deceiving. Yet, the one lied too is to some extent with fault too, to be either not careful enough, or despite being so, had created some negative karma in the past to be deceived. No worries… just be more careful next time. Just do your best!


  17. I don’t deny that I enjoy the taste of meat, and that I am still attached to it. But I do not want to cause suffering to animals just so that I can enjoy my meals. I think attachment to meat is not wrong in itself, but causing animals to suffer is. Mock meats are a great alternative. Being vegetarian doesn’t mean that you’ve killed off the desire for meat, it means choosing not to harm animals in spite of this desire.

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