Annie@SHVC: Hi Linda, where do you come from and how long have you been in Shanghai?
Linda: I am from California and moved to Shanghai in 2008 after spending two years in Hong Kong.
Annie@SHVC: So are you a vegetarian or vegan?
Linda: I have been a vegetarian since 2009.
Annie@SHVC: What exactly turned you into a vegetarian?
Linda: It was a combination of different reasons that led me to become a vegetarian. My father has been a vegetarian for over a decade as he is a devout Buddhist who belives his diet should not result in another living being’s suffering. It took me a few years to understand this concept and put into practice. While the religion is one of the driving factor for my decision, I also wanted to have a healthier life style where I can be more discipline toward food consumption. Living in a country where food safety is a prevalent issue, I find that being vegetarian reduces the chances of being exposed to subpar food processing standard.
Annie@SHVC:Do you find it difficult to eat vegetarian food in Shanghai compared to the States and Taiwan? What kind of challenge have you met?
Linda: The restaurant selectio is much more limited in Shanghai as compared to the States and Taiwan. Of these three countries, I find that Taiwan has the most options that spans the entire range of prices. There are street food stalls selling just vegetarian snack to mid price restaurants and fancy dining options. It is a vegetarian heaven.
Annie@SHVC: Wow… I look forward to visiting Taiwan now. ;) I heard you have three dogs, are they vegetarians? I think it can be challenging for vegetarians to prepare meat dishes for their pets… I can’t imagine myself doing that for sure.
Linda: I have three wonderful small dogs who are very dear to me. They are currently on regular dry dog food diet which is still meat based. Although I don’t personally prepared their food, I do wonder whether I should also put them on a vegetarian option. I am still looking into this topic.
Annie@SHVC:Last but not last least, what is your fav vegetarian dish or restaurant in Shanghai?
Linda: If I want to treat myself, I would go to Dashuwujie in Xujiahui. I also like 五观堂素食 on Xinhua Road.
Annie@SHVC: Wow ,我好期待去台湾玩啊！听说你养了三只狗，他们也吃素吗？我觉得为宠物准备肉食对于素食者是很矛盾（具有挑战性）的，很难想象我自己能否做到。