Reformed meat head Ryan Alexander encourages everyone to take up “No Meat May”

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THERE’S no doubt going vegetarian can have some health benefits but for many of us saying goodbye to bacon and beef burgers would just be too much. But if you’re only cutting out meat for a month, many of us could learn to love salad-at least temporarily. Reformed meat head Ryan Alexander founded a community driven initiative called No Meat May four years ago to encourage people not to give up meat completely but to give vegetarianism a go for at least 31 days.


Ryan Alexander reckons fruit and veg get bad press. Picture: John Appleyard

A vegetarian bowl is a good substitute for meat.

“Animal agriculture is a massive contributor, if not the leading cause of climate change and Australia has one of the highest rates of meat consumption in the world. We have a crucial role to play in addressing the massive risks faced by our planet,” he says.

Alexander says fruits and vegetables can be a lot of fun too.

“Fruits and vegies get some pretty bad press, No Meat May is a time to sauce them up a bit. Grab a vegie, style it up, take a selfie to declare your month of doing some good. Find new restaurants, host picnics and parties.”

So where should you start?

“Clean out your fridge of meat. Stock up on convenience foods such as vegie burgers. There have been awesome developments in plant-based protein so get prepared to be surprised.

“Keep it close to your usual routine. If you like pizza, Vietnamese, or Lebanese food on a Friday, then stick with these but go for the vegie options. Finally if you’re on a budget, throw in some fresh veg, spices and serve with baked potatoes, brown rice or whole-wheat pasta.”


An Indian dosai is a delicious vegetarian meal.

Restaurants are great for variety and venturing out.

“Check out the local Indian supermarket to spice it up (with more than 500 million vegetarians in India it’s a good place to start). Coriander chutney is a new discovery of mine that spreads good on a roti (Indian bread).

“Lebanese and other middle eastern cuisines have great choices. For those traditional Aussies, if you haven’t tried vegemite and avocado on mixed grain toast, you haven’t lived.”

Alexander loves Chinese hot pot, papaya salad and eggplant, basil, tofu dish cooked in black bean sauce.

“That said you can’t beat a wholesome vegie burger.”


Indian food can offer great vegetarian variety.

Get involved

No Meat May this year has added an interesting element to the campaign called the vegelfie — take a selfie with your favourite fruit/ vegetable and post on social media with the hashtags #vegelfie and #nomeatmay. Get involved, go to: nomeatmay.net

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