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What is the Thai translation for 'vegetarian'?

  • shazhippych-
    ild

    Joined Travelfish
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    Does somebody know what the Thai translation is for: "NO MEAT! I am a vegetarian!"
    I'm going to Thailand for the first time, but am a bit nervous of the food situation....I need to get the message that I am a vegetarian across loud and clear!

    Would greatly appreciate anyone's help!
    Peace, Shaz

    #1 Posted: 21/6/2009 - 02:39

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  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    "I need to get the message that I am a vegetarian across loud and clear!"

    Getting any message across loud and clear is always a challenge. In the event, you will only get a transliteration here which you will very probably mispronounce. Find a Thai who speaks English and have them say it to you and you repeat it until you've got it.

    #2 Posted: 21/6/2009 - 03:54

  • googdot

    Joined Travelfish
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    I agree with Mac - but it's actually pretty easy to get this across.

    When ordering, I simply say "Aa-Han Jay" and have never had any trouble in numerous trips all over Thailand. "Jay" is the key word, as it literally means vegan (I think). You may be asked if you can eat onions or garlic, due to the fact that most vegetarians in Thailand are buddhists.

    For a thorough pronunciation guide including sounds clips, see this site:

    http://www.enjoythaifood.com/learnthai/vegetarian.php

    And don't be nervous - most places will sort you out even when there are no veggie options on the menu.

    Enjoy your trip :)

    #3 Posted: 21/6/2009 - 12:13

  • DLuek

    TF writer
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    It's 'Jeh', pronounced kind of like 'jear'. But actually, that term means vegan (no eggs, dairy, etc.). The proper term for vegetarian (not vegan) as I understand it is, 'Mung sa wee raat', but 'jeh' is more commonly used.

    There's no blanket word (I don't think) in Thai for 'meat.' In phrasebooks I've seen 'meat' translated as 'neur', but this just confuses the Thais b/c actually 'neur' means 'beef', so it doesn't rule out chicken, etc... If you want to say you don't eat meat, this is probably the best way to say it:

    "Pom ('Di chan' if you're female) gin ahaan jer tao nun." (That means, "I eat vegan food only").

    To be extra sure, you can say:

    "Pom/di chan mai ow neur, mai ow moo, mai ow gai, mai ow bla..." (This means, "I don't want beef, don't want pork, don't want chicken, don't want fish...")

    Hope that helps. Thailand is certainly not the easiest place to be vegetarian. If you're going to Vietnam, it's much easier there, and the veg. food is incredible!

    Good luck

    #4 Posted: 21/6/2009 - 12:15

  • miniwalk

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 5

    mai sai neur = no meat
    Mung sa wee raat,chun kin je = i am vegetarian

    where you from guy?

    #5 Posted: 21/6/2009 - 14:21

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    "It's 'Jeh', pronounced kind of like 'jear'."

    Here's where the confusion begins... It's Jay, as in Jay - but it's a falling tone - which we don't have in English. Hence it begins to sound like something else... that's whre Dleuks "Jear" comes in. The end is open...

    If you are at a restaraunt that caters to westerners and has people who speak English, say it in English. Up until that point, find a Thai to make sure you get pronunciation right because if you're in the sticks and you blow your pronunciation one thing Thais are not very good at is figuring out what you're saying. They end up looking at you like an ape doing an math problem.

    #6 Posted: 21/6/2009 - 14:50

  • Tilapia

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    Print whichever of these apply to you and make sure you have them with you all the time. Maybe get the ones you will use laminated ...

    http://www.beachsiam.com/food.html

    This site has a bunch of them, too, and they are male and female users.

    http://www.guidetothailand.com/thai-script-phrases-food.php

    #7 Posted: 21/6/2009 - 21:38

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Thais sure do eat a lot of crappy vegetables, so it shouldn't be hard getting something minus the meat.

    #8 Posted: 21/6/2009 - 23:08

  • exacto

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    thailand is a great place to go vegetarian. in fact, the only place where i've found it easier to find vegetarian food than thailand was in nepal. many thai dishes can be and are prepared in a meatless version, and they are quite excellent that way too.

    just as DLeuk says, the term "J" really means vegan, but most restaurant folks will understand what you mean. if you can say the letter "J" in english, that's pretty much it. no rocket science here.

    even so, if you can get a Thai person to write it down for you in Thai script early in your trip, that will help too. just have them write it on the back of a business card that you can keep in your wallet, and you'll be golden.

    one last thing to keep in mind is that most thai dishes include fish sauce, which not surpisingly includes fish. it is kind of a thai-style soi sauce, used for flavor and to add salt. most of my vegetarian friends living in thailand just sort of accepted this as an honorary vegetable, since finding thai food without fish sauce can be a bit of a chore. hope that helps. regards.

    #9 Posted: 22/6/2009 - 09:28

  • MADMAC

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    "even so, if you can get a Thai person to write it down for you in Thai script early in your trip, that will help too. just have them write it on the back of a business card that you can keep in your wallet, and you'll be golden."

    This is very good advice.

    Exacto, I have two good expat friends here, and they have both worked hard at learning Thai (as have I). We go to school, read and write... we were at a restaraunt about three months ago, sat down, the waiter asks what we want to drink "Beer Leo, Mai ow Nam Kang." Pretty straighforward right? Kid looks at us with the thousand mile stair. "Khao Chai Mai?" "Mai Khao chai". My friend repeats it - three times before it sinks in.

    Another occassion I was with my wife (different restaruant) and the same thing happens and he looks to my wife because he can't understand. She repeats what I said. He nods and off he goes. I said "I said the exact same thing." My wife says "I know, Thai people are stupid." (My wife is Thai). For some reason when you start speaking Thai it throws them - they expect English even though many don't understand a syllable.

    I'm not saying it's not possible to communicate with Thais in Thai, because I do it all the time. But there are moments it can be quite trying getting very simple things across.

    #10 Posted: 22/6/2009 - 14:44

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  • exacto

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    i've had those same experiences too where the waiter or cashier sees my western face and cannot hear that i am speaking thai with them. but i've also had tens of thousands of experiences where i've successfully communicated in thai with thais. the incidents described above are the exception rather than the rule, and a little patience and humour almost always get the job done. "J" it works nearly all of the time.

    my other point, and i believe this is critical, is that MADMAC is an older expat living in thailand, and not a younger backpacker looking to experience the place for the first time like the majority of people on this website. something that is different or charming or quirky or fun when you are visiting a place will usually become annoying once you've lived there for awhile. that latter point of view, which often includes a dose of healthy cynicism, is entirely valid, but not necessarily typical of the experience most people will have in thailand.

    #11 Posted: 22/6/2009 - 20:41

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Exacto
    Good piont, although I don't get annoyed about these kind of things (my wife does - strange, but she's had real culture shock since coming back to Thailand after living 12 years in Germany. Her first year here she really had a hard time.). But one of my expat friends hates it when he's speaking to a Thai and they simply ignore him and speak to his wife. The other shares my wife's opinion - most Thais are stupid. I do not share that opinion, as I do not believe intelligence is race based.

    I couldn't speak about the specific word "J" either. I only know it because when this was posted I asked my wife how to pronounce and spell it (if I can see a Thai word spellt in Thai, it really helps me pronounce it).

    Shaz the Hippy was so emphatic on this point that I doubt he or she would have a sense of humor if he ordered something without meat and he ended up with Neue Sam Rot or something.

    #12 Posted: 22/6/2009 - 22:44

  • exacto

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    MADMAC,

    LMAO on that last comment. It really is the patience and humor that makes things work in Thailand. Neue Sam Rot. Too funny!

    I can understand how your wife feels about the reverse culture shock. I had the same thing happen to me when I moved from Thailand back to the states in 2000. It can be difficult to go home. I guess often times we are frustrated by things within our own cultures that wouldn't bother us at all in others'.

    As far as the westerner speaking Thai goes, I've had it explained to me like this. We are sort of like talking dogs. What that means is, if a dog walked up to you and said, "excuse me, do you have the time?", would you be checking your watch or staring at the dog? Cheers.

    #13 Posted: 23/6/2009 - 03:58

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    I don't plan toever move back, so I guess I won't have that problem... although we both miss Germany albeit for different reasons.

    #14 Posted: 23/6/2009 - 13:58

  • billverdant

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 4

    The advice about getting a Thai to help you pronounce it right chimes with me, though my fumbling tourist Thai did seem to register. I did rely on asking Thais and an expatriate called Izzy to help me with pronunciation. The "Vegan Passport", a booklet with a written definition of veganism in many languages, proved useful.

    There is more about my experiences, and links to language notes which possibly repeat what was said here, in my 5-minute podcast about vegetarian food in Thailand

    Cheers,

    Bill

    (The link goes to a relevant personal blog and podcast, not an information site, so I assume it is acceptable to link it.)

    #15 Posted: 28/7/2009 - 05:41

  • billverdant

    Joined Travelfish
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    Hi,

    The messageboard stripped out the inline link. Here it is:

    http://verdantreports.org/2009/05/01/vegan-food-in-thailand/

    Cheers,

    Ian

    #16 Posted: 28/7/2009 - 05:42

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    My friend stayed with me in Bangkok and he is a veggie.We managed to get him food without meat but he still had a big problem because the Thais are on auto-pilot when they shake the fish sauce into the wok.and fish sauce is meat so on many occasions he had problems explaining that fact to very puzzled Thai cooks.You really have to stand with them and remind them when they reach for the nam pla!

    #17 Posted: 28/7/2009 - 13:53

  • BruceMoon

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    Shaz

    I wasn't going to contribute to this thread, but much here is not nice.

    You make the statement:

    ...I need to get the message that I am a vegetarian across loud and clear!

    Then you sign-off...

    Peace, Shaz.

    Mmmmmm!!!!

    Shaz, you are going to Thailand to experience Thailand and all it has to offer - PLEASE, DO NOT GO TO THAILAND TO IMPOSE YOUR VALUES ON THE THAI PEOPLE.

    My experience is that the Thai people, being Buddhist, are really kind considerate people. And, they nearly always have a smile on their face (an exception being when having to tolerate rude obnoxious westerners).

    Elsewhere on Travelfish, and especially in the 'official' contributions by SomTam, you'll see that going with the Thai flow gains much reward.

    I appreciate that many westerners have now accommodated the view that the customer is always right and that the person serving the customer must ensure the customer's wishes are properly satisfied. This is but a servant-master association.

    On the premise that When in Rome do as the Romans do..., may I suggest that in Thailand, demanding that your vegetarian wants MUST BE MET will not serve you well.

    NO, do NOT advise your table waiter that you are vegetarian. Rather, look at the menu and choose vegetarian dishes.

    If you get some meat on your plate, just put it to one side. If your dish is served with fish sauce, just enjoy it. The proportion of fish in fish sauce is very small.

    Responsible, discrete and caring vegetarians recognise that meat consumption is a choice, and they are merely exercising their choice not to eat meat.

    Be a vegetarian nazi if you like, but likely YOU will destroy your own capacity for enjoyment.

    Sorry for coming across like a dad, but my view is that YOU are going to Thailand to enjoy all that Thailand has to offer - not impose on Thailand your head-trips.

    Cheers

    #18 Posted: 29/7/2009 - 06:51

  • MADMAC

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    I was going to say what Bruce did, but I was trying not to be my blunt self. He pretty much sums things up well here. Shaz, this is an easy place to get along, but given the language challenges, a lot of times you don't get what you want. I mean, think about it, even when we go to a restaraunt back home sometimes your order isn't what you expected. Here that can be even more so.

    I would advise against trying to go into the kitchen to monitor the cooking process. It's obnoxious behavior anywhere in the world where the cook isn't placed deliberately for your viewing (some roadside stand this would probably be OK). If it comes with Fish sauce you probably won't even know it...

    This is a place where staying cool is rewarded, and being "loud" is not.

    #19 Posted: 29/7/2009 - 13:35

  • billverdant

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    Shaz is trying to impose her values merely on her own food.

    This is entirely reasonable.

    #20 Posted: 29/7/2009 - 14:38

  • BruceMoon

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    Ian (billverdant)

    I read your website reference, and I got the feeling you fall into vego-nazi camp.

    I suggest you take a look at the comments here. The comments (aside from my own) point to travellers going to visit Se Asia and imposing their own values on how they experience this different culture.

    There are many experiences I've had (no, endured) in SE Asia where my values were severely contradicted/challenged. I learnt from each of those experiences more about myself than whether I liked/disliked the experience.

    Put simply, I learnt how I act/react to things I don't enjoy.

    Imposing one's vego-nazi attitude onto waitstaff is cultural intimidation.

    As I indicated above, DO NOT IMPOSE your vego-nazi attitude onto the waitstaff by telling them that you are vegetarian. Merely order the vegetarian food of your choice and enjoy life.

    Be peaceful, and get peaceful.

    Hari Aum Tat Sat

    #21 Posted: 29/7/2009 - 18:57

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    "Shaz is trying to impose her values merely on her own food.

    This is entirely reasonable."

    Ian
    Here she is not in a position to impose anything - values or otherwise. State preferences, sure. No problem with that. But what Bruce is saying here is don't be aggressive about it, and don't whig out when you end up with some meat on your plate that you didn't want. Aggression here is not rewarded. Trying to enforce your will is also not rewarded. If you are obsessive about food or anything else for that matter - this is not a good environment for you. This is a place where you have to stay cool and accept some things you don't like in order to get along. Being demanding on any subject or causing someone to lose face here can make things ugly 0 or even get you shot in extreme cases. All of the murders we have in my town lately have revolved around loss of face.

    Like I said, you could get away with buggery in the streets here - or almost - if when the cops came you said you were sorry. But if you try to "stand up for your rights" and go nose to nose with people over issues, that is not going to work. Whether it is food or anything else. You probably won't get shot, but you definitely won't get happy service or enjoy your meal or be welcome again. And unfortunately people like me, who live here, will be guilty by association with that bad behavior.

    #22 Posted: 29/7/2009 - 23:09

  • exacto

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    i'm convinced bruce read way more into shaz's question than was intended. i think you are out of line here. you of all people bruce, telling someone else not to impose their values on others.

    just because you are consistently willing to shout your narrow opinions over the top of everyone else who contributes on this site, doesn't mean you are correct.

    shaz in no way deserved this response, and neither did bill. i'm tired of your endless and cowardly diatribe. don't you have something more constructive to do?

    #23 Posted: 30/7/2009 - 09:39

  • BruceMoon

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    exacto

    I referred to shaz's actual words. Not some interpretation thereof.

    Yes, there is some irony in me getting 'heavy' to shaz's "I need to get the message that I am a vegetarian across loud and clear!.

    You will admit that I initially concluded...

    Sorry for coming across like a dad, but my view is that YOU are going to Thailand to enjoy all that Thailand has to offer - not impose on Thailand your head-trips..

    In your comment, you wrote:

    "shaz in no way deserved this response, and neither did bill. i'm tired of your endless and cowardly diatribe. don't you have something more constructive to do?

    and...

    just because you are consistently willing to shout your narrow opinions over the top of everyone else who contributes on this site, doesn't mean you are correct.

    And, that's objective???

    - - -

    Maybe this 'discussion' should go across to the CULTURE & POLITICS page.

    To my way of thinking, the vego-nazi issue melds well with the banana pancake issue: westerners imposing their values on people of foreign countries.

    The point of this discussion, as heated as it may appear to you, is that those contributing are engaging in discussion about how one specific western value can be offensive to Thai people.

    I'm sure that if you were a waitperson in Thailand, you'd prefer that western tourists weren't culturally intimidatory by demanding that their vego-nazi preference be comprehended and adhered with.

    The point I was making was that with so many vegetarian dishes in Thailand cuisine, it won't be hard to select same and merely ask for same. As a personal human relationship issue, what I suggest will win more hearts 'n' minds.

    I live near Nimbin, and the hippies there are often out with the fairies. Shaz is a self-confessed hippy. In such situations, conversational clarity has an important role to play.

    Cheers

    #24 Posted: 30/7/2009 - 11:36

  • exacto

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    sorry bruce. no sale. you get asked to lighten up on this board all the time. the entire point of the board is to help each other. the vast majority of people manage to do just that and even be nice about it. if you wanted to play the older, wiser, person, you could do that just fine without the hostility and the attitude. put away your ego. it just gets in the way and undercuts your credibility.

    by the way, vegetarianism is in no way an offensive concept to thais. i don't think you are correct even in your basic assumptions on this topic, much less qualified to speak on behalf of how thais might view this issue.

    again, lighten up please. thanks.

    #25 Posted: 30/7/2009 - 12:19

  • MADMAC

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    Bruce might have been a little harsh in his language choice, but Shaz is tough he/she can handle it.

    Look, it could be that Shaz didn't mean that the way it sounded. I have to agree with Bruce it sounded to me like Shaz was prepared to make an issue out of it. But I was hesistant to bring that up, because I recognize I could be wrong. Maybe that was just how Shaz decided to explain that he/she wants to be as sure as possible that his/her wishes in this domain are understood. Communication is a challenge here, so it's a legitimate question.

    So Shaz, if that's all it is, I am sure Bruce means no harm. If, on the other hand, you are used to being aggressive about making this issue stick in your home country - just don't do that here. That's all he's saying.

    Bruce is a good guy with strong opinions on issues. Nothing wrong with that, he can take it as well as give it. His experience on the board is very valueable.

    #26 Posted: 30/7/2009 - 13:27

  • sayadian

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    This idea that to be POLITELY insistent on your own dietary needs is somehow equated with nazism is a strange leap to make.Many Hindus are vegetarian for religious reasons and even a hint of fish sauce would be intolerable to their beliefs.
    I am not a vegetarian but I wrote earlier that when my friend visited (from India) he had a really bad time in Thailand because his religion forbids ANY meat.There's a warning above against interfering with the cook's preparation.Again we are told this will offend. I have to disagree.What I saw was my friend, a big smile on his face, very self-deprecating about his needs engaging with the waiters and cooks.Nobody seemed the slightest put out by it.The key is POLITE insistence.
    On the other hand I would agree entirely there is nothing more awful in Thailand than to see a foreigner loudly and angrily demanding something.

    #27 Posted: 30/7/2009 - 13:59

  • BruceMoon

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    sayadian

    I agree on the POLITE bit. I initially thought that was the essence of what I wrote to miss shaz.

    From personal experience, I also understand your view re: the Hindu, same same Muslim, Jew, etc.

    For the record, I spent several years in an Ashram. During that time, I was a vegetarian. I'd been a meat eater before, and I came to believe that eating meat was both spiritually and morally wrong, and also physically unhealthy.

    Over time I changed my views. I am no longer a vegetarian.

    What the Ashram experience taught me was that belief is just that, belief. If I want to believe something, then that's my choice. I can articulate my belief strongly, if I choose. However, if I want to impose my belief on another so that they adopt my belief, then that's my 'head trip (as it was called in the Ashram). Put another way, being strong in my belief is OK, making someone else take my belief and act accordingly is not OK.

    In this light - and as I wrote above - expecting people to serve me in a way that accords to my belief but imposes detriment on them is a servant-master expectation.

    That is NOT POLITE.

    If people want to get cranky at me for being strong in my belief, oh, well.

    Just to put this into perspective, I suggested to miss shaz...

    On the premise that When in Rome do as the Romans do..., may I suggest that in Thailand, demanding that your vegetarian wants MUST BE MET will not serve you well.

    NO, do NOT advise your table waiter that you are vegetarian. Rather, look at the menu and choose vegetarian dishes.
    .

    To my way of thinking, I was being (relatively) POLITE.

    The contributors to that point were suggesting that miss shaz had every right to tell waitstaff that she was a vegetarian. And, I interpreted that to mean that once telling a waitstaff that one is vegetarian, it will then be OK to assume the waitstaff (and others in the venue) will deliver food accordingly.

    I made the link that with that form of assumption, some may take a less than POLITE approach if the food doesn't get delivered as instructed/anticipated.

    Bill wrote...

    "Shaz is trying to impose her values merely on her own food."

    If miss shaz is preparing her own food, then yes. But, if she is receiving food from a food vendor, well no. The key here is "impose her values".

    So, sayadian, this is a long way of agreeing with you that POLITE doesn't mean imposing one's food choice belief on waitstaff or a food vendor. And, in so doing, putting oneself into a position of superiority such that if something goes awry, then one can blow a trumpet.

    Cheers

    #28 Posted: 30/7/2009 - 15:03

  • MADMAC

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    I think we can all agree it's the blow the trumpet part that should be avoided here.

    My experience since I have been living here is, sometimes you don't get what you asked for or what you want. Language barriers create that issue probably more than any other single thing.

    Again, I would not recommend going into the kitchen of a restaraunt to inspect the preparation process. I can't see how this would be construed as polite anywhere. Back in Germany you would be thrown out of the kitchen post with.

    #29 Posted: 30/7/2009 - 18:05

  • exacto

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    hey MADMAC,

    i absolutely agree that sometimes, or even often, you don't get exactly what you've asked for in thailand due to language and cultural barriers. that has happened to me dozens if not hundreds of times, and the way to best deal with it, like we've discussed before, is the patience and humour method. if you ordered it vegetarian, and you still get a little meat with the food, best to just put it to the side of the plate or, better yet, share it with a hungry street animal.

    but i still firmly believe that shaz's initial post in no way expressed the militant or inflexible stance that you and bruce indicated. besides, even if it had, wouldn't this have been an opportunity to gently educate rather than attack?

    what is particularly disturbing is that with his constant lecturing on the importance of honoring the culture of the place one is visiting, bruce consistently fails to recognize, much less honor the culture of the message board he is using. it has traditionally been a fun and friendly place. it should continue to be a place where people can ask questions without fear of attack as well.

    ironically, when i reread the posts above, the only person i see attempting to impose their values on anyone is bruce. take care.

    #30 Posted: 31/7/2009 - 07:30

  • shazhippych-
    ild

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    WOW! That was the last thing I expected!
    I asked the question merely because I am going to a foreign country for the first time where I know a different language is spoken. Thus I wanted to know how to explain that I am vegetarian if any confusion should arise~which I'm sure is the case most of the time.

    To Bruce and Madmac: I had no intention on barging into a restaurant and declaring that my vegetarian needs must be met! I was thinking of the times when the menu might not be in English! Then I would have to tell the waitor that I do not eat meat, so that they could tell me what is available without meat. I have no idea where the 'nazi' stance comes in~seems totally irrelevant! I follow the Buddhist religion, and so believe in not eating meat. I would never dream of imposing my beliefes on anyone else! But at the same time, meat eaters also have to respect vegetarians. And by the way, when getting a little 'unwanted' meat on your plate it's not as simple as just pushing it aside! Being vegetarian means NO MEAT! not even on the same plate.
    I AM going to Thailand to experience the culture, but that doesn't mean giving up mine entirely. We are all individuals, and that's what makes this world so interesting=)
    I am also a very opinionated person, but I know only to air that opinion when it is needed (and welcome)!
    And Bruce~yes, I am a self proclaimed Hippy, something you would probably not relate to, but please don't make such light hearted comments about it! Once again, you need to be careful of your subconscious tendancy to belittle everyone elses 'ways' if they don't conform to yours.

    To Exacto: Thank you for standing up for me! Much appreciated=)

    This message board and all the people using it has helped me tremendously with all the info I needed for my trip, pitty it had to be ruined now! But I suppose you'll find a'holes wherever you go in life~even on the net=)

    Peace, Love & Light
    Shaz

    #31 Posted: 31/7/2009 - 15:35

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6292
    Total reviews: 10

    "But at the same time, meat eaters also have to respect vegetarians. And by the way, when getting a little 'unwanted' meat on your plate it's not as simple as just pushing it aside! Being vegetarian means NO MEAT! not even on the same plate."

    But Shaz,this does beg the question, what do you do if your meal comes and it has meat on it?

    Or what if Fish Sauce is used (and it is ubiquitous)?

    I'll concede Bruce wasn't overly tactful, however, again the militancy on your stance here is coming through again - at least to me. No meat - written in caps with an exclamation mark communicates an emotional stance on the issue. And in Thailand, emotional that isn't positive does not go down well. If you get off the beaten path (where westerners are not so common), there will be less tolerance for putting your foot down on any issue, meat or otherwise. People get killed over that here, and often (one of the highest gun violence rates in the world - although South Africa has Thailand well and truly beat).

    I will be curious how it works out for you. I have to be on my toes just to make sure I don't get ice in my beer.

    #32 Posted: 31/7/2009 - 17:41

  • BruceMoon

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    Shaz

    I'm going to inflame you, and exacto, and all the vego-nazi's on this post...

    You wrote...

    And by the way, when getting a little 'unwanted' meat on your plate it's not as simple as just pushing it aside! Being vegetarian means NO MEAT! not even on the same plate.

    Your comment is

    SO, SO, SO, SO, SO, VEGO-NAZI

    .

    You, as other vego-nazi's on this post have demonstrated, expect everyone else to meet your absolute head trip, but you appear unable to want to TOLERATE what happens outside YOUR headtrip.

    In my post above - #28 - I wrote...

    "expecting people to serve me in a way that accords to my belief but imposes detriment on them is a servant-master expectation".

    shaz, from your recent comments, I doubt you comprehend this point.

    - - -

    Shaz, you also wrote...

    "And Bruce~yes, I am a self proclaimed Hippy, something you would probably not relate to..."

    If you cared to read what I wrote in my comments at #28 above, you may not have made such a stupid comment.

    I say - clearly, you have no idea of what you are talking about. I was born in '47, and in case you don't understand that, while you seek to be a hippy, I was flamin' gooks in the summer of love: though at a different panhandle.

    - - -

    You also wrote...

    "But I suppose you'll find a'holes wherever you go in life~even on the net=)".

    This post has shown that vego-nazi's are more intent on defending their head trip than anything else. Clearly, going/being vego usurps anything else. It is obvious from the comments here that the most vigorous "a'holes (as you call them) are the vego-nazi's.

    - - - -

    Exacto noted the irony of me confronting the ideological drivel espoused by vego-nazi's by my use of confrontation.

    Sadly, exacto couldn't see past his commitment for the vego-nazi trumpery.

    - - - -

    shaz, if you follow the Buddhist belief - as you now say you espouse - you would never have used the words...

    "I need to get the message that I am a vegetarian across loud and clear! - post #1, or

    "I would never dream of imposing my beliefes on anyone else! But at the same time, meat eaters also have to respect vegetarians. - post #31, or

    "Being vegetarian means NO MEAT! not even on the same plate." - post #31.

    WOW!!!! And you espouse to adhere to what religious belief???

    - - - -

    There is no doubt that you WILL have meat served to you in Thailand (despite your best efforts). Whether you choose to merely put it aside and discard/eat the remainder is up to you.

    As sayadian pointed out, dealing with the fact that people WILL inevitably serve you meat is merely a choice between acting out your vego-nazi head trip or being POLITE.

    As you say...

    Peace, Love & Light

    or equally..

    Aum, Shanti, Aum

    #33 Posted: 31/7/2009 - 18:30

  • DLuek

    TF writer
    Joined Travelfish
    19th June, 2008
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 905
    Total reviews: 14

    Bruce,

    There is nothing wrong with not wanting meat on your plate, or wanting a dish to be made without fish sauce. There is nothing wrong with living by one's own moral choices. I find your whole view point to be very narrow-minded, and I find your approach to be overly-aggressive and insulting.

    I spent a lot of time with Buddhist monks in Vietnam who will not eat food if it has even been prepared near meat. Like many in Vietnam, these monks are very strict vegetarians due to their religious beliefs (unlike in Thai Buddhism, the First Precept in Vietnamese Mahayana clearly states that 'eating the flesh of an animal' goes along with 'no killing living beings'). Would you consider the millions of Mahayana Buddhists (not to mention the Hindus mentioned by Sayadian) to be a part of the 'vego-nazi' club that you apparently despise so much?

    Or what about in regard to alcohol? Due to my own moral, religious and health choices, I strictly abstain from drinking alcohol. When I was in Vietnam, some Vietnamese family members of my girlfriend did not understand that, and tried to push alcohol on me because it is the cultural custom for men to drink while celebrating. I risked offending them by not drinking the beer and wine they'd poured for me. Would you consider me an 'alcohol nazi'?

    I agree with you on your innitial point that it's wrong to get loud and force your ways on the Thais, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with living by one's own ethics, religiously inspired or otherwise, in Thailand or anywhere else. By the way, 'getting loud' is exactly what you are doing by writing the way you do, and I think it's wrong the way you insult shaz, someone who you've never met.

    To shaz, I respect your choice to be vegetarian, and to 'follow the Buddhist path.' Everyone who follows that path is on a different stage of it...there are many levels to 'being a Buddhist.' My opinion is that for Bruce to second-guess you on your spirituality only shows that he has never made the effort to understand Buddhist teaching in any real way. I don't mean that as an insult to you, Bruce, just a third party's opinion.

    On June 21, miniwalk answered shaz's original question briefly and precisely. He/she wrote:

    "mai sai neur" = no meat
    Mung sa wee raat, chun kin je = I am vegetarian"

    Shaz asked a simple question. Miniwalk gave a simple answer. Why couldn't it have just ended there? Why the need to start throwing mud around in the forum?

    Peace,

    DL

    #34 Posted: 1/8/2009 - 01:24

  • mitl

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd March, 2009
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 4

    The word for vegetarian is in Thai คนที่กินแต่ผักเป็นอาหาร OK?

    #35 Posted: 1/8/2009 - 08:11

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6292
    Total reviews: 10

    This has become a most interesting discussion.

    I agree that Shaz has the right to eat whatver she wants and to not eat whatever she wants. It's a free country. But I am very curious what she is going to do when food comes to her and it's got meat in it or meat animal byproducts?

    Shaz, how do you plan to deal with this? Because Bruce it's right, it's going to happen (although you may not know it).

    #36 Posted: 1/8/2009 - 10:17

  • BruceMoon

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    DLuek

    - Let me reply to your words.

    - - -

    Paragraph 1. I read it as...

    1/ it's OK not to want food associated with meat.
    2/ "There is nothing wrong with living by one's own moral choices"
    3/ I find you are narrow-minded, overly-aggressive & insulting.

    Lets look at these assertions.

    1/.

    I agree that a person is quite entitled to not want some type of food on one's plate. If you go back and look at what I actually wrote - not what others have interpreted what I wrote - then you'll see I wasn't asserting the contrary to this point.

    2/.

    I can't see where I contradicted this view - I suggest it was implicit in what I wrote.

    In my first post (#18) I wrote..."NO, do NOT advise your table waiter that you are vegetarian. Rather, look at the menu and choose vegetarian dishes."

    To the assertion by the originator that her vegetarian beliefs be met "loud and clear, I was suggesting a laid back approach. That, I suggest, does not detract from her beliefs.

    3/.

    You assert that I am being "narrow-minded, ...overly-aggressive and insulting".

    While you don't provide evidence to support your view, I have no gripe with you holding such a view. To be influential, I suggest you'd need to at least justify it.

    - - -

    paragraph 2.

    Your second paragraph deals with your belief in, and association with, Buddhist practitioners.

    You raise the issue of Buddhism and vegetarianism. You also note that other religions have vegetarianism as a mantra.

    I understand that not all Buddhists are vegetarian (if my memory serves me correctly, it is only the Mahayana 'branch' that holds to vegetarianism). I think other branches say something like, don't pursue meat as a food (ie go kill animals) but if it is served to you don't worry yourself about it.

    Elsewhere on Travelfish, I noted that I spent some time in an Ashram. To inform you, I became a sunnyasi. At that time, I adopted a vegetarian approach to life. I also spent some time as sunnyasin in a (Buddhist) Sangha monastry.

    I have yet to experience a sunnyasi or Buddhist devotee lose their cool because the food didn't conform to their beliefs or expectations.

    I also suggest not all Buddhist monks are black'n'white on food. Those reading this page may ask how does the monk deal with the alms of rice cooked with some chicken stock? Or, when receiving alms, how does s/he know that meat may have been associated with the food? Similarly, when eating that occasional chocolate bar, how does the monk know whether there was no animal fat in the manufacture process. Clearly, vegetarianism is a preference, not mandatory. I suggest that if it were perceived to be mandatory, monks would neither receive food as alms nor eat anything but food cooked according to some known specified method over which they have control.

    You ask "Would you consider the millions of Mahayana Buddhists to be a part of the 'vego-nazi' club that you apparently despise so much?" My answer is that while they have a strongly held belief, I doubt they go apeshit if they don't get what they want (as vego-nazi's do). And, I suggest they'd merely prefer to go hungry than cause a fuss.

    - - -

    Paragraph 3.

    You raise the conundrum of having a belief and wanting to maintain that belief when in the company of ppl who hold different beliefs.

    This is not only related to food or alcohol, it is so many facets of life.

    I agree that in such cases there is always a risk to offend. However, I'm sure you'll agree that when one puts their mind to it, there ARE solutions. I was in a H!Mong home in SaPa earlier this year. The table was full, I was a central guest and rice wine began to flow. I also rode there on a motorbike, and was going elsewhere afterwards. I knew that if I had one shot, I would not be allowed to stop. We 'solved' it by using chicken stock/soup. I explained that I couldn't, but I DID want to celebrate with them. I found it wasn't the alcohol that was central, rather, the act of celebrating.

    I have never found leaving food on a plate to offend the host. But, making a scene about the meat I (didn't want to consume) surely would.

    - - -

    paragraph 4.

    "I agree with you on your innitial point that it's wrong to get loud and force your ways on the Thais, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with living by one's own ethics, religiously inspired or otherwise, in Thailand or anywhere else."

    There are two points here...

    1/. don't go apeshit in Thailand
    2/. living according to one's ethics is quite OK.

    I think I've addressed this above (I concur).

    Then you add...

    "By the way, 'getting loud' is exactly what you are doing by writing the way you do, and I think it's wrong the way you insult shaz, someone who you've never met."

    As noted above, I respect the view you hold, but I don't agree. However, your view cannot be considered influential unless it is given evidentary support: which is not here.

    - - -

    The 5th paragraph is instructive. Poorly informed in the second sentence, but instructive.

    But, when taking the essence of what you've written, I don't see a connection.

    Rather, in my first post (#18) you'd agree I was asserting that a person adopting a demanding approach towards having their personal food preference be met isn't the way to go.

    You'll see that as other contributors tried to defend the vegetarian view, they also sought to criticise me (sometimes personally, and without rational logic).

    Let's be blunt about this, this 'discussion' began on the premise of one wanting to know how to assert a personal food preference in Thailand. Till I contributed, no-one had sought to say that asserting a personal food preference "loud and clear can lead to all sorts of unintended outcomes.

    What has followed has developed into an ideological war by (western) vegetarians who view their belief as pre-emptive of all other social and personal rights (let alone responsibilities to others).

    Sadly, there are far too many vegetarians of the western ilk that demand their food choices be recognised as a dominant right. And, quite often they structure the exchange-relationship with a food vendor in a way to impose their beliefs. And, when they fail to get what they want, they lose their cool and go beserk.

    The alternative is to quietly order a vegetarian meal (which most food vendors provide), and if what has been ordered doesn't get delivered as requested, quietly leave it to one side and not pay for the plate of food.

    - - -

    Sadly, this discussion has not been about the nicest way to go about getting vegetarian food while in Thialand.

    It was begun on the basis of how to make sure one's vegetarian beliefs be met "loud and clear: the vego-nazi style.

    The support for vego-nazi 'rights' by many within this 'discussion' shows how passionate some can be over their beliefs.

    I'd hate to think how the 'discussion' might have gone if we had an Islamic 'issue' as well. The mind boggles!

    Hari Aum Tat Sat

    #37 Posted: 1/8/2009 - 11:45

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6292
    Total reviews: 10

    Had it been Islamic I'd have ripped it to shreds on general principal.

    "quietly leave it to one side and not pay for the plate of food."

    Bruce, I was with you all the way until you got to this point. Unless you are being hoodwinked into paying for more than you ordered, if a mistake is made because your language skills in the country suck (which applies to almost all of us) I would find it deeply unfair (and likely to cause an incident) to not pay the vendor for the prepared food. Most food vendors are not making a lot of money in the food industry. Profit margins are tight.

    If Shazz goes to a restaraunt in Muk, where almost no one speaks English at all, and ends up getting something with meat or meat byproduct in it (as doubtless will eventually happen here), to not pay for it because her wishes just weren't clear is not reasonable to me. T not eat it, and explain she can't because it conflicts with her lifestyle is fine. And maybe the Vendor will take it back, not charge her, and try to make another accomodation (assuming linguistically that can all be sorted out). But I would pay for it and then someone else or a soi dog can eat it. Telling the vendor you are not going to pay for it because they misunderstood because you came to Thailand and can't express yourself clearly is not reasonable to me.

    #38 Posted: 1/8/2009 - 14:03

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
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    John (MAC)

    I don't disagree with the argument you put forward.

    The basis of your argument is that a westerner in Thailand trying to ask for a non-vegetarian dish will more than likely be incorrectly interpreted. In such a case, yes, I agree that payment should be proffered.

    But, that is not what I was indicating.

    I wrote...

    quietly order a vegetarian meal

    If a vendor has a menu with a vegetarian dish (many do) and stuffs it up by including meat, then one can quietly say 'sorry, this is not what is on the menu' or similar.

    I'm sure you've been in restaurants where the staff have stuffed up the order. You've ordered what was on the menu, and another dish has been presented. This is the idea I was trying to get across. If a food vendor espouses to offer a vegetarian dish, then a person choosing that has every right to expect same. If it doesn't get delivered as promised (the menu is the promise), then I'd not pay. But, I'd do so (P_O_L_I_T_E_L_Y!!!!!).

    Cheers

    #39 Posted: 1/8/2009 - 14:40

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6292
    Total reviews: 10

    Yeah, you and I are on the same page. Where I live there are four places with English language menus that I know (and there are A LOT of restaraunts) of. So mostly you are dealing with Thais in Thai when you leave the tourist haunts.

    #40 Posted: 1/8/2009 - 17:03

  • BruceMoon

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    John

    I doubt the vego-nazi's reading menu's in Thailand will be reading sanskrit. Thus, if they point to 'stir fried vegetables', they'll be pointing to an English set of words. Whether the Thai food vendor adheres to what the printer printed is a completely different situation (and probably not).

    Cheers

    #41 Posted: 1/8/2009 - 18:00

  • shazhippych-
    ild

    Joined Travelfish
    20th June, 2009
    Location South Africa
    Posts: 12

    OK, I'm going to withdraw myself from this discussion~as it doesn't even remotely concern the initial topic!

    Bruce and Mac have read WAY too much into this whole thing, and gone totally off the track!

    I meant no harm what so ever~I merely wanted an accurate (hence the term 'loud and clear') translation for me to use when in places in Thailand where English is not spoken.

    Bruce~you should coin the term 'vego-nazi'. You might get more laughs out of it than money though~it's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard and been called, especially if you knew the kind of person I am=)

    Also, you say you lived in the summer of love, and know all about being a hippy~well, you don't seem to have carried any of the ideals of love, peace, and freedom along with you. I was born in '89 (I'm still a spring chicken) but I think I have more commen sense, commen decency, respect and most of all love than you do.

    If you go back and re-read this forum you'll notice that YOU are the only one on a head-trip! Your user name should be 'Bruce-All-Mighty'. You've twisted my words to the point that I have no idea what you're talking about anymore. You're now the one trying to imposing your values 'loud and clear' ( OMG, I'm regretting using those words now~all this over a simple figure of speech!)

    Anyway, if it makes you feel good, carry on......
    In 4 days I'm going to Thailand with the love of my life, and I'm going to enjoy every second of it=)

    Peace, Love & Light
    Shaz aka. 'vego-nazi' =)

    p.s. I must say though Bruce, that your eloquency and command of the English language is impressive. (Oh, and I sincerely mean that~just incase you interpret that wrong as well)

    #42 Posted: 1/8/2009 - 22:17

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6292
    Total reviews: 10

    Shaz
    Before you go I have to know, how are you going to deal with it if you order your food and it comes back with meat or meat product on it?

    And after you finish your vacation you gotta post how it went down.

    Inquiring readers want to know.

    #43 Posted: 2/8/2009 - 01:34

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
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    Location Australia
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    Total reviews: 6

    Peace, Love & Light
    Shaz aka. 'vego-nazi' =)


    Thanks for the feedback (-ve and +ve).

    I get the feeling that you DID get a heap out of the dialogue. And, yes, there were times when your shackles were aroused.

    As for twisting words, sadly, misunderstanding is a common problem in the print format: especially when emotion is embodied in the overall logic.

    I suggest all can easily misconstrue what is printed. There are so many non-verbal's in speech that fashion dialogue, and so help limit misunderstanding. This is absent in print.

    As John (MAC) indicates, when you return to Sth Africa, please post a comment under 'Trip Report'. We'd all love to hear how you fared (especially with the food issue).

    Cheers

    #44 Posted: 2/8/2009 - 06:33

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