Veganism has exploded worldwide. No longer the strange little diet of yogis and animal rights activists, the mainstream masses have flocked to join this uber-cool ethical and environmental movement in their millions. The appetite for 100 per cent meat-free food, product, media and influencers is insatiable . For now, anyway. But surely veganism isn’t widely sustainable within East and Southeast Asia, or among global Asian households? After all, most that transition eventually fall back into old ways. Studies in the West have shown that most vegans lapse within a year, and while no official research has specifically been conducted among vegans of Asian heritage, bets are that their long-term statistics are equally, if not more, dismal (come on, if celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Ellen DeGeneres aren’t able to stick to beans and greens among their weight-conscious crowd, can we really expect Hongkongers to turn down mum’s roast pork on a Lunar New Year? ). Where to eat vegan and vegetarian food in Hong Kong View this post on Instagram A post shared by Anne Hathaway (@annehathaway) Enter flexitarianism Flexitarianism is a plant-based lifestyle with the opportunity to incorporate small quantities of ethically sourced meat, fish, eggs and dairy. It focuses on healthy and responsible eating rather than entirely cutting out groups of food simply just because they’re animal-based – and those following are in good company. Meghan Markle, Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Lopez have all adopted the “flexi” lifestyle too. What fuels its success is that individuals aren’t deprived. Experts have argued over whether veganism can be classed as a fad , and looking at the speed in which it’s adopted and relinquished, the patterns are similar. Veganism may have skyrocketed in lockdown, a temporary situation, but when post-pandemic socialising, indulgence and adventuring resume, chances are it will plunge right back. Remember that fads are famous for failure and veganism is no easier than keto . Sustainable seafood: can lab-made fish maw replace the real thing? Adapted to Asia Asians know all too well that explaining any kind of trend to elders goes down like a bone in a pot of broth. At family gatherings where traditional Asian food is served, saying no to grandma’s adobo, beef rendang or Peking duck is not an option. Perhaps in 50 years time, asymptomatic dietary restrictions may sit, but to the older generation right now they’re often simply unfathomable. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Soho House Hong Kong (@sohohousehongkong) Then there’s eating out. Few Asian cities are well versed in Impossible char siu meat . Even in tourist-friendly districts like Tokyo’s Shinjuku, Seoul’s Myeong-dong or Shanghai’s French Concession, good vegan food is hard to come by, let alone good Asian vegan food. So good luck if you’re in a city or town that isn’t frequented by Caucasian tourists or expats. Healthy habits for life Flexitarianism is a promise to do one’s best in consuming plant-based products, and in lifting tight restrictions, ensures it’s adhered to for life. It can be going vegan during the week, but having dim sum with family on weekends . It can be all plant-based except when on holiday. It can be saying yes to birthday cake. It can be picking up skewers after an exhausting day in the office. Life is for living happily, and happiness equals better mental health. Physical health benefits can be found in variety too. Flexitarian supermodel Gisele Bundchen admitted to feeling “extremely anaemic” whilst following a strict vegan diet. “Currently I eat meat twice a month, and seafood once a week. I pay careful attention to the source of my meat and the types of fish I eat,” she states in memoir Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life. The lifestyle prioritises whole foods and promotes education on what we eat – not only on with regards to nutritional value but also ethical sourcing. What we can learn from celebrities’ workout routines How to do it Go slow. Vegans should research the animal-based products they wish to incorporate, whether that’s wild-caught fish or organic dairy treats, and monitor how their bodies react little by little. Carnivores should gain inspiration first – Netflix’s The Game Changers and these other titles are a great start – and then reduce meat intake a couple of times per week. The body is wired to digest meat every day, so it must be trained gradually. Want more stories like this? Sign up here. Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .