These days, people are more conscientious of what they eat. But there is the idea that dining out and healthy don’t go together. If they do, the meals are likely to be difficult to source, and not cheap.
Following the likes of Groupon and LivingSocial, KindMeal offers discounted deals for meat-free dishes at partner eateries. But unlike them, KindMeal does away with upfront payment, booking or printing. A diner may download a coupon and activate it anytime, or decide not to use it in the end, at no wasted cost.
The deals detail whether a dish has eggs, dairy or alcohol, thus helping to accommodate to vegans and teetotallers (someone who abstains from intoxicating drinks). And if none of the offers appeal, users can browse menus for normal-priced options. Restaurants who use this tool need not be exclusively vegetarian, but they can only list non-meat offerings on the platform.
KindMeal also banks on user participation by providing avenues for consumers to share pictures of food or submit reviews. Furthermore, if deals are shared on social media, users can enjoy double the discount.
Go Green And Save
While KindMeal does well in meeting a gastronomic niche, its main goal is to encourage lesser consumption of meat and in effect save the lives of animals.
Andy Koh, founder of PetFinder.my, is the brains behind KindMeal. He hoped that more people would be involved in animal welfare, and created KindMeal as a step towards that goal.
If there is less demand for meat, there will be less forced and inhumane breeding of animals, less tightly-enclosed spaces, growth hormones, antibiotic injections and cruel treatment—all done in the name of the bottom line.
Factory farming is also found to contribute to climate change, because large farms emit high amounts of gases that speed global warming. DoSomething.org reports that among other things, “Factory farming accounts for 37% of methane (CH4) emissions, which has more than 20 times the global warming potential of CO2.” The report adds that animal grazing and feed crops are partly responsible for deforestation.
Koh hopes that KindMeal would not only raise awareness of these concerns, but also persuade users to take action in some form or other—whether that means adopting a committed meat-free lifestyle, he admits on the website that it is not feasible for most.
“We understand that it may not be easy to become a full vegetarian, but we strongly believe that it is feasible and achievable for all of us to reduce meat consumption, be it for compassion, health or environmental reasons. If we eat a couple of meat-free meals a week, it effectively means that we would be consistently saving the lives of many animals each month which would otherwise have ended up in our bellies.”
One Step At A Time
KindMeal has something going for it with its easy-to-use meal deals. What’s more, users can enjoy discounts and feel good about their diet choices. It’s a relief to find healthier dining-out options that don’t consist only of salads and tofu.
There is the danger that the superficial incentive would overshadow the cause for animal welfare and climate change. As such, KindMeal shares trivia and information on its social media pages, and utilises campaigns to start conversations. They’ve recently launched a campaign in collaboration with Digi, whereby participants have a chance of winning an iPhone 6 if they eat more meat-free meals.
One may wonder what one app can do to affect change. But KindMeal doesn’t pretend to be the one-all solution. As Koh states, “This will not happen overnight, but we have to start somewhere and help it materialise.”
Most of us may not turn vegetarian or vegan, but this app points out that it’s possible to reduce consumption of meat without sacrificing taste. We could become healthier along the way, but more importantly, we could be kinder to the animals and to our earth.