Regular vegetarians may sometimes consider Vegan to be a bit radical in their believes, but they don't even begin to compare to what is in Thailand known as Kin JAY or kin Jeh!
Where vegetarians condemn slaughtering innocent animals to serve a mere food for humans and vegan additionally refrain from eating anything produced by animals, Jay or Jeh is intended to cleanse the body and one's Kharma.
Vegetarians are true friends of the animals and refuse to eat meat because they do not see why a living, breathing, animal which has feelings, emotions and perhaps even a soul, should deserve to die, merely to serve as a source of protein for humans. Most vegetarians will refuse to wear furs for much of the same reasons. Only leather seems to be a debatable issue.
Vegans impose stricter rules onto themselves and refrain from eating animal produces like milk, butter and eggs. Their diet mostly relies on beans, nuts, seeds, soya, rice, grains and starchy vegetables and oils. Vegans will avoid any other use of animal products, like leather shoes and silk shirts and will further avoid avoiding the use of products that have been tested on animals like make-up, creams and lotions.
Jay or Jeh:
The word Jay or jeh is likely to have been derived from Jainism, which is an eastern religion that is believed to date back all the way to the prehistory. Jain monks believe strongly in non suffering and nonviolence which leads them to eat only fruit and beans. The consumption of, for instance, garlic, onions and potatoes will inevitably lead to the death of it's plant, so this is probably why today's Jay food rules dictate that one should refrain from eating strong smelling herbs like onion, garlic, chives, shallots and leeks. These days most Thai Buddhists believe that not eating meat nor pungent herbs purifies the body and improves their karma.
Omitting the basic root plants from the list of ingredients is what causes Jay food have very little variety and to typically taste "dull". Most of the Jay dishes will be very greasy, to substitute for the lack of animal fats and the lack of variety made it a lifestyle that was very hard to endure for longer periods of time. Fortunately, the rise of the Vegan movements in the western countries has brought very tasty new solutions to come up with many more new jay dishes: Fake meat, fake fish and fake seafood.
The fake foods originally only resembled the real thing to a high degree in apparence, but would still taste like the vegetable proteins and flours they are made of. However, years of research and tweaking of ingredients have resulted in an incredible resemblance in taste of fake meats, fake fish and especially fake seafood and their real animal based counterparts. Some of the our jay recipes make use of fake shrimps and these fake shrimps do not only look like the real thing, but taste just like if they are fresh of the fishing boat in southern Thailand.