As a vegetarian-veteran, I have always toyed with the idea of becoming vegan. Morally it makes sense. It’s good for your health, the health of others, the animals and the environment. There are some things that have deterred me even after all these years, including:
I love me some cheese, chocolate and eggs. But I’ve gotta say, after finding out more and more about the egg and milk industry I am very much going off the idea of these products. The next step is cutting them out, which brings me to my second point..
Being a vegetarian in a western society is easy enough, being a vegan is still pretty accessible, providing you have the time and money to put into it. That being said, if you don’t have the luxury of organic, free from, local produce it can be a bit difficult. And not only that, it’s having the time to do your research to understand nutrition and how to be as healthy and full as possible. If you’re not privileged to have been bought up understanding food, then it does seem a pretty daunting prospect of turning your eating habits upside down, especially if you have a small budget, multiple jobs and a family to cater for. There is the argument of urban vs. rural areas. It is a lot easier and cheaper to access local produce in rural areas (these tend to be more expensive to live in), and before you come at me with local veg boxes, I’ve tried that, and frankly they’re pants and over priced. Again, if you bring a non-western perspective into this, then cutting out animal products may go against eons of culture, traditions and religions. What, just because the West have a superiority complex, the rest of the world should follow suit? We did that with Christianity, look where that got us.
Another thing that puts me off is this high and mighty attitude some vegans and some vegetarians have of feeling superior to animal consumers. Now don’t get me wrong, the thought of consuming dead flesh turns my stomach and always has done, hence the being a vegetarian, but I don’t judge other people on their eating habits. The issues we have here come back to my previous point of superiority complexes, we in the West have conveniently caught onto the idea that veganism could save the planet. How lovely, after we’ve reaped and continue to reap the benefits of capitalism and globalisation, sweat shops are rife and children dig out the metals for the technological equipment we research or fad diets and Instagram our food photos on (guilty!). Stop judging other peoples lifestyle choices, yes, veganism as a concept is truly revolutionary and I’d like to believe that it could topple Governments and save the planet. But if this means that multiple communities who already live off the land have to give up milking and eating the produce they source themselves, to make way for your fields of soy and your lactose-free milk that’s seen more air miles than most people, you’re kidding yourself if you think that’s saving the planet.
Now these seems to have turned into more of a rant than anything, but what I’m taking from Veganism is this: Good for you if you have the means to be vegan. And also, Good for you if you’re able to make any small changes that help the planet, it’s people and animals.
Now, who’s ready to bring down capitalism?