Is Veganism A Modern Day Con?
It is a clash of perspectives; to be a vegan and an environmentalist. The two do not sit comfortably together. That ridiculous almond milk has attained the status of manna, a miraculous substance. In fact, the production of almonds uses vast quantities of water and pesticides. California produces 80% of the nuts and it is big business. Those businesses have marketed the product really well. Consequently, I have to ask is veganism a modern day con?
Cow or oat?
Don’t get me wrong. I understand the need but not the solution. To be a vegan in the UK demands the import of so much exotic food. British staples like swede, carrots and spuds no longer cut it, they lack street cred. Vegans prefer avocado and coconut oil. Both are heavy foods and have a massive carbon footprint when shipped to Britain. Meanwhile, what happens to our small producers of vegetables, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt and, dare I say it, meat. These small British farmers are local and a direct link to our prehistoric past. We are lactose tolerant in Britain because we have the essence of milk and cattle in our DNA. It began the moment we stopped being hunter gatherers and understood the value of grass, the real superfood.
The threat to our rare breeds is what troubles me most. Cattle, chickens, pigs, sheep and goats go way back. However, the big producers moved over to hybridised animals and fowl. Fortunately, a few small farmers kept minuscule numbers of rare breeds on their farms. Beatrix Potter protected the Herdwick sheep in the Lake District in between painting Peter Rabbit. Consequently, they only survive because the meat has a market. Much as I hate killing animals, it can be done ethically. It would be a disaster to lose these beautiful creatures. And how are these small producers to live out in the countryside? They cannot grow coconuts.
Is veganism a modern day con?
In other words, the past matters. We humans began as Neolithic hunter gathers and animal foods were the reason why our brains developed. My pagan ancestor Zuri was one of the earliest people with lactose tolerance. If I am responsible for killing creatures then vegans are no better. The production and importation of these exotic foods is a environmental disaster. Far more creatures are dying because of deforestation in order to grow exotic foods. Diversity is falling due to carbon, horticultural chemicals and pollution. Veganism pollutes distant soils, out of sight, out of mind.