Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Wednesday Factoid: Vegan

Today's Wednesday Factoid is: Are you or would you ever be vegan?

Veganism! Okay, so here's what I think about that.

I personally would be very unlikely to ever go vegan, even though I am vegetarian and have been happily so for over 20 years. Weirdly, I actually think it's a bigger step to go from vegetarian to vegan than it is to go from meat-eating to vegetarian.

I have two reasons for why I wouldn't go vegan.

One: When I was in college, I took a course on nutrition. Based on what I studied, it is relatively difficult to get proper nutrition when you're vegan. Let me emphasize that it is far, far from impossible! If you know what you're doing and pay close attention, you can be an extremely healthy, nutritionally fulfilled vegan.

However, it requires a lot of attention and knowledge, and also since different bodies have different needs, there's no plan that works for everyone. And as a personal choice, I'm unwilling to put in that effort. I eat vegan sometimes because I like a lot of vegan food, but I am not willing to take on the commitment that is required when one wants to be both vegan and fully nourished.

Two: Unfortunately, a LOT of the focus in veganism is on whether you're consuming something with eggs, dairy, etc. instead of "is this from an ethical source?"

People can get really fixated on whether they personally are consuming a forbidden substance, and instead of choosing to patronize companies and products that support ethical consumption (within reason) as much as possible, they'll still go to a place that doesn't, say, get their milk and eggs from cruelty-free sources as long as they are personally not eating it. That's really not much of a help if the goal is responsible consumption and anti-cruelty.

Obviously there are some people who are more focused on the nutrition aspect of it, and just don't personally want to consume any animal products (especially since some of them can get sick if they do!), but even though that's legit, it's actually really hard to find any vegans out there who don't purport to care about humane treatment of animals. It's possible to be vegan and not personally buy any products that were directly created from exploited or tortured animals while still supporting companies that do those things. It's not suddenly better for the animals if you personally don't consume it when you won't examine whether the businesses you give your money to may be contributing to inhumane treatment anyway.

So anyway, I can make ethical choices about where I shop and who gets my money and still make a difference with what I'm doing. For instance, I buy more expensive eggs that come from cage-free vegetarian fed chickens. I also give to animal charities. I don't believe all meat, cheese, and eggs have to come from sources that are unethical, though some DO and we have to be mindful of it.

Also, the need to be all or nothing on things like this sometimes discourages people. Every time you choose a less cruel or cruelty-free option for your food, it's better than throwing up your hands and saying you can't adopt it as a lifestyle.

No comments:

Post a Comment