‘As long as we demonise animal foods and eulogise plant foods, any prospect of a natural food supply is shattered.’
Last weekend saw the first Vegan Market of the year taking place in Exeter:
It’s doing well, although there will always be issues of course:
(Image: Rachel Currie The Exeter Vegan Market)
Meanwhile, this month has been Veganuary:
And as such, it has indeed raised some interesting issues around food…
Veganuary is huge. But is it really as simple as animal foods bad, plant foods good?
We seem to have forgotten that, just like meat, vegan food can damage the planet
Choosing a healthy and environmentally aware diet is a modern problem. Well-intentioned people are puzzled. Should we pick up “plant chicken pieces” that come from a factory in Holland, or a leg of grass-fed British lamb? Which is the better choice for both personal and planetary health?
Perhaps you agonise over whether you should ditch cow’s milk for almond milk. If so, did you realise that your pint of plant milk was almost certainly manufactured from almonds grown in California, where farmers deploy a chemical cocktail of insecticide and fungicides that kills off millions of honeybees every year? Might organic British cow’s milk be a more responsible choice?
And think of all those avocados we mash on toast. Although they seem the pure embodiment of healthy plant food – so much better than the omnivore’s eggs or black pudding – they take on a sicklier hue if you know that the lucrative Mexican avocado trade is controlled by drug cartels, which are driving the clearing of Mexico’s native forests.
As long as we demonise animal foods and eulogise plant foods, any prospect of a natural food supply is shattered. We are left to depend for sustenance on the tender mercies of the techno-food corporations that see a little green V and the word “plant” as a formula for spinning gold from straw through ultra-processing. I for one don’t relish that.
Veganuary: Farmers in Scotland say both sides ‘can co-exist side by side’
Veganuary – the campaign highlighting avoiding animal products in the first month of the year – has risen in popularity since it began in 2014. Campaigners claim thousands of people are swapping meat and dairy for plant-based diets.
However, Scottish farming groups are trying to change the conversation.
Gwen Chalmers has farmed near New Deer in Aberdeenshire for 20 years. She has a small herd of pedigree short-horn cattle. Like many farmers, she feels she increasingly has to defend her way of life – particularly during campaigns such as Veganuary…
A chef revealed this week that a customer asked for her steak to be well done because she was a vegetarian. It seems to be the latest example of ignorance by those supposedly giving up meat, eggs and dairy products for January as part of the Veganuary movement. More than 750,000 people in 192 countries have signed up for 31 days of veganism, often with little idea what it entails and perhaps just thinking it’s easier than dry January.