Veganism – otherwise known as the ruthless mass murder of innocent fruits and vegetables everywhere… The ever growing culture of going animal product free has taken hold in recent years, spiking fear into the hearts of meat-lovers everywhere.
Why engage in such madness? Have they all just been grain-washed? Or is it all just one giant missed-steak?
While on the surface it’s pretty easy to shut down anyone who turns their nose up at a juicy slice of gods gift (aka bacon)… Have we all really considered the not so juicy reality behind why some choose not to consume animal products?
Moo + Baah = Boo
26 chickens, 1/2 a pig, 1 turkey, 1/10 of a cow and 40 fish – Nope, this isn’t the contents of Noah’s Ark, but rather what goes into the belly of an average American each year. Unfortunately, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, Aussies have managed to significantly trump this statistic, with the average Australian eating an excessive 90.21kgs of meat every year.
While recent research suggests that Australian’s are actually taking some measures to reduce this consumption due to heightened ethical awareness, somehow, as a nation we are still devouring 3 times more animal produce than the world average to date.
Like most intense relationships, Australia’s long standing love for meat is complicated… Despite ethical reasoning & recognition of diminished animal welfare in factory farms, it has been found that consumers are more willing to simply pay more for “ethically” sourced meat – as apposed to reassessing whether they should reduce, or stop personal meat consumption all together.
While it’s indisputable that heightened ethical farming and product labelling are positives for both meat-eaters and vegans alike, is it really that easy to widely label something as “ethical”? The simple answer is no – farmers, retailers and individual consumers all hold distinctly separate views of what is “good ethical practice” in the animal agriculture sector.
…Clearly there needs to be a more open discussion surrounding what it takes to be awarded such a label, and that’s where your pesky vocal vegan mate comes in.
An issue vegans often try to explain is the fact that such labelling can still contribute to ignorant consumerism – in other words, slapping a pretty label on a nicely packaged beef lasagne can make us dissociate from the cow that had a life prior to being ladened in pasta sheets. The need to objectify (dementalize) animals in an attempt to rationalise meat eating is not uncommon, research suggests that those who consume meat products are more prone to applying speciest attitudes to farm animals in an attempt to alleviate guilt.
Whether we do this intentionally or not, the often disregarded reality is that the animals we eat are often a lot more emotional and intelligent than we care to consider. For example – bacons (aka) pigs have been found to develop profound and deep emotional connections throughout their lives, scoring higher on some emotional intelligence tests than some 3 year olds! People love their cats and dogs and treat them with the respect they deserve… So despite these farm animals holding the same/more emotional understanding than our beloved pets, why are they still often categorised as a mere “commodity”?
If that isn’t enough food for thought, you might want to also consider the environmental implications of consuming animal products. Yes, that’s right, vegans also take note of “mad” scientists – and it’s not hard to see why…
Other than releasing more green house emissions into the atmosphere than all planes, cars and trains combined, production of animal produce also risks ocean contamination from agricultural chemical run-off. Such disruption in the ocean’s eco-system has now conduced various sea areas to be pronounced as “dead zones” … (Yeah sh*t just got real).
Can we really blame Veggie-Reggie from down the road for getting so head strong about this vegan provoking issue – especially considering these concerns are merely the tip of the (apparently melting) iceberg? Such underlying environmental issues were recently identified by InHabitat, the scope and magnitude of this list is of undoubted importance to this topic and is definitely worth consideration, (Check it out here; http://inhabitat.com/infographic-the-true-environmental-cost-of-eating-meat/)
You do Make Friends with Salad
Contrary to what many assume, veganism is more of a lifestyle than it is a diet. Across Australia, (and the world), vegans have culminated in groups, societies and organisations – sharing information and engaging in crowd funding to support related domestic or international causes.
Accordingly there are a variety of internet forum communities which aim to bring together Aussie vegans in one online space, sharing upcoming events, news and lifestyle information. Often these spaces will welcome both religious vegans and those who are simply interested in learning more about this lifestyle… Don’t worry, nobody is forcing you to devoutly pledge your soul to Vegan Broccoli Overlords – it’s more about simply starting a conversation and provoking thought.
Veganism evidently stands for more than just eating copious amounts of fruit and veg. Sure there are those who may be a little more “veg-or-death” about it, though, when it comes down to factual issues surrounding animal welfare, economical/environmental sustainability and some people’s personal & social health, this way of life may be a little less crackers than some like to believe.
Is now the time for us to embrace a more Facon-Friendly lifestyle? …