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Veganism is a privilege, not accessible to all

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by mrs phas, Aug 15, 2019 at 11:50 AM.


  1. mrs phas

    mrs phas my home, my sofa, my rules

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  2. Elles

    Elles PetForums VIP

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    It looks as though it’s going to be controversial, then she says her last sentence. :D

    She’s not saying it’s a privilege, but she is saying there are a number of things that need addressing to make a plant based diet an accessible option for all, which is quite true imo. I agree with the young lady.
     
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  3. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

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    Sounds like a sensible PoV to me. TBH though its not just veganism her points apply to...you could interchange any kind of healthy diet and the same points would still be relevant.
     
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  4. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    I don't disagree with anything she is saying, nor for that matter do I think everyone needs to adopt a 100% vegan diet. I eat mostly vegan, I don't purposefully eat anything animal based except honey (locally sourced from a co-worker, I supply the containers etc.). But I don't by any means think that is the only way to eat ethically, humanely, or sustainably.

    We do need to do away with factory farming, that is non-negotiable, and I don't think anyone disputes that.
    We do need to do away with highly processed, preserved, packaged food-like stuffs.
    We need to look at how our food is sourced, vegan or not. Just one example, palm-oil is vegan but not healthy and an environmental disaster. A vegan label does not guarantee health or ethics.

    All that said, I do have to laugh at the notion that eating vegan is expensive or for the privileged few. I grew up in a time and place where meat and dairy products were considered a luxury item. Heck, meat was too precious to feed to dogs. They got the offal.
    A friend just spent some time in Nicaragua on a mission trip, and most of her meals were beans, rice, and fresh fruits and vegetables that grow everywhere. Chicken from time to time, but the staple of her diet was beans and rice. She joked about how well I would have eaten there. Yup. Good old peasant food.

    I spend far less feeding a family of four (with two active teenagers who eat obscene amounts of food) for far less than any other equal family that I know (yes, we moms talk about our grocery bills). Mine is a good 200 to 400 a month less than other moms I talk to. And it doesn't take me any more time to shop or prepare meals.

    Part of the problem is, the idea of eating a vegan diet is so foreign to most people that it does become an impossibility. For the people my friend stayed with in Nicaragua, eating vegan wouldn't mean much change at all. But for the average American or Brit it's a huge adjustment, and I very much agree with the video, we need to address those barriers and support people, not shame them.
     
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  5. Elles

    Elles PetForums VIP

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    We need the food to be in the shops in the first place. Not everyone can access a shop that stocks much fresh produce unfortunately. Of course, if the shops don’t stock it, people get used to doing without it and unaccustomed to it, the shops need it to be popular to sell before it goes off, it isn’t, so they don’t stock it. And so it goes on. It’s easier for shops to stock produce that has a shelf life.
     
  6. Jesthar

    Jesthar PetForums VIP

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    Plus you actually need to like eating it! ;) I've yet to have a vegan meal where I'd go back for seconds.

    I'm not sure why, but either they seem very bland and unsatisfying to eat (from a taste experience point of view, not how full you feel afterwards), or they are at the other end of the flavour strength spectrum and beat you around the tastebuds with masses of strong herbs, spices and/or other potent flavours - none of which I can stand. Plus the textures of the various vegan 'meat alternatives' (aside from large field mushrooms that seem to be used a burger substitutes sometimes) I also have... issues with.

    Don't get me wrong, I've been eating a lot less meat in recent months, and there are plenty of veggie options I like, but the vegan versions alwayts fall well short of the mark so far.
     
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  7. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

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    yup, it really isnt. Not too difficult to get giant sacks of rice and beans and base most of your meals around that! Of course you might find it more tricky to have a completely nutritionally balanced diet but then again the people that girl was talking about (poor, uneducated, orthorexic, etc) probably have unbalanced diets now! At least with a vegan/mostly vegan diet you are also helping animals, the planet and reducing your risk for alot of conditions.
     
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  8. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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    The food I ate during the Refugee Ration Challenge was mostly vegan. Rice, beans, chickpeas, lentils, vegetable oil and flour. The only non-vegan item was one tin of sardines. That's what refugees have to live off in a week. It cost under £4 for the week, and that's with many of the items coming in bigger bags than the allowed "ration". In a healthy balanced diet, though, the portions of beans/legumes would be bigger and there would be a good amount of fresh fruit and veg added in.

    Fresh fruit and veg can be expensive, especially if you're committed to buying organic. But it does depend what (and how much variety) you're buying. And I'd argue that they're one of the mainstays of any healthy diet, be it vegan, veggie or omnivore.

    I eat meat, but it's always been my philosophy to make a little go a long way. For example, 250g mince will make two meals for my family of five. That's not because I'm particularly trying to buy less meat - it's because meat's expensive! And I imagine the same would go for vegan meat substitutes.

    But for those who rely on food banks and don't have the luxury of choice, then yes, veganism is a privilege. For those struggling to work full-time and also care for their kids, cooking from scratch may not be an option. For those who are struggling to afford the basics to feed and clothe their kids, organic food and plastic-free packaging are unattainable ideals. For those who live in substandard accommodation with no laundry facilities, reusable nappies and menstrual products are impractical.
     
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  9. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

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    Thats the beauty of it though. Very few people eat meals that are 100% based on animal products (well, except some looneys you see on Youtube!), most meals are 50% or much less meat/fish based. This means that everybody already enjoys a diet that is over half vegan!

    Thankfully none of that has anything to do with veganism. If it did, Id be a huge failure. :Shy
     
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  10. rona

    rona Still missing my boys

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    I'd definitely have nutritional deficiencies if I went vegan, probably would if I went veggy too. I can't eat nuts, really can't eat too many pulses, most make me want to heave and I'm not keen on many bean varieties. I also don't like highly flavoured food and Curry is totally YUK
    .Would Leave me to eat rather flavourless non nutritional meals
     
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  11. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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    Just extrapolating a bit as veganism and environmental issues are often interlinked :)

    The reason I mentioned it is because I support a community food bank and also a local project supplying essentials to refugees and asylum seekers. Some well-meaning folks have taken issue with the fact that both of these projects provide single-use projects such as nappies and wipes, and food/toiletries in plastic packaging. The charities' responses have been along the lines that, while, yes, those who are able to shop in a more sustainable way ought to do so, for people living in poverty this often isn't an option, sadly.

    I admit I didn't watch the video above as I dislike clicking video links, but from the title and discussion I assumed that it deals with similar issues :)
     
  12. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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    I thought the same, but recently I have found a recipe for homemade falafels and another for kidney bean burgers that are actually really nice and have made it onto my regular "to cook" list :) I still don't think I could do totally vegan - especially as I looooooove dairy and cheese in particular, and also eggs - but I have to say that there are more nice-tasting vegan foods than I'd have thought!
     
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  13. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

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    Sounds like a sensible approach. I think we all have a responsibility to do the best we can when it comes to reducing our waste and getting rid of factory farming and animal cruelty but that doesnt mean that the end results will be the same for everybody. Alot of us still take the easy option though.
    Im currently using up the last of my disposable cleaning cloths before I move onto ones I can wash and reuse....however if Im cleaning up dog poop or sick then sorry, its gonna be paper towels!:D
     
  14. mrs phas

    mrs phas my home, my sofa, my rules

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    I also think those, like me, forget that tinned fruit and veg has come a long way, and, as long as its not been processed with salt and suger, it can be nutritious and healthy
    Plus dried fruit, although high in sugars, due to concentrating of the fruit, there's so much choice nowadays and, of course, again its healthy
    There are so many different tinned fruit and veg nowadays, not just the old carrots, peas, corn and potatoes, or peaches, fruit cocktail or pears
    I'm on a real budget as I'm on ESA,
    but
    I picked up heart of palm, jackfruit, jars of artichokes, semi sundried tomatoes, peppers, guava, melon, rhubarb etc, for my last foodbank shop (thought I'd donate some 'different' items) and although less in amount, and a little more than I normally spend, (normally value stuff, its amazing how much you can get for £20, which is my monthly donation) it wasn't that much of a shock
    Maybe I ought to donate a vegan bag every other month, instead of just omni bags
     
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  15. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    See, again, I would argue that it really depends on what you're used to, and that individual's environment and circumstances.

    I'm in the rural US, the area I'm in has a very high poverty rate. It's also a very fertile region with a long growing season. Even the poorest of the poor often have some room for a garden and grow tomatoes, okra, zucchini, peppers.... Many yards will have pecan trees, fig trees that have been there for generations.
    Even those who don't have a vegetable garden, or don't have the time to tend one, can get free or very inexpensive vegetables and fruits from neighbors or local stands.

    As for time, I came home today after working all day, tired, very hungry, and was instantly accosted by two hungry teenagers.
    I do keep canned (tinned) food on hand, and with two cans of lentils, two cans of crushed tomatoes, heated them up in less than 5 minutes, added spices, and wilted some fresh spinach in, poured over rice I already had made in the fridge (heated up in microwave), I had dinner for 4 people on the table in less than 10 minutes for a monetary cost of less than $7. Clean up was one pot and the dishes we ate off.
    Now, granted, the fast food pizza joint has a special of one large cheese pizza for $5 plus tax, but I have a teenage son who can eat an entire large pizza all by himself. The rice and lentils hold him much better. :D

    But again, I'm very used to cooking this way. It's second nature to me to soak beans, throw a pot of rice to cook when I have a moment, so we have it made and ready, keep frozen veggies in the fridge, canned things for quick meals.... But even things I take time to cook rarely take longer than 30 minutes if that. I don't like spending a lot of time in the kitchen, I'd rather be eating :Hilarious:Hilarious
     
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  16. rona

    rona Still missing my boys

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    You live in an idyllic bubble. Life for many poor are far far away from that
     
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  17. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    I don't know that the poor people here or in other areas where food grows easily would call it idyllic LOL
    I'm just pointing out that for many people, growing or accessing fresh food is not as hard as the 'veganism is a privilege' argument would make it out to be.

    Arguably, those saying how 'hard' veganism is are living in a bubble in that they don't realize that most poor people worldwide do in fact eat far less meat than privileged Europeans and Americans. And none of the truly poor outside of Europe and the US are eating factory farmed meat which is the real issue.

    As @NaomiM pointed out, the ration challenge was essentially vegan minus one tin of sardines. That's not privileged living.

    I lived in developing countries for most of my youth. Being vegan or mostly vegan wasn't considered a privilege, it was a normal week.
     
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  18. rona

    rona Still missing my boys

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    Of course it is for some. I've taken Hackney just as an example.
    Your JSA is £73 a week, the cheapest room I found was £150 a week and a very rough guide on Veg cost would be £9 for a small selection of Potatoes, green cabbage, a few carrot, Broccoli and about 5 mushrooms. There no green space in which to grow.

    It's all fine, even if you could cook it, What do you cook it on and how do you even afford the electricity.
    I have always lived where I could grow, and have given excess to neighbours, I've always managed to keep my head above water even though I'm poor, but I know there are many many in this country that just haven't the chance. I find it quite insulting to those struggling to survive for anyone to say that they could do it if they tried. It shows you do not understand what it is to be truly poor in a modern world
     
  19. Sacremist

    Sacremist Mum to 2 cats and a dog

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    This isn’t a complete shopping list by any means, but it shows a selection of fresh and dried food from a reasonably priced supermarket. It would most certainly make a huge dent in someone’s benefits.
    BF69D836-512D-47E5-A7CC-40DB641A7AD4.png 7BD1DD23-751C-44AC-A790-2BDB138B6D86.png
     
  20. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    Okay, it seems I'm talking apples and others are talking oranges.
    I'm talking about parts of the world where nobody is shopping at a supermarket. For that matter, supermarkets are a privilege!

    If we're going to accuse people of living in a bubble, perhaps acknowledge that living in a first world country like the UK, no matter how poor you are, is indeed a bubble in itself. The majority of the world's population of poor people do not live in first world countries, are not shopping at supermarkets, and wish they could afford to eat meat, but can't.

    So yes, it does sound odd from that perspective to hear vegan fare like rice and beans talked about like it's some sort of high brow fare. It's not. It's peasant food.

    And just to add, vegan food is not 'fruits and veggies' realistically, a sustainable vegan diet is grain based. Much like what humanity has eaten for most of it's existence. Rice in Asia, potatoes in the Andes, corn in other parts of the Americas, wheat, barley, oats in Europe. If you think the average 17th century European peasant was eating a high meat diet, they weren't. They were eating porridge, bread, leeks and potatoes, with occasional meat added in for flavor.
     
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