Lynzie: 29; Bakersfield, CA, USA; cis female; white; asexual and panromantic; extremely liberal; feminist.
I blog about social justice, personal crap, and various fandom-type things like Zelda and Sailor Moon. Please tag for bees, rape and nsfw stuff.
gpoy, ramblings, cooking, gardening, art, my cat
@homophobiaphobe & @storybookaffect
because holy crap i am annoyed with all this preachy vegan shit on my dash right now STFU
Which option is the most ethical?*
a diet that consists mostly of produce that was produced with the help of slave labor, that funds corporations such as Monsanto, and that travels thousands of miles to get to your plate (which means it has a large ecological footprint)?
a diet that consists entirely of locally-grown and produced food, that supports local businesses, which happens to include animal products, seeing as how fresh produce cannot grow year-round in many parts of the world/the US?
Think about that for a moment. Animal products are not the only food that causes suffering. I am tired of seeing vegans claim that their lifestyle is the only correct one. Perhaps this is the case if you don’t care about the environment or human rights or farmers. But there are many of us who consider the whole picture when making dietary choices. It is not as rigidly black and white as you think it is.
I am also tired of seeing veganism presented as a choice that is accessible to all. It isn’t, and here’s why:
1. It is a privilege to have control over what you eat. Many people in the US and the world do not have the luxury of refusing food. You often say things like, “I’d rather starve than eat meat.” Have you ever actually been starving?
2. It is a privilege, in many parts of the US/world, to have access to fresh produce/food. Here’s why:
There are places in the world known as food deserts, where there are no grocery stores nearby. You may think, “They can walk, drive, or bike.” All of these options are privileges. Some areas are not safe to walk in; sometimes walking would take hours; not everyone can walk. Not everyone knows how to bike or drive, not everyone can do those things, not everyone can afford a bike or car. Even public transportation isn’t available everywhere. People in food deserts often live off of whatever they can get at convenience stores and gas stations.
Fresh produce spoils quickly. Constantly having fresh produce on hand means making frequent trips to the grocery store. It also requires that one have access to a refrigerator, which many people do not. Furthermore, high-end grocery stores such as Whole Foods (a company that specifically builds their stores in well-off neighborhoods) offer better quality produce because they can afford to purchase higher grades of food. That’s why lettuce from WF will last quite a bit longer than lettuce from Price Rite or Aldi. That’s why lettuce at the cheaper store is already brown when you buy it.
Fresh produce is expensive. Not everyone has the ability or time to dumpster dive, to shop around for the best deal, etc. Coupons for produce, whether it’s fresh, canned or frozen, are basically non-existent.
Some of you are probably thinking, “Start a garden!” If you really think that gardening is a possibility for all people, you are incredibly naive. It’s absurd to think that everyone has access to clean soil, good seeds, and the knowledge/time required to garden. Besides, actually growing enough food to live off of would require a ridiculous amount of gardening and a climate that allows for it. On the other hand, some people do only have access to what they can grow/keep on their property, which happens to include animals, dairy, and eggs.
3. You often claim that eating a vegan diet is actually cheaper than eating fast food, etc. because the raw ingredients are cheap (grains, dry beans, vegetables). Aside from the above points, you are incorrect because:
You can’t just eat the raw ingredients on their own; you need to cook them. And as I will explain below, cooking is not accessible to everyone.
It takes more produce/grains to fill you up than it does proteins.
The ability, knowledge, time, and equipment required to cook meals from scratch is a privilege in many, many parts of the world. Next time you cook a “cheap” meal, take note of how many things you are using. Pots and pans, spoons and spatulas, an oven/stove. Being able to spend at least an hour or two standing up, prepping, and cleaning (this is exhausting when you just worked a 12-hour shift, let alone if you are a parent, or have a disability). Having access to recipes or knowing how to make a meal in itself is a luxury.
You are forgetting that in order to cook, you need things like spices, oils, flours, vinegars, sauces, and so on. These things are considered basics or staples for any pantry, which is why you are oblivious to the fact that they cost quite a bit. Imagine being someone who has literally no food in their home. Imagine needing to go to the store to stock up on all these basic cooking ingredients. It will cost you a lot of money to make those trips. Even if you are shopping for one-two recipes at a time. It doesn’t matter if a bottle of olive oil will last you for 300 recipes, you still need to shell out that $10-30 in the first place. For a whole bunch of things, at once. Spices alone are absurdly expensive if you don’t have access to bulk spices. You need a few hundred dollars on hand to do this sort of stocking up.
4. Making changes to your diet can have a huge impact on your life. I am privileged in many ways, and when I was vegan, I had to do things like bring my own meals to work and school always because there were no vegan options. That meant preparing food well in advance and often I was incredibly exhausted and unable to do it. I was out of the house for long enough that I needed to always have snacks and two full meals on hand. And I was barely at home for enough time to make these meals. If you have children or a partner who lives with you, they may be resistant to a dietary change. If you have allergies (most commonly soy and gluten), veganism can be a huge challenge. Some people become malnourished due to a vegan diet, for whatever reason. I could go on.
As you can see, it is never just a matter of choice, and choice itself does not occur in a vacuum. And when people can choose, some do not consider veganism to be the most ethical decision. There are many, many reasons why people may not be vegan that have nothing to do with “apathy” or “laziness” or “selfishness.”
*”That’s a false dichotomy!” Hi, it’s called a rhetorical question. Obviously there are many diets that do not fall into one of those two categories. I used two different extremes to illustrate MY POINT which is that people need to broaden their idea of what constitutes an ethical diet.
i love this post.
i used to get into serious debates w/ vegans on tumblr who insist i’m a terrible environmentalist because i do not have the means or ability to be vegan. those were funtimes.
bless this post
Things I don’t hate: vegans.
Thing I do hate: people who judge other people for their life choices.