We eat too much meat, and our dietary demands affect peoples livelihoods. Is the answer cutting it out all together?
I personally think that anyone making a life change to make the world better is incredible. Whether that’s cutting out meat, not buying new clothes or growing your own veg. Whatever it is, doing good, will make a difference.
Veganism is a difficult life choice so I take my hat off to anyone who can do it. however, I do not believe that cutting out all meat products is a sustainable solution. If the whole world became vegan it would have a negative impact on public health as well as the environment.
If everyone turned Vegan, it would mean that farmers wouldn’t make money from keeping animals so they simply wouldn’t keep them. Not all animals can be returned back to the wild. So some farm breeds, such as broiler chickens would not survive in the wild. Others like sheep and pigs would be fine (minus a few sheep getting stuck places as their coats get bigger and heavier). However, putting this part a side, becoming vegan would mean increasing our intake of grains, fruits and vegetable and this would mean using artifice fertilisers instead of natural sources. (I talk more about this in the leather post). We need animals to graze our lands to rejuvenate the soils and this needs management from the farmers on the land.
Like my mother has always said about food, (she works in the dietician department at in the NHS), A balance diet is the key, and I feel that this statement works for nature as well.
To add, we have been eating and farming livestock for around 10,000 years. Not only does it provide food on our plates but It forms everything from our jobs and trade to our religious cultural and religious identities. Today, the global meat and dairy industries provide work for millions of people in often very poor communities around the world.
Recent spikes in Vegan trends, have made a large impact on foods like Quinoa and Avocado, (putting aside that avocados are not actually a vegan options as to produce an avocado you need to force bee’s to pollinate). Avocados have been named the ‘blood diamond’ of Mexico as they have become so popular and profitable many farms are now ran by drug cartels. Quinoa, has become such a mass-produced product in South America it is now too expensive for the local people to afford the crop they produce in their own country.
My worry is that veganism has the risk of becoming a mass-produced trend, moving away from its initiate reason to do good and protect, but instead is on its way to be another example of our western demands leaving behind a whole load of messiness for the developing world to clean up.
Like most trends, veganism is (I say this with softness) a middle-class craze which only the privileged can be part of. Most people in the world are not in a position to demand certain foods, if they did, they simply wouldn’t eat.