Is Veganism The New Black?
Updated: Mar 2
Veganism: a fashionable fad or a response to animal justice?
With the sudden rise in popularity of the vegan 'movement', does this mean we are taking a step toward a healthier and more ethical lifestyle, or has this trend become another way for influencers to regulate our lives under the guise of #animaljustice?
“ But tell me this: the exploitation of innocent bees is never okay, but the exploitation of young Dominican avocado workers who are paid a fraction of what they deserve is completely acceptable, because avocado brownies are so much better than normal ones?”
Ten years ago, if you’d had asked me what the word ‘vegan’ meant, I would probably have answered “I don’t know, is it German?”
But now, anybody who is anybody is eating cauliflower steaks and adding soya milk to their morning coffee instead of the real deal.
But veganism: do people actually care that much about a bunch of Cornish hens laying eggs that will be sold on to supermarkets, or are people just jumping on a bandwagon and following a trend that has been followed by household names such as Ariana Grande and Ellen Degeneres?
The first vegan society was founded in 1948 by Catherine Nimmo and Rubin Abramowitz in California, USA. Since then, the diet, which consists of plant-based food and excludes any animal products, had been recommended by doctors to some cancer patients and some morbidly obese people. But during the past decade, the idea that milking cows for milk that will improve our health is disgusting and inhumane has really taken off.
Apparently, someone who eats honey is ‘morally unjust’; despite the children’s film ‘Bee Movie’ highlighting the fact that without the human race eating honey, an ecological and social cataclysm would occur (and more importantly, Barry the Bee would be withering away in his hive.) But tell me this: the exploitation of innocent bees is never okay, but the exploitation of young Dominican avocado workers who are paid a fraction of what they deserve is completely acceptable, because avocado brownies are so much better than normal ones? I think not. Vegans are making a fashion statement, but don’t you think they’ve gone too far when the rights of fury insects are being out in front of the rights of people? People who work in terrible conditions in order to put food on the table and a roof over their head?
And here’s another thing you wannabe Greta Thunbergs didn’t know about avocados: the international appetite for smashed avocado on whole meal flatbread is fuelling illegal deforestation and environmental degradation in Mexico, the ‘Avocado Capital’. In other words, Mexican avocado producers are, as we speak, burning essential forest space in order to make room for the still augmenting demand for this bland, mushy pear. So next time you come and lecture me about how monstrous it is for me to eat a cheeseburger and take a cab home from work, make sure I can’t smell guacamole on your breath.
A recent survey of around 11,000 Americans shows that a huge 84% of vegans return to eating meat. Most lapses within a year, while a third don’t even last three months. And why?- because it’s unsustainable. Most normal people can’t afford to eat tofu and vegan-friendly sushi everyday for dinner. And, be honest, would you want to?
Contrary to popular belief, veganism is also quite an unhealthy way of life. UK doctors have seen a huge rise in iron deficiencies in young people who substitute a ‘protein milkshake’ (a load of rubbish) for a lean cut of steak, just to keep up with the times.
To put it simply, veganism is unnatural. We have our place in the food chain, so we shouldn’t try to disturb the natural order of life (we are not one of the three witches in Macbeth). We have teeth for a reason; it’s the way we have evolved. And if we all stopped eating meat and instead ate all of Earth’s plants, the animals who physically cannot eat meat will find themselves with no food to bring back to the burrow. Our desire for weird and wonderful foods like the papaya will not suddenly disappear, so on top of the prospect that all of our herbivore (and later non-herbivore) animals will famish, we will also have to increase our already sky-high carbon footprint in order to get the not completely depressingly boring food onto our plates. So either way, humans are always going to be the most tyrannical species on the planet.
But even after reading this article, you will probably still open Instagram and see a post from JLO banging on about how becoming a vegan has changed her life; even though my computer doesn’t even recognise ‘veganism’ as a word. You will probably decide that even though you don’t actually care that much about the welfare of some farmyard animals, it’s still trendy to copy the stars. And so you will decide to go vegan. And fair enough, you clearly love animals far more than you do humans, so it’s only logical for you to act like a sheep instead of a shepherd.