Vegetarianism: My Part in Its Story and Other Shenanigans
My Veggie Story.
I have been a vegetarian from the time I was 18 or in my early 20's. The reason being that in the 80's you heard much about how animals were treated in the farming and medical industry. Much of the treatment of these creatures was not well combined with the fact had we the right to exploit other beings on our planet for our own ends?
In the 80's there were many artists and bands like The Smiths, Howard Jones etc who were and still are advocates of animal rights, animal sentience. Veganism and vegetarianism became the lifestyle choice of many people back then whether celeb or the ordinary person in the street.
Fast forward to 2018 I will tell you I have probably backslid in being a pure veggie because I eat the white meat of chicken. I could probably give up that again if I wanted to so I would class myself as a flexitarian these days. I do not eat red meat full stop both because of animal rights and the associated bad health believed to be associated with red meat.
Do I still believe in vegetarianism, veganism etc yes I do. Both for the ethics of it in regard to animal welfare and the health benefits it brings. Of course, carnivores will argue the other way but that is an argument for them.
The Burger that bleeds.
An artificial burger now being sold by New Zealand Airlines actually bleeds. Obviously, this is just an effect and quite why the herbivorous amongst us would want a bleeding burger is baffling. However, this burger has caused uproar amongst New Zealand's ruling party. The government of New Zealand have attacked the national airline of New Zealand for agreeing to sell this burger on their flights to passengers. The government has called this burger an 'existential threat' to the beef industry of the country.
The vegan burger product requires 95% less land than cattle require and creates 87% fewer greenhouse emissions.
The burger known as the 'Impossible Burger' is made from synthetic meat, wheat, coconut oil, potatoes and the magic ingredient heme (whatever that is). The manufacturer of this product has been singing the praises of this product both from a health, animal welfare and environmental standpoint.
Going back to angry members of New Zealand's ruling party (New Zealand First Party) MP Mark Paterson has described this burger as a "slap in the face" to the nations $6billion red meat industry.
Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters has stated for the record he is "utterly opposed to fake beef". The current New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden is away on holiday at the moment having had a baby recently.
According to the UK based Vegan Society, there are approximately 542,000 vegans in the UK. That may not sound a lot given the UK's total population but that is a 3 and a half more than there were in 2006. Making this community the fastest growing lifestyle movement in the UK.
With January 2019 fast approaching the month is called Veganuary encouraging people to go vegan for the month. Back in 2014 when this began many people tried going vegan and evidence shows many struck by this diet. It seems thanks to this month and the campaign behind it veganism is only likely to grow.
In the UK right now there are in the region of 1.2 million vegetarians which may be a bad omen for the meat industry. The vegetarian/vegan movement is growing also because of many young people making compassionate lifestyle changes in their diet for animals, health and the planet.
Much to the relief of meat eaters, however (unfortunately as far as I am concerned) bacon is not going to die out soon. However, in some respects the writing is on the wall for the meat industry it would appear. There is strong evidence to say a plant-based diet is better for you healthwise but of course carnivores would argue the other way.
It seems many supermarkets and purveyors of the food industry are adjusting to this new climate of a plant-based diet. For example, Ocado has a seen a 1,678 % rise in sales from last year for plant-based food products. Also major supermarket Tesco has appointed a director of plant-based innovation which will revolutionise their vegan/vegetarian food products.
Vegetarians, Vegans, Flexitarians et al will no longer feel they are not being catered for now as all sellers of food now have a range of products for this growing need.
Finally, speaking as someone who has advocated a veggie lifestyle (even if I am not a pure veggie now) if the meat industry dies in years to come for the reasons given in this article it will be no bad thing.
List and photos of famous veggies/vegans.
Besides the below photos here is a list of other advocates of a plant-based lifestyle.
1) Ellen De Generes and Portia De Rossi.
2) Mike Tyson.
3) Paul McCartney.
4) Kristen Bell.
5) Al Gore.