Is the Future Vegan? Lesbian Meat Eater Wondering
I don’t mean to generalize or stereotype my own community, but I have noticed that a lot of lesbians and queer women are turning vegan.
HOPELESS MEAT EATER
The thing is, I am such a hopeless meat eater that for an embarrassingly long time I actually thought that “Vegan” was just a fancy way of saying “Vegetarian”. But after attending one too many lesbian socials where me and maybe five other meat eaters were the only ones hogging the meaty snacks in a room full of evolved vegans, it became clear that this was a trend that was not going away anytime soon. It was time to get to the bottom of things. So what is the difference between vegan and vegetarian? What exactly is veganism?
VEGAN VS VEGETARIAN
According to the Toronto Vegetarian Association, a vegetarian is someone who does not eat any meat, poultry, game, shellfish or by-products of animal slaughter. Vegetarian diets consist of fruits, vegetables, grains, pulses, nuts and seeds. This diet may also include dairy and eggs, which are by-products of live animals.
The Vegan Society of Canada describes veganism as a way of living that attempts to exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty. This includes exploitation for food and any other purposes. Therefore, a vegan diet not only excludes animal flesh, but also dairy, eggs and animal-derived ingredients, including gelatin, honey, carmine, pepsin, shellac, albumin, whey, casein and some forms of vitamin D3.
A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE
From these descriptions it appears to me that in general there are more similarities than differences between veganism and vegetarianism. However, veganism seems to deviate slightly from vegetarianism on a matter of principle.
From an ethics point of view vegetarians are opposed to killing animals for food but consider it acceptable to consume animal by-products like milk and eggs provided that the animals are bred in adequate conditions.
Vegans on the other hand seek to exclude all animal by-products from their lifestyles regardless of the conditions in which the animals are bred. They believe that animals have the right to be free from human use, whether it’s for food, clothing, science or entertainment.
THE ‘VEGETARIAN FOR A WEEK’ EXPERIMENT
So since all the lesbians in town are going vegan, I was wondering if I could go cold turkey and try veganism too. But the long list of things that vegans do not eat was daunting for a hopeless meat eater like me, so I decided to do an experiment where I went vegetarian for a week.
Extreme protein deficiency resulting in muscle weakness and wasting, low blood pressure, nutrient malabsorption, anaemia, brain fog, cravings and malnutrition.
I excluded all forms of meat from my diet and consumed high quantities of leafy greens, legumes, beans, peas, carrots, broccoli, radishes, tomatoes, onions, peppers, fruits, nuts, berries, prunes, eggs, yoghurt, humus, mushrooms, bread, sweet potatoes, rice, maize meal porridge, oats, cereal, green and fruit smoothies, and cheese.
Contrary to my expectations, I experienced elevated levels of energy by the end of the experiment. The heaviness I had been feeling in my posture lifted. The inflammation in my lower back as well as the bloaty feeling in my stomach reduced significantly. The marked reduction in flatulence was a pleasant surprise.
Going vegetarian benefited my health and had positive effects on my overall wellbeing. Given these encouraging results I have decided to change my eating habits for the better by cutting back on my meat intake by at least 60%.
THE BENEFITS OF VEGANISM
So going vegetarian for a week was good for me, and I am assuming that a vegan experiment would have yielded similar results. But there are other benefits to veganism that have far-reaching implications beyond my health. So, why go vegan?
Go vegan for the animals:
Seventy billion land animals are slaughtered globally each year because our diet demands it. That is ten times more than the entire human population. The sheer numbers are staggering, but sadly the scenario is even more concerning when you consider the suffering that so many of these animals go through during their life cycles. Certain animal rights non-profit organizations involved in undercover investigations like Mercy for Animals and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have been publicly exposing the horrors of standard animal handling practices as well as the horrendous animal abuse at the hands of handlers that goes on behind the closed slaughterhouse doors. Going vegan and avoiding all animal products in all its forms is the only way we can make a stand against animal cruelty and animal exploitation everywhere.
Go vegan for the environment:
The production of meat and other animal products places a heavy burden on the environment – from crops and water required to feed the animals, to the transport and other processes involved from farm to fork. The vast amount of grain feed required for meat production is a significant contributor to deforestation, habitat loss and species extinction. On the other hand considerably lower quantities of crops, water and resources are required to sustain a vegan focused food processing system. Going vegan is an effective way of reducing our impact on the environment.
WHY THE FUTURE IS VEGAN
Thanks to lesbians and millennials, devotees of the vegan lifestyle whose numbers are growing exponentially across the globe, the future is looking vegan. This movement towards a plant-based diet is gaining so much traction that it is changing the way the food industry operates. More brands dealing with food retail and the culinary arts are offering vegan alternatives in order to meet the growing demand. And as this demand continues to grow, a chain reaction of demand and supply will be set in motion, ensuring a future that is sustainable, eco-friendly, ethical and vegan.
VEGANISM BY FORCE
It’s all well and good that lesbians everywhere are making the conscious choice to go vegan. But what if in the future veganism is not by choice, but by force? My story, Ananiya Calling, touches on this concept. Exploring it as a subplot alongside the main plot that explores Sex Robots, it presents the worst-case scenario. In this near-future story, algae are the only available food source for humans.
Ananiya Calling is a story that revolves around a girl called Ananiya. Her world is set on Arcanarc, a super city governed by the One Conscious Corporation. Back in the early 21st Century abrupt climate change had made most of Mainland Earth uninhabitable, and so Arcanarc was built as a solution to the shortage of land.
This super city is a space habitat drifting in outer space; a gigantic hunk of technology floating from asteroid to asteroid, mining precious resources that are exported to Mainland Earth until they are depleted, and then it moves onto the next. It’s completely man-made, designed to last for one thousand and one years. However, nothing green ever grows there.
Ananiya observes: “The fact that nature has a hard time growing here kind of limits what we can eat. Not throwing shade but it’s far worse on Mainland Earth, what with the land shortage situation and everything. I hear they’re eating beef-flavoured cardboard and mud cakes down there. Thankfully, we are more fortunate here on Arcanarc. We eat algae. Because if there’s one thing that grows in abundance on this manmade galactic island it is algae. Micro-algae are a renewable natural source of protein, carbohydrates and antioxidants. But all it needs to thrive are carbon dioxide, water and light energy. There is plenty of carbon dioxide and water produced through our waste disposal system. Light energy is much harder to come by in outer space where the darkness is infinite. That’s why we have algae farms. These dome-shaped, half-sunken structures are made of solar glass that concentrate light emitted from decaying stars, magnifying it thousands of times over.”
Well Ananiya, it doesn’t hurt that algae is the ultimate super food. It is gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and fat free.
Read more about Ananiya Calling and enjoy regular blog posts and updates. Watch the saga of human vs robot unfold.
BUT WOULD I GO VEGAN?
So would I go vegan? Probably not. At least not at this point in time. Each one of us has got to make choices based on our own needs and conscious. But who knows, maybe one fine day I will see the light and become a card-carrying vegan. For now, I’d like to believe that cutting back drastically on my meat intake is a small step in the right direction.