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Byron Shire
June 13, 2021

Eating vegan is no longer like Mac Vs PC

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This delicious food franchise burger contains a 100 per cent plant-based patty with vegan mayo and vegan cheese, and for many omnivores, if they weren’t told, they wouldn’t know the difference. Photo Tree Faerie.

Eve Jeffery (The Annoying Vegan)

Remember back in the bad old days when you used either a PC or Mac? Those were your choices, and never the twain could meat. They were so many miles apart in operations that they were like different countries with different languages and appearances, and if you were a person who could operate both it was as if you were a bilingual magician.

So it was too with vegan food – first of all, the ONLY vegan food you could get was something you prepared in your own kitchen or something you ate at an Indian restaurant.

Who loves tofu?

It used to be difficult to be a vegan, but now you can have your veganism and eat ‘meat’ too. Even for hardcore vegans who don’t like tofu or tempeh (yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but they do exist), these days the aisles and fridges of most supermarkets are as tantalising and tempting for vegans as they are for omnivores.

So what has this got to do with sustainability?

Many people who have exhausted their reasons why meat is a must (a healthy diet can be plant-based, and the dairy industry fallacy has been proven), fall back on the only argument left: but what about the poor farmers? And this is where things get very interesting.

‘Faux’ meat farmers

Many of the ‘faux’ meat options are made from pea protein derived and extracted in powder from the yellow and green split peas, and or mycoprotein, also known as fungal protein (people, it’s mushrooms), and funnily enough, peas and mushies are grown on farms.

And here’s where it gets even MORE interesting. You can still be a successful farmer and not deal in death, AND, you can save the planet at the same time.

The Our World in Data* website did a carbon footprint comparison for growing one kilo of beef, one kilo of chicken, and one kilo of some plant proteins. The greenhouse gas emissions per kilo of protein for beef: 498.9kg; chicken: 57kg; soy: 19.8kg; and peas: 4.4kg. Yes folks,to grow peas it costs only one per cent of the emissions of growing cows, and no-one gets to die!

Water savers…

If the greenhouse stats don’t curl your toes, maybe water is something you can understand a bit better. The water footprint per kilogram to grow similar food products are as follows: beef: 1,451 litres; chicken: 660 litres; peas: 397 litres; tofu: 149 litres; and potatoes: 59 litres. Gotta love them spuds!

But it’s the land use value that really brings home the tofu in the footprint stakes – it takes 369 square metres (sqm) to grow a kilo of lamb or mutton; beef: 326sqm; chocolate 68sqm; pork 17sqm (you have to feel sorry for pigs who get squashed into such small spaces); poultry 12.22sqm; fish farms: 8.41sqm; tofu 3.52sqm; and rice: a tiny 2.8sqm.

Planet love

For many omnivores, these are hard starts to swallow, but I would challenge meat and dairy consumers to, just for a moment, put aside their often unreasonable annoyance at plant-based eaters, and take a minute to ponder the fact that you might not love vegans, but do you love the planet?

If, for no other reason, going vegan – even for a few days a week, even one day a week, would make a huge impact in the fight to save the planet. ‘Flesh’ foods made from pea, mushrooms and other plant protein ase on the pathway to a healthier Earth – so, you can have your meat (alive) and eat it too! Who knew?

* Our World in Data: www.ourworldindata.org/environmental-impacts-of-food#carbon-footprint-of-food-products.


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8 COMMENTS

    • So you’re saying that without the beef industry in the region that no one would ever have been able to live here and have children??? Think your forgetting about 60000 years of history champ…

    • Why do you shape your chickens into nuggets or your random selection of animals arseholes into sausages? It’s funny I’ve never seen a hamburger patty grazing in a paddock? Why do you call your cows flesh a steak? Why do you call your pigs flesh bacon?

      We do want to eat familiar foods that taste nice and like things we grew up with. We just don’t want the unnecessary suffering that goes with it. How is that so hard to grasp? Why do you eat a steak but you won’t just start cutting into a live cow, do you not want to eat the cow??? See how ridiculous your questions start to sound if you just put even a slight bit of thought into them before asking out loud???

  1. Great article. The vegan market is one of the fastest growing industries on the planet, and here we are being held back by antiquated industries plying the death trade, destroying the land and forcing their products of cruelty onto a populous dumbed down by years of meat and dairy industry propaganda. Feed the mug meat. Yeah, I did that gig for 50 years until I watched my old Man die an excruciating death owing to his blokey obsession with a high meat diet. Exploiting, oppressing and killing animals has had its horrible day. Try a jackfruit burger and enjoy the life-affirming experience of not having to repress your complicity in unspeakable cruelty

  2. I became a vegan because I was listening to my body. When I was little my meat consumption was very little to none. Much to confusion of my family. I was happy eating leafy vegetables. I think I stopped eating meat when I was about 2yo. Living off the land was free and I did not have grocery store diet either. But today advocates for a vegan lifestyle cry out from the rooftops of their success so they can sleep at night while those they campaign for don’t. Eating a food product made from plants that taste like meat, chicken or fish is just a substitute. With their consciousness in thought form is still eating flesh. The difference is the packaging. Do these vegan folks have pets? Do they monitor how the body is responding. I have a full blood test every six months and by the blood work my body is thriving. Reading a Bible does not make one a Christian. Using alarmist messages and the good for the collective mentality may win you friends. But the killing continues.

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