A Vegan Walks Into The Kitchen As I'm Cooking Lamb...
In a shared kitchen where I'm currently staying in Greece, a couple made a point to tell me what they were vegan, as I was cooking my lamb for lunch.
After they left, I took a look at the three containers they had left on the counter to make their coffees: almond milk, sugar, and instant coffee. All three products were imported (ie. took an international plane and at least two truck rides to make it to the island of Crete that we currently find ourselves on). Two of the three contained ingredients that are not native to the area that the package itself came from, which means another airplane + truck ride(s) to make its way to the processing and packaging plant). And then of course the packaging plant itself, emitting fumes and using packaging that (whether you want to admit it or not) it not properly recycled, and will never truly be rid from this planet.
Then comes the fact none of these three products are organic (never mind biodynamic) which means: mono-cropping, herbicides, and pesticides. Mono-cropping kills more animals than eating meat does, and herbicides and pesticides are quite literally rendering our soils infertile (which kills the bees, and ultimately the entire food chain).
They also had toast with their coffee, which hits all of the above points, all over again.
My meal consisted of biodynamic lamb, that I picked up from the local butcher, on foot. This butcher has their own farm just outside the city, and lamb/ goats roam wild across the entire island in abundance. The Alexander buds and greens that I cooked with my lamb were foraged by myself in the wild, and grow all over the island too. I cooked using organic olive oil harvested from a local family, in a glass jar I reuse to purchase more olive oil in. The salt and wild oregano I used were also from Crete, as were the dried wild figs I had after (that I purchased from a bulk container at the local organic shop). All producers are small family-run businesses on the island on which I currently reside.
And yes somehow judgemental vegans whose morning coffee alone produced: plastic, glass, cartons, herbicides, pesticides, multiple plane rides, mass murder of field animals (none of which are used to feed anyone), and a general destruction of the planet, are somehow feeding their own eco-warrior ego as if they’re helping anyone!? Right.
This is actually not a bash on all veganism (although I do have more to say on the subject of local, pasture-raised meat as a crucial piece of the sustainability puzzle and human experience), nor is it an exoneration of all meat eaters (meat eating can be just as detrimental, especially when it comes to factory-farmed animal-based products and processed foods). This is a call to acknowledging that veganism itself isn’t a solution to the unsustainable nature of our human lives and that the pursuit of a thriving planet relies on transcending the vegan delusion. It takes life to sustain life. The most powerful thing you can do to reduce your environmental impact is to eat organic and eat (truly) local.