While I normally don't get all that much into veganism thing, I thought I'd say a short little piece on this whole Veganuary thing.
Veganuary has the facade of a "global campaign that encourages people to 'try vegan for January,'" and is a push for making veganism as a "lifestyle choice and an established social norm" (which is paradoxical, to say the least), and is veiled behind the innocent setting of a charity event, the true purpose behind this "campaign" is to satisfy corporate interests that control the entire aspect and beast that is industrial agriculture.
As a matter of fact, it's one of those little proofs that veganism is well and truly corporate-sponsored. It does not have the best interest of any farmer (or even rancher) in mind, particularly those who purposely produce food for locals within the municipality or even province or state, and particularly those who strive to be regenerative, sustainable, truly ethical for the environment and for animals in their care.
"Control the food, and you control the people." That's what the corporations have in mind, to have everyone dependent on them as the sole providers for sustenance, not local farmers, not individual gardeners or horticulturalists that do not grow food to satisfy the corporate engine. And the vegan bandwagon hysteria fits in well with this narrative, because it drives a wedge into the ever-deeper crevice that already exists between the people and the true source of our existence: Nature, and the Earth.
It's easy to go vegan because of these corporate bodies being so easily able to offer dairy-free, egg-free, meat-free, factory-made, well-travelled crap at the supermarket. It's easy to go vegan because of the globalization of agriculture, and because much of the food that supplies many supermarkets and grocery stores are monoculture mass-produced food heavily reliant on fossil fuels, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and in particular, there exists this incredibly huge disconnect between people and where their food actually came from and how it got from the industrialized farm to the supermarket. Labels never tell the whole story!
But, January is the worst time of month to promote veganism. For one, for all countries in the Northern Hemisphere that have what is called "winter" that severely hampers any vegetative growth for several months of the year, plant foods of anything from carrots to bananas need to be shipped thousands of miles to supermarkets within these climates, using a lot of fossil fuel energy to do so. Only those few that are fortunate enough to have a good greenhouse or solarium on the sunniest side of their house could make a go at growing some or most of their produce as locally as local can get. The sad reality is that there are very few of those around.
So, as a second point, the "fresh" fruits and vegetables that are made available via the supermarket aren't even in season. Not even the organic produce. The stuff that comes in the grocery stores at this time of year is just not the same good quality, good tasting food like what comes around come May all the way to October. Why would anyone want to try veganism during a time when vegetables and fruits are at their poorest quality is beyond me.
I could tell a lot of why you should never try veganism out this January, despite the false sense of security and fallacious, guilt-inducing messaging they try to lure you in with. I've made several posts on here on some of the reasons why veganism is not what it appears to be, from animal ethics to the environment. I certainly could repeat myself again, but I would encourage you to take a bit of time to read some of my thoughts in previous posts to help guide you in the right direction.
But, I will say that you will not save the environment, save animals, protect nature, or any other humorous propaganda that Veganuary uses to "encourage" people to "try" veganism. The only way you're going to help the environment and help animals is to choose local.
Have a Regenuary Instead! Here's What You can Do:
Support your local farmers by buying locally from them. Learn how to start growing your own food, even if you have a few pots of plants in your apartment near the sunniest of windows or with a grow light. Invest in a vermiculture unit for taking care of your food waste. Lobby your local municipal government and gather support for more people to be able to have some chickens and rabbits and a garden plot in their yards. Learn about the soil health and its biology, about Regenerative Agriculture, Holistic Management, sustainable farming methods, etc. There are plenty of good books out there I recommend you read, from Salad Bar Beef and Folks, This Ain't Normal by Joel Salatin, to those by David R. Montgomery (such as the Hidden Half of Nature and Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations), Judith D. Schwartz, Nicolette Hahn Niman, and Simon Fairlie's Meat: A Benign Extravagance. I also highly recommend to watch some videos on regenerative farming/ranching methods and principles as explained by folks like Gabe Brown, David Brandt, Allen Williams, Ray Archuleta, Elaine Ingham, Dr. Christine Jones, and others Find some local farms in your area who are practicing sustainable/regenerative, non-industrialized practices and visit them during the summer. I could go on!
There are many things you can do this January, as a better choice this January. Make your New Years resolution a means to learn more about this lesser-known third option of Regenerative Agriculture, of Ethical Omnivorism. PLEASE understand that veganism is NOT your only alternative option you have if you're sick and tired of having to continue to support the massive pro-GMO, soil-destroying, anti-animal, and environmentally-disastrous industrialized agri"culture".
Again, educate yourself about all aspects of agriculture, because you eat too, and like all humans on this planet, food is a very, very important thing, and should never be treated as some sort of inconvenience to "more important" things in your life. Being a more ethical omnivore is a difficult path to take, but it's one that you will be more grateful for as you learn, unlearn, and relearn the various things you never thought possible or even existed before. Please, for your sake, both for your body, your soul, your mind, and your health, don't get sucked into the veganism hysteria. But don't give up either on the path to finding better food for yourself and your family.
I wish you a happy and healthy New Year of 2018 as we are launched into the final hours of 2017. I will leave you with this TED talk of Gabe Brown for you to watch.
Happy New Years everyone!
Range Nerd, Forage & Grazing Fanatic and a Bovine Enthusiast. A love for farming, and for the soil.
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