I’ve been following a fairly strict vegan diet for a little over a year now, after being a peskitarian (heavy on the pesky) for a few years prior. The reason I adopted this lifestyle/diet was, honestly, because of an ex-boyfriend who opened my eyes to the massive environmental impacts that not just meat, but egg, dairy and fish farming/harvesting methods have on the planet.
I thought I was fairly savvy in the area of environmentalism and animal agriculture, but after exposure to his extensive knowledge on the subjects and watching Cowspirecy (if you haven’t watched this, please do. It is eye-opening and fact-heavy without too many animal abuse images implanted solely for shock value), I was mind-blown and angry.
I entered veganism with a fiery hatred for mankind, and with the idea that if everyone were to just go vegan, global warming could be slowed (maybe even halted), needless killings eliminated, and species eradication a thing of the past. I maintained this belief until just recently…
Last week a friend of mine shared an article on Facebook called: Vegans and Vegetarians Think They Don’t Kill Animals, But They Do (sorry for the poor citation). It revealed that despite zero consumption of animal products, vegans inadvertently kill in the form of pest control and/or land usage for vegetation production. For example, land is cleared for a spinach farm. The species inhabiting that land is displaced, thus disrupting the environment that they migrate to. They kill off something else in order to take up space and resources, or they themselves are killed off. Any pests (insects, birds, rodents, herbivores) are poisoned or mass hunted in order to preserve the crops.
Reading this gave me a real “duh” moment; obviously we can’t exist without causing harm, of course something has to die for us to live, why hadn’t I considered this before? I started thinking about how I stopped drinking caesars (clam juice in the Clamato and anchovy extract in the worcestershire) despite my deep love for them, and how the difference I was making by avoiding those animal products is undoubtably made obsolete by the killing I was endorsing by eating the spinach.
I want to live a life that has the most positive impact possible on the rest of the world.
Does emitting negative energy in the form of annoying restaurants with my weird requests and longing for a caesar counteract the harm reduction to animals veganism provides? Do all of my efforts just cancel each other out? Is it possible to live a life free of cruelty, environmental damage or negative social connotations? Does one person living this lifestyle make a difference? How can I have a bigger impact?
I need to do more research. The only/best answer I can conceive at this moment is living off-grid, farming vegetables and keeping some chickens for eggs. I’m not in a place where this is achievable (yet), so I think I will try a flexitarian diet and see how my body likes it while I work towards finding the answer I am looking for: what diet/lifestyle is environmentally, morally, and healthily sound?
I’ll let you know when I figure it out.
Until then, I’m going to drink caesars, not be as strict with extracts, but maintain a diet free of flesh and eggs.
Lots of love,