Vegans are well-off, tradition-changing time wasters...
Lucy (the more-or-less vegan): Hi Nick. So you’ve agreed to give your two cents on veganism and why you aren’t a vegan. Let’s hear it!
Nick (the sometimes-vegan mostly meat eater): I get what all the hype is about, really. I can see that it is healthy if done right, and I’ve honestly felt better & stronger in myself when I’ve gone vegan for a week here and there. But ultimately, I’m not in a position to start spending time or money on experimenting with new ways of cooking food.
Lucy: Are you insinuating, as many do, that vegans are well-off and don’t have much to do with their spare time? Hold that thought, I just need to groom my cat & clean his luxury water fountain.
Nick: Well, yes. Vegan food is more expensive and it takes longer to think about what is tasty and how to cook it.
Lucy: I think the saying is ‘stick a fork in it and it’s done’.
Nick: No way! Vegan food takes so much effort. I mean, I don’t like tofu so what forms the basis of the meal? And I live with meat eaters and the smell is fantastic. We all come from a country where meat is the staple of our diet. To go against that would be to go against tradition.
Lucy: Well I think we would agree that some traditions & old viewpoints needed to change a long time ago... and the rise of some new perspectives has been positive. Gay marriage, non-binary gender, Black Lives Matter... to name a few!
Nick: Sure, of course. I don’t think eating meat falls into the same category as those though. Some people don’t have the luxury of eating tofu, and rely on their livestock to survive... wait - I can’t believe I just said eating tofu is a luxury.
Lucy: I bloody love tofu, just saying.
Nick: And the other problem is with some vegans is that they blame or judge meat eaters too quickly instead of educating. They can get too fierce.
Lucy: WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM? Hang on, let’s go to your first point. I agree - if we’re talking about nomadic cultures, for example, eating meat is a way of surviving. This is a good point, and perhaps in ‘first world’ societies we don’t consider this enough when banging on about being vegan.
Lucy: But you, my friend, are not a nomad. You live in London.
Nick: True. I guess old habits die hard. I eat meat but I still advocate for veganism because I know that’s a standard of living that I would like to have myself.
Lucy: That’s great. So it’s more the first point you make that holds the weight for you - it’s something that you can do if you have the time and money?
Lucy: How about choose your favourite dish to cook and just skip the meat and replace the cheese with vegan sheese?
Nick: Because vegan cheese tastes like feet.
Lucy: Fair point.
Nick: Furthermore, meat was considered to be eaten mostly by kings and queens, so when living standards got better everyone emulated this behaviour. Now it’s become standard - meat is a staple. That’s a hard nut to crack.
Lucy: I’m appreciating your nut-related pun there.
Nick: Even if people care about animal welfare, human nature is to put oneself & their families first.
Lucy: I get what you mean about families, but putting oneself first - I’m not so sure. Heteronomy and altruism have to exist, otherwise what a sad world!
Nick: It’s human instinct – the whole world will never be vegan because they put themselves first. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. But on the whole, people that do want to be vegan can feel, like me, that we need more money and time to do so.
Lucy: I understand- at least at the start it does take some commitment to form new habits, find cheap and easy recipes. I think in the long run though, being vegan can be cheaper. My local grocers [shout out to Ross Fruiterers in Worcester Park] does the freshest plastic-packaging-free veg I’ve seen in London and I rarely walk out of there having spent more than a fiver.
Nick: That place does look good.
Lucy: Tell me about it. Anyway, cheers for your input. Maybe I’ll send you some easy cheap vegan recipes.
Nick: I’ll just add real cheese.
Lucy: Each to their own.