If on one side a meat and dairy free eating world might seem like the solution to increasing greenhouse effects and to how to stop world hunger while solving plenty of health issue, it might turn out we would be all doing more damage than good if we were all sticking to tofu and quinoa for good.
Before I even dwell into the pros and cons of turning the world vegan, there is a huge elephant in the room I haven’t seen anyone at least pretend they haven’t seen. An elephant no one is going to eat of course, but that will surely feed more doubts than certainties on this utopic reality some have shaped in front of us.
How are ‘you’ going to force the world into veganism?
Guys, this question alone could have us all killed, not a World War III or the side effects of eating grass and seeds all your life pretending it is actually OK with your system.
I’ll try and answer how impossible this attempt would be. On a cultural point of view, first. It would be simply impossible to ask uncle Gennarino to go cold turkey on his ‘nduja, or nonna Germana to stop using eggs to make her apple pies. Ain’t going to happen. This only means that either we wait all ‘oldies’ to die and for Gen-Z to spread the word on veganism and eradicate meat and dairy consumption as you would by ‘natural evolution’ of a species, or the efforts in imposing such a regime onto everybody might sound like a waste of time.
Once all our uncles, nonnas, mamis and grannies are dead and we have a hope of injecting veganism from schools and that those values can be reinforced by families too, the world would encounter another massive obstacle. Freedom.
I mean, I am Italian and food pretty much defines me, but wouldn’t your earnest reaction to ‘no, sorry, no more Prosciutto di Parma from today’ be a little bit on the ‘Uh, and who daf*** are you to tell me what I can and cannot eat? What we do with our body is and will always be determined by free will. The rest is just obnoxious spam you are reading.
Then there would be an up in arms from those who produce meat, sell meat, who own a restaurant where meat is the main dish and a list as long as a man’s sins. OK, it is true that business and brands in general are already tailoring their products to a vegan loyal market: according to quora already in 2010 about 1,525 million (1.525.000.000) or 21,8% world population are vegans and vegetarians around the world. Someone has just got to convince the other 78.2 % of the world population that if they want to save the world, they have to stop their Sunday barbies from being what they are.
Where there’s a business, there’s money, and with money comes politics. The world’s top leader cannot agree on anything. It would be a huge first if Trump and Putin shook hands on ‘Yes, everyone vegan from tomorrow’. If that day comes, I really want to be there for it. In the meantime, these two and other world leaders are contributing in ‘other ways’ to kill us all before.
Let’s be objective now on scientific facts:
One of the reasons behind turning the world vegan is in protecting the environment from the gas emissions coming from farmed livestock: if we all went vegan, the world’s food related emissions would drop by 70%. But, one of the factors telling us that veganism is bad for the world is that livestock does actually feed from our food waste: where would this go if there were no animals? We would probably burn it, which means, according to studies, that we would send 2 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere.
The other fact we all need to absorb before we even consider plausible forcing veganism on the whole planet is related to world hunger: the world already produces more food than it can actually consume. The problem with feeding the world is related to distribution and making sure those who cannot access directly vital sources of foods do.
Finally, health. The real killer in veganism is in fact veganism itself. It has been proved by extensive medical research that eliminating certain vitamins and proteins from your diet does actually do more damage than good. Going vegan side effects will be this imaginary vegan world new diseases. Not just that, if middle-class GenZs can access alternative sources of proteins, are we sure the same applies in disadvantage countries?
So nope, maybe the scenario we would depict to you to explain why veganism is bad isn’t a ‘cows have taken over the world’ as in Cowspiracy’s question “where are all the cows going if we don’t eat them?”.
Our reality check matters though.
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