VEGAN… The word on its own can on most occasions turn into a heated debate even amongst friends. The fact of the matter is, the meat industry is not sustainable. For those of you who consider bacon a vegetable, this may not be an easy crackling to swallow. And we as the human population on this planet, have only ourselves to blame..
There are generally 3 kinds of reactions I observe when ‘veganism’ is brought under the spotlight and it is these same reactions leading to misconceptions that alienated, and for to long, stigmatized the concept and realization of a plant based diet. That in itself being a lengthy discussion for another blog.
For just a moment let us put down the banners and pitchforks, set aside the lobbyists and colorful activists. Whether you prefer your steak rare or your carrots raw, there are much larger issues concerning the necessity towards a organic plant based diet. We scoff and roll our eyes when we hear the word ‘Vegan‘, to those eyerollers I say, “I hope your eyes roll back far enough for you to see your brain and make you realize that you need to use it”
The simple truth is this. Thanks to our over consumptious excistence fuelled by a need to procreate excessively, we have created a brainwashed society of fast food binge eaters that has its roots firmly planted not in survival, but in greed. We do not eat to live, we live to eat, EVERYTHING and as MUCH of it as we can, as QUICKLY as we can. (Come on now, turducken!? As the saying goes Ignorance is Bliss. I do not believe we have the luxury in our day and age to use that excuse for ANYTHING. Choosing to embrace a plant based diet, I believe will in our future not be by choice.
South Africans consumes in excess of 2.9million tons of poultry, beef and pork meat per annum, with local production only making up 2.4million tons. Keeping in mind that the difference is made up by imports i.e. $$
WATER DOES NOT COME FROM A TAP. The first essential to survival is water. South Africa’s main water source is rainwater, and at a declining 490mm per year, is almost half the world average.
According to a WWF Report, As early as 2000, “water stress was already experienced in what were then the Olifants, Inkomati, Thukela, Mvoti and Gouritz Water Management Areas. National demand is projected to increase by 32% (to 17 700 million m3) by 2030 due to population growth and industrial development.”
The water quality from natural sources has been for decades, and continues to, deteriorate at an alarming rate. Effluent discharge is a major source of pollution. In the early 90’s it was calculated and documented that dairies consumed 4.5 million m3 per annum and that 75% – 95% of that was discharged as effluent. Red meat abattoirs were using up to 5.8 million m3 per annum and poultry abattoirs used an estimated 6 million m3 water per annum. These figures are yet to be updated.
I believe our future outlook should be focused less on bickering and snickering about what we want and more on the facts of what we need. The effects of synthetic additives, hormones, preservatives and antibiotics added to livestock and their feed (starting from seed to harvest) mainly for the exclusive goal of greater production have already been shown to be detrimental to our health. We can and must make better choices to ensure a sustainable future. Less(in this case meat) is truly more(water). Who needs it more, you or the fillet mignon?
And for the record…. Nooooo we vegetarians do not salivate when the lawn is mowed…
For your viewing pleasure.