I’m an omnivore, I choose to eat both plants and animals, and Melodie is a pescatarian, both plants and seafood. We are a diverse pair who have managed to happily co-create alongside one another for the past 3 years. It makes for a very interesting dinner party and a great many discussions about food. That being the basis from which we created Farm to Face.
For some people their food choices are based on more than what’s fresh. It can be based on culture, the need to nourish our environment, to be kind to all animals and so on.
More so than any other food choice people can make Veganism is the one that everyone has an opinion about. For some reason this challenge to the status quo is difficult for some to digest and for many reasons it gets a lot of air time.
Find out what Melodie learnt about being vegan when she set herself a one month vegan challenge.
So here we are. Giving some of my friends, who have chosen to be vegan for their own moral reasons, some of their own air time.
When I asked my friends Jim and Bree to ‘be honest about the 5 top things that you find hard or that impact you in regards to being vegan in an omnivorous world’.
J: In becoming vegan it brought about a new way of looking at the world. I was looking through a new lens. This new lens permits me to empathise with the systematic suffering and cruelty that occurs in all aspects of human’s interactions with animals. This for me brought on a huge sense of helplessness. Conservative estimates range the number of animals killed every year between 50 and 150 billion. (NB: It is difficult to judge because fish are measured in weight rather than quantity). To me that is all for nothing as no animal needs to be killed ever (almost). This realization came with an overwhelming feeling or helplessness.
J: My parents and family aren’t vegan, my girlfriend isn’t vegan, and I had one vegan friend. No one can relate with you and everyone thinks you are some crazy over zealot person that is all mixed up and confused. It can be incredibly isolating. Thank god for online social groups!
B: Choice or transition is difficult. As the years (even months!) go on, having vegan alternatives to meat, dairy, and eggs is more accessible than ever. It used to be that mock meat didn’t exist, that aquafaba (look it up, it’s so awesome) hasn’t been discovered yet as the baker’s miracle substitute for eggs. (Vegan pavlova, anyone?)
J: God I just cannot explain the level of frustration in dealing with people and the world. I understand the decision to be vegan goes against social norms, historical necessity, religion, cultural conditioning etc so I cannot expect to just flick switch and get everyone think the way I think. But if I could I would. Being vegan is to me morally and ethically right, it isn’t about the individual it is about pursuing the path of “least amount of harm”. It is so frustrating being a minority and being pretty chastised by the community (however I do feel a change in tides).
J: I have a very supportive group of friends who ask plenty of questions and are generally much more curious than critical. But then you deal with everyone else who thinks that being empathetic is a weakness and that what they believe is correct. Online and face-to-face vegans have to put up with so much criticism and stupidity from people who have for the most part just swallowed the omnivorous lifestyle dictated to them rather than question it and assess what is right and wrong for them. People get defensive with my decision to be vegan, I think they feel that I am saying that what they are doing is wrong. Passively I guess I am, so I can understand the reaction.
It is also hard dealing with people as you kind of need to be an expert on everything! I have to know the ins and outs of: the dairy industry, the chicken industry, animal export, the cattle industry, fishing, horse racing, dog racing, small hobby farm practices and factory farm practices, ethics, philosophy, history, circus practices, vivisection etc etc. If I cannot adequately defend every aspect of these practices I feel like it is a chink in my argument and something for someone to cling onto as an affirmation of their beliefs.
B: By far, the only thing I’ve found difficult about becoming or being vegan, is humans. Once you start to see what actually happens to the animals and the planet in order to get that steak on your plate, you realise that taste or habit is not worth that kind of cruelty and disregard. People choose to cut animal products out of their diet for all kinds of reasons, be it environmental, financial, animal welfare, weight control, or health concerns. Personally, I chose solely because of the animals. I refuse to support an industry who believes that animals are disposable, to be treated as machines and slaves instead of sentient beings. It was only after I’d made the choice (which, in hindsight, was the best decision I’ve ever made) that I began to learn how detrimental animal protein is on the body. And how animal agriculture is the leading cause of negative climate change and the destruction of our rainforests. But that’s a talk for another day!
Thank you Bree and Jim for such honest insights into being Vegan! I couldn’t have honestly said I knew all of this about your lives, even as a friend. So I hope that all of you reading this take something new from their words, and remember: ignorance is NOT bliss.
We created Farm to Face because we know that the food we eat has a huge impact on our health and well being, and on the planet! We’re inspiring people to live waste free and eat for the future by choosing local, seasonal and ethical foods.
Sign up to our mailing list for updates including our latest events, recipes and blog posts.