Is vegan enough?
No I’m not talking about getting enough protein, so throw that overplayed and underwhelming card back in the deck. I’m not a nutritionist and I’m skeptical of any nutrition “facts” because ten or twenty years ago what we thought to be “fact” now seems ludicrous and it’s only reasonable to believe that the same will happen in another decade. While we’re on this very brief topic of protein however, all I have to say is if Venus Williams is getting enough protein from her raw vegan diet to have win Wimbledon 5 times, 7 grand slam titles in singles at 14 doubles titles and 4 olympic gold metals I’m pretty sure that I’ll be fine on the elliptical for like 1 hour per week without killing any animals. I don’t need some molecular biologist to explain amino acids and peptide bonding and vegan protein blah blah blah, elite vegan athletes exist, and have plenty of muscles, that’s all the proof I need. And if you think you need more protein to do whatever it is that you do than one of the greatest powerhouses the tennis game has ever seen or the dozens of plant based NFL players, or vegan body builders or Olympians, then you seriously need to reevaluate your perception of reality.
Okay back to the point.
Let’s say you’re vegan, you’re feeling good about your cruelty free lifestyle, no animals were harmed in the feeding of you… no sir, not a one… So imagine that you’re sitting down at your favorite health food store, with some food from the salad bar and got your green juice or a smoothie. You finish and get up, throw away your paper plate, plastic fork, and smoothie cup complete with plastic lid and straw and go back to your busy day of not harming animals. Unfortunately, even if you properly dispose of your plastics, that’s not the end of the story, trash and recyclables a like will pass through many hands before their final destination which in the worst case scenario and far too often is the ocean.
There are 100 shipping containers right now sitting in the Philippines full of trash from all parts of Canada that were properly disposed of possibly hundreds of miles from an ocean, then trucked to British Columbia and shipped 6,000 miles to the Philippines and are now threatening to be shipped 6000 miles back and dumped all over Vancouver’s beaches. There exists no place on this earth where plastics don’t run a risk of ending up in the ocean.
Statistics vary quite a bit about plastic pollution’s effect on marine life, but they range from 1 million sea birds to 100 million marine animals being killed per year from ingesting or being entangled in plastic. Compare that to 39 million cows killed for food in US per year. It is feasible that more animals are unintentionally dying from plastics than are intentionally being killed for meat. Even if it’s not more, it’s comparable and its definitely worth noting.
I’m in no way advocating for the meat industry, I am however saying that just because you don’t eat meat, doesn’t mean you’re not killing animals, I have been to way too many vegan cafes and health food stores where every single fucking thing was wrapped in, served with, sitting on, or clamshell-ed in possibly the greatest killer of animals on this planet, plastic. Obviously there are plastic cups and lids on every Coke at McDonalds, but I’m not expecting them to give a f*ck, however those who claim to - need to.
So if you think its hypocritical when people claim to love animals but eat meat, remember that sea turtle having a straw painfully removed from its nostril or the whale who washed up on the beach in the Philippines with 88 lbs of plastic the next time you’re sucking down a soy chai latte or putting your organic spinach bunch in a produce bag.
To answer the question, No, vegan isn’t enough. If you avoid steak so cows don’t die, then avoid plastic so whales and sea turtles and birds don’t either.