Why vegan is not always sustainable

Let’s talk about food and sustainability! What do you think…

…do we have a responsibility to eat in a sustainable manner?

I do think that sustainability also starts on the plate. Taking conscious decisions when it comes to eating can be a great way to reduce one’s own ecological footprint. Plant-based milk for example has shown to be a lot more environmentally friendly than dairy.

Choosing a vegan diet can happen for various reasons – it might be related to rejecting animal cruelty, it might be out of sustainability reasons, for health, or it might be a mix of everything .

Is a vegan diet always the most sustainable?

No, not always. Think about the hashtag #avocadotoast and the hype created around it.  The increasing demands in parts of the world where avocados don’t grow, has lead up to water scarcity in parts of Latin America. Booooo…

Veganism stops being sustainable as soon as it comes to “superfoods” or non-seasonal fruits that have to be imported from afar, and it also stops being sustainable when we think about plastic packaging. Veganism is no guarantee for being a sustainable and healthy diet, we will have to consider every now and then whether products are seasonal, local, free from preservatives and added sugar, and of course  package free.

Chia and Quinoa are two of those increasingly hyped “superfoods” which aren’t that super for the planet. Chia has ever since been consumed in Argentina, my second home, and it appeared a bit funny to discover it on the shelves in Europe, presented as “a new discovery” and sold at an incredibly high price. It makes me sad to think that places, where certain products have ever since formed part of the daily diet, are struggling just because other parts of the world are expecting to have everything available at all times.

With exception of those few examples, a vegan diet can be great to protect our planet by reducing the emissions caused by diets based on dairy, eggs, and meat.

So, what then, let’s become a vegan, or not?

It goes without saying that we can’t always do everything perfectly well – that shouldn’t even be the goal. Neither of us has to switch to vegan from today to tomorrow and a 100% (maybe that might not even be possible due to health reasons!).

But we could try to experiment, try something vegan every now and then, leave prejudices behind and choose to discover, include more and more meat-free dishes into our diets and read about the benefits for our health and our planet, if we choose to eat more plants and less animal products.

Tipps from a vegan …

I’m a vegan with exceptions – but yes, most of the time I am plant based. It makes me happy when it’s no problem at all to ask kindly in a restaurant, whether I can replace the cheese with avocado or beans, and so far, I’ve never received weird looks or mean comments. Would you try to eat more #vegan meals to protect our planet?

 P.S. This  photo was taken in one of my favourite breakfast & brunch place   – @malvacafer ❤️

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