Insects - Food for Thought
“Veganism is both the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals. A follower of either the diet or the philosophy is known as a vegan”.
(Quoted from Wikipedia)
Wherever I go I like to try out local foods, drawing the line at eating live animals or duck embryos but, in general, I think the world has plenty of decent traditionally acceptable foods to keep us happy and I am happy with my own food preferences.
Personally, having lived a meat-rich life, I would find it difficult to adapt at my age to a vegan lifestyle, though it would be far easier if my friends and family took the same path. I do, however, support the philosophy and have decided to seek out and review, wherever possible, vegan outlets (supermarkets, restaurants etc) in my travels.
A vegan world would be a better more sustainable one. The quantity of animals destined to be eaten outnumbers the human population in some countries. This has resulted in the destruction of vast amounts of primary rainforest and an adverse impact on co2 emissions.
In many places, the processing of meat for human consumption has led to cruel, inhumane practices. Do something about this and the cost of production will go up thereby making meat more expensive and thus reducing the amount consumed. Market forces are working in favour of vegetarianism.
Once the demand for meat starts to decline then farmers will move to alternative production – fruit and vegetables. But this takes time.
Restaurants are key players, as are chefs. Interest in vegan and vegetarian food is changing positively. I expect that this is not just a fad but more likely a change in tide – the consumption of meat is quite possibly at or near its peak.
A question: do insects fall within or without a vegan diet? They aren’t, strictly speaking, animals. In various countries, more than one may imagine, insects form part of the local diet. Food companies are now looking at making use of insects in food preparation and, at the moment, regulation tends to govern the maximum quantity of insect content in food – on the basis that it may not be possible to eradicate 100% of grubs in a batch of sweet corn that gets canned for human consumption. While some vegans may consider insects to be “animals” perhaps that thought should be revisited!