Happy World Vegan Day! From a curious carnivore...
I was asked an interesting question at West Midlands VegFest on Sunday. Are you a vegan? While you might think that would be a question you'd know the answer to instantly, I hesitated for a moment before saying no.
I do eat a predominantly plant-based diet. So that's vegetables, fruit, beans, rice, but no meat, fish, eggs or dairy. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, the food is delicious, and it makes me more careful about what I'm eating. So rather than transferring something from the freezer to the oven, I'm following recipes and making things from scratch - like these delicious deep fried "chicken" wings!
Secondly, eating a plant based diet has a hugely positive effect on the environment. In fact, factory agriculture accounts for roughly the same amount of carbon emissions as the whole of the global transport sector combined.
And of course there is animal welfare. With plans currently on the table for another factory chicken farm in Clyro, I couldn't in all good conscience enjoy my KFC.
At Eighteen Rabbit we sell a cool selection of different vegan items - from wallets to chocolate to skincare.
But - I'm not a vegan. Every now and then I'll get a pizza from Dominos, cheese and all. When we're in Mexico I'll be enjoying some delicious chorizo. When I'm at relatives' houses I'll eat whatever my host has prepared for me. It may seem like a hopeless contradiction. But actually my "sustainable journey" which started at Seventeen Events and continues at Eighteen Rabbit, has taught me that perfection is rarely possible. What matters is doing your best, as often as you can, and not giving up altogether when you choose a less than optimal path.
So I couldn't genuinely call myself a vegan - though I may well one day. For now, I am a proud member of the Vegan Society and enjoying doing whatever I can to promote a plant based lifestyle.
There's an old joke:
Q: How do you know if someone's a vegan?
A: Don't worry, they'll tell you!
So apologies if I've fallen into that trap. But I do have a sense of humour about it! Happy World Vegan Day anyway :)