While I don’t want my blog to be reduced to a blog of lists, I’m doing this as I posted on social media a few days ago that I would. I promise my next post would not contain a list.
So for those who are not yet aware, last week, I set up a Bataris Petition on the right to vegan food. While to date less than a hundred have signed, I’ve seen that it has stirred conversations as it should. I’m sure there are also mental arguments among some who have read the petition, and I think that it’s good. That is exactly one my intentions in putting it out. Each person who sees a new perspective in favor of veganism is positive sign for me.
Although it’s sad that we live in a world where there is no assured access to the most compassionate, earth-friendly, and healthy diet, I think it is an idea whose time has come. I’m actually looking forward to the day that petitions like this are no longer needed. But we live in an auspicious time, where palpable transformations are happening all over, and I’m taking part in the shift by pushing for an idea that could no longer be denied.
So here are reasons why you should support the #Right2VeganFood. It is not 20 as I said, because I have clustered a lot of ideas together. I didn’t want to dilute the reasons just to comply with a number I have set myself.
1. Access to vegan food is a right. Just like for anybody who eats out, it is a claim right. There is no fundamental human right that will be compromised to have this right fulfilled, so there is no reason why reasonable requests for vegan food should not be accommodated.
2. Veganism is here to stay. It is not a fad. Food businesses just can’t ignore vegans forever. There is a steady increase of vegans in the Philippines and all over the world. Each one requires vegan food. Do you have a relative, colleague, or acquaintance who are either vegans or transitioning? Sadly, they hardly have a choice when eating out.
3. Alternative food. I would love a vegan world, when the food I eat is not just an alternative but THE food. But our world is not yet that. And while we are trying to create that world, we want others to be able to access the kind of food that vegans eat. How else would they know how healthy, yummy, and guilt-free vegan food is if we don’t make it available for them now? Food enthusiasts also select vegan food if and when available. Many people with dietary restrictions also often opt for available vegan options when dining out. They deserve alternatives too. Those are the people who are more likely to turn vegans and push the issue forward.
4. Animals. The more vegan food available, more animals are being saved in the process as people familiarize themselves with vegan food and start growing preference for it. I am being criticized for this petition for not being abolitionist enough. I am after an abolitionist’s heart. But I’m also in a way, a pragmatist. For me, saving one animal life today is no less than saving millions if/when the world becomes abolitionist in the future. And in doing so today, we are gaining more allies in the process instead of alienating people more from the plight of animals.
5. It is healthier for the environment. While the meat, dairy and fish industry pollutes the environment in epic proportions, plant-based diet is more benign. The water requirement and pollution to water of the poultry and livestock industry is sky-high, growing plants for food require much less water resources. Do I also need to say that we are in a climate crisis of planetary proportions? Carbon emissions of the poultry and livestock industry is higher that the transport sector. Just shifting to plant-based diet will save millions of tons of carbon emissions. Rainforests being destroyed for animal grazing or growing crops for livestock feed. So many environmental issues because meat-based diet is utterly unsustainable.
6. Health is wealth. There are so many studies that prove plant-based diet is healthier than meat-based diet. Surprisingly, many hospitals do not even prepare vegan food for patients suffering from illnesses caused by meat-based diets, and even allow the sale of fast food and highly processed food in its premises. There are wellness centers now that only offer vegan food as cure. Yes, no pharmaceutical drugs. They have reversed many kinds of illnesses too.
7. Peace starts with us. That seems abstract right? But everybody subscribes to it. Make the idea more tangible and say peace starts on our plate and every goes gaga. But consider this, how can we have peace if we eat violence three times a day? If we want to nurture a culture of peace, offer more vegan food. Show the proof of concept. Bring the ideal world of the future today. It is being practiced now in some jails and schools abroad where an increase of sobriety is observed. Check it out.
8. Compassion. People who base their diet on compassion are deprived of compassion themselves when they have to sit in a corner and practically have nothing to eat in restaurants, canteens, and cafes. It’s like saying “Do good, be marginalized. It’s your choice, you suffer”. Be kind, not just to animals, but to people too.
9. Food safety. Scary news on foot and mouth disease; mad cow disease; mercury and micro plastic in seafood; pus and fecal bacteria-laden dairy. While natural and organic plant food are more safe and healthy.
10. C’mon, how hard could it be? Preparing vegan food is easy. It’s a poor excuse for restaurants to say they cannot prepare any vegan food. Most vegans would be happy with a simple salad or stir-fry, requests are normally within reason. As vegans have been marginalized for so long, they have a ‘better than nothing attitude’. Just handful of fruits and vegetables could yield many possibilities. The only limits are refusal to accommodate, lack of compassion, and a dearth of creativity.
11. Discrimination sucks. Ask anybody, not just vegans. Discriminating vegans is just not acceptable. It’s just like saying meat eaters can eat anywhere because that is their choice of food, while vegans cannot because… that is their choice of food? It just doesn’t make sense. I’m not enabling a meat eaters’ argument here. I am simply stating how some people’s arguments to discriminate against vegans don’t hold water.
12. Human physiology. Make a physical comparison with a lion (just look at a photo!) and yourself. Hand and paws, teeth and fangs. We are not yet even talking about the length of gut and the difference of digestive juices. The difference shows that we are more herbivore than carnivore. A simple google search and reputable sites yield a wealth of information proving this. Why negate our natural human design by denying access to vegan food?
This is definitely not definitive. After all, I’m not an expert. I am only vegan and passion is my only capital. Feel free to enrich this by contributing to the discussion. If you have more reasons to support the petition, I would really appreciate them.
And if you find even just one of these reasons make sense to you, please spend a couple of minutes to go to the link, sign, and share the petition. https://www.bataris.org.ph/p/Righ2VeganFood
Thank you and I wish you lots of positive vibes. Love, love, love!