Green eats


Vegans face many difficulties, especially somewhere like Regina where meat seems to make up 3 of the 4 food groups

It’s not easy eating green.

Veganism is increasingly becoming a popular lifestyle choice, and the benefits of an animal-free diet are numerous. Whether because of an aversion to eating animals, opposition to the animal cruelty all too often involved in the meat industry, the meat industry itself, or simply to just live a healthier lifestyle, many people are choosing to remove meat from their food pyramid.

Even in the face of all these benefits, many people who consider becoming vegan – the following points are mostly applicable to vegetarianism too – do not take up the lifestyle for various reasons, either because they don’t want to change, they’re afraid of the social stigma the lifestyle confers, they feel overwhelmed by the amount of products used in daily life that aren’t animal friendly, or most commonly just do not know how to proceed.

The last problem is especially acute in Regina. A quick Google search of ‘veganism in Regina’ brings up scarce results, which is discouraging at best. Furthermore, it’s not very helpful that the “Vegans of Regina” Facebook group is a closed group, and to see the contents one needs to be a member.

Although this may not seem like a huge deal, again, the point of social stigma is raised, if someone in Regina is pondering veganism, the group would be better if it was open so that potential vegans could get advice from successful vegans in this city. Leaving the group closed leaves interested people isolated from potentially valuable information for surviving in this city as a vegan. Yet, Facebook groups from some other Canadian cities also close their group to the public, while some of the groups of bigger cities leave their group open for viewing by everyone, even though it would already be easier to be vegan in cities like Toronto.

So, if you’re living in Regina, it would make the most sense to slowly cut the animal products out of your diet, not everything at once. That doesn’t seem to be a good idea for anybody anywhere, especially in Regina. It simply makes more sense to slowly cut certain foods out of your diet and replace them with vegan options as you find them.

Also, it is very important to research the lifestyle first, again, especially in Regina. Although researching veganism may be a tad disheartening, once you realize how many products are not vegan, which include the glue used in some musical instruments, plywood, the tires on your car, pig’s blood in cigarettes, the heavy polluting trucks used to transport vegan products, Guinness (when I found this out I forever ruled out being vegan) and not to mention the animals and insects that are harmed in harvesting crops.

These facts aren’t meant to deter people from the lifestyle, because veganism shouldn’t be seen as a total overhaul, but rather a matter of degree. Some things would be harder to leave behind then just the diet, for example tires on cars would be an extremely hard life style change, and most vegans continue to use tires that have animal products in them.

Just like any other lifestyle change, veganism and vegetarianism would not be easy, especially in Regina, but there are numerous benefits that outweigh the hardships for many vegans worldwide.

Michael Chmielewski

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