Veganism: Easy for All?
How some vegans disregard the impracticality of veganism for many individuals
By Elizabeth Dwenger
As I walk through campus, one conversation that particularly tends to catch my attention is the discussion on the ease of going vegan and the environmental savior that is veganism. Regardless of opinions on either side of this debate, it should be acknowledged that a crucial aspect is being left out of the conversation—veganism is inaccessible for most people on this planet.
By definition, veganism is restrictive, and the ability to consume or avoid certain foods based on your preference is an immense privilege. Food deserts, areas where nutritious food is difficult to find, exist even in the United States. Food deserts are an area lacking a food source. This means finding affordable food that can sustain one throughout one's day becomes crucial while considering the ethics of where that food came from is nearly unfeasible. Furthermore, considering the numerous developing nations and different cultures around the world, the feasibility of “veganism for all” lowers significantly. Becoming vegan typically implies spending more time cooking in addition to buying more expensive and perishable (and let’s face it, sometimes less appealing) food. Add to that a family, a job, and further responsibilities, this expends valuable time that many may not have. If you possess the time, money, and energy to think about where your food comes from rather than when or where your next meal is, you retain a privilege that countless individuals cannot afford.
Now if any vegans are reading this, you may think that I am just looking for excuses to not be vegan. But the truth is, I have been vegan for nearly six years. I did not write this to give excuses why not to become vegan but rather to bring attention to something for others to consider, especially in regards to activism. Admittedly, the complexity of this topic cannot be given justice so simply and within the limitations of just one article. However, the insistence by some vegans that “becoming vegan is just so easy” is shortsighted, and its ignorance can ironically lead to greater harm than good.