We’re lucky enough to be living in a time where vegan options are just a block away. By far, almond milk is my favourite. I’d devour a berries & banana almond milk smoothie just like I’d devour freshly milked lassi. At the time, the only remorse I felt was heaps of tetra packs being thrown away and not being fully recycled. On my hunt for a local vegan dairy, I stumbled upon the overlooked consequence of almond milk.
To Dairy or not to Dairy
Most almonds, even soybean (another vegan favourite), is sourced from California, a region in drought. For every litre of almond milk, roughly 3500 litres of water is being used. One could take a shower every day for 6 weeks with that water. We could quench the thirst of an entire village for a day. That doesn’t mean we go back to cow, buffalo, goat milk. Instead of 6 weeks, you’d shower for 12. Instead of one village, it’ll be two. This wastage continues if we look at other popular vegan options.
Every Millennial’s dream - Avocados
It physically pains me to be adding avocados on the list but it’s true. On average, for every avocado that’s smashed and spread onto a crispy sourdough toast, it travels some 7,000 kms. Avocado is one fruit with a pretty big water footprint: it takes about 100 litres of water to get you that one bowl of guacamole. And guess where most of the cultivation happens? That’s right – California!
Chicken and Egg problem
And cow, pig, goat, fish. If you could choose between eating one meal with meat vs. going an entire month without drinking a sip of water, what would you choose? Kidding, it’s not a choice. We’ll die without water.
The case against Mr. Bean
No, not that Mr. Bean, I mean soybean. Another major concern with the meat and dairy industry is the amount of land that’s required to produce the smallest output. The cultivation of soybean is plagued with the same problem. Latin America, Amazon, Atlantic region and more are undergoing deforestation at a mass scale for the cultivation of soybeans. So, where do we go from here?
Our proposal: Eat Local
Say hello to flavours beyond meat
Vietnamese and Korean palette
Enjoy the lentil things
Make Tabouleh not war
So, to answer the question “Is Veganism truly sustainable?”, we have to be mindful of where our food is coming from. We have to be mindful of how we’re consuming and how we’re disposing off the waste. A vegan diet is sustainable when we consume options that aren’t wasteful while meat industry in its current form will never ever be sustainable. Meat-based diet has plagued our species with obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol and more. Moving to a plant-based diet is not only important for our planet’s sustenance but ours too.
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