HOW THE ECONOMIC CRISIS HAS AFFECTED VEGANISM
A good international economy can benefit almost everything worldwide, while a bad economy can really create troubles! Or is it not? Here are a few pros and cons of the economic crisis towards veganism.
First of all, it should be made clear that this article is not based on any fiction or conspiracy theory, but common sense. Throughout the article, all the negative and positive effects of the economic crisis on veganism are going to be highlighted, without that meaning that these effects are something we agree with. Furthermore, this article is about highlighting facts in a neutral way.
Starting with the bad news of the day, as you could refer to the negative effects of the economic crisis on Veganism, the most important problem is -described with only one word: funds. Whether we like it or not, money is the key for human survival, up to date and unfortunately, this crisis is all about money (since it’s an economic crisis after all). This results into two main problems:
A) People will accept any job offer in order to survive.
B) People without money will rather eat anything that looks delicious, is fast to produce and cheap and is promoted by companies, supporting malzoism, resulting in an increase of cannibalism among living creatures.
C) Less eco-friendly methods that might look cheaper in order to accomplish something
Working is absolutely not bad at all. In my case, I had been working on part-time jobs since the age of 15 and I can’t imagine my life without working. Not working and expecting others to work for you is the same as remaining a toddler forever. It means that you can’t take control of your own life. Of course working too much, is also not something that should be done, as an organism needs to rest, but of course this is a topic that is not being discussed here. In an ideal society, where total veganism has been achieved worldwide, or at least the economic crisis is not present, a person is free to chose a cruelty free job and will demand to work somewhere, where abusing animals “for the greater good of the human society” will not exist at all. But of course this ideal society does not exist so far and unfortunately, crisis is present in almost every nation around the world.
There are cases in which vegans are forced to leave their ideals behind and do harm, even in the case of fare trade (if their economic situation and the place they live at forces them to work at a nearby farm). Furthermore, this results into the number of vegans decreasing (considering strict/total vegans) and a significant increase in “groups” of people, referred as “vegan cheaters” or even “vegetarians”.
The need for fast and cheap food has made the gap between malzoans and vegans even bigger, over the last few years and, unfortunately, with the help of the internet, this gap keeps getting bigger and bigger. Non-vegan, vegan friendly or even vegetarian restaurants were the first thing the economic crisis brought to Europe and the rest of the world, since it began, with a huge increase in restaurants, almost 70% of which was not friendly to vegans.
Of course, this number has significantly decreased, but at the same time, companies relying on animal products are trying to convince their customers to buy these products and one of the most common marketing tactics is to present an animal-made burger too juicy, and too satisfying in mouth, comparing to a salad that stands near it and is not even touched by the person shown in the advertisement. Of course, the advertisement does not state clearly that the person enjoying their burger is certainly not going to eat the salad or that they hate salad, but since it’s not the salad or any other meal part of their products, they are highlighting the burger.
This is only one of the many examples you can find on television, on books, even on the internet. Of course, a malzoan will obviously feel as if a salad (and I used salad for the example, because most malzoans tend to refer to “salad”, when speaking about vegan food) is not tasty and absolutely not something that can make one’s stomach go full and feed someone well. Of course this is exactly the opposite, as salad contains too many different and various minerals and vitamins that not only can make someone feel satisfied, but also play a significant role to his health. Using the internet, a malzoan will start criticizing vegans for their “poor” diet and boast about how delicious their meals are. On the other hand, a number of vegans will be triggered and instead of showing them the variety of vegan meals that exists, as well as educative facts about how healthy a vegan diet is, they will prefer to criticize back. It’s okay to disagree with people, but it’s never okay to fight people and that goes to both sides.
Educating people is the right way to disagree in a polite and civilized way. However, the gap tends to become bigger and bigger, when it comes to fanatics of each kind. Also, many vegans tend to forget that before turning vegan, they probably were malzoans.
Fast food restaurants, offering junk food (even if it was considered traditional junk food) had been around even before the crisis. According to a market research on 2011, conducted by IBISWorld , fast food chains or local fast food restaurants make up to almost a little bit more than $150 billion in revenue each year! It’s the prices that affect consumers to buy these foods and the second most important factor that always made them preferred and loved by anyone is the taste of their meals and how well they are advertised.
Since whatever type of food that was considered “healthy” would often not contain any meat or byproducts, would not be part of the menu (except from a salad probably), these restaurants were never meant to be vegan-friendly and hardly, over the last few years some of them have tried to add at least 2 vegan-friendly options, just in order to increase their income, although 90% of their income comes obviously from non-vegans.
Even if marketing does not intend to create any gap between people (as companies obviously aspire almost everyone to be a customer), that’s what happens in the end.
The third main problem is how eco friendly one is, and of course, like I have previously stated in another article of mine, one cannot boast about being “a real vegan”, should his car be emitting more CO2 than a boat’s chimney. It’s probably too perfect that we all had eco-friendly cars and our houses were eco-friendly too, not to mention our cities as a whole. However, hybrid and electric cars do not cover the majority of the planet’s vehicles. In some cases, one trying to be as eco-friendly as possible might be forced to drive their father’s old car, because they simply did not have the money to buy another vehicle.
The fact that electric and hybrid cars already exist is nothing new, with Tesla supercars and the new Volkswagen that was presented during the automobile expo of 2016 being an example of how much technology has improved and how less reliable we are on sources such as oil. Of course, many people don’t have the money to buy a Tesla, or even a cheap used hybrid Toyota, being forced to use old vehicles consuming oil and polluting the atmosphere.
Just as you wouldn’t leave any trash bags inside your house, people should not allow their home, Earth be polluted. Pollution does not affect humans only, as EVERY living organism suffers the consequences. Crisis drives many people to using cars, devices or methods that pollute the environment 30% more than they would, should there not be an economic crisis.
On the bright side, surprisingly the economic crisis has benefited the veganism movement, as well as any alternative movement. The main beneficial effects it has had on veganism are:
1) More and more people turn at least vegetarians or cheating vegans, since a plant-based diet is cheaper than most of the malzoan diets.
2) With a continuously increasing number in vegetarians and every semi-vegan types, more and more vegan restaurants, shops and products are being introduced.
3) The need for sustainable methods for nourishing people, more and more companies turn some or all of their products vegetarian or completely vegan.
Money is a really important factor, especially during an economic crisis. An increasing number of people each year decide to leave the sadistic pleasure of malzoism for a diet that will be more affordable. According to an article from Eurostat , out of 38 out countries of the E.U. , the cheapest products to buy are vegetables, fruits and potatoes. A slight exception could be made for most cities in the United States of America, as meat sometimes is cheaper than most vegetables or fruits, for a big variety of reasons, only 2 of which are the most important:
a) Lobbying decides the subsidies, not public health or environment, resulting in artificially low prices for meat (bibliography: New York Times)
b) Cheaper transportation and dispense
An increasing number in vegetarians and cheating-vegans, means that the whole movement of veganism is benefited, as companies want a share of the pie and will do anything to get these “veganish” consumers buy their products, with a small sense of hope that in the near future, these companies, should they have enough vegan options, will manage to convince even strict vegans into buying their products.
A common tip that every economologist gives at every seminar for companies is that “Consumers are not silly. They might buy something that is being advertised, but they will want every penny to count for what they bought!” Keeping that in mind, it’s quite obvious that many companies have started a “race” , competing each other on which will make the best vegan product, should it be almond milk, soy mince or seitan chicken and get the most consumers. This benefits -who else?- vegan consumers.
At the same time, many people that started a vegan diet simply because it was cheap, decide that they want to learn more about veganism as an ideology and end up becoming supporters of the veganism movement.
In conclusion, the economic crisis has affected every aspect of our everyday lives, mostly in a negative way, but there are a few gray areas as well. In no way, do we imply that the economic crisis is good or needed, and in no way do we agree, or disagree with the outcome of it on any aspect of life, regarding this article, like previously mentioned. The economic crisis should be dealt with delicacy and effectiveness, as its existence and only is bad for the globe as a whole, however, should the world manage to end this crisis, some beneficial or negative effects would have been made on the world, and in this case, the vegans!