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Joanne Donovan

TEDCRED 30+

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Are the western vegetarian and vegan movements food fetishes for the rich?

'LET THEM EAT CAKE'. These words, attributed to Marie Antoinette just prior to her execution, enraged the struggling masses during the French Revolution. To people who had few daily food choices, most subsisted on low grade bread and little else, these words seemed so callous, and so bereft of compassion.

Why do we, in today's wealthy western countries, place such a high degree of importance over our individual diet? Is it just selfishness and ego born out of having too many choices each day? Do we claim self esteem and identity this way? Are we detached from the real meaning of food and nutrition, of survival?

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  • Apr 20 2012: It may be that a high degree of importance is placed on diet in the western world because there is so much food in the western world. People instinctually eat more when there is more food. Now fifty years of glut in our diet has caused the opposite of death by hunger. We must be more aware because our survival depends on it.
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      Apr 21 2012: ....and seem to get precious and choosey about it too Christopher. What do you make of dietry evangelism?

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