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Joanne Donovan


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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 22 2012: I would strongly disagree. As far as I know a vegetarian diet (vegan, I think, is going a bit too far) is a lot healthier than a diet containing meat. I reduces the risk of getting many cancers and cardiovascular diseases. If this is the case, It is not a food fetish for the rich, it is the choice of the smart. It can also be really inexpensive.

    From the global perspective it may also ba a smart choice as a leading diet for the mankind. Meat production requires enormous amounts of water and energy (which in turns leads to higher carbon emissions) comparing to production of vegetables or dairy products. Meat storage and transport requires refrigeration - further energy intake.

    Apparently, if most of population was vegetarian there would be no hunger on this planet.

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