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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 did not read everyone's comments but, here is my 2 cents worth.

    I believe that a veg diet (vegetarian or vegan) is better for the planets health issues and for the peoples current health issues.
    I agree that a veg diet in the US and even in China where I live now is becoming less realistic for poorer individuals "in cities".
    If you add the complexity of saying Organic Veg then it changes the game completely.
    If you add Rural farms it also changes.
    From my perspective the reason the price of a veg diet is going up has to do with the privatization of agriculture/food over the last 50-70 years.
    The simplest explanation is that capitalism creates inequity due the fact that economy is created by scarcity.
    Is there economic growth in the industry of water if the government makes water public ?
    No, the price is stable or goes down.
    If everything is privatized then the price will go up due to scarcity.
    If food, housing, clothing, education and other basic needs on Maslows hierarchy were all met by government then what would happen to private businesses?
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      Apr 23 2012: Hi Jeff, 'the reason the price of a veg diet is going up has to do with the privatization of agriculture/food over the last 50-70 years.'. And therein lies the rub. I think this is the real problem, and we need to address it.

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