Veganism: The Future of Sustainable Capitalism?
"Wow, Mél, back at it again with attending extra-curricular talks that you hope will make you a more rounded person!!!" Let’s all admit it. Fresher’s Fortnight went past way too quickly. One minute I was helping Freshers move into their accommodations, and the next, I was attending a networking talk by Credit Suisse and thinking about my future (which you can all read here: LINK). In my opinion, t’s all gone too fast for me, and I just need some time to relax and focus on myself. In the past few days, I have been trying to attend the gym regularly in order to re-centralise myself. It’s been surprisingly successful, and I feel a lot of my stress evaporate as I thump along on the treadmill. Nevertheless, I still feel the need to grow myself as a person – not just in terms of improving myself physically, but also mentally. In all honesty, I came across Warwick Think Tank accidentally. During Freshers, we always have a ‘Society’s Fair’, which is a two day period where the University will invite all the societies to set up stalls in a set location. It’s an opportunity for people to discover new interests and join societies and make friends. This year, I am on the exec for several societies and spent my whole day greeting people and encouraging them to sign up. During my break, I wandered around the hall, and one of my friends that I hadn’t seen in a long time approached me. I thought they were genuinely interested in my summer but it turns out they were just trying to make me buy a Warwick Think Tank membership… Anyway, we got talking and I got drawn more and more into the society. They are a politically neutral, progressive, student-led society that encourages free-thinking debates. I realised that this society was exactly what I needed in order to help expand my mind. The talk that I attended was named ‘Veganism: The Future of Sustainable Capitalism?’. As I have previously mentioned, I am very conscious of my own diet and whilst I do not categorise myself as vegetarian or vegan, I do try and avoid red meats that take a long time for your body to process. However, due to being low in iron, I do have to occasionally have that medium rare sirloin steak – but only for health reasons, obviously. Nevertheless, going vegetarian has always been an interesting option that I’ve wanted to consider, yet the idea of veganism always seemed a bit ‘too much’. I’m sure many of you will agree that it has been a ‘trend’ that has emerged and grown in the past year, and many doubt whether it will be as prominent within our society in a few year’s time. I wanted answers to these questions, and so I attended the talk in order to find out more. The talk was taken by a man named Loui. I absolutely loved the way he spoke and how he engaged with us as an audience. Not only did he captivate the room, but he also encouraged us to reflect upon our own diet choices. Morally, where should we draw the line between what animals we eat and don’t eat? Not a lot of us would eat our Labrador, a domesticated animal that we consider more part of our family than a piece of meat. However, we would not hesitate to dig into some KFC with their battery farmed chickens. Additionally, whilst people say that the best way to get protein is to eat chicken, chickens themselves have lived off of a plant-based diet, and that is how the protein enters their body. Instead of the nutrients going through them to get to us, we should be eating what the chickens are eating in order to get protein directly into our body. And thirdly, what I found of great interest, was how our efforts can be accumulated into making a change. I have always wondered this – how one person’s step towards a ‘greater good’ could make a better world. Whilst I had previously believed that vegan meals were expenses merely because they were fashionable or that the products themselves were dear – but this isn’t actually the case. Instead, as there are fewer people who buy the ‘vegan’ products, the restaurants etc buy less of the ingredients, meaning they do not bulk buy as much, making the products themselves more expensive. With more people choosing the vegan options, restaurants will see a rise in sales and thus buy more vegan products, meaning that they will be able to bulk buy, and the price will, in turn, be reduced. (I hope I explained this in a semi-comprehensible way. Sorry guys, I don’t do econ). The talk left me in a state of conscientiousness. Whilst I will probably still buy the occasional chicken here and there, I feel like I will start to make more of an effort to steer my lifestyle to one that incorporates a vegan diet. There are some really great vegan coffee shops around Leamington Spa, and I do look forward to trying out their vegan meals very soon.