Don’t worry, you haven’t strayed onto the wrong website, I’m talking meat! This is a big area of contention in the vegan world and is sometimes raised by meat eaters trying to understand the thinking behind being a vegan or meat-free lifestyle. I have heard people ask,”if you don’t want to eat meat, why do you have veggie sausages/bacon/ham etc.” I can see how this would be confusing if you look at the situation at face value, but this is a multi-faceted subject which I will attempt to explore!
As recently suggest in the press, there is growing demand for and investment in fake meats. Reasons for eating fake meat vary for individuals, but from a business point of view, sustainability is key – the earth cannot take the pressure which a growing demand for meat is placing on it, and forward thinking business people like Bill Gates know that. Investment is being made in companies such as Beyond Meat, which are trying to create plant based meat which is as much like the “real thing” as possible. The idea is that people who are not vegetarian or vegan (I’ll use veg*n to denote both, as neither eat meat) may want to eat less meat without feeling as though they are “missing out”.
As for people who are already veg*n, fake chicken, beef, pork and fish, to name a few, can allow them to continue eating dishes that they always did (because most veg*ns will not have been so since birth), knowing that no animals have been harmed to create it.
For others, the fake stuff is just too close for comfort to real meat. It is felt that emulating flesh does not give people the chance to distance themselves from eating parts of animals. It may also just be a matter of taste. I know a number of vegetarians who gave up eating meat firstly because they did not like the taste or texture, particularly of red meat. So when I showed up with fake turkey and beef roasts at a Christmas dinner gathering, these friends were uninterested in eating a food which mimics a meat they never liked in the first place!
It’s probably clear from my previous posts that I am a fake meat fan. Although I was a very fussy meat eater when I was little – nothing on the bone, nothing with the tiniest string of fat in it – I did eat meat regularly, as many people unfortunately still do. Meat was a part of my diet until I was 19 and fish until 21. The reason I don’t eat meat now is because I do not want animals to die for my use, because it is entirely unnecessary, making it unquestionably wrong for me. Fake meat involves no animals, so I’m up for it!
I can completely understand why some veg*ns would find the sight of fake meat offensive and I recall a long comment debate between veg*ns on a facebook post about the whole vegan turkey (check out the Vegansaurus review). Some were outraged that something which looks like a whole, dead, cooked turkey should be presented to the Christmas/Thanksgiving table, but others were happy that they could bring this to their family gathering and persuade their meat eating folks to go for the cruelty free option instead. Admittedly, it does look a little creepy with the inbuilt “cavity” for stuffing!
One of the main points is that fake meat is good for showing people that there is very little that you need to “miss out on” as there are replacements for almost everything currently taken from an animal (including dairy, but this deserves a separate blog post!). The thing is, once you have decided that it is not within you moral boundaries for animals to be used like inanimate products for your culinary preferences, there IS no missing out. If I never got to eat another piece of fake meat for the rest of my life, the thought of going back to eating meat would be out of the question. I do not want to be a contributor to the most important case of missing out; animals missing out on a life free of human interference.
I’d love to know what the opinions out there are! Vote in the poll and leave me your thoughts!