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Sunday, 16 December 2018
It's not easy eating ethically at Christmas
From the weekend's i newspaper: Avocados are now officially unethical – but what isn’t these days?
A new food to avoid: avocados. Sigh (KEVIN MIDIGO/AFP/Getty Images)
14th December 2018
t’s a most decadent modern affliction, but have you ever stood before the groaning shelves of a supermarket and come to the conclusion that there was nothing, literally nothing, on the shelf in front of you which wasn’t going to exacerbate the chaos and suffering we humans have created for ourselves, our planet and the animals we share it with?
If not, then wakey-wakey. Share the pain and consider this. It doesn’t take a militant vegan to understand that eating animals isn’t the kindest way to treat them, and that they would probably would prefer it if we didn’t. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that all food flown in from abroad is detrimental to the environment.
Wouldn’t it be great to live the odd day without feeling guilty about the cost to the planet of your existence?
So that’s meat, dairy and a lot of fruit and veg out. Fish are a non-starter because the oceans are running out of wild ones, and the farmed variety eat the wrong things and more than they should. Which leaves us with lettuces. Oops, no it doesn’t. Massive greenhouse gas emissions there, too, apparently. How about apples? If you’re fortunate enough to have an apple tree in the garden, feast on. Otherwise, consider the appalling work conditions of fruit pickers.
There is, at least, some pleasure to be drawn from the fact that many vegan favourites cause as much harm as am old-fashioned steak. Last week, a handful of restaurants announced they were banning avocado from their menus because Mexican drug cartels had taken over avocado production.
The international demand for quinoa, meanwhile, has pushed the price so high as to make it unaffordable for the people for whom it used to be a staple. It takes 1,000 litres of water to produce a single litre of non-dairy almond milk, and a gallon of water to produce a single almond, while margarine uses palm oil, which could lead to the extinction of the Asian orangutan.
Demand for quinoa has pushed the price so high as to make it unaffordable for the people for whom it used to be a staple
Wouldn’t it be great to live the odd day without feeling guilty about the cost to the planet of your existence? In the spirit of Christmas I offer you my own ethical survival guide.
Switch off the heating. Remove all unethically sourced clothes. This may lead to nakedness but you can do star jumps to stay warm. When thirsty, drink from a nearby puddle. And when the hunger pangs kick in, smoke a cigarette, thereby suppressing the appetite, while also (assuming you bought them legally) contributing generously to our cash-starved exchequer.
It’s a win-win. Of course it may lead to death. But at least you’ll go to heaven.