Below is a rant. If you’re not interested in reading it then just ogle over the delicious dinner I cooked instead. Jamie Oliver’s veggie steamed buns with a few extra ingredients and steamed asian greens. There’s four types of mushrooms in there!
I’m a fairly relaxed vegan in terms of agenda-pushing. If someone asks me a question I will answer honestly and share as much information as desired, but for the most part I keep my opinion to myself because the choice and motivations are mine and not for anyone else. But when someone goes out of their way to condemn my choices armed with a wealth of misinformation and uneducated prejudices I will not accept it as merely a “different point of view”.
Today I was told I should be ashamed of myself for being vegan because of how damaging soy production is to the environment. That soy is a key contributor to climate change and I would be doing less harm to the environment as an omnivore than as a vegan. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard such an argument. Putting aside the compassionate grounds for animal life that actually drive my veganism, my response to all those who feel this way, respectfully, is that you’re talking out of your butt.
Yes, soy production, like all other industrialised farming, is one of the largest contributors to global warming due to the carbon stocks that it forces into the atmosphere. But do you know who actually consumes by far the most soy? Meateaters. And livestock. The animals you’re eating. Soybean produces more protein by the metre than any other plant-based crop and therefore is the most economically efficient when it comes to fuelling the global agriculture industry. Soy can be found in chicken, beef, eggs, and almost every other by-product of animal farming and the CSIRO has stated that meateaters generally consume up to 60% more soy than herbies. Sixty. Per. Cent. More.
Also most tofu and soy milk sold in Australia are actually derived from Australian grown soybean crops, whereas the soy protein fed to livestock, local or otherwise, is generally imported from South or North America. Almost 1 million tonnes of soy product used for livestock feed is imported into Australia each year. The reason why soy gets labelled so quickly as a bad guy in the climate debate over every other agricultural crop that are farmed by identical methods with identical impacts is because of its inherent link to plant-based alternatives to meat. It’s a neat way to point the finger at herbivores because of the innate link between soy and vegans/vegetarians but try as they might, deniers cannot change the actual facts and figures that tell the truth of the environmental destruction from soy harvesting being a direct result of the farming of animal products.
I am not exempt myself from contributing to climate change as a result of my lifestyle choices by any means, but I can tell you this much: ecosystems across the Amazon aren’t being demolished to meet my evergrowing demand for soy protein. To those people who silently scathe against my choices despite them having absolutely no direct impact on you whatsoever, if you’re going to try to attack the way I live my life then at least know what you are talking about or I will take pleasure in making you look like the jerk that you are. Let someone else’s choices be the target for you to channel your own guilty conscience, or better yet, do some fucking research.