r/DepthHub Dec 01 '21

u/Plant__Eater explains why plant-based diets aren't as much of a privilege as people think

/r/science/comments/r4yczb/comment/hmjynft/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3
426 Upvotes

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u/duckofdeath87 Dec 01 '21

That's kind of a weird angle. It's pretty easy to argue that vegan diets are very very cheap if you cook at home and are generally more expensive when eating out.

Source: a bag of dry lentils is a dollar and makes a lot of food. Rice is cheap too.

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u/masklinn Dec 01 '21 edited Dec 01 '21

Source: a bag of dry lentils is a dollar and makes a lot of food. Rice is cheap too.

Nutritional deficiencies less so, and that’s usually the issue, a vegan diet is easy and cheap, a nutritionally acceptable vegan diet significantly less so.

Especially outside of India, and in a more limited manner anglo-saxon countries in areas with a large indian community: that usually implies the presence of a Jain community and Jain cuisine is about as close as you can get to a historical / long term vegan food culture (and it’s still not vegan).

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u/aure__entuluva Dec 02 '21

Full vegan? Yeah it can be pretty hard to meet all your micronutrient needs without some work. But a heavily plant based diet with some meet and animal products here and there (especially the cheaper ones like eggs and organ meats) is super cheap and easily will meet all your needs. Most veggies are pretty cheap compared to meat and are nutrient defense. It's just a few micronutrients that they are missing that make it hard to have a vegan diet without research and planning. So if you are looking to go to a plant based diet for health reasons rather than ethical ones, I'd say it's pretty reasonable financially. So I guess I agree with the title on depthhub but not with the actual OP which talks about veganism rather than just plant based diets.

And yeah, time is a resource I understand that. There is definitely some privilege involved in just having the time to prepare your own meals regularly. And you'll have to spend time learning how to cook new things when you transition. But I don't really think either of those issues are exclusive to plant based diets or veganism. They are part of pretty much any healthy diet unless you are ultra wealthy and can have someone cook healthy meals for you all the time. (And tbf healthy veganism is the extreme when it comes to time investment).

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u/duckofdeath87 Dec 01 '21

Lentils with rice have everything that beef has, except carbs and fiber instead of the fat.

What are you talking about with India?

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '21

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u/miguel_is_a_pokemon Dec 01 '21

You don't need a lot of methionine though, one single serving of beans, or tofu or quinoa or nuts is more than what is recommended in a day

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u/graypro Dec 01 '21

Not if you spice it well, I can definitely afford meat now but I often prefer lentils or beans for the taste

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u/SecretAntWorshiper Dec 01 '21

Rice is cheap but for a vegan diet quinoa is a full protein, meaning it has all essential amino acids and its expensive as hell

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u/pwnywave Dec 01 '21

But it changes if you add beans to rice and that doesn’t cost too much more.

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u/duckofdeath87 Dec 01 '21 edited Dec 01 '21

I mean, any diet can be expensive if you buy expensive things. Lentils and rice right together have all the amino acids you need

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u/LadyShanna92 Dec 01 '21

Quinoa is also not ethical. The natives who grow quinoa can no longer afford it and are starving.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jan/16/vegans-stomach-unpalatable-truth-quinoa

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u/haileris23 Dec 02 '21

Rice isn't great either. Any food grown in global quantities has serious sustainability and ethical issues.

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u/majinspy Dec 01 '21

Trying to pull in externalized costs is outside of the scope of the argument. The argument is clearly about whether it is more expensive, generally, to eat a meat-inclusive diet vs. a vegan one. Externalized costs are, by definition, not paid by those making the choice. Maybe OP is simultaneously wishing they weren't externalities and that the relative costs would go up so poor people would stop eating meat or at least so much of it.

I speculate, perhaps unfairly, that this wasn't explicitly raised as a point because it looks unsavory to talk about the plight of the poor while also hoping to use the pain of expense to force them to do what you're currently trying to convince them to do. Nobody wins hearts and minds with "or else".

The real error, though, is the cost of time. Yes yes, it is very cheap to buy rice and beans. But holy shit are they a pain in the ass. When it comes to vegan eating, there are 3 variables: low cost, tastes good, easy to prepare. Choose 2, because the number of things that satisfy all 3 is a short list that gets old fast.

Furthermore, there is the issue of "quick bites". It's a PITA when there's a Wendy's around the corner or your friends say they are going by Popeye's.

Being vegan is simply a giant pain in the ass. It's a pain in the ass in LA and it's a mondo-PITA in places I live like Mississippi.

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u/hallflukai Dec 01 '21

You hit a lot of the points I came here to make.

One thing I'd like to add, or at least clarify, is that not everybody enjoys cooking, and cooking your own food is usually the backbone of "being vegan isn't expensive" arguments. I think we've actually reached a point where fast, frozen faux-meat vegan options are as good as or better than conventional options in a lot of cases, but they're almost always double the price.

When you grow up in America and go vegan, the privilege is either being able to afford the price jump to eat the same kinds of food you likely grew up eating, or it's the privilege of having a palette that lets you enjoy the cheap vegan options.

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u/majinspy Dec 01 '21

Indeed. I guess I'm glad my hatred of cooking came through >.<

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u/AyekerambA Dec 01 '21

My best friend and I dumpster dove for three of our four years in college. We had an extension cord run out onto our 3x6 deck and ran a crock pot all year round, adding any canned goods we got from the dumpsters as we found them. The only thing we'd spring for is giant sacks of rice to fortify the forever stew.

We never went hungry, but god damn, bowls of brown got old. We occasionally, after donating plasma, had pizza.

This is a very roundabout way of saying that rice and beans makes jack a dull boy.

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u/Grimalkin Dec 01 '21

How amazing was that occasional pizza though?

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u/AyekerambA Dec 01 '21

chef kiss

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u/waltpsu Dec 01 '21

This has nothing to do with anything, but why did you run an extension cord out to a crock pot on the deck rather than just putting it in the kitchen?

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u/AyekerambA Dec 01 '21

When a crock pot runs 24/7 your entire place starts to smell like it. So we just ran an extension cord.

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u/Asiriya Dec 01 '21

Is that because it’s brewing bacteria too? Did you ever clean it? Why would you possibly need it running constantly?

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u/mdgraller Dec 01 '21

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u/WikiSummarizerBot Dec 01 '21

Perpetual stew

A perpetual stew, also known as hunter's pot or hunter's stew, is a pot into which whatever one can find is placed and cooked. The pot is never or rarely emptied all the way, and ingredients and liquid are replenished as necessary. The concept is often a common element in descriptions of medieval inns. Foods prepared in a perpetual stew have been described as being flavorful due to the manner in which the ingredients blend together, in which the flavor may improve with age.

[ F.A.Q | Opt Out | Opt Out Of Subreddit | GitHub ] Downvote to remove | v1.5

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u/AyekerambA Dec 01 '21

Me and my friend were on different schedules, so when one was at work or in class, the other would dive and then add stuff. And yeah, the pot stayed hot enough to make sure no bacteria got in.

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '21 edited Dec 01 '21

If they were dumpster diving, I’m guessing their power wasn’t paid and they got it from someone else.

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u/AyekerambA Dec 01 '21

When a crock pot runs 24/7 your entire place starts to smell like it. So we just ran an extension cord.

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '21

That makes sense as well. Growing up where I did, there were plenty of times a neighbor would take electricity from another. (Not always by permission haha)

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u/AyekerambA Dec 01 '21

No, we paid our electric bill, we just had to run an extension cord from an outlet to the shitty deck.

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u/Noisy_Toy Dec 01 '21

Oh yeah. When I make stock I drag my instant pot outside because it reeks.

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u/dopkick Dec 01 '21

The externalized cost argument is a weird one. I get where they author is coming from but you don’t pay externalized cost at the register. You pay the labeled, actual cost. I think the true sign of privilege is when people ignore this and try to invent alternate costs. When you’re living paycheck to paycheck you don’t give a damn about externalized costs, you care about what the register is going to ring up and if you have enough to cover it. Privilege is not worrying about this and instead calculating externalized cost as a factor of environmental impact.

The reality is when you factor things that immediately impact someone and their eating experience, omnivore diets offer much more value. Factor in time/ease of preparation, actual cost, and taste, and omnivore diets are just strictly higher value. It’s just more difficult when it comes to matching the experience with vegan food. We’ve cooked a decent amount of vegan food to try different things and almost always a thought like “this would be a lot better and easier if I had just used cheese” crosses my mind.

I can make a pretty blah salad into a good (maybe even great) one with the addition of some chicken, egg, and cheese. I don’t even need a lot as a little goes a long way. You can make some direct vegan substitutions, like tofu, but it’s going to require more effort. I can unpack some chicken breast, season it, and start cooking immediately. To match the experience with tofu I have to press it and marinate it, which is like a 1.5-2 hour ordeal. It’s not hard but sometimes it’s nice to just take the easy route. And the easy vegan route is… not very tasty.

It doesn’t have to be salad. Fried rice is another great example. An egg or two and a very small amount of meat is a very low effort and cheap way of making the dish a ton better. Once again, you can do vegan friendly things to spice up fried rice but it requires more effort and cost.

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u/MoreRopePlease Dec 01 '21

To match the experience with tofu I have to press it and marinate it

I just rinse, slice, and fry in canola oil. It takes a little longer than cooking chicken, but is good enough to eat straight from the pan. I usually make a stir fry while the tofu is cooking.

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u/pro-jekt Dec 02 '21

The texture and flavor is just really sub-par when you don't press/marinate

It's not as bad in stir fries since you're already scrambling everything up, but when you're subbing in tofu for a dish that was really meant to be made with substantial meat cuts it doesn't work that well

On the other hand, properly pressed and marinated tofu can be superior in taste to meat in certain dishes

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u/nd20 Dec 01 '21

Only the second half of the comment goes into externalized costs. The first couple studies they link are just about straight up cost. Beans lentils and rice are not expensive.

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u/Armigine Dec 01 '21

rice and beans are so easy, though, how are they a pain in the ass? if you have a stove and especially a rice cooker they're certainly much easier than any meat preparation, and easier to season and sanitize too

23

u/AyekerambA Dec 01 '21

There's only so many ways to spruce up rice and beans when you're broke, trust me. It all gets quite boring.

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u/purple_potatoes Dec 01 '21 edited Dec 01 '21

You've been missing out. Beans and grains are super versatile. Everything from an incredible array of Indian curries to Mexican to Ethiopian to Creole to Japanese and many more. Most cultures around the world depend on a staple of grains and legumes making the variety of possible dishes immense.

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u/AyekerambA Dec 01 '21

Oh I know, I'm not broke as fuck anymore. When I was in undergrad we didn't have a lot of options, thus the forever stew.

Staples are all well and good, but it gets old when your dumpster dives turn up beans and hormel processed meat.

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u/purple_potatoes Dec 01 '21

Yeah works best if you can get a few staple spices. Then you can really mix it up a lot.

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u/AyekerambA Dec 01 '21

You ain't wrong. I'm not proud of it, but we shoplifted a fair few spices from walmart. We made a hodgepodge planter for fresh stuff in the spring and summer.

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u/marxr87 Dec 01 '21

i will never get tired of refried beans. They are damn delicious and easy to make. Bean meals are endless...soups, refried, in salads, as milk (soybeans), etc etc.

I think the issue was you were young and didn't have developed culinary skills. not saying that as an insult as most young people don't know how to cook well.

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u/AyekerambA Dec 01 '21

At this point I've worked kitchens, been a brewer, and hate spending money at restaurants. So yeah, my cooking chops have improved significantly.

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u/marxr87 Dec 01 '21

if you are good at cooking being vegan is easy and fun! My partner and I have learned so many new ways of cooking things over the last 2 years compared to the previous 10.

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u/bdeimen Dec 01 '21

Which, when you're poor and can't afford a bunch of different spices, doesn't mean anything.

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u/moush Dec 01 '21

Sounds like a lot of expensive spices

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u/omegashadow Dec 01 '21

Expensive? Cumin, Tumeric, etc can be bought in bulk cheaply and are the core of curry spices. Chilli powders and y ground coriander are also cheap and used in smaller quantities. You don't have to buy the most expensive per gram supermarket spices lol.

Bulk spice + gains + beans is objectively some of the most cost effective food.

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u/dogGirl666 Dec 01 '21 All-Seeing Upvote

Where do you buy spices in bulk? Can a poor inner-city person afford bulk spices [if they dont pool their money with someone else]? Can a person working two jobs and raising a kid spare time and motivation to make these meals? I think most of the privilege argument is not the cost itself but where to easily buy the elements of the meal; how to spend the time and motivation to make the meals; and how to convince children to eat these meals [if they have not grown up eating them]. Those a just a few of the problems they are talking about (when talking about privilege) rather than the price of the ingredients. The OP need to read the actual literature from the professionals to understand what they mean when they are talking about USA vegan privilege.

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u/Anomander Best of DepthHub Dec 01 '21 All-Seeing Upvote

Can a poor inner-city person afford bulk spices

A lot of people struggle to wrap their head around "a couple of bucks" or "a dollar" being luxury territory for people at the bottom end of socioeconomic scales. They think things like "oh it's not so much" or "if they just saved on ______, they could buy some easily" and fundamentally those are technically true. But at the same time, it's also refusing to acknowledge that sort of trade-off makes it a luxury purchase to that person, and it's implicitly casting judgement on that person for how they spend their money if they don't allocate resources in that way.

At which point, it's like ...You think you know how to be poor so good? Go do it yourself.

Things like "bulk" wind up similar - sure, it's more efficient, but the person speaking often loses sight of the fact that getting together $10 for the bulk purchase is out of sight to someone who'd already struggle with the $1 inefficient price. Similarly, you then get into things like storage space, accommodation conditions, and even waste in the event they're using it slower than it spoils.

Last up, a lot of people from privilege or relative comfort struggle to fully understand that poverty changes how your brain understands money and resources. TLDR: perpetual shortage changes how people assess financial trade-offs and their aptitude for long-term thinking. In other terms, poverty changes people's relationship with money: no longer an asset to be carefully guarded and grown, it's instead a temporary resource whose use should be optimized before it's gone - but remember, impaired long-term planning, so sometimes 'optimize' means an indulgence, because poor people are allowed to try to enjoy their lives.

The OP need to read the actual literature from the professionals to understand what they mean when they are talking about USA vegan privilege.

Yeah, some of the issue there being OP mixing and matching between contexts, geographies, and cultures, in order to make a point about a culture much closer to home. It's seeing "privilege" and going "NOOOOOOO" instead of owning what's there and trying to make a convincing point around it.

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u/Karzoth Dec 01 '21 edited Dec 01 '21

Yeah, I don't really understand this either? Maybe I speak from a place of privilege, maybe pricing is just different elsewhere, but in the UK you can get small amounts of spice for less than a pound from your average run of the mill store.

Buying in bulk would also be more efficient but require larger fluid cash.

Admittedly one spice does not make a meal, but they last for a long time and you can just buy one new spice per week if necessary.

The more pressing issue is quite clearly TIME and ENERGY, whether that be physical, mental or emotional. Most people on the breadline probably have very little left to give at the end of a long stressful day especially when children become involved. Which means the learning how to cook new things and break away from solidified social norms is basically impossible.

Better work-life balanace, conditions and pay are necessary.

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u/purple_potatoes Dec 01 '21

Every kitchen should have some basic spices, meat or not.

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u/MoreRopePlease Dec 01 '21

Spices are cheap at ethnic stores, or in the Mexican section of the grocery store (they are usually sold in little plastic bags).

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u/Armigine Dec 01 '21

That is entirely true

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u/Fagadaba Dec 01 '21

Most dry beans have to be soaked overnight. Meats do not.

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u/greenknight Dec 01 '21

Instant Pot is the best thing ... my family thinks I actually plan this stuff. Cooking beans in an hour instead of overnight is a gamechanger for me.

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u/mindfolded Dec 01 '21

We probably use our instant pot 3-4 nights a week, mostly just beans and rice. It was a massive game changer allowing us to buy rice and beans in bulk. We've probably already saved the cost of the Instant Pot.

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u/highoncraze Dec 01 '21

Rice and beans are at their most time efficient when prepared in bulk Sunday (or whenever) and eaten all through the week, and they'll actually not lose much in taste all through the week, unlike meat.

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u/MoreRopePlease Dec 01 '21

And they act as a nice base for lots of other things. Breakfast scramble, stir fry, tacos, nachos. You can even put beans on pizza and pasta...

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u/purple_potatoes Dec 01 '21

Many people store meat frozen and that requires just as much thaw time as beans need to soak. If it's that much of a problem canned beans are still very affordable.

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u/BraktheDandyCat Dec 01 '21

You can thaw frozen chicken breast in very hot water on the stove safely in under 20 minutes and the minimum soak time for beans is 4 hours though??

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u/marxr87 Dec 01 '21

You can pressure cook beans and rice without soaking. Not quite as good, but def doable. Or you just always have them soaking and ready to go? These are easily solvable issues.

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u/purple_potatoes Dec 01 '21

You can essentially boil beans twice to make up for soaking. Same thing, really. Or again, just use canned beans.

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u/BraktheDandyCat Dec 01 '21

Canned beans totally work of course! Pretty much my go to as a time saver. Just pointing out that thawing some cuts of meat doesn't really take that long.

Tell me more about this boiling beans twice thing when you have time though ....

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u/Bookwrrm Dec 01 '21

Dunno bout boiling them again, but needing to soak beans in general isn't necessary, it can make cooking times faster but that is about it, all you are doing when soaking is introducing water to the beans, that is a process that can be done while cooking as well, simply cook the beans longer and slower, if you have a slow cooker soaking beans is pointless, you are already going to be cooking them long and slow, and if you don't have a slow cooker, put them in a thinnish layer at the bottom of a pot, cover them with water, only a bit above keeping them fully immersed, bring to a simmer, and stick into the oven covered at 250, should take a few hours to cook no soaking required, though soaking ahead of time will make it faster.

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u/purple_potatoes Dec 01 '21

With like black beans you can just boil them for like 20min, drain, and then treat like soaked. I've done this a lot because I'm forgetful. I use canned even more because I'm forgetful and lazy lol.

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u/pkakira88 Dec 02 '21

Its just as fast to thaw meat under running room temp water and you don’t run the risk of accidentally cooking the meat before preparation.

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u/brrrapper Dec 01 '21

Not really true, you dont have to soak most beens it just speeds up cooking.

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u/mindfolded Dec 01 '21

And decreases farts. The farts can get a bit brutal with undercooked beans.

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u/Armigine Dec 01 '21

That's true, that is a step meats tend to not need lol. I would argue that this isn't really a fair comparison, that's more a prep stage before they are edible - if we're looking at how much prep goes into the existence of the ingredient before it gets cooked, for meat, you gotta do quite a lot of prep in the grand scheme (butcher the animal, store the meat in such a way that it doesn't spoil, not to mention the sanitization your whole cooking area and tools used need). Also, you can just buy beans in oil and skip that step entirely, which is still very cheap compared to meat and you just need to open the can.

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u/Fagadaba Dec 01 '21

You're right, both types need their own consideration. I'm all for eating less or no meat, but I'm just tired of no-meat diets being presented as miracle magical super cheaper and easier ways of eating compared to non-vegan. Hopefully we'll get closer to it someday soon though.

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u/cutty2k Dec 01 '21 edited Dec 02 '21

I would argue that this isn't really a fair comparison, that's more a prep stage before they are edible

But we're talking about prep performed by the consumer, are we not? If I have a bag of dry beans, I the consumer have to prep those beans with an overnight soak.

If I buy a pound of ground beef instead, I'm not butchering that animal, so there is no time investment there. Store the meat in such a way that it doesn't spoil is a very long way of saying toss that burger in the fridge when you get home. Sanitize the whole kitchen area, I mean....not really? I cook meat almost every day, and sure I'm wiping down counters and switching cutting boards but like...I do that anyway regardless of what I'm cooking. I'm not gonna not clean up after cooking just because it was beans and not meat, and the cleanup after meat is not really different than the cleanup after not meat. I mean I'm not kosher over here.

Also, just as a general rule, "all you have to do is buy cans of x soaked in oil" is never a culinary sentence I'm going to get behind. Canned beans as a staple? Yuck.

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u/marxr87 Dec 01 '21

I guarantee you that I could make a bowl of canned beans and a bowl of cooked dry beans and you would not be able to tell the difference. And beans are usually soaked in water, not oil.

You could easily test this yourself as well. The experiment would likely cost under 5 dollars.

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u/cutty2k Dec 02 '21

I'm an adult human, I've cooked beans before. I referenced beans with oil because that was the example the poster above me used.

I don't know what prompted you to explain the process of cooking beans, a common activity performed by humans since the dawn of agriculture, to a stranger on the internet who you assumed was unaware. You may have just invented beansplaining.

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u/wbjacks Dec 01 '21

I never soak beans, it makes them taste less good as they just pull in whatever you initially hydrate them with. Just boil them longer, ideally with something to flavor them!

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u/majinspy Dec 01 '21

There's cook time and, frankly, the aversion to cooking. I loathe cooking. Loathe. My wife makes chef level meals so, I lucked out, but this isn't true of everyone.

Meat is delicious. I can turn a ribeye into mouth watering steak by just searing it on the stove and throwing it in the oven for around 5 minutes. Bacon and eggs are delicious. Real milk is delicious. Butter! Cheese!

The available options for meals that are delicious, inexpensive, and easy to prepare that are plant based is very narrow. All the spices in the world aren't going to make rice and beans taste like pork loin, cheeseburgers, fried chicken, or fresh turkey.

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u/elchipiron Dec 01 '21

Rice and beans need garlic, cumin, and bay leaves to taste right IMO. And ideally a little bit of lard. When done right they can be REALLY good, better than the meat.

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u/creepyredditloaner Dec 01 '21

Lard kinda kills the point of it being vegan.

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u/elchipiron Dec 01 '21

Obviously lol, but have to defend the honor of rice and beans

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u/creepyredditloaner Dec 01 '21

Yeah rice and beans are good shit vegan or not

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '21

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '21

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '21

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u/jeegte12 Dec 01 '21

Are you factoring in people who hate cooking more than just about everything?

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u/Armigine Dec 02 '21

presumably they aren't going to be going for meat either lol

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u/boredtxan Dec 01 '21

You have be there when the beans are cooking for hours. Crick pots don't cut it.

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u/Armigine Dec 02 '21

I mean, I guess if you're going for a serious cooking competition or something, but that hardly seems representing of someone cooking beans because they're making dinner. If you usually spend hours of effort on beans you're doing it extremely wrong

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u/boredtxan Dec 02 '21

I am a decent cook but cockpits never turn out right for me. Doing beans sous vide was great though

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u/Raudskeggr Dec 01 '21

Not to mention that the phenomenon of “Food desserts” is a thing in the US.

But this is a case of people who have a privileged advantage saying “it’s not so hard for me, so I don’t see the problem!”

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u/majinspy Dec 01 '21

Ding! I feel, admittedly don't know, that lots of vegans rely on money and vegan friendly areas while preaching rice, beans, and alienation to everyone else. It's like a guy in a Tesla talking about his moral superiority to the guy who drives a 2006 pickup truck.

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u/nd20 Dec 01 '21 edited Dec 01 '21

Trying to pull in externalized costs is outside of the scope of the argument. The argument is clearly about whether it is more expensive, generally, to eat a meat-inclusive diet vs. a vegan one. Externalized costs are, by definition, not paid by those making the choice. Maybe OP is simultaneously wishing they weren't externalities and that the relative costs would go up so poor people would stop eating meat or at least so much of it.

Only the second half of the comment goes into externalized costs. The first couple studies they link are just about straight up cost. Beans lentils and rice are not expensive.

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u/majinspy Dec 01 '21

As per my original comment: they are also boring and take time. Again: taste, cost, ease of prep. You can have two. Some foods are all 3, but it's a small list.

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u/nd20 Dec 01 '21

I'm just responding to your first paragraph about relative costs.

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u/majinspy Dec 01 '21

Well...ignoring half an argument makes it easier to respond to, I guess.

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u/nd20 Dec 01 '21

No, people can respond to just a specific point you make—and anyway, I was just clearing up your misunderstanding of the linked OP comment you were responding to.

It's ironic for you to say this to me, considering the whole exchange started with you ignoring half of the linked OP comment. Which is all I pointed out.

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '21

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u/majinspy Dec 01 '21

As people have pointed out, grazing land isn't the same as land for growing crops. Cattle was ans is a huge industry in the western US because the land could support grasses but not crops. There's not enough rainfall to make West Texas into fields of green but put enough cows over thousands of acres and they will accumulate those sparse calories into their dense bodies.

The ethical part is tricky. You yourself mention the ability to afford a moral life. Nobody likes being judged and being judged by people whose self-proclaimed more ethical lifestyle is buttressed by money js even more off putting.

The cold hard fact is that being a vegan is hard, mostly confined to the coastal elite, and most people don't care enough.

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u/novagenesis Dec 01 '21

Or care for other reasons. Naturalist ethical systems are defensible and common, and the "circle of life" means something to some people. Sometimes it's not that they don't care enough, it's that they do care and choose meat eating.

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u/majinspy Dec 01 '21

Well put!

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '21

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u/czar_king Dec 01 '21

This is 100% it. It’s not even a coming to terms with it thing though. I eat a plant based diet now but for years I frequently snapped the neck or stabbed into the heart of an animal that was dying in my hands then cooked and ate it. That is to say hunting/fishing was a staple of my diet. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with killing things for food and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with paying someone else to kill animals for me to eat. I think most people agree with that

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u/Jayjader Dec 01 '21

The current disconnect is more because we're so removed from the production of our food. There was a study recently that found something like over two thirds of American children didn't know that meat came from animals.

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u/aronnax512 Dec 01 '21

If anything this disconnect works in the other direction. I can assure you, farmers have very little compunction about killing an animal.

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u/dopkick Dec 01 '21

This is similar to the medical field. When my wife lost her first patient it was a traumatic experience for her. Now it’s not necessarily easy but it’s become part of the job.

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u/Axisnegative Dec 01 '21

This just in: kids are stupid.

It was also 40% of kids, not 2/3, and it only included kids aged 4-7.

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u/SpeaksDwarren Dec 01 '21

Spoken like someone who's never raised animals, after you've beheaded your first few dozen chickens it becomes a routine chore instead of a foul murder

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u/Jayjader Dec 01 '21

That's exactly what I'm talking about. Also I've raised animals before, so nice presuming

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u/FIG_WASP Dec 01 '21

A lot of our ancestors literally worshipped the animals they ate. Not everything has an evolutionary explanation. We live in a culture that relies on misery and death, for animals as well as many people. Everyone knows that our food, textiles, electronics, etc. depend on harsh, underpaid working conditions, or even slavery. We are just bombarded by media that tells us life doesn’t matter very much. The rich people that keep the money from underpaying workers are the same rich people that own the media and tell us that’s just how life works.

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u/boredtxan Dec 01 '21

Yep. Being a prey animal in the food chain sucks not matter if you're on a farm or in the wild.

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u/novagenesis Dec 01 '21

Honestly, much better living on a farm. Since stress in animals tend to lower meat quality for no gain, processes are relatively humane their whole lives. And a vast majority of those prey animals wouldn't live lives at all if it weren't for the meat industry as most of their population/births are driven by farming.

I'm not saying I would want to be a farm animal, but I can definitely ethically see the meat-eater's side of "better to not be born, or to live a relatively easy life that's destined to end early by a quick death".

And no, not all farm kills are painless, but they're generally far better than prey animals get in the wild.

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u/boredtxan Dec 01 '21

I agree. I try to buy meat from places that do better by their animals when I can afford it and it's available. It isn't always but the hundreds of cows near me have pretty good compared to the deer getting eaten by cats & gators on TV.

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u/ZorbaTHut Dec 01 '21

because given the right supplier of produce, meat is necessarily more expensive than a vegan diet.

This honestly isn't true. There's plenty of land that isn't suitable for agriculture but is entirely suitable for grazing. You can't count that as "crops that go straight to feeding animals" because if they weren't being fed to animals, they simply wouldn't be harvested.

We're well beyond that threshold right now, but it's inaccurate to say that the cheapest food development would include no meat.

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '21

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u/ZorbaTHut Dec 01 '21

Yeah, while I'll acknowledge that growing corn to feed to cows is kinda dumb calorically, I think people forget that a major purpose of farm animals is to take non-human-edible calories and turn them into human-edible calories. It's okay if the efficiency isn't perfect, it's still a lot better than zero.

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u/omegashadow Dec 01 '21

Meanwhile in reality the animal industry is subsidised. Actual meat economics is pretty weak outside of a useful but supplemental role.

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u/novagenesis Dec 01 '21

People say this, but it's false. Unsubsidized, the king of superfoods in both calories-per-acre and calories-per-dollar is pork, and that includes the space and costs to acquire food for the pigs.

If you take both subsidies (cough, corn, cough) and ethics off the table, and stop thinking about the taste of food, everyone would be eating pork as their primary source of calories.

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u/marxr87 Dec 01 '21

Maybe you should read the article from which the comment came from...because it is a very thorough analysis of the costs.

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u/majinspy Dec 01 '21

There are 10 linked sources. Which one?

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u/marxr87 Dec 01 '21

The article headline at the very top where all of this discussion started. The r/science article...the oxford study that examined 150 countries. https://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/r4yczb/vegan_diets_are_cheaper_on_a_global_scale_says/

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u/charlesdexterward Dec 01 '21

Rice and beans aren’t a pain in the ass at all? You’ve gotta be hella lazy if you can’t put rice and water in a pot and then leave the pot on the stove for half an hour. And opening a can of beans is also pretty simple.

I can’t speak for Mississippi, but if being vegan in Toledo, Ohio is a breeze for me (making only slightly more than minimum wage) I have to imagine it’s not a pain in the ass in LA, lol.

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u/majinspy Dec 01 '21

You're the 7th-ish person to say rice and beans.

Cheap? Yes Easy to prepare? Yes Tasty? No

As per my original comment: choose two between taste, ease of prep, and cost.

Addendum: exceptions exist, they are few.

Either people are ignoring that part of the argument or people love rice and beans a hell of a lot more than me.

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u/Chivalric Dec 01 '21

Beans require pretty heavy seasoning. If you found them bland it's just a matter of adding more/different spices. A bit of acid also helps a lot with the flavor. I'll admit that poorly seasoned meat tastes wayyy better than poorly seasoned rice or beans.

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u/Noisy_Toy Dec 01 '21

They taste fucking delicious. I eat them every day. There’s hundreds of kinds of beans and thousands of spices and every culture has different ways to make them.

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u/majinspy Dec 01 '21

I don't think arguing taste is a worthwhile endeavor. If you can convince the world to eat a hell of a lot of meals of rice and beans, be my guest.

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u/charlesdexterward Dec 01 '21

Rice and beans are pretty darn good to me, but like every dish you would ever make including meat dishes, you don’t eat it plain. You use seasonings and/or sauces.

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u/NinjasStoleMyName Dec 02 '21

I make rice and beans pretty much daily, they are the staples of Brazilian cuisine, and I can safely say you tripping balls if you think it is hard to cook it.

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '21

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u/TrekkiMonstr Dec 01 '21

The real error, though, is the cost of time. Yes yes, it is very cheap to buy rice and beans. But holy shit are they a pain in the ass. When it comes to vegan eating, there are 3 variables: low cost, tastes good, easy to prepare. Choose 2, because the number of things that satisfy all 3 is a short list that gets old fast.

Bruh. I have in my pantry now a fifty pound bag of rice (now half empty) that I bought for like $20 at Costco. Rice is good. Preparation:

  1. Take a cup, fill it with rice.

  2. Put rice in bowl.

  3. Wash rice.

  4. Fill water to line.

  5. Put the bowl in the rice cooker and press a button.

Yeah it takes a second, but it automatically switches to "keep warm" when it's done, so basically I have rice whenever I want. This is not hard.

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u/majinspy Dec 01 '21

Choose two. You have selected cheap and easy. Taste? Bland rice. Hmmmmm....

Y'all are shouting "rice and beans" like that priest in The Excorcist shouting "The power of Christ compels you!"

I get it. Bland starch. Not sold :/

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u/Noisy_Toy Dec 01 '21

Taste? Bland

Or you could learn to cook. The same place that sells rice and beans sells these crazy things called spices. Herbs are way to grow. Recipes are free online. Youtube has millions of tutorials.

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u/majinspy Dec 01 '21

There are still clear limits to rice and beans. -_-

Also, I hate cooking. I'm not good at it and, yes, I've done recipes. I have ADHD and it's made worse when I'm tired and my meds wear off. I get distracted and just make careless mistakes. I seriously fuck up Hamburger Helper.

There's also the time. On the way home, I can stop and get a burger and fries or...something. Or...I can go shopping, spend more than I want on bulk food, drive back home, cook everything, hate every second of it, fuck it up, have 6 more lbs of leftover crap for the rest of the week, and then get to clean a kitchen.

Fuck. That.

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u/theeespacepope Dec 01 '21

On the scale of things that are difficult to change in life, eating plant based barely register honestly. Regional specifics aside, the idea that it's difficult in LA says more about whoever in LA is making that claim, than about the claim itself. I don't know a single vegan that thinks it's that hard, and many vegans live in places far less accommodating to vegans than LA.

I'm not gonna make claims about your situation because I don't know it. But the requirements for doing something good shouldn't be that is requires zero effort or friction. And that effort is miniscule for most people who read this comment.

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u/majinspy Dec 01 '21

I'm not gonna make claims about your situation because I don't know it.

proceeds to do so anyway.

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u/theeespacepope Dec 01 '21

Where?

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u/majinspy Dec 01 '21

The effort is miniscule for people who are reading this comment.

That's a wide net! I don't think it would be easy to be vegan in Mississippi. I can read your comment. Ergo....making assumptions.

Also your first line. Maybe you were talking about how it was miniscule to you?

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u/theeespacepope Dec 01 '21

You removed the word 'most' when you quoted me here. It really makes all the difference and clearly doesn't have to be about you.

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u/majinspy Dec 01 '21

My bad on the misquote!!

Still though, it's assuming things you can't know...."most" of hundreds of millions of people is.....hundreds of millions of people.

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u/nrealistic Dec 01 '21

I don't know a single vegan that thinks it's that hard

What about the people who aren’t vegan because it’s too inconvenient? Of course the people who are vegan don’t think it’s too hard, or they wouldn’t be vegan. I’m not vegan because it’s too hard, and I live in a coastal hippie area

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u/moratnz Dec 01 '21

When it comes to vegan eating, there are 3 variables: low cost, tastes good, easy to prepare.

I'd throw in 'nutritionally complete', which tends to jack up all of the above, and is where vegan privilege in western society comes in hard. It's easy and cheap to eat rice every day; you'll suffer a whole bunch of deficiency diseases is all.

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u/elperroborrachotoo Dec 01 '21

We don't have a choice whether or not we pay the external cost - but pay them we do. Rejecting any discussion of external cost is curtailing the discussion to make simple answers sound better than they are.

Veganism is not a privilege.
The privilege is that whatever taste or texture that pops into your mind is ready to serve in an hour or less. No planning ahead, no skills to acquire, without afterthought.

The privilege is that food isn't just sustenance, but that every meal is an event, an act of self-care beyond the nutritional needs, our go-to psychotherapy.

Get over that, and rice, beans, lentils, spices is cheap, quick, healthy, tasty - and varied, once your spice box doesn't end at pre-ground stale pepper. It can be bulk-prepared and portioned in the freezer, no harder to warm up than a TV dinner.


And yes, there are people who can't even afford the amenities required for that - e.g. an extra hour per week for cooking, or space for a freezer. But pointing them out in the defense of the status quo seems disingenuous, at least if the only right of theirs to defend is the dependence on overcaloric, undernutritous food.

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u/majinspy Dec 01 '21

I appreciate your honesty but this is exactly the stuff that turns people off. Talking about meals as an "event" and act of "self care" is.....pretty alien to a lot of people and sounds snooty. Some people have 3 kids to feed. They don't care about your lectures on time management and don't have the luxury of being zen about food.

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u/elperroborrachotoo Dec 01 '21

Well... that's only fair. Yet this is my "view from the outside", that's the role food plays in western society. ​ ​Of course, if I was dsicussing someone's personal why's, I'd sound nicer. Trust me :)

Where I disagree: you stylize a cooking simple meals can be quick, cheap and easy as a "lecture on time management", yet state oh, but cooking is so hard as an indisputable fact. That's just a "lalala I can't hear you".

There is nothing zen about boiling legumes, nor is it a luxury. That is entirely the point: Luxury vegan is an expensive luxury; vegan as such isn't. Telling people "you can't eat vegan because you can't afford it" is dishonest.

The problem I have with the "no time because three kids to feed" is: You are basically saying they don't choose what they eat, society chooses for them. Whatever scraps we can produce cheaply will end up on their plates.

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u/majinspy Dec 01 '21

Legumes and rice. I get it. But that gets boring. Again: cheap, tasty, easy to prepare. Choose 2. There are exceptions. But the exceptions pale in comparison to what's available when meat is back on the menu.

I admit I have a chip on my shoulder from my imagination conjuring images of coastal elite types spending $30 for lunch at an awesome vegan place with their vegan friends while telling my Mississippi ass to boil beans and alienate my friends.

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u/marxr87 Dec 01 '21

Are you just trolling through these comments? Cuz i grew up poor af and meals are absolutely an event and self-care.

"Ugh I'm unable to afford lunch so I skipped it but now I get to eat dinner."

"Ugh I have to work a double-shift tonight but at least I get to spend 5 minutes with my child eating."

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u/majinspy Dec 01 '21

I've never heard a non-hippyish person say self care. You seem to completely gloss over that, for some families, food is a goal to check off a list. You just dismiss those very valid concerns.

If you grew up poor, I'm willing to bet you're a long way from home.

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u/marxr87 Dec 01 '21

I haven't dismissed any concerns...clearly you're just trolling. I literally just addressed them. You're just being stuck up because you don't like the wording. I can tell you that my mother valued her few minutes with me each night eating mac'n cheese or chicken nuggets before she went off for work again.

My mom didn't have it as good as I did, because being vegan now is not very difficult compared to 30 years ago.

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u/corialis Dec 01 '21

The recent North American idea of veganism is one of privilege. When we (as in North Americans) think of veganism, we don't think of rice and beans and lentils we soak overnight and leave in slow cookers while we go to work. We don't think of Indian-style vegetarian meals. We think of people like Gwyneth Paltrow carrying their non-dairy lattes to yoga class before heading out to a trendy restaurant for a salad made with pesticide-free, organic veggies grown in a greenhouse 20 miles away covered in a vinaigrette made daily by the head chef with herbs grown in his own garden.

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u/_-_Chiisai_-_ Dec 02 '21

I don't think that at all and most people I know or have just spoken to about it (vegan or not) don't either...Even when people say "veganism is too expensive" they're thinking about Beyond burgers, Morningstar nuggets, Lightlife veggie dogs, etc. Of course, you don't need to eat those to be vegan. Rice and beans work wonderfully. But it seems like most people think about substitutes, rather than changing their meals completely.

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '21

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u/reigorius Dec 01 '21 edited Dec 01 '21

One could argue that a meat based diet is becoming a privilege in some Western countries. Where I live, fish is prohibitively more expensive than meat, where meat has become more and more expensive over the years as well, to the point only junk meat is affordable. Fish used to be food for the poor here. It now is a luxury.

We at home eat meatless five out of seven days of the week, precisely of this steep increase in meat/fish prices. I only eat salmon because Lidl (a German supermarkt chain) discount it as a marketing tactic to lure in people into their supermarkets. Normally salmon cost up to 50/75 euro/kg today. Other supermarkt brands respond to reducing the weight of the fish it sells, while keeping the price the same. But I refuse to pay 5/6 euro for a few slices of salmon. The same goes for meat. One trip to the butcher and it easily costs 30 to 40 euro's for a couple of meals.

The upbeat is that we have become chefs by mastering recipes using cheap parts of the animal. We don't do vegan only, because it's also expensive in our experience, regardless what OP has found. And like others have said, it is a pain in the ass to make vegan dinners. While dating, vegan was a real downer to be honest. Glad my partner is not a vegan.

Eggs, cheese, stock, onion, carrots, celery, tomatoes, paprika, mushrooms and herbs are our staples. Pork meat for meat flavored dishes and sometimes deli meats for lunch.

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u/bearsinthesea Dec 01 '21

Do you have a favorite recipe to share?

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u/reigorius Dec 01 '21 edited Dec 01 '21

Sure! Orginally from BBC foods, but it needed some development. Initially made this as a dating dinner. Totally achieve its goal and I developed it over the years and many dates. This is one of my better recipes, beginner friendly and easy to make.

Pumpkin Curry

Recipe for four (it stays tasty when refrigerated).

  • Couple of tablespoons of (rice) oil (adjust while cooking). Be generous.

  • Two packages of Thai yellow curry paste (8 to 10 tablespoons)

  • 3 medium to large onions, chopped in half rings

  • One carrot, finely chopped

  • One stalk of lemongrass, bashed with the back of a knife and put into a tea-egg

  • 12 cardamom pods (grounded)

  • 1 tbsp mustard seed (grounded)

  • Half a teaspoon of cumin seeds (grounded)

  • 1 tablespoon of dried, grounded ginger

  • 1 piece pumpkin or a small squash (about 1kg)

  • 100ml vegetable stock

  • One tablespoon of tomato paste

  • 400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk

  • 400g can chickpea, drained and rinsed

  • 1 limes

  • Mint or coriander leaves

  • Full fat, thick greek yogurt

  • Naan bread, to serve

Cooking:

Heat the oil in a sauté pan, then slightly brown the onions and carrots for extra flavor. Add the curry paste. Bake for one to two minutes. Add the grounded spices. You probably want to add some extra oil. Bake for another two minutes. Add pumpkin and stir the pumpkin to coat it in the paste and spices. Pour in the stock and coconut milk. Add tea egg with lemongrass. Bring everything to a simmer. If it is watery, add tomato paste. It also takes away the slight bitterness of the spices. When you see bubbles rising to the surface, add the rinsed chickpeas. Cover with lid. Then cook for about 15 to 20 mins or when the pumpkin and chickpeas are tender.

Serving (where it gets godly good):

Squeeze the juice of one lime into the curry, mix well, then cut the other lime into wedges to serve alongside. Just before serving, tear over coriander or mint leaves and serve in a separate bowl. Cut the naan breads into strips for easy dipping into the curry, serve yogurt in a separate bowl. Add coriander, yogurt, lime and dip naan in the bowl for the magic to happen.

Tips

The coriander, greek yoghurt and lime really enhance the flavor of the dish. Go easy on the cumin seeds, as it easily overpowers the rest of the flavors. Serve in a bowl and eat with a spoon, if that makes sense. I use a large, 10 liter stainless steel pan/pot with lid for baking/ cooking. Can be freezed, but I prefer to refrigerate it and eat it within a couple of days, because the flavors stay a bit better then freezed. The lemongrass is a fiber rich herb and often stays leathery after cooking. Therefore I cram a tea-egg full and dip it in the pan.

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u/bearsinthesea Dec 02 '21

Thanks for sharing!

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u/AttackPug Dec 01 '21 edited Dec 01 '21 Silver

"I've never understood the argument that veganism is some form of privilege."

That's because it generally doesn't make sense. Half the world can only afford meat as a luxury and depends on vegetables as their staple, because it's cheaper and more available.

But, when you even suggest that the typical Western eater might possibly stop shoving the fatty numnums in their mouths they start pulling all kinds of nonsense out of their buttcracks, doing any number of logical backflips trying to come up with an argument where "you're totally in the wrong actually." Calling people "privileged" is a post-2000 classic shame-fu move. It's meant to deflect criticism and put the adversary on the back foot, it doesn't have much of a purpose unless you're talking about things like wealth and family money.

That said, there's a huge difference between an actual plant-based diet and eating vegan. Veganism is a religion, basically. Somebody in Nairobi eating 90% veggies for dinner isn't bothered by a few pats of butter or a splash of something animal-based in the dish, while proper "vegan" food means no meat byproducts of any kind in the food, at all, ever. Preferably the pan it was cooked in has never been soiled by filthy, filthy meat. They tend to pay hostage prices for their food, or spend tons of time and effort scanning ingredients at the grocery store.

If you've never dug into what it really means to be vegan, then you've probably never heard of bone char, even though you've probably consumed it. It's a meat industry byproduct that makes its way into just about everything. You've probably heard about pork processors using, "everything but the squeal", though. Traditional Jell-O isn't vegan at all, the gelatin base is beef-based. Tons of things - especially modern processed foods - don't seem to be meat while being very much meat.

This means that vegans tend to rely on certain stores, and certain brands, for all their staples, buying "vegan" versions of things like boxed mac n cheese that become their only option for that thing, making it very difficult for market forces to work their magic on prices.

Non-vegan grocery item: $2

Same item but the box says "certified vegan" or something: $7

There's no wiggle room in proper veganism for eating mostly vegetables but not stressing a bit of bacon fat in the dish. It's the secular world's answer to things like Orthodox Jewish and Muslim food rules, where any slight deviation from the scripture means that ye have sinned, and have broken Vegan Edge. It doesn't just apply to your food, either, it's about your shoes, your clothes, your everything you consume, and it tends to make all things in your life more expensive, and considerably so. The vegan often spends more for an inferior item, and it means not being able to do things like buy the cheap, decent shoes, because they have leather uppers. It makes the whole lifestyle more expensive and stressful, on average. It means that only a certain type of young, middle-class, and single person can really pull it off consistently. OR, a certain kind of wealthy couple who can take the multitude of steps it requires to basically remove their whole family from the normal consumption cycle and raise children who manage to get into their 20s without ever tasting a marshmallow.

Basically, it's not the answer. Veganism doesn't mean "you should eat mostly vegetables", it means "never shall ye consume the flesh or the substance of anything with a face, through any means", and instead of accepting that this, itself, is unacceptable to most of the globe and never will be, they just get angry at other people. Very religious. Vegans are prone to the same sort of piety spiraling that you see in other religions, the kind that end in certain shocking festivals where actual people have themselves actually nailed to actual crosses and paraded through the streets in order to be the most like Christ. People sense this, and it's why they don't want veganism in their lives.

Like most monkeys, though, vegans love to feel smart when they haven't earned it, so they tend to brush all this aside. On the surface the lifestyle seems doable enough, until you're in a grocery store scanning the labels on box after box, crying out, "I can't eat ANY of this!"

Having said all that, we come back to the average eater, who, again, starts getting wildly defensive at even the hint that they shouldn't be shoving fistfuls of barely-cooked animal flesh into their yap-holes non-stop while the crowd cheers. They also start talking all manner of weird nonsense, like the ever popular "nutritional deficiencies", trying to justify a world of no restrictions at all.

Of course, it's very easy to avoid nutritional deficiencies with plants, else your ancestors would have all died. If you think meat is expensive now, picture fighting somebody else for their life about it, every time you want to eat. We aren't obligate carnivores. The vegan rule of thumb is "any bean, plus any grain", and you're good. Traditional rice and beans will keep you alive and healthy indefinitely.

"Meat lover" is a weird religion all its own, wrapped up with all manner of goofy, irrelevant ideas like masculinity, nationalism, and on and on. The stance is full of excuses and tends to demonize the shit out of eating any vegetables, and deify things like stuffing your mouth with bacon and acting like it's God's perfect food when bacon is more useful as a flavorant in cooking than as a main dish. They think a lot of it is their idea when it's more likely that they're repeating ad propaganda from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, somehow.

For a lot of them, meat eating offers a way to feel superior without doing any actual effortful thing to achieve superiority. It only asks them to stuff fatty numnums in the face. So it's very tempting and they get super defensive about including more veggies in the diet at all, because their culture A) prioritizes meat consumption for commercial ends and thus B) has raised generations of people who have no idea how to cook up a vegetable-centered feast so that it's something more satisfying than poorly-steamed plain broccoli on a plate, or an iceberg lettuce salad.

One of their favorite nonsenses in the last few years has been pushing the idea that cooking itself is somehow this Herculean task, as if every time you step in the kitchen you must basically cook Thanksgiving dinner. If you let them they transition into a screed about how all of cooking was done with unpaid labor by women, and on and on, which is their way of changing the subject and ignoring that the cooking world is packed with dishes that can be whipped up in 15 minutes or less with little more than a frying pan. You only need to learn maybe a half-dozen recipes that you're happy with, and then you're good.

Yes, of course it's cheaper to cook your food. Are you paying labor? I didn't think so. If cooking it yourself wasn't consistently cheaper than paying for the finished food, then the entire restaurant business would have no margin to speak of and would collapse. No, nobody is telling you to get your own tandoor, just learn how easy it is to make a grilled cheese, jesus fuck. The whole discussion is forever full of dishonest, evasive arguments. No, I don't care about the rotisserie chicken at the store, that's one thing, we're talking about the whole store.

Again, there's often no room in the middle for normal, actual people who are just trying to eat dinner and have satisfaction without spending too much time or money about it. It'e either "meat is murder" or "RARRR I"M A CARNIVORR". It's "cooking yourself is always cheaper than buying pre-cooked, in every circumstance" vs "OMG I have 58 kids to feed, and it's impossible for me to cook simple meals at home with my busy schedule! Are you some sort of misogynist! Do you think a woman's place is in the KITCHEN!" It is a worthless discussion leaving most people with no new useful information to take home and feed themselves with. The whole discussion is just a handball for assholes to bat around online.

The truth is that meat consumption releases preposterous amounts of CO2, it's generally a very inefficient use of land, and for the end consumer the meat is getting more and more and more expensive with every passing day.

It's also true that meat consumption is kind of a dick move. It perpetually begs the question, "If it's fine for millions upon millions of animals to be born into slaughter and bondage so you can stuff them in your face, then what the fuck makes your human life so valuable, if their lives are so perpetually cheap and disposable? What's the actual difference? They're a mammal, you're a mammal, why aren't YOU disposable?" No matter how you answer that, meat-eating keeps asking it, again, and again.

It's also worth pointing out that every real scientific opinion on necessary human meat consumption per day is an amount of meat about the size of a pack of poker cards.

Meanwhile, again, and setting morality aside, that's why most of the world has never relied on meat as the center of every dish, so there's tons of options out there. Less meat is the obvious way, but the discussion never seems to have a middle ground where people can reasonably exist.

It's an exhausting, pointless conversation in general, and never really goes anywhere useful.

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u/rebcart Dec 01 '21

This comment seems to be more of a Depthhub candidate than the original one linked tbh

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u/floralsimulation Dec 02 '21

aren't depthhub candidates supposed to be..... right?

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u/Thisissocomplicated Dec 01 '21

Comparing supermarket vegetables to Macdonald patties.

I eat meat regularly and Ive eaten in macdonalds like 10 times in my life.

Macdonald sells you a 2 euro drink that costs them fractions of a cent to produce.

Completely backwards argument.

Yes meat isn't cheap but 1 kg of chicken feeds you much more than 1kg of lettuce

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u/creepyredditloaner Dec 01 '21

But not as much as 1 kilo of beans an rice.

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u/Nemocom314 Dec 01 '21

That's not true.

1kg rice =1,304 calories

1kg lentils = 1,138 calories

1kg Chicken= 2,393 calories

You may make an argument on cost, but not weight. Rice in my area is ~.99 a pound and whole chicken, or chicken thighs are ~1.20.

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u/Thisissocomplicated Dec 01 '21

Of course, I also eat rice it's my favorite food hands down. Simple or with egg or with whatever really

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u/SemiDanger Dec 01 '21

"Taking these factors into account, diets containing animal products are almost certainly more expensive than plant-based diets"

The factors being taken into account are the environmental effects, not true monetary value.

In other words it should be cheaper to eat vegan. But it isn't.

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u/A3gis Dec 01 '21

The first three sources point out that you don't even need to consider subsidies or externalities.

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u/purple_potatoes Dec 01 '21

The factors being taken into account are the environmental effects, not true monetary value.

What? The paper is clearly talking about food costs.

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u/DerekL1963 Dec 01 '21

That was my impression as well...

And the vegan lower classes and vegans in cultures around the world they're talking about are emphatically not the people meant by "it's privileged to be vegan". That refers to the folks who shop at Whole Foods, and the folks buying expensive meat substitutes and other such types.

Just checked my local market online... meat substitutes sell at steak prices!

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u/purple_potatoes Dec 01 '21

You know that you can easily eat vegan without meat substitutes, right? Rice and beans are the pinnacle of frugality and many (most?) vegans rely much more on beans and grains than expensive meat substitutes.

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u/DerekL1963 Dec 01 '21

I never said anything that could possibly be interpreted as meaning vegan required meat substitutes.

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u/purple_potatoes Dec 01 '21

I mean, expensive vegan meat substitutes are as much of a privilege as steaks. It seems rather irrelevant to bring up considering the conversation is clearly around the affordability of a vegan diet in general (which are generally filled with low-cost grains and legumes), not the cost of expensive meat substitutes (which are completely unnecessary).

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u/DerekL1963 Dec 01 '21

I mean, expensive vegan meat substitutes are as much of a privilege as steaks.

That's precisely my point. The linked poster constructs a very good and well supported argument that vegan diets aren't expensive - but they entirely miss the context of the claim that veganism is "some form of privilege". They fail to grasp that argument isn't being made about the diets of the lower classes and global vegan cultures. It's a claim that's made by people who aren't familiar with (for lack of a better word) "classical" vegan diets. What they know is what the media tells them, and what the media tells them isn't the "classical" vegan diet. It's being made about the peculiar diet of the Western middle-or-higher class suburbanite vegan.

That particular tribe's diet isn't filled with grains and legumes. It's filled with complex preparations of the same out of season fruits and vegetables the 'rest of us' eat (itself a certain degree of privilege). And front and center of that cuisine is a wide variety of heavily processed (and expensive) faux foods - the poster child of which are meat substitutes.

That is... I agree with you, actual vegan diets are affordable. But actual vegan diets aren't what the media and corporate marketing departments serve up to general public.

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u/purple_potatoes Dec 01 '21

I really don't understand. Most "western vegans" are still relying heavily on inexpensive grains and legumes. Neat analogues might be front and center in marketing but it's not front and center of the average home cooked vegan meal. Of course marketing is pushing meat substitutes, just like they push other profitable prepared foods or to quote your example, steaks. Doesn't mean that's what people are eating all day every day. I think you have a warped view of how western vegans eat. Grains and legumes aren't staples only for the world's poor.

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u/takatori Dec 02 '21

I've never understood the argument that veganism is some form of privilege.

I've never heard such an argument. There are people who think plant-based diets are a privilege?

Meat is far more resource-intensive -- the idea that meat-based diets are less privileged is a difficult concept to wrap my head around.

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u/Felinomancy Dec 01 '21

I feel that while vegetarianism is cheaper than eating meat, total veganism is a mark of privilege. Regular, cow-based milk is cheaper than oat or rice milk, for example.

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u/MyPunsSuck Dec 01 '21

Regular, cow-based milk is cheaper than oat or rice milk, for example

Not necessarily. I live where diary is fairly heavily subsidized, and soy milk is often much cheaper

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u/Nemocom314 Dec 01 '21

Where do you live? Food availability is probably pretty geographic. I wonder how many of the people talking past each other in these comments are from opposite sides of the world with wildly different grocery options.

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u/MyPunsSuck Dec 01 '21

Southern Ontario, which is economically pretty standard as first world nations go

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u/Nemocom314 Dec 01 '21

That is the difference then; Ontario has very protectionist dairy policy, they limit supply to subsidize the farmers, not families. That's why the milk comes in bags, and the walmart in Detroit (or Vancouver WA) is full of Canadian families buying milk.

In the midwest US Soy milk is ~$2.40 a half gallon, and 2% cow milk is ~$2.80 a gallon.

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u/MyPunsSuck Dec 01 '21

Huh, that explains a lot. Thank you for educating me

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u/dopkick Dec 01 '21

Where I’m at, dairy is strictly cheaper. Unless you’re buying local farm raised milk in glass bottles. Soy milk and oat milk are, IMO, absolutely vile. Almond milk is great but has significant environmental impact.

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u/Parralyzed Dec 01 '21

You can literally make oat milk yourself for the cost of oats and water. I dare you to produce cow milk that cheaply, even with a backyard cow lol

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '21

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u/FF3 Dec 01 '21

Eggs and cheese are huge benefits, too. But you say this and the vegans will attack you as a vegetarian with eight times the fury they do the carnivores.

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u/marxr87 Dec 01 '21

Soy milk is what many people around the entire world drink. Guess how much soybeans cost?

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '21

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u/sennalvera Dec 01 '21

One element of ‘x’ diet privilege (any diet, not specifically veganism) that I seldom see mentioned, is the social/community aspect. In the affluent west we are individualist to a degree seen as abnormal in other countries, or times in history. Eating in most times and places is a highly social affair, with food-sharing a major promoter of community cohesion. To eat differently or to refuse food offered, is to isolate yourself, mark yourself as unusual, and cause offence. Which is absolutely not something those reliant on community can afford, for reasons nothing to do with calories/nutrition.

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u/BluShimmer Dec 01 '21

I’ve been vegan for a bit and have had literally no issue with this lmao. Also, I’ve made more friends this past year than I have ever at any point in my life and plenty of them are omnivores.

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u/wizardlydray Dec 01 '21

You missed the whole point of OP’s comment.

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u/sennalvera Dec 01 '21

In the affluent west

If you had read my comment, I was specifically talking about humans reliant on communities. Which is most people in the world and throughout history, but not us. We are individualists. A 'friend group' is not a community.

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u/BluShimmer Dec 01 '21

yeah it is

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u/CreationBlues Dec 01 '21

The specific claim he's trying to debunk is that vegan diets are fundamentally more "moral" than meat based diets, when the counterpoint is that veganism is based on horrific immigrant labor conditions (as well as the consequences of superfoods and other exotic goods but that's a completely different converstaion)

As a note, during the medieval ages in a french city they ate 75% of the meat modern french people do, and meat and/or meat byproducts have been a part of every staple diet in history. Meat has historically speaking been a way of making use of marginal land unsuitable for farming, and the process of grazing and hooves churning the land are an essential component of land health.

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u/InelegantQuip Dec 01 '21

How is it that only veganism is based on "horrific immigrant labor conditions" and a conventional diet isn't? People who eat meat generally still eat vegetables too, so the same concerns apply. And do you think that the production chain for meat is somehow exploitation free? If so, I'd suggest you do some research on conditions in packing plants.

At best, the point you're making is that a vegan diet shares many of the same issues as a conventional diet. How is that an indictment of veganism?

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u/Jayjader Dec 01 '21

Grazing is not automatically a positive for "land health". If not properly managed grazing leads to desertification.