Zero Waste Vegan?
I am not a vegan, I am in the reducetarian stage of my journey towards veganism. Because I am not a vegan I do not feel comfortable speaking about this topic. I did however interview 2 zero waste vegans who were nice enough to give me some wonderful information about this topic.
These are the questions I asked:
- How long have you been a vegan?
- How long have you been on the journey to zero waste living?
- what is the connection between zero waste and veganism?
- Why veganism besides the environmental aspect?
- What was the hardest part of transitioning to veganism?
- What do you find to be the greatest benefit to a vegan diet besides the environmental factor?
I’m in Ozark, Missouri USA I’ve been vegan for a year and a half. I’ve been reducing our waste for about a year, but got really serious about it when I found the journey to zero waste group. I became an admin of that group and I really love this journey and helping others do it too.
When you look at the biggest challenges our world faces as far as the environment, the top three are greenhouse gas emissions, plastic pollution, and disruption of pristine habitats. Most of the forests cleared for agriculture are either to grow soy and corn for farm animals or for grazing land for those animals.
We could use a lot less land and feed more people if we grew our food directly instead of feeding it to animals who produce less food.
There’s so many starving people, and it doesn’t have to be. Between the mismanagement of land and our food waste problem, we shouldn’t have to have anyone go hungry.
In America, our natural wildlife is under attack by the animal agriculture industry. Lobbyists get legislators to pass legislation that leads to the culling of wild horses, bison, bears, and wolves. So beyond just farm animals, it’s literally an issue for all animals and their right to life. Our oceans are overfished. They say there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.
We need to both decrease what we take and what we put in. The wild life in the oceans are eating plastic and dying from it, but they are also passing it through out the food chain and onto our plates if you eat fish.
The hardest part of transitioning to veganism and zero waste is having to cook more. I’m getting better at batch cooking so I can take things out of the freezer, but for a while it was hard to find a zero waste and vegan meal in a hurry.
I don’t view it as a restriction on my diet. I eat so many things I never ate in the previous 25 years of my life. I didn’t know I liked vegetables because I never learned to cook with them!
The greatest benefit besides the environmental benefits and feeling like I’ve become part of the solution is that my migraines are gone! I used to have a migraine 3-4 days a week, sometimes having to call off work. That’s not a problem in my life anymore!
I am in Canada. I have been vegan just over a year, vegetarian for 5/6. I have been slowly doing what I can for about 6 months to a year and I still have a long way to go.I went vegan for environmental reasons as well as animal rights, so trying to reduce my waste was just logical. Animals deserve to not be killed or exploited, end of story.
The hardest part was honestly the stigma. Like I still sometimes feel the need to explain to people “I’m not that militant vegan” because let’s be honest a lot of vegans are mean and will burn you at the stake for even having a small mouthful of local honey when you are ill.
I find the greatest benefit is I have to explore food options more and be more creative. Also, my skin cleared up a bit.
I hope that these interview answers provide an insight for the correlations between a zero waste lifestyle and veganism.Here are some vegan recipe books in case you would like to give it a try for yourself!
Click here to learn more about Zero Waste in The Kitchen