Environmental Effects of Fake Meat

By Keira De Vita

Masked by the overarching agenda to “do right for the Earth,” veganism’s claim to fame diverts away from problems within this food culture and instead highlights its benefits for the planet. The agenda to ‘do right for the earth’ fundamentally contradicts the food industry of veganism. Specifically, the heads of big vegan food companies provide a lengthy list of benefits and nutritional value from eating their food, but fail to list the ethicality of production. Vegan and non-vegan companies work similarly through production from ground or animal to the store shelf, a routine reliant on fossil fuels and toxic ways of production. The shiny green ideal of a balanced and healthy life may not be as shiny and perfect as its exterior highlights.

Beginning at home base (the farms), farmers’ main goal is to produce their product and make money. Some farms do not use pesticides, but for the majority of the ones who do, that later becomes the next thing the consumer is eating. Pesticides are not a problem until they affect the buyer; until they realize what they are eating. By definition, veganism is a diet where the vegan does not use, wear, or consume products that exploit or kill animals (animal exploitation). Ethically, most products are not derived in a vegan way. Commonly, farmers set out poison or traps for animals who venture to eat produce that the farm is growing; this is the opposite of giving all animals the right to live, though it may be difficult– this is why sourcing produce for companies (especially vegan ones) is so important.    

Often overshadowed by the western ‘hype’ of veganism, and not brought up by those who fight for climate change, are the companies these big vegan food companies use to produce their product, and the damage it flushes into Earth’s atmosphere. It is not ‘not vegan’ to use fossil fuels, but all too often politically far left, and/or vegan enthusiasts argue that a non vegan diet proves harmful to the environment when in actuality the factories to produce fake meat (like the impossible burger) are just as bad. The emissions put off by these factories are no different and it does not discount for the extra cell-based protein production either. 

The vegan diet is fine, but be mindful which companies you purchase from, how they produce their products, and how you spread veganism before talking about it or protesting other diets.