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I Can’t Be Vegan?

Listen While Reading: A Change Of Heart // The 1975.

Being French and living with a cook means dairy and meat as part of my everyday life. My parents can’t imagine what it could be like to become vegetarian, let alone vegan. If, like me, you know you have to wait before taking the big step towards veganism, here are a few bits of advice that will show you how you can still help the planet.

Shop locally

The biggest mistake people make is to buy food or objects that have traveled a lot before arriving in their stores. Think about this bananas – you cannot find any bananas that were grown in France. If you buy one, it has to come from Africa, or even further, and all the energy it took from its origin until now is not worth it. Go apple picking, strawberry picking, find a place where you can actually see where the products come from.

… and ethically!

Think about all the people who worked in order to provide you with fresh products. What is their salary? Were they paid well enough? How are they treated? It’s easy to know that some countries can sell you cheap products because their workers work for nearly nothing. You surely want to know that the person who picked these mangoes has a safe place to eat and sleep tonight with his whole family, am I wrong?

Think about seasons

There are vegetables and fruits that only grow during one special season. Instead of buying peaches or tomatoes all year long, make sure to buy them when they will be fresh and natural! You don’t want them to be covered in unnatural products that are supposed to make them grow even though nature didn’t want them to.

Ugliness is beautiful

This one is especially important. Beautiful products were covered in shitty pesticides – the kind that kills bees, if you need an example – so as to convince the consumer that he wants a beautiful, round apple, and those ugly ones mustn’t be touched. However, most of the time, the uglier the better. As an example, a few decades ago, french tomatoes were ugly but they were very tasty. We had a lot of different varieties, so everyone could find the one that he preferred. However today, you only find this red, round, perfect tomatoe which tastes like water. We are slowly rediscovering ugly vegetables and ugly fruits that actually taste good ! Do me a favor and eat these ugly cherries.

Go slow

You don’t need to become vegan or a better consumer overnight. If you have time this weekend, try to find a new store that actually sells good products. Buy some things that seem good and maybe try to cook a fancy dinner for your family. Then next week go strawberry picking – what if you made a vegan strawberry pie? Go one little step at a time, and slowly create new habits.

Keep an open mind

Last but not least, always remember to have an open mind. Watch documentaries, read articles, and please, do me a favor, do not follow these fancy Youtubers or Instagrammers who don’t always help you think by yourself. There are people out there who are true gems and who want to help you in your new resolutions – listen to them, not to those who are vegans because it’s fashionable.

Have a nice recipe or a beautiful store you want to share? Tag us on Instagram!

Words by Charlotte // Photography by Gina Dinwiddie.

© 2016 Reef Magazine


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