Controversial Vegan Chatter

‘Veganism is the new moral baseline’ - Allan

Last week a vegan friend of ours based in New York stated this on his Facebook Page. It was very interesting to see comments come flying in and by the end of it all we also learned a thing or two about how people are thinking nowadays. At BentoYa our goal is to educate and to help create an amazing foundation people to start thinking outside the box. For some this is nothing new but for others, it’s a good discussion and an interesting look into our world today. The names have been changed to protect the privacy of contributors to this conversation.

‘Veganism is the new moral high horse’ - Jeff

Jeff, “ Veganism is the new moral high horse”

Bob, “I mean people who say “veganism is the new moral baseline” are high key saying “people who don’t eat vegan are not as morally good as those who do.” And that’s a hella privileged stance to take in a world where most people can’t afford to eat vegan. Talk till the end of the world about how awesome veganism is and how it effects your life and how it can improve the globe as a whole - I’ll support you.
Telling poor people that they can’t make it to “moral baseline” because they can’t afford your lifestyle rubs me the wrong way...”

Allan “This last sentence is ridiculous, Vegan eating is much cheaper Idk where you are getting your information”

Jen, “My kid and I volunteer at a food pantry. we "rescue" food that would otherwise be thrown out. There are vegan families going through hardships that have fallen off the boat bc it is in fact more expensive to eat mostly plant based. I’ve heard them say that their kids eat less and stay sustained for longer when living off of bread and meat. I’m all for a plant based diet, but its extremely expensive especially when you have children. Maybe if you're foraging for your food like our buddy does, but thats another story. Open for thoughts and experience of course, but that is my two cents from what I’ve seen.”

Kim, “Rice and beans are pretty cheap and together they’re a perfect protein. I think quinoa is probably cheaper than meat too though I don’t know how much meat costs”

Jeff, “Since I’ve gone vegan my food bills have been split in half. I think a lot of the $$$ misconception comes from the price tags associated to processed vegan foods, which can be astronomical and hardly realistic to feed a family of five. 
The Staples of a vegan diet, especially where protein is concerned, come from legumes, seeds, nuts, wheat and soy products. The aforementioned foods are quite inexpensive and even more cost-effective in bags and/or in bulk. Rice, potatoes, and pasta (the egg free variety) also make up a good portion of a vegan diet and we can all agree that these are pretty cheap. Vegetables which everyone agrees are a healthy addition to anyone’s balanced diet, range in price depending on season, which is the same for vegans and non vegans. 
I have found I am making more meals from scratch, which means less consumption of fast food, or processed foods. Both of the later have proven to be toxic. When cleverly combining the items above and following vegan recipes you can create interesting, flavourful menus that are also really affordable, and kids love them too. Anything from tacos, lasagna and chick-un fingers to Irish stew, general Tsao and even cheesecake can be Veganized. The longer you’re at this, the easier this becomes and the more creative and delicious your menu becomes.
As someone who’s protested at many commercial slaughter facilities where 95% of All animal products (meat and dairy) come from in the US I can say it’s impossible to remove the screams of animals dying miserable deaths from your ears, and the sight of sheer terror in the eyes of an animal from your own eyes. At these slaughter facilities, Animals have zero quality of life, and are bred by the billions, to live a short life, in filthy, cramped, grueling, conditions, only to be murdered for food. People will argue that they only select meat or dairy products from humanely raised farms. The problem is There is simply no method of killing an animal that would either Fly, swim or run away if they had the choice. 
Add to this the mass deforestation that has taken place globally to increase grazing acreage, and the 200 + million tonnes of methane released annually from cows alone and we’ve got a major climate crisis. Methane, far more potent than CO2 is a greenhouse gas, capturing more of the sun's radioactive forces, far more damaging than all the transportation vehicles put together. Again and this isn’t even calculating in chickens, pigs, lamb and other commercially raised animals. 
Jonathan, To your comment about vegans taking a ‘moral high ground’....I agree. Preachy Vegans suck just as much as proselytizing Christians. The last thing thing Any Vegan should do is Turn their nose up against any other human being for not being exactly As they are. Just as any other race, culture, class of people can show us, There are dicks in veganism too. 
I understand that vegans challenge culturally ingrained beliefs, traditions and behavior and this is uncomfortable. I will remind you however, that previously excepted cultural norms such as slavery, and womens inability to vote or even have a voice were challenged. Society came to see the mass injustice that these were and we learned. I appreciate you listening to my thoughts on this subject, one that has become the most important thing in my lifetime. I do hope you’ll spend some time researching the reason behind the statement,. “Veganism is the new normal baseline.”
Thank you for listening.”

Allan, “Agree!”

Stacey, “Veganism is fundamentally great but there is absolutely an air of moral superiority that exists amongst some vegans. The real trauma to our planet is our corporate food industry, globalization, and capitalism. You can flaunt being vegan all you want until you traumatize other cultures/nations via deforestation, exhausting their staple crops e.g. quinoa, avocado to the point where the people that live there can’t afford their own staple crops

It also ignores cultural practices and access. There are indigenous tribes that still exist living by hunting and gathering; they need diverse food groups including meet to survive. I went down to Jamaica last year and witnessed a full slaughter from the moment we bought the goat from a farmer until it was on our table everything else we had was off the land. 

In reality eating meat is fine but the magnitude at which we eat it, not so much. It’s about being responsible with what you eat and sourcing that food responsibly”

Allan, “ Agreed” (2nd time)

Jeff, “Veganism is fundamentally great but there is absolutely an air of moral superiority that exists amongst some vegans. The real trauma to our planet is our corporate food industry, globalization, and capitalism. You can flaunt being vegan all you want until you traumatize other cultures/nations via deforestation, exhausting their staple crops e.g. quinoa, avocado to the point where the people that live there can’t afford their own staple crops

It also ignores cultural practices and access. There are indigenous tribes that still exist living by hunting and gathering; they need diverse food groups including meet to survive. I went down to Jamaica last year and witnessed a full slaughter from the moment we bought the goat from a farmer until it was on our table everything else we had was off the land. 

In reality eating meat is fine but the magnitude at which we eat it, not so much. It’s about being responsible with what you eat and sourcing that food responsibly”

Bob replies, “ hi Jeff, thanks for weighing in. There are a lot of points you made that I agree with. Have you ever read the China Study? You would be fascinated by it if you haven’t. It’s a 20 yr study that monitors a group of individuals health but the results around the consumption of animal products is eye opening.

Allan retorts, “People can take what they will from this post. The world is being destroyed by many things. Eating meat and dairy is like smoking cigs in the 60's. People have no idea how bad it really is for the human body. Not only that we are raping the planet to feed the animals that we kill to eat. The fact is we don't NEED to eat meat at all. We are selfish and continue because we are used to it and enjoy it. I believe being Vegan is the way to save the world. People need compassion. (not saying you don't have any if you eat meat) Unless you are going out and killing your own meat you don't need to eat it. It’s not more expensive to be vegan. It’s actually much cheaper.  Jeff,  you don't have to agree with my post. But i want the world to remain a lot longer.

Bob replies, “Jeff I understand where you’re coming from, but in today’s society you and I both know even using a cell phone which contains an animal product, would indicate you’re not vegan. The whole premise is to avoid the consumption, and use of any animal as much as humanly possible.”

Vegan Food Pyramid vegan-food-pyramid-31.jpg


At this point the discussion was somewhat going in circles. Who do you agree with at this point? Are the Non Vegans in this discussion raising good points? Then Miranda chimes in which we asked if we could repost the comments.


Miranda, “There are many different ways of eating that could technically be a vegan diet, and they are certainly not, by default, healthier than any other diet. Most vegetarians and vegans I've know have actually been carbotarians, eating bread products, pasta, burritos, sugary "vegan" treats, whatever, loaded with carbs and constantly chasing their next blood glucose spike. A poorly planned vegan diet can easily lead to insulin resistance and vitamin deficiencies, which only manifest into serious health problems after years.

In my personal health experience (which is anecdotal, but still) I used to eat mostly vegetarian, and by all standards, relatively clean and full of whole foods. Beans, rice, organic shredded wheat, green leafy vegetables, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, nuts, fruit, you name it. My energy levels were very inconsistent, I would be hungry every 3 hours, and I always had adult acne. These days, I have cut out grains, sugar, and vegetable oils - every meal (I only eat two a day) consists of a large amount of non-starchy vegetables and a portion of sustainably sourced meat... grass fed beef, lamb, local freerange poultry, wild-caught fish, etc... I also eat eggs and cook with grassfed ghee. Since I started eating this way, I have zero acne, no gross body odor, and totally consistent, high levels of energy.

Factory farming is unequivocally horrendous, but the fact that animals are a crucial part of any permaculture system cannot be ignored. The fact that our brains evolved from the consumption of animal products (and have subsequently been shrinking since the agricultural revolution) cannot be ignored. Factory farming and monoculture crops need to go... we need to forge a new system where permaculture is sustainable again.

Additionally, studies that claim the unhealthfulness of meat are based in the context of a high-carbohydrate, factory farm style diet. If eating clean animal products was in itself bad for our health... we simply wouldn't be here.”

Allan again, “ All in All. I have wise friends. I didn't mean to sound superior in anyway. I would like to apologize for that. I still don't regret posting this. Look at this passion we all share for life. We all agree that the world as we know it needs to change. Hearing that most of you (if you agree or not about veganism) feel the same way is amazing. We are the new generation that is taking over from the old world/old money/capitalistic nature of society. I love you all and thank you for not holding back.”

Eb, “Just to clarify, there is veganism as a philosophy/religion, and there is a plant-based diet. I try to acknowledge the distinction, because many folks don't understand. One can eat a plant-based lifestyle and not believe in the philosophical/ethical principles. For instance, there are athletes who eat plant-based, but don't particularly pay much attention to the exploitation of animals and people around the world. Furthermore, there's a spectrum of veganism. Some are hardcore, others can be less zealous. It really depends on the person's character. I'm vegan and eat plant-based, but I cringe when some "know-it-all" new-wave veggie starts yelling or talking down at people.

Allan, “I do not claim to be a know-it-all. I rely on posts like this to balance my thoughts and hear everyone out. I have stated earlier it is not my intent to talk down to anyone. I respect everyones choices. Thanks for that Roland.

Mark, “There's a show on Netflix called tales by light, you should check it out.”

Rachel, “Just yesterday I asked someone “when will humans stop eating animals?”

BentoYa Final Thought and Kind of Disclaimer

For the launch of BentoYa we stated the following,

“Many people grew up with traditional ways when it comes to diet (*whatever family eat/provide that builds our belief of food choice or become our eating habits , which is usually hard to change)


Our goal is to educate people that vegetarian dishes can be delicious without animal related ingredients. Health, sustainability and reducing our foot print are definitely one of our top priorities.


We would like to explain why we are sending this message before we start.


Currently we are offering vegan cooking classes. However, we would like to let you know that we may be offering Lacto- Ovo Vegetarian cooking class if required or our customers show interest.


We believe that going “cold turkey” doesn’t work especially for eating habits. We also believe that reducing meat eating and using animal products is a great stepping stone for bettering ones lifestyle and choosing a path to helping our planet.


Recently we offered an organization (animal rights group in Japan) to partner for a charity event where all the profits where to be donated from cooking event.

We requested 1 condition and that was to NOT to show guests shocking images of how animals are treated in “ meat process”. That was our only condition in which we would have donated ALL of the profits to this charity.


We wanted support animal rights groups (as we are animal lovers too!) by doing a different approach of introducing delicious options (scrumptious dishes can be made without animal meat) . Long story short, they declined on our offer because they felt they needed to take that action by using the shock approach (to show the reality how animal are treated) They felt this was the only way to achieve their goal.


We understand their point too. However, isn’t is also closing a door for people who are willing to support the movement by eating vegan- vegetarian dishes? Some people want to take baby steps into going vegan and/or vegetarian and not be forced to see images that are traumatizing.


We realized that to our long term goal in helping establish a Vegan movement is to open a gateway for everyone/group/organization. We welcome whoever interested Vegans or vegetarians would like to join our movement.

Thanks for reading! See you the next class!






Dan Pape