The World Food Day is a day to celebrate food, its value, its worth. It's also a day to remember that not everybody can afford to eat well or even eat enough. And a day to reflect on food and its impact on everybody’s life. For this reason, we decided that it was a good time to write about our vegan choice.
Why are we vegan in our lives and in our travelling?!
Immediate answer: because we like making things complicated :)
We have been vegan for a few years now and have travelled to three and a half continents. If we said that travelling like vegans is easy, we would lie. It requires discipline - to check all labels and “question” all dishes, consistency - to make sure that veganism does not hinder our support to local economy and does not offend the people we meet, and some form of abstention - to give up on many new things that are thrown our way when exploring new places, new countries, new cuisines.
So, seriously, why are we vegan?
Because we think it's good for the people and for the planet - and those who are familiar with our project know. It's good for our health and for the earth. We have experienced this in our lives and it is well-known that livestock is a major cause for pollution and global warming.
Because local cuisine often offers vegan options or recipes that can be easily ‘veganised’ without necessarily knowing it. Again, life experience showed it to us - at our wedding, we had only vegan food and 80% was from Italian traditional cuisine ;) (the remaining 20% was creatively made by our catering service so, in a sense, also pretty local!). On our first evening in Russia, we were traditionally welcomed by our hosts with a (meat-free) borscht. Two days after, at Xachapuria restaurant, the waiter decided that it could a good idea to veganise pirozhki and lobiani… and the chef agreed!
Because it's actually good fun to inspect every single label of the food one buys! Try to imagine the 2 of us armed with our Google Translator app verifying labels in Cyrillic. Or imagine us asking supermarket personnel or passers-by typed-up questions on the app ;) It's an opportunity to meet people and… to learn some vocabulary and a new alphabet. I'm pretty proud of the level of my Russian reading skills after only one week in this country!
Because the Travelling “Spirit” knows best. When travelling, if you follow the way, good things (which are often the 'right' things for you) will come to you. El camino se hace al andar (A. Machado). And this applies to food practices too. For example, last week, our train to Moscow got cancelled and we found ourselves in Poland without any planned accommodation. We launched an appeal on Couchsurfing and the one who responded turned out to be vegan! So when the food was ready, nobody got offended because we don't eat meat, fish, cheese, etc. ;)
Convinced? Travelling like vegan is possible, is fun and, we think, is good. What do you think? We'd love to hear your thoughts - the comment box below is the for this!