Wednesday, January 30, 2013
It's very difficult to be a vegan in today's world; restaurants serve relatively poor vegan cuisine if any, there is social ostracizing to contend with, and mostly, the social structures and habits aren't there to support this way of life. Few non-vegans would know how to begin purchasing and preparing healthy vegan meals. The social momentum is immense, and going against it takes a lot of dedication.
Now imagine for a moment if the tide were reversed: if 95% of the population was vegan, animal foods were the exception, and there was the usual social pressure to eat like everyone else. There is only one meat option at every third restaurant. Few know how to handle meat safely, or prepare it. Perhaps animal agriculture has fallen out of favor in the government and meat now costs much more (closer reflecting the hidden environmental costs of additional land, water, etc.). Perhaps most importantly, every time you mention that you eat meat you get inundated with questions about why and people telling you that it's not healthy (regardless of whether it actually is or not).
In that imagined world, how many do you think would take a stand for meat eating?
I think much more of dietary choices are because of "defaults" we have had programmed in from our society. Eventually, even most of the "tough nuts" will crack. I think if you saw 50% of the population being on a mostly plant-based diet, you would then see 80% not long after.