Impossible Veganism

The Lempert Report
January 26, 2023

Phil: Talking about communication. Let's talk about veganism, you know, it's Veganuary meaning go vegan for January. We're seeing that around the world. It started in London a number of years ago. It's just gained more traction as we go. But some of the latest reports that are taking place say that, you know, it's really hard to be a vegan. Less than 3% of Americans are vegan by the strict definition of vegan. Why is it so hard to be a vegan and and you were a vegan for a number of years? 

Sally: Yes. I was on a vegan diet for three years, living in Los Angeles at the time, which was a much easier place to be a vegan than where I am now in Tennessee. But the challenges that arise in, in being vegan, you know, number one, you completely overhaul your diet. And so you are restricting yourself from things that you are used to, foods that you love and then you're looking for replacements for those. And oftentimes those foods, those vegan foods that are in our supermarket or in restaurants, they are more expensive. So it can be quite expensive to follow a very strict vegan diet. And then there's also just your environment, you know, where you are in the country, who you are around, you know, what sort of circumstances you're in that can make it difficult for you to follow a vegan diet. 

Phil: And also, let's not forget that there's a lot of animal products that go into a lot of other foods. Yes. That normally we might not think about. So for example, I have a very vivid memory of, this goes back probably 40 plus years, more than 40 years, probably close to 45 years that my dad was selling cheese to the then wholesaler before it became a retailer Erewhon which was more the natural foods industry. And what they wanted is they wanted cheese that, you know, did not have animal rennet. Now, in order to have to create cheese, you need what's called a starter and bacteria. And that usually came from, you know, animal intestines. And my father was, you know, searching high and low, and finally he came up with an artificial rennet that could produce cheese, that would meet Erewhon specs. So it's not as easy as people think. But, you know, I think what vegan does, and a lot of these other programs do, is they try to give us a balance, that you can still eat meat, you can still eat poultry, but just eat more vegetables and smaller portions of that meat. And you're probably, unless it's for ethical concerns, that you're not gonna want to eat meat, you're probably gonna win as it relates to your diet and being able to, to do it. 

Sally: Yes. I think that's spot on, Phil. And the point of this campaign, isn't necessarily to encourage commitment to a vegan diet year round for everyone. It isn't for everyone, but if a lot of us started eating less meat, then we could quite possibly be a healthier population, and we would also serve our environment. 

Phil: And also there's some brands that are capitalizing on this. Obviously, caulipower, Do, and Future Farm is doing it. But also what I love is Future Farm, who, and they're located in the UK, have really jumped on this. And what they've done is they've really capitalized for vegan area on the Royal Brothers Feud, and they're putting up billboards. They've put up billboards, one that you, you know, what you found, that poked fun at the Royal Family Food, not only helping people to pay attention to the brand, but also gives Future Farm the opportunity to show off its brand personality, having nothing to do with veganism. But just making fun of the two brother's feud and using that as a way to get their brand out there. I think it's sort of like a cheap shot to be honest with you. But, hey, you know, the brothers are playing it out in the public forum, so, you know, good for Future Farm.