the youth are in the streets!
Vegetarianism and veganism have always been presented as an exclusively middle class ‘right on’ eco lifestyle choice for anarchists, liberal Green Party members and people who can’t resist the elusive sexism and racism of Peta. But what’s this? Could there be some redeeming features of a plant based diet that don’t involve fat-shaming or a trip to Planet Organic? A Revolutionary ethos lies underneath the lentils and is in need of reclamation for ordinary people.
Practicing vegans avoid eating meat and all animal products, including eggs and honey because they understand the food industries to be unsustainable and corrupt. The Intensive farming of livestock coupled with the irresponsible use of energy and excessive packaging involved in food production is astounding. That doesn’t even include the environmental concerns of importing. Under capitalism, up to 1/3 of food is wasted each year in secured supermarket receptacles because it has gone past its conservative sell-by date, meanwhile millions starve in poverty.
How is this possible at a time when the quality of meals served in prisons, schools and hospitals has actually deteriorated? All the while supermarket giants rake in soaring profits, hike up our food prices and rip off working farmers at cost price for their products. Students across the UK may now be finding it difficult to make their loans stretch past weekly food shops. Our benefit system doesn’t even reflect the inflation of the prices we are charged in order to live day to day. Why is that? Because the rich can afford to eat what they like, and always have. Step in Duchy Originals, the Prince of Wales’ very own organic food company! A nice little earner to appease the middle class conscience of consumers at Waitrose.
Food growth in Britain has declined, along with access to local allotments, which were once used by normal people across villages and towns. We’re lucky that our Union has the Green Action Food Co-op with links to great community projects, but why is it undermined by the privatised refectory and twee ‘market’ stalls each week on campus? Because that is the style over substance that LUU is committed to portraying.
The problem is that the cheap food is also the same nasty, processed shit that is widely available in the shops that normal people rely on, like Tesco. Nobody wants to go to fucking Holland and Barrett and buy buckwheat or Aloe Vera extract for £12. It’s ridiculous because these lifestyles aren’t accessible to anybody who isn’t Gillian McKeith (of course, women are supposed to be particularly interested in self detoxification). Capitalism has actually created its own unachievable niche of sustainable ethically conscious consumption, only available to the judgemental and educated middle classes. That’s why we can’t all stop what we’re doing and elect to make our own soy milk with collected rain water whilst donning an apron made from a hessian sack.
We need to nationalise our food co-ops and use land to grow affordable and sustainable food sources for all so that we don’t have to rely on the intensive farming of animals or put up with the bullshit marketing of processed foods. Arrest the bosses of the supermarket industry and eradicate food wastage with communal kitchens and canteens! Reduce the working week so we actually have time to cook and eat together! Let us smash the patriarchal dividend of labour and let everybody have a go at cooking if they want to. Provide adequate food education to all and remove so-called ‘ethical’ consumption as a prerogative of the middle classes. Stop the ruling classes eating swans in secret and take Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall off Channel 4. We should try and eat a plant-based diet when it’s available to everybody.
By Eleanor B, LUU Revsoc