I have absolutely no problem with people wanting to go vegan or whatever other food preferences they want for themselves, based on any moral, ethical or whatever reasons of their own.
I have serious concerns about promoting 'veganism' (or any single lifestyle change for that matter) as THE ULTIMATE and UNIVERSAL solution of climate change.
The earth and its atmosphere is a complex system - both scientifically and socio-economically. Climate change is a complex problem - both scientifically and socio-economically. Every human culture is playing a different role in this complexity, some aspects of which are positive and some are negative. Recognition of climate change as a universal problem to be tackled by everyone is one thing. Demanding that everyone should address the problem using the same and single strategy is an entirely different thing. We need an array of actions to tackle this complex problem. Moderation in access to all sorts of resources, including food, is indeed a common thread in most solutions, but the specifics of that moderation required of different cultures will obviously have to be different.
We generally develop simplified models to understand the complex geological-biological world around us. Often analysis of data based on simplified models suggests one thing, but reality is much more complex. Total abstinence and bans have never solved any social or environmental problem in the past. On the other hand, there are many instances of unexpected disasters caused by such measures. From that perspective too, I have serious reservations against any measure that talks about total exclusion of something or total ban on anything.
There is also another aspect to this. Even in the Western world, where veganism and curbs on industrial agriculture (which includes animal husbandry) will indeed have a significant positive impact in terms of climate change, I think that the fashion of projecting veganism as THE ultimate climate change solution has potentially dangerous consequences. It is interesting that most vocal supporters of veganism in the West are the rich and famous who otherwise live a very energy intensive lifestyle. So are they going vegan to eliminate the feeling of guilt about their mansions and yachts and private jets? Will going vegan then justify ramping up everyone's personal use of fossil energy?
I repeat, the same problem exists with any single action being projected as the ONE and ONLY solution of climate change. For example, going totally off fossil fuelled transport can be a personal choice, but it becomes problematic if that is recommended as the one and only prescription for the entire world to address the problem of climate change! Will it then be ok if I went everywhere on a bicycle but lived in an airconditioned mansion and ate nothing but meat??
It is admirable and good to feel passionate about a cause and to promote it with enthusiasm. However, I sincerely request my vegan friends to not fall into the trap of finding 'the single ultimate truth'! Truth is always relative and comes in hundred shades of grey! Same is the case with solutions to climate change.
Samuchit Enviro Tech
Samuchit Enviro Tech. firstname.lastname@example.org www.samuchit.com