28/09/2018

Envirotarian

Many people who've met me or read about me have at some point or other encountered the term 'Envirotarian'. Envirotarian is a term I created to describe my lifestyle choices primarily in regards to my diet.  I thought it was maybe about time that I wrote a blog to describe what it means!

Fun Facts:

-I perform concerts in odd socks as my dog (Mel) ate one of my official concert socks.

-I intend to visit every country in Europe, I've visited 26 so far.

-I have a weird obsession with making falafel! 

Favourite place on planet earth: Anywhere wild and dramatic/in the sea.

Why Create Envirotarianism?

There's probably an adequate term out there somewhere to describe my lifestyle, but I failed to find it after doing a bit of research.

 

What is Envirotarianism? 

 

Upon realising that I was unhappy with the standard of livestock farming (when I lived near Stuttgart, Germany), I began to go on a journey to discover what I felt was morally right and acceptable to me.

 

My entire life I'd consumed everything without questioning the impact on farm animals, my health and the environment.

 

It all began when I one day realised that I hadn't seen any cows in the part of Germany I was living in (you see them out in the fields all the time in Scotland). A few days later I walked past a large wooden building in the village I was living in and heard the sound of cows. I looked through a crack in the wood and sure enough there was a room full of 'organic cows'.

   Through observation, I realised that the farmer was harvesting the long, green, luscious grass from the field in front of the barn and bringing it to the cows. As they were eating 'organic' grass, they counted as organic cows, despite the fact they were kept squished in a building without windows all year round. 

I quickly switched from eating everything to a Pescatarian diet (won't eat meat, but will still eat fish). A few days later, I faced the truth, that there was a high chance that the cows in my village were dairy cows. That left me with no option but veganism at the time (I ate no animal products for a few weeks).

As I got used to the abrupt switch to being vegan, I considered what my morals actually were. I realised that I didn't have a problem with eating meat or dairy products, as long as the animals were treated well.

I took to the internet to see if I could find a term for someone who only eats food sourced from the happiest possible animals and plants and in failing to do so coined the term Envirotarian, when my sister suggested that as the name!

Since then, Envirotarianism has evolved a bit. Now I'd define an Envirotarian as:

'Someone who seeks to eat and shop responsibly in regards to the environment and animal welfare'

 

What that means for me personally, is that:

-I try to only support the farms that are the most advanced in animal and environmental welfare. In Germany, I try to stick to demeter products (I'm currently figuring the UK out!).

-I keep to wild meat (deer, rabbit, boar etc), but also consider demeter meat (for example). However, I eat a tiny percentage of the meat I used to consume.

 -I love seafood, but I won't eat any seafood unless I have personally harvested it (When you look into the environmental damage created by commercial fishing, it's really quite shocking).

 -I also take into consideration how far the food has travelled (how much pollution was created for that product). If I have a choice of Scottish blueberries or Canadian, I'll take the Scottish (Not because I have a problem with Canada ;)

 -I try to buy everything without plastic or environmentally damaging packaging.

I believe that the term 'Envirotarian can be flexible, in the sense that some people may agree with eating wild meat and others won't agree with eating any meat, but will try to take the environment into account when they buy other products. Some vegans and vegetarians that I know could also therefore be considered Envirotarian in some respects.

Does being Envirotarian make life more difficult?

It's hard to eat out vegan sometimes, it's nearly impossible to eat out Envirotarian. I therefore try to eat out vegan where possible.

 

The cost of food shopping also rises fairly dramatically. I'd say that my super market bills have doubled to tripled!

You're also sometimes faced with the dilemma of 'do I take the organic cucumber wrapped in plastic, or the non-organic cucumber without plastic!'

Overall when you've developed a system and you know which products/where to shop etc it becomes as easy as any other diet/lifestyle. 

A final note

Envirotarianism is a big topic and I'm sure that some of you will have further questions. Please feel free to ask me anything you have on your mind via Instagram, Facebook, the comments etc.

I'd also like to say that everything said, is just my opinion for me as a person. Other people have entirely different opinions on both sides of the spectrum. I guess that's what makes people interesting ;) Have a great weekend!! Sam