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Do you think vegan food/ going vegan would be more popular if the food in question was from more tradtionaly vegan cultures?

Submitted by NAB in Vegan

Like, a lot of the “vegan alternatives” I commenly see in my little western sphere are frankly horrible, weird cheeses, odd meat alternatives, and bricks of soy. The type of stuff that is frankly not appitizing to an average person.

But then other cultures like india have amazing vegan food thats just the norm, and has been for centurys. If instead of trying to immitate non vegan items vegan foods from diffrent cultures were popularized, do you think more people would be willing to do it?

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JayGrym wrote

Tbh, I am not vegan and probably never will be. But I always found it odd there were vegan imitations of non vegan foods. I assumed these foods existed as a transitionary diet until the new vegan was more comfortable with vegan foods.

It is a good possibility that if these foreign culture's vegan foods were popularized more people could be willing to try veganism.

But I also think the vegan imitations of non vegan foods appeal to certain groups and allow them to try veganism while maintaining a certain level of familiarity with their food.

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edmund_the_destroyer wrote

I'm trying to transition vegan and I spent the first forty years of my life on a pretty traditional American diet. Lot of burgers, hot dogs, pizza, chicken, sausage, omelets, egg sandwiches, and so forth.

The people I know that have been vegan for more than a few years aren't interested in vegan imitation meats and vegan cheeses and so forth. But I'm not ready to just ditch 50% of my dietary habits - maybe I should be, but I'm not - so I've been trying the different substitutes. My experience, for what it's worth:

  • The vegan foods that don't try to taste like meat are moderately tasty, but rarely as tasty as meat to someone that likes meat. For example, black bean garden burgers, mushroom burgers, falafel burgers.
  • The vegan foods that try to imitate real meat and cheese range from horrid to excellent. They're expensive, but I love the Beyond Meat Burger.
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alex_ wrote

depends on what cultures and where. people’s food choices don’t exist in a vacuum and are informed by life experiences, culture, etc. i think if you can make vegetable based substitution options for people that aren’t like, created in a lab that’s probably the best thing, black bean burgers are a good example.

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veg wrote

There really are no traditionally vegan cultures, but traditionally vegetarian cultures yes. Just eat your fruit and veg, not meat and cheese copycats

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existential1 wrote

I think your question is very particular to culture. You didn't explicitly say it, so I'm going to. If you're talking about white "Western" people in your question:

do you think more people would be willing to do it?

then I would say maybe. I've been vegan for over a year and near vegan for quite some time before that.

To me, the people who are stuck on all the "alternative" type things are victims of western consumerism. They very well may not think they are, but they are. The vegan meats, cheeses, and all the rest are a way two keep two things consistent: the Western "eater's" habit of consumption based on goods that that corporations found easy to commoditize, package, and sell 50 - 100 years ago depending on the product, and secondly for those same corporations to continue making a profit on a new market with the same consumer they used to have.

People will give all sorts of reasons why they still go for "vegan alternatives" to non-vegan western foods, chiefly among those reasons is their own "choice" to continue eating what they're accustomed to. But really, it's a false choice. Or at the least a choice with a false pretense. Hardly any different than picking democrat or republican...either way, they still get paid and you still eat garbage. Because the truth is, most of the "vegan alternatives" are still loaded with preservatives, extra salt/sugar, and all the things that contribute to physiological dependency on consumption of certain types of food.

All that being said, not all vegans are vegans for health reasons. Not everyone considers their personal health a priority. That's just reality. So although eating foods that are traditionally vegan or going vegan without trying to "replace" non-vegan meals can be absolutely delicious, more healthy, cheaper, and pretty simple to prepare...a lot of westerners have a mindset that plain foods can't be tasty. But, having been addicted to a western diet, I feel like "it's the drugs talking, not them". The drug in this case being an addiction to typically sugar, oils, too much salt, and consumption.

So the popularity question isn't just a simple choice. It's also a matter of breaking free from a couple Western diseases as well. Can be difficult to do all at once.