Ethical food choice

Ethically sourced, conflict-free, cruelty-free – in today’s world, being ethical in every aspect of our lives is becoming more and more important: doing the right thing, achieving goals and complying with laws and rules.

The word “ethics” comes from the Greek “ethos” (meaning “custom” or “habit”). Ethics differs subtly from morals and morality but can be used accordingly. “Ethics denotes the theory of right action and the greater good, while morals indicate their practice. Ethics is not limited to specific actions and defined moral codes, but encloses the whole of moral ideals and behaviours, a person’s philosophy of life.”

Is a vegan or a vegetarian more ethical than a carnivore?

Humans have always fed themselves with meat, but today, public opinion is trying to raise awareness and discourage eating meat as a healthy choice first and foremost, and secondly as a form of respect towards other living creatures.
So, thanks also to globalisation, our tables have become richer in various products and ingredients like quinoa, avocado, all sort of nuts and pulses.
But how is the agriculture of different countries that produce vegetarian products for consumption developing in terms of respecting labour standards, population and resource management?
Apparently, market demand for certain types of quinoa has reduced the diversity of the types of quinoa being cultivated, which could reduce the crop’s resilience to climate change, for example.
So eat your quinoa and season it with veggies and fruits. But be able to recognise that your healthy eating choices have set in motion a contradictory outcome, higher local incomes combined with soil deterioration, and increased local prices for Bolivian farmers. Avocados are associated with drug cartels and deforestation in Mexico.
California is in drought due to water-intensive almonds crops. All as a consequence of a worldwide higher demand for these products.
Everything has a downside. If you feel ethically fair because you are vegetarian and respect the lives of animals, you are in a way, but you can’t claim to be an ethical champion as there are many other aspects to consider.
I like to define myself as an ethical omnivore. I try to eat only local, organic, seasonal and humanely raised meat, giving priority to products that respect soil health and biodiversity. Support local community shops, not multinational companies that may work in an unethical way. I agree that reducing meat consumption is generally good, and I also agree that we should be flexible in our way of thinking…it’s a big step forward!

Note: the beautiful handmade embroidery on the left side of the picture courtesy of Valeria Della Sala. She does lovely, captivating, decorative, patterns. You can contact her through Instagram @ from_fabric.



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