The Life of a Vegan in South Africa
As we wish Happy Vegan's Day on November 1 to all the vegans out there, AfroVerdict's host sits down with a South African climate activist and vegan to talk about the pros and cons of this lifestyle and how easy or difficult it is to commit to it in South Africa – a country that has one of the highest meat consumers on the continent.
Leading a healthy lifestyle is not the easiest of ventures, as it requires effort and restrictions. Veganism, being one of the many halthy lifestyles, is often met with a lot of resistance, due to misconceptions.
"If you told me that I was going to be vegan three years ago, I would have probably laughed at you because I am someone who also shared some of those misconceptions that vegans only eat salads," Mpho Nyamathe, climate activist and Green Ambassador at the Humanitarian Affairs Asia, says.
People have been "socialized" and "taught" that meat is "how you get your proteins", there are "many sources of protein from plants".
"I want to break stereotypes. I want to debunk myths. So when I do experience these criticisms, I listen very carefully and try to understand where it comes from and where I need to myth bust - I myth bust. But, I do so respectfully because the reluctance that people have towards veganism is something that has been with them for a really long time," Mpho explains.
Diving into veganism "like a cold plunge" is not constructive, as it not "comfortable" and "sustainable".
"It's very important to kind of break those stereotypes because most of veganism is research. I always tell people that most of what constitutes veganism is research," Mpho says.
Mpho adopts a soft approach where she does not force people to convert to veganism, but rather "gently" educates people about veganism.
"If you come hard on people who already do not understand what's going on, it's very likely that they are going to have a negative perception towards the movement as a whole," the activist states.
To hear what else the activist had to say, check out the entire episode of the AfroVerdict podcast, brought to you by Sputnik Africa.
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