“Should we all be vegan?”
This Topical Lunch Veganuary discussion at All Saints Kingston on 23rd January proved very positive and interesting, with a range of facts and viewpoints on sustainable and ethical eating from vegan Emma Waghorn, vegetarian and Richmond Councillor Andree Frieze, and TTK secretary and flexitarian/reducetarian Marilyn Mason, who chaired the discussion. There were few differences between the speakers' values and aims, just different ideas on how best to achieve the much needed general reduction in meat and dairy consumption. Their contributions were followed by some excellent questions, comments and advice from the audience of around 25, including a reminder that the UK was at its healthiest during WW2 when meat and cheese rations were tiny. Shows of hands at the start and end of the discussion revealed a decided shift towards at least trying vegetarianism or veganism - so it was a small but worthwhile step towards more sustainable eating in Kingston.
Recommended resources included: Jack Monroe's Veganish; Vegan for Life: Everything You Need to Know to Be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet by Jack Norris and Virginia Messina; and the website Vegan Health which gives evidence-based nutrient recommendations, all useful for new or tentative vegans. And In February Emma set up a useful new Facebook group APRIKUT (Animal Product Reducers in Kingston upon Thames) "for anyone who lives in or near Kingston upon Thames who is trying to reduce or eliminate their consumption of animal products, for ethical, environmental, health or any other reasons..."
The three speakers enjoyed the discussion and hope to take their sustainable and ethical eating road show to other groups and venues - contact Marilyn if you would be interested in hosting.They hope to give the discussion another airing, with opportunities for questions, during Kingston Libraries Eco-Festival, now planned for August 2020, on-line.