This November it’s World Vegan Month and I’ve been thinking about different diets around the world.
I’ve been vegetarian most of my expat life and then I had to give up dairy when I found out that my son whom I was breastfeeding had a cow’s milk protein allergy. After years as a British milk slurping, American ice cream guzzling, Swiss cheese munching dairy fan, I initially found the switch very tough.
Now I’m not just used to a dairy free diet, I can no longer tolerate the idea of milk in any form. Cow juice, for anyone other than four legged creatures called Daisy, just feels wrong.
I’m not 100% vegan, but if it weren’t for the Carolina Herrera handbags my husband buys me every Christmas I might be converted.
A vegan diet isn’t for everyone though. While it’s trendy in the UK, normal in the coastal regions of the US, it’s misunderstood in lot of other countries. My family in Spain think veganism is a mental disorder. A life without jamon is no life, according to my mother-in-law.
There is a lot of negativity in the press about preachy vegans. The extreme herbivores who look down on your bacon butty and spit into your Cashmere.
But there are others like me, who yes, like the additional energy and clearer skin from their plant based diet, who yes, go a bit queasy when they smell meat cooking and yes, get very excited when they spot dairy free cake, but who also understand that a 100% animal free route isn’t for everyone.
While there’s a general scientific consensus that a low fat, low sugar diet with plenty of vegetables is best for us, everyone has their different notions on the healthiest diet out there. Everyone is different and is entitled to choose the diet that works best for them wherever they are in the world.
Apparently the Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British.
However the French eat a lot of fat and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British.
The Japanese drink very little red wine and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British.
The French drink excessive amounts of red wine and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British.
Conclusion: eat and drink what you like. It’s speaking English that kills you.