Reflections from Singapore Vegan Festival 2019
The overarching theme at the Vegan Festival, as to be expected, was the elimination of cruelty to animals and moving towards a plant-based diet while maintaining a high protein intake. It was interesting for us to note that the environment was not necessarily on every guests’ concern list.
Creating awareness for the fourth Burden
Based on this observation, the team focused on creating awareness for the fourth Burden: Planetary Health. The way the food industry works is a complex system and hard to impart in a few minutes. However, once guests realised the impact of the food system on the climate crisis, even after eliminating animal products from their diets, many said they “did not know food could be any other way”. We hope we were able to inspire in interest in examining food more closely. From an ethical standpoint, we applaud the environmentally sustainable move from a growing community moving away from animal products.
The festival also left us with a question to ponder – does processed vegan food on the shelf today resolve sustainably the Quadruple Burden of the Nutritional Paradox, specifically the first three Burdens regarding the nutritional needs of those who practise it? Should the learning be, regardless of label, we should focus on the Quadruple Burdens and vet whether the Nutritional Paradox can be resolved?