Vegetarian — 30 Years Later
When I was 11, two classmates a grade older than me challenged me with a question, “how is eating a cow different from eating your pet?” My 11 year old brain couldn’t come up with a solid response. Right then, my meat loving self made the decision to continue eating meat UNTIL my birthday (I had a birthday party planned at The Keg) and then, I would stop eating meat entirely. That was almost 30 years ago.
Eating animals is a controversial issue. It’s something we often have strong opinions about, and the idea of going without doesn’t appeal to everyone. Over the years of being a vegetarian, I’ve come to the conclusion there are many benefits. Animal welfare is a big one, but so is the environmental impact. While I didn’t become a vegetarian to save the planet, I did become more solidified in my choice as I learned how keeping meat out of my diet was one significant way I could lighten my footprint.
Here is a great bar graph from World in Data that outlines greenhouse gas emissions from different types of foods:
Our World in Data -Food Choice vs Eating Local. January 20, 2020 https://ourworldindata.org/food-choice-vs-eating-local
Because vegetarianism can reduce our carbon footprint and animal products are often overly packaged, as a company created entirely with the goal of benefiting the environment in mind, we have made Jarr completely vegetarian. Most items in our offerings are available plant-based. We do offer locally sourced dairy products and eggs, all from farms and organizations that care deeply about treating animals humanely. Our Coligny Creek’s eggs are organic, Free Range and SPCA certified, our milk is organic (which has more rigorous requirements for animal rights) and our cheeses and yogurts are made on small farms.
We also know that plant-based vegan foods tend to have some of the lowest environmental impact. “A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,” said Joseph Poore, at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the research on Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers. For this reason we lean heavily on offering meat, cheese and yogurt alternatives as well as many vegan pre-made frozen meal offerings and plant-based yummy sauces. Some of our favourite plant-based alternatives include non-dairy ice cream from Say Hello Sweets, and vegan burger mix from Coastie Craft.
Not everyone is going to reach a 100% plant-based diet (30 years in, I can admit that I’m still not completely vegan!), but with more vegan options, we know it’s easier for everyone to pick plant-based more often and we think that’s pretty great.
To our vegan customers and suppliers, thank you for helping us to embrace plant-based options in our lives. You inspire us!
Emily Sproule is the founder of Jarr, a mom of two young school age children and an environmentalist doing the best she can with the time she has. Emily lives in East Vancouver, is passionate about business as a force for change and is excited to bring package-free grocery delivery to Metro Vancouver.