One of the cultural shocks that may hit one the hardest after moving abroad can be food. Exploring and experiencing a new country and its culture for a short period can be a piece of cake for many, but settling in a new country and adapting to the new culture is a different story. Adjusting one’s taste buds cannot be achieved in a day, a month, or sometimes longer!
Food in Czechia is coloured by Central European and Slavic traditions, with the staple being meat (pork, beef, game meat, ham, fish), potatoes, cabbage, fish, and dairy products. Following a vegan diet can be a challenge in such a place. To some, it also limits one from experiencing the culture to its fullest. However, one might be pleasantly surprised to find the availability of various vegan products in supermarkets. You can easily find vegan restaurants using this link. Believe it or not, a plant-based diet is becoming more familiar than one can think.
When viewed from an environmental perspective, the reasons to follow a plant-based diet are endless. In 2004, National Geographic explorer and author Dan Buettner extensively studied specific areas within continents with his research team. Following his intensive work, Buettner revised the concept of Blue Zones. Blue Zones are places where people live longer and have a higher quality of life than the global average. More centenarians and a lower incidence of age-related diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes characterize these regions.
Other than physical activity, social connections, spirituality and faith, diet is one of the most important factors responsible for the success of these regions. People in Blue Zones tend to have a predominantly plant-based diet with a strong inclination towards vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and fruits.
Nature has to work hard to replenish all the resources we are exhausting at a devastatingly rapid rate. The meat and dairy industry has a vast, unregulated carbon emission index. The plant industry utilized much less water as compared to meat and dairy.
The global change of climate is happening at an unprecedented scale. Natural resources such as minerals, fossil fuels, groundwater, and freshwater are depleting alarmingly. There is no reversing of the process. However, sustainable living is one way to slow the rising global temperatures. Following a vegan lifestyle can transcend borders, languages, and cultures. World Vegan Day shows us the beauty of being in the position to make a difference and the power of compassion. So, savour each bite, raise your spoon in celebration, and know that your choices are making a difference- one plate at a time.
Happy World Vegan Day!