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I can not pretend that your words arent killing me,

They stab me in the chest like these visible knives coming out of my back,
And I have sworn to defend lives of the innocent so I swear my allegiance with them.
You say that things have changed but can you honestly point to any of them?
You say you dont feel the same, fine, it doesnt change their circumstances,
ecause theyre suffering and dying inside these cages youre now supporting,
ut I will champion on alone.
You say that its too hard for you to live this way,
ut how hard would it be to spend your whole life trapped in a cage?
!ow hard would it be to be tortured every day?
"ow that would be too hard,
That would be too hard.
You say that things have changed but can you honestly point to any of them?
You say you dont feel the same, fine, but it doesnt change their circumstances,
ecause theyre suffering and dying inside these cages you are now supporting,
ut I will champion on alone.
And I will be up on these feet,
#creaming until my heart stops beating,
I will not turn my back on their cries,
$ven if I am the only one left standing with no allies,
%y voice will be for all that have been silenced by your apathy and lies.
Lyrics from Nothings Changed - xTrue Naturex
As a constant traveller, a vegan, and an environmental activist I continually come across the large
and false misconception which states that maintaining vegan and environmentally friendly ethics
while travelling is simply not possible. I am more often than not meeting people who have said it
was too hard to maintain their vegan diet while travelling so they went back to a diet which involves
animal products. I have people constantly harassing me and other nomads for our carbon footprints
while we travel and I hear stories of countless others who have succumbed to participate in cruel
dietary choices or activities all in the name of &culture'.
(or over eight years now I have been travelling around the world. I have spent various amounts of
time in over fifty countries spanning five continents. (or seven of these years I have maintained a
vegan diet while remaining in perpetual motion on the road and so I would like to share my personal
e)periences with you. I will also share e)periences from other nomadic vegans who have visited
places I have not and who have maintained their vegan diets with very little or no problems at all. I
hope to offer sound advice and clear arguments against the myth that living a vegan and
environmentally friendly lifestyle while travelling is not possible.
This is essentially a si) part essay with various subcategories in which I will touch on the following
aspects in depth followed by a bibliography for further information*
+. ,re-Travel preparation.
o !elpful tools to prepare yourself for what is to come
.. %aintaining a vegan diet.
o reakdown of a vegan diet in "orth America
o reakdown of a vegan diet in /entral and #outh America
o reakdown of a vegan diet in $urope
o reakdown of a vegan diet in Asia
o reakdown of a vegan diet in Africa
o reakdown of a vegan diet in 0ceania
o #mart shopping and easy foods to travel with
1. 2imiting your environmental impact.
o The myth that constant travel e3uals a high carbon footprint
o !itchhiking and alternative methods of environmentally friendly travel
o 4umpster diving
o The myth of ecotourism
5. /onnecting with local activists and organisations.
o 6eaching out and giving solidarity to others while travelling
o 2istening to the needs of local struggles
7. The issue of culture.
o 8hy culture is no e)cuse for cruelty
9. The impossibility of veganism for the entire global population.
o 4iscussing why it is unfair to assume the entire global population can be vegan
:. /onclusion and bibliography for further studies.
These words are dedicated to the billions of beings thoughtlessly tortured and killed to support a
needless industry and to those who give up their time, freedom, and occasionally their lives in order to
fight for those who can not fight for themselves.
1. Pre-Travel rearation.
The easiest way to stick to a vegan lifestyle while travelling is by the simple act of preparing for your
upcoming trip no matter if it be to a new state, or a new country. 8hen it comes to help maintaining
your vegan diet on the road there may be no better help than that of the ;egan ,assport. This
passport si<ed booklet e)plains in over seventy languages your dietary needs and why you choose to
live this lifestyle. Trust me when I say if you are going somewhere where you are unable to speak the
language then there is no better help than that of knowing how to e)plain your dietary needs. If you
do not want to buy the ;egan ,assport then take the time to learn key phrases in the language that
you will need to e)plain your dietary needs and if necessary, words on why you choose to live this
way. 2ook around online to find these phrases and if they are not readily available =which they
always are> then go on some online forums and ask people the key information that you need to
know. If you cross into another region or country with a new language try to find a person who
speaks both your language as well as the native language to help you with these phrases. I know this
all sounds like common sense but you would be ama<ed at how few people actually take the time to
make these simple steps and therefore end up struggling to find a vegan dish to eat when they
arrive somewhere new.
I personally only speak one other language outside of my native $nglish but I have never had a
problem finding something to eat on my travels because of not being able to communicate my
dietary needs. It has only ever taken me a few minutes to have someone write me down the key
phrases in the native language before I enter so I am able to show it to the people who are to serve
me food if they do not understand $nglish. If for some reason or another you are not able to e)plain
your dietary needs verbally or in writing then resort to hand gestures, sounds, or pictures. I have a
few funny stories of being in rural 2aos and ;ietnam doing my best to doodle pictures of what I will
not eat because they spoke a dialect that I was not prepared for. I have a friend who played a game
of verbal charades with a group in #udan e)plaining what he would and would not eat. oth are
entertaining and took a bit of time and effort but in the end we got a nice vegan meal as well as
some laughs in the process.
6esearch the common foods that you will have access to when travelling. 4ifferent types of foods
per region of the world will be touched on more later on but let it be known that almost every new
place I have gone has such a plethora of ama<ing food all of its own. All it takes is a few minutes to
go online or to the library to research what foods you can e)pect when you are going to be in a new
place. e sure to take the time to learn what staples are going to be available in order to maintain
positive health while you travel as some places may be low in one vitamin or mineral while being rich
in others. If you happen to have special dietary needs due to an illness or disability take e)tra
precautions with your research to ensure necessary foods will be available to you in order to
maintain a healthy diet locally.
If eating out is your thing then there are plenty of websites out there dedicated to vegan options in
many given areas. !appy /ow is a popular choice but there are literally do<ens of places you can go
online to check out the vegan options in any area, usually in cities or more urbani<ed areas. I
personally do not eat out often unless I am in developing countries where access to dumpster diving
is limited or non-e)istent due to the simple fact that it is not necessary for reasons I will discuss later
on. !owever, when I do eat out it is of my opinion that when doing so there is nothing better than
local markets or street vendors for the best 3uality food. Any place I have ever travelled always has
access to both of these and they are almost always the cheapest options.
There is simply no e)cuse for not being prepared when it takes so little time to do so. 0ut of the
many e)cuses I hear from people who have sold out their values this is the one that disturbs me the
most. The fact that these people could not take half an hour or less of their time to research easy to
find information only tells us how la<y and undedicated they were to begin with. #imply put,
la<iness is no e)cuse when all the information is easily attainable.
!. "aintaining a vegan diet.
I am fully aware that if I were to go in depth e)plaining how to maintain a vegan diet in various parts
of the world this essay would turn out to be over one-hundred pages long. Instead, the following
information I provide is only the smallest glimpse of maintaining a vegan diet in each continent or
region of the world. I am in no way trying to say that the limited information I am providing covers
every part of a region or continent. In fact I hope that when you notice I have written less than two
pages about each continent you would have already figured that out for yourself. 8hat I am doing is
providing you with a base minimum of information on each region or continent in hopes that by
seeing such limited information and realising how easy it has been for me and others to stay vegan,
you will then breathe a sigh of relief and take it upon yourself to do any further research on your
own when needed.
"orth America
"o matter your style of travel or income level "orth America is one easy continent to travel and eat
well as a vegan. It is no problem if you ?ust hitchhiked into /algary at two in the morning, hopped off
the plane midday in 4allas, or if you are roaming the streets in downtown @uadala?ara looking for a
meal. "orth America is the epitome of ease for travelling on a vegan diet. I am not saying that the
food you encounter is always going to be the healthiest as that is most definitely not the first thing
you think of when you think of a "orth American diet, but it is going to be there twenty-four hours a
day for you and it is easy to pick through the crap to find healthy vegan food.
/anada and The Anited #tates are brimming with fancy vegan substitutes which so many people
love. You can find handfuls of alternative milks almost everywhere, and you do not have to go far to
get your hands on meat and cheese substitutes even in the most rural of areas. I personally do not
eat many of these overly processed foods but for those who do, you are in luck. ,roduce is always to
be found whether it be in the shops, farmers markets, or in the dumpsters. (ood prices vary from
place to place throughout /anada and The Anited #tates but it is from my e)perience that if you
plan on buying a lot of your groceries then you are going to paying some of the higher prices by
world standards.
The good news for those of you who en?oy ?umping in dumpsters is that /anada and The Anited
#tates throw away more goods than anywhere else in the world and there are always mountains of
fresh food to be found in these gigantic lunchbo)es. I will not go in depth now with dumpster diving
as I will touch on it fully later on.
$ating out as a vegan is also very simple with most large population centers having more than a
handful of vegan friendly restaurants. (or e)ample, despite its small si<e, ;ictoria in ritish
/olumbia has a pure raw-vegan restaurant, one vegan restaurant, and three other restaurants
where over :7B of their food is vegan. ,ortland, #eattle, oulder, #anta /ru<, and Austin seem to be
leading the way in The Anited #tates for vegan options while eating out. $ven in rural /anada and
Anited #tates it is easy to find a vegan meal as long as you make it known what you do and do not
eat. It may seem more unusual to people in rural areas why you choose to eat a vegan diet, but it is
almost never a problem to find something to eat. %y old fashioned, conservative grandparents live
in one of the most rural places on the prairies of /anada yet they have never had a problem cooking
wonderful vegan food for me when I go there to visit.
%e)ico is a beautiful place for vegans even though veganism is for the most part unheard of there.
%e)ico is very proud of their food culture and even though there is a lot of meat consumption
almost all the staple foods are vegan and always easy to find. (rom my multiple e)periences in
%e)ico I found the food to be some of the best in the world and by far one of the easiest places to
maintain a healthy vegan diet. Tortillas, beans, fresh fruits, and fresh vegetables are everywhere
and very cheap compared to the rest of "orth America. There is nothing more satisfying that simply
buying some fresh avocadoes, tomatoes, beans, warm tortillas, and making yourself some simple
tacos any time of the day.
Anfortunately if you are after specialised vegan alternatives to cheese, meat, or milk, they are often
only found in multinational chains or other big shops in bigger cities. Te)tured ;egetable ,rotein
=T;,> seems to very popular, insanely cheap, and available all over the place.
%y one area of advice is that when eating out or buying beans, be sure that they are not cooked in
or with fat. %any places on the street or in restaurants I found like to use fat with their beans but it is
simply a matter of asking what they cook their beans with and then you will know. &#in grasa'
means without fatC
/entral D #outh America
eans, breads made with mai<e, fresh fruits, and vegetables reign supreme. All through /entral
America I ate e)tremely well for very cheap prices outside of /osta 6ica where food prices were
higher. The rural areas of /entral America were difficult at times to e)plain to people why you
choose to not eat any animal products, but it is not hard at all to find vegan food. (or the most part
you could order any meal from the street minus the meat as I did not find cheese or dairy to be all
that important to their cooking. As with %e)ico I found that the only places available to find any sort
of vegan alternatives to meat and dairy were in the big supermarkets in large cities.
#outh America is one of my favourite places in the world and eating there was e3ually as en?oyable. I
spent more than one year in #outh America and while there I was treated to some of the best food I
have had anywhere. /olombia, ;ene<uela, $cuador, /hile, olivia, ,eru, and Argentina all have
different food cultures but I found that every time I coasted into a new country the staple foods
seemed to always be vegan. (or e)ample, Argentina has a very big beef culture but their staple
foods were still healthy grains, beans, and wonderful fruits and vegetables. /olombia has a big
culture of seafood along the coastlines but I was too busy eating e)otic fruits I had never seen before
to even pay attention to that fact. $cuador was a fresh fruit and vegetable wonderland for me and
no matter where I turned I was faced with some ama<ing food. 2a ,a<, olivia had its share of vegan
friendly restaurants and the rest of the country was e3ually as friendly to vegans. I ate at a pure
vegan restaurant in /usco, ,eru a few days before I went to %achu ,icchu. In /hile I found that
being vegan was ?ust as easy as in "orth America as there was much more of a subculture already
evolved around veganism. The stories are endless. If you get the chance, find a local to track you
down some vegan buEuelos in /olombia as they are absolutely magical. esides those tasty treats
be sure to take your fill of arepas which can be found all over /olombia, ;ene<uela, and $cuador and
are prepared in various fashions but good old fashioned mai<e arepas are by far my favourite. "ot to
mention the fried plantainsC I could go on but will stop here.
I have personally never been to Aruguay, ,araguay, or ra<il but when I talked to many of my
friends who have spent an ample amount of time in each they said it was no problem at all. Aruguay
and ,araguay I was told were very similar to the countries which surround them while ra<il was
much more varied due to the sheer si<e of the country. I have talked to many people who have spent
a lot of time in ra<il and they have told me that besides the ample amounts of seafood on the
coasts and the intense amount of meat in the Ama<on regions, it is never a problem to find healthy
food. I was reminded that it is always good to be well stocked up on vegan food if you are to be
taking any long tours in the Ama<on region =no matter if it be ra<il, ,eru, ;ene<uela, or /olombia>
due to the fact that many boats and tours supply very little in the way of variety if you are vegan as
they rely heavily on seafood.
The more rural you dive into #outh America the more difficult it gets to eat out in restaurants
without problems, but if you are not concerned about eating out then you will always find delicious
and healthy food to sustain yourself. I could spend hours talking about the delicious foods I have
eaten all through #outh America but since this is ?ust a 3uick breakdown of the basics, I will have to
save it for another day.
The prices of food vary greatly from country to country as the standard of living also varies greatly.
In many countries finding vegan alternatives to meat and dairy can seem near impossible unless you
go to the capitals such as in ,eru or olivia. 8hile in countries like /hile and Argentina you can find
them with ease in many of the bigger cities.
(or a continent which is only slightly bigger than my country of birth, $urope has such an e)treme
mi) of different food cultures. You can hitchhike for twelve hours and pass through half a do<en
different countries and therefore pass through ten or more different food cultures. "ot only are
diets completely different from country to country, but in many countries it varies from region to
region. As a vegan you can be sure that healthy vegan food is easy to be found whether it be in
shops, markets, or many restaurants.
$urope has an ama<ing vegan culture no matter where you go. $astern $urope has such a dedicated
animal rights and vegan movement that it is almost impossible not to find devoted people willing to
show you where good vegan food is to be found. 8estern $urope also has a great vegan culture to
feed off of. 2uckily for you dumpster divers, from $ast to 8est the dumpsters are usually 3uite good
to get in and find a meal.
8hen it comes to $astern $urope the food is usually much cheaper than that in the 8est although
certain places in 6ussia can be 3uite pricey. It is also more common for $astern $urope to have their
food cultures more meat focused but this is easily avoidable. As per usual, the markets and stores
are packed with all the staple fruits, vegetables, and grains and luckily many places in $astern
$urope are really into soups which can 3uite often be made without animal ingredients. 0ne of my
favourite things to do is make a few ingredient ad?ustments to cook that !ungarian goulash in
vegan form. ,erfect. 0r how about the ama<ing potato stews and perogies in ,oland. The same
goes for the alkan states as for the rest of $urope in my past e)periences.
8estern $urope is a bit more scattered. @reat ritain and Ireland are very easy to be vegan and
anything I have said about "orth America applies to that of @reat ritain with some obvious
differences in staple foods. In short, there should never be any problems anywhere in @reat ritain
or Ireland. I lived in these regions for around two years and I never once had anything resembling a
problem when it came time to eat. !owever, #pain is one of the most difficult countries I have lived
and travelled through when it comes to being vegan. The #panish people love their meat and
seafood. This is not to say that the staple foods are not easy to find from markets and shops, but if
you are looking at eating out then things are going to be tough going for you outside of the few big
tourist cities. eware of the hamC %any people always tell me how difficult (rance is to be vegan but
I have to disagree. Yes, the (rench love their dairy products, but so do most countries. I found most
of the bread in (rance is vegan and seeing how (rance is a modern country the staple foods were
always easy to find. Italy, @ermany and #wit<erland, again, they all love their meats but it is easy
enough to skip over and focus more on the ama<ing fruits, vegetables, and grains. @erman bread is
one of the hidden gems of the worldC If you want my opinion one of the hidden vegan secrets in
$urope is that of @reece. I ate so well when I was there with some of the best salads in the world as
well as nightly pi<<as minus the cheese.
Arban #candinavia and Iceland are super easy to be vegan with #weden and "orway leading the
way for vegan alternatives to almost anything that you can imagine although the more rural you get
the more difficult it can be to find vegan alternatives or fresh fruits and vegetables. 8hen the
climates are as harsh as they are in some areas you have to e)pect that fruit and vegetables are
going to be a lu)ury, and a costly one at that. I found everything in #candinavia to be 3uite
e)pensive and food is no different as fruits and vegetables have usually come from far away and are
therefore not always fresh but you can find what you need. #ince #candinavia has some of the
highest standards of living in the world it is relatively easy to eat any type of delicious vegan food as
long as you get used to the prices. AmeF in "orthern #weden is a vegan mecca that everyone should
check out during their travels.
8elcome to lands of rice. I hope you en?oy this grain and luckily I doC 0kay, I am not going to lie to
you as many parts of Asia can be tougher than anywhere else in the world to maintain a vegan diet,
but this comes mostly from the fact that communications in most parts have been a lot harder due
to the fact that many places I have been have very little understanding of $nglish. ,laces like /hina,
,hilippines, and some /entral Asian countries pose challenges in the vegan diet category, but then
again you have the countries like Thailand or India where being vegan is an absolute delight to make
up for it.
2ets start out with the easy ones. #ingapore, %alaysia, Thailand, ;ietnam, and India I found to be
some pretty simple places in the world to be vegan. #ingapore is a very modern place where any diet
is easy to follow and veganism is no different. %alaysia has some ama<ing fruits to dive into no
matter where you are and even though they en?oy their seafood it is easy enough to avoid and
instead go for other foods in the vegan categories. 0utside of the few big cities it is tougher to find
vegan substitutes although soy milk is everywhere. Thailand and ;ietnam are wonderful. ;ietnam
for their soups which I still dream about, and Thailand for their noodle dishes and e)otic fruit
smoothies, =?ust be sure that when you are ordering your ,ad Thai you make sure there is no fish
sauce or shrimp as they love to toss it in everythingC> oth countries are brimming with e)otic fruits
and a wonderful array of vegetables so you will never have a problem in that regard either. Also, due
to the high amount of tourism in #.$ Asia you can find many substitutes in larger populated centers
and I have never had a problem finding vegan food while eating out. 2aos and /ambodia were a bit
more difficult to find good vegan food but never a problem due to the amount of grains and fruits
that they eat. I suppose I do not need to tell you how easy it is to eat vegan in India. A large portion
of the India population is vegetarian anyway and even though they rely heavy on milk for chai tea
and certain foods I never found myself having trouble finding some of the best 3uality vegan dishes
in the world. I ate out for almost every meal of every day and no matter where I went during my five
and a half months in India I ate like a king on a very small budget.
The ,hilippines and Indonesia can be hit and miss while looking for vegan foods. If you are in large
city centers or areas high in tourism it is never going to be a problem. 0nce you start getting off the
beaten path a bit more into more rural areas you will find that your options drop a bit. oth places
love their meat and seafood but like #.$ Asia they also have an abundance of fruits, vegetables, and
grains to go along with it. (ood for the most part is very cheap and you may find yourself eating out
almost all the time as it is so affordable.
"ow for the trickier places. I have personally never been through /entral Asia or /hina but I have
had many friends who have. $very story I get from those regions is more about the issue of
communicating their dietary needs, and never actually finding good foods. %arkets and shops offer
all the vegan necessities no matter if you are in a rural or urban area but if you want to eat out you
are going to have to be careful. %y friend told me that in /hina and /entral Asia he ?ust got in the
habit of handing over his sheet of paper e)plaining his dietary needs before he even looked at a
menu. #ometimes he was told no luck as there was meat, butter, or fish sauce in everything the
places served but for the most part he told me it was no problem. In /hina I am told they have a
good variety of soups and an e)cess of noodle and rice dishes that are 3uite often vegan. "ot to
mention also that /hina is the king of bean curd and tofu in many of their dishes. Then of course the
various grains and root vegetables which are grown through /hina and /entral Asia are delicious
also. The strongest words of advice I have heard for these regions of the world are this* If you are
going to be crossing %ongolia or heading through into Tibet, be sure to have a side supply of vegan
foods on you in case you do not come across anything better for those few daysC
8hen I spent time in Gapan I was not yet vegan, only vegetarian, but I found no trouble there with
that diet. %ost of the time I was eating vegan anyways because the only thing I found I needed to be
careful of was the use of fish sauce in many food items, or that of small shrimp or other seafood in
many of the noodle dishes. ;eganism is taking off in Gapan with a stronger culture growing everyday
so if you are heading that way be sure to find some vegan contacts either via the internet or through
networking. The food in Gapan is very high 3uality. Heep in mind that food is also very e)pensive as
with most other things in the country.
Africa is the last populated continent on the planet which I have not travelled but luckily I will be
rectifying that this year as I have an e)tensive trip planned. All advice I have to share with you has
been provided through vegan friends of mine who have travelled through numerous times. I realise
what I am about to share is only a few small regions of Africa, but I only want to share stories from
myself or people I know and trust so if you are a vegan and heading to Africa, do the research before
you go and see what will be available in the way of fresh local foods for vegans.
#outh Africa is very modern throughout and being a vegan there is no problem at all. ;egan
restaurants can be found in some of the bigger cities such as /apetown and Gohannesburg. I have
been told that veganism for the most part is well known and there was never any problems finding a
good place to eat or buying food from shops. There are many Indian or Turkish places to eat out as
well which make it easy to find 3uality vegan dishes.
8hile visiting some e)otic animals through "amibia, otswana, Aganda, Tan<ania, and Henya my
friends have had great e)periences as well with food. There have been many times where
e)planations were needed but at the end of the discussion there was never a problem being served
good food. Apparently there are Indian restaurants and shops spread all over do to immigrating
families so this always helped them out. They did manage to eat a lot of traditional grains,
vegetables, and fruits in many places also. I am told that to many families meat is still too e)pensive
to eat all of the time =like most of the world> and many families relied on the staple grains and
vegetables for daily consumption. $verything listed above is the same for my friend who went
through #udan and $thiopia. /heese, milk and meat were definitely more prevalent, but it was
never a problem for him to skip the above and ask for his food to be cooked without any of the these
things once it was communicated.
@oing more towards the 8est I have heard nothing but the best stories of @hana and other coastal
countries in which fruits and vegetables reign supreme. I can not wait to go to @hana to gorge
myself on coconuts, plantains, mangoes, and papayas. I have had @hana and other coastal countries
in the area compared to that of !awaii when it comes to diet and that sounds ?ust fine with me
considering the four months I lived in !awaii were also some of the best months I have eaten. %any
of the other smaller countries in the 8est offer many e)otic fruits and vegetables due to the
growing conditions and land in which it is situated.
0f course with Africa you need to remember that tourism has penetrated a large ma?ority of the
continent and may act as a mainstay of the local economy. This means many things, but when it
comes to food it means that tourists will normally be well catered to and in many of these places
vegans are going to have no problems at all finding cheap food designed for the tourism industry
whether it be in the stores, on the street, or in the restaurants.
I realise I am not sticking to the traditional sense of 0ceania as I am lumping most of the worlds
island nations as well as "ew Iealand and Australia into one category. I am doing this mainly
because many of the island nations I have been to have the same type of diet nutritionally with a few
differences, and Australia and "ew Iealand are easy.
Australia and "ew Iealand are no different in ease of veganism as any other 8esternised nations.
;eganism is common among the people and any cities or larger populated centers you go to you will
be able to find a restaurant to cater to your needs and any vegan food you are after you will find. 0f
course the further you go out into rural areas =and in Australia you can get really rural> it becomes
less and less common but still simple enough. (ood is 3uite reasonably priced and I find it compares
with that of /anada or The Anited #tates in prices.
0bviously I have not been to all the island nations out there but I have been to a few and I have a
vegan friend who has lived on a boat for fourteen years and has seen a lot of what is to be seen. I am
in the market right now for an old boat to fi) up myself and hope to start sailing around the world in
the coming years. (rom all I have e)perienced and heard, being a vegan while visiting 0ceania is a
treat and I look forward to doing it myself.
The /aribbean is easy to be vegan. /uba offers some of the best food I have ever tried and the fruits,
vegetables, and grains they eat there are great. This goes for the rest of the /aribbean as well.
4epending on the country you visit the standard of living varies and therefore does the food prices,
but it is from my e)perience that the basic foods stay the same due to the climate and soil they have
to grow food.
%y friends inform me that the ,olynesian islands are much of the same. 0f course to many of these
nations veganism is unheard of and will need e)plaining but nevertheless it is relatively simple to be
vegan with all of the fresh foods that are grown on many of the islands themselves. You will not
have a lot of luck finding vegan substitutes but they will not be needed with the amount of fresh
fruits and vegetables you will be consuming. %any of the other island nations in between The
Americas and "ew Iealand are said to be more or less in the same boat. 6emember that most of
these nations rely heavy on fish and seafood so you will have to avoid the use of them in many
dishes. %any islands may not have the same variety of food as they do not have appropriate soil to
rely on their own food security and have to import their foods in from neighbouring islands. (ood
will still be found easily enough, but it may be a bit more e)pensive in this case. ,rices of food vary
from place to place but for the most part it is pretty affordable.
#mart shopping and easy foods to travel with
eing a smart shopper should not only pertain to when you are travelling, but in everyday life as
well. %aintaining ethical food and environmental values is in direct correlation to how and where
you choose to shop.
To me the most important aspect of smart shopping is to buy local. I can not stress this enough. If
you are travelling somewhere and you have the choice to shop at a large multinational chain or a
small local shop, choose the local shop. This should not even need an e)planation on why you
should do so but for those of you who want one, here it goes. (irst of all when you shop locally it
keeps the money in the local economy and with the local families who rely on that income to
survive. 8hen you shop with huge multinationals the money does not stay in the local community,
it goes into the pockets of some rich /.$.0 who lives in hisJher huge mansion in some e)otic location
where ta) breaks run wild. I can hear what many of you are already saying in that it is ?ust so much
cheaper to shop at those multinational chains, but have you ever thought why these chains can sell
their goods for much cheaper than everyone else? These chains care only about profit, not about
environmental destruction, fair labour laws, or treating their employees or the $arth with the
respect they deserve. #ave the large multinational chains for dumpster diving or shoplifting and
when you need to buy some food, keep it to locally owned businesses. The same goes for eating out
at restaurants. 8hy in the hell would you travel all the way around the world to eat at an
international chained restaurant which you have in your home city? Heep the money out of the
hands of multinational corporations who care only about profit and help out the people who actually
need and care about what they provide you with. esides, didnt you travel to e)perience something
new? $ven though a ig %ac is called a %c/urry in India, it does not mean you have tried the local
cuisine, it only means that you spent a stupid amount of money by supporting an industry which
rapes the $arth on a daily basis when you could have used that money to help the local economy.
4o your research before going to a new country. 8al-%art does not have same name all over the
world so you do not want to be caught shopping at the A#4A in $ngland only to find out that hey,
this is actually 8al-%art. It is similar to what you should be doing at homeK check into stores to see
what their buying policies are like, where they are from, how they support the local economy, and of
course what their environmental policies are like =if they even have any>. %any places in the world
have very different views about the treatment of animals and therefore you do not want to be
supporting shops or stores who sell endangered or e)otic animals, =technically you do not want to
be shopping a shop that sells any animals, but that is impossible most places in the world>. Again, by
the simple act of doing a bit of research you will easily be able to ensure that you are shopping as
ethically and environmentally friendly as possible.
8hen it comes to foods that are easy to travel with it will vary depending on where you are in the
world. A few things that are found all over the world are that of dried fruit and nuts. They are easy to
travel with and have a high nutritional value. I personally almost always travel with peanut butter.
"ot only is it is delicious but it is high in protein, iron, essential fats, calories, and many other
nutrients that will keep your body going. 4id I mention that it is deliciousC? (resh fruits are usually
pretty easy to carry although bananas get bruised easily. #tick to harder fruits if you have the
chance which will not bruise or get s3uished. read is also another good thing to travel with in my
opinion if you take the precautions of not s3uishing it. A baguette is great to travel with and if you
find nothing else you can always put some peanut butter on it and you are set for a little while
longer. 4o not forget to take your refillable water bottle as well.
8hen it comes to taking supplements I will always recommend +. supplements when heading
anywhere where vegan substitutes are not easily available. @ranted, many places in the world offer
foods that are fortified with +., but there are many places which do not have such lu)uries. I do not
want to get to get into the argument over +. as it is of my opinion that you simply cant get your
+. needs from a plant based diet. #ver. You can argue all you want but you will never be able to
convince me otherwise and I will most likely ?ust end up calling you an idiot after you run circles in
the same argument. I have provided e)cellent links in the bibliography pertaining to +. in a vegan
diet and I suggest you read up if interested. Take some +. supplements with you on your travels if
you feel the areas you will be travelling to will have little or nothing in the way of +. options as they
do not cost much and it does not make you any less vegan to take supplements. If taking a few
natural supplements means you can remain healthy and not support harmful industries, then there
is no reason that you should feel unintelligent for doing so.
$. Limiting your environmental imact.
The myth that constant travel e3uals a high carbon footprint
I must first say that I did not have many people calling me out on my supposed high carbon footprint
until about my third year of travel when environmentalism got increasingly trendy. At first I had no
idea what they were talking about, but over time I came to realise that almost all these people have
no idea how I and many others travel and must assume that we are taking planes between every
location or renting cars to cross continents. It comes down to the simple fact that most people have
no idea how myself and many others travel and in turn make ignorant comments without wanting
to take the time to ask the whys and hows of our travel. /ombine this with the fact that almost all
of these people were still supporting a diet with meat and dairy and it ?ust became laughable for
obvious reasons which I will get into below.
I am going to share with you various statistics which I have pulled from the internet. ,lease know
that all statistics I give are from /anadaJAnited #tates sources considering that is where I am from. I
went onto five different well known sites to use their carbon footprint calculator for the following*
diet, household energy usage, car usage, and flying. The results below are the average of what I
found as the various calculators I used gave pretty much the same readings give or take very little.
All numbers are in tonne per year of carbon.
A non plant based diet L 5.7 - 5.:
;egetarian diet L 1.5 M 1.9
;egan diet L +.:-.
Typical energy usage in a /anadian or American household L 9
A car which gets 1Nkm per gallon driving only 1NNNkm per year L +.+
That same car driving :7NNkm per year L ..O
A return flight taking a total of 9 hours L +.+
A return flight taking a total of +. hours L ...
A return flight taking a total of +O hours L 1.1
As you can see by these few statistics, following a vegan diet alone saves around two and a half
tonnes of carbon in comparison to that of an omnivore and about one and a half in comparison to
that of a vegetarian. This does not even take into consideration that I dumpster dive almost all my
food when I am travelling places which allow for it. It is also not considering that my backpack and
tent are my homes and I have no energy usage while travelling as I am more often than not staying
with friends or sleeping outside in my tent or elsewhere. 0f course I am using my share of utilities
when I am staying with friends but that is only a minute fraction of what it would be if I were renting
or owning a place of my own. I may drive 7NNkm per year in a borrowed car but this is very rare as I
almost never drive anywhere as I am hitchhiking, walking, or using public transport. #o of course in
my case it then comes down to that of flying and indeed this is the topic which most people will call
me out on. This aspect is definitely more difficult for me to calculate as some years I will not get on a
plane and others I have flown too much. If I average out my eight and a 3uarter years of travel it
works out to roughly twelve hours per year, and that is mostly because of my first year where I was
in the air for more than thirty hours. elow are calculations of a carbon footprint from a typical year
of my life on the road.
;egan diet L +.:
Typical energy usage L N..
4riving L N..
(lying L ...
%y average total L 5.1
And now for the average /anadianJAmerican household minus any flying.
4iet L 5.5
Typical energy use L 9
4riving L 9
Average total L +9.5
I do not share these numbers with you as a sort of defence mechanism, I am fully aware that
travelling via plane is harmful to the environment and I do all I can to make sure I do not need to take
a plane. I am making no e)cuses for that of travelling by plane, but with the lifestyle I lead I more
than make up for it by limiting my impact in every other area to virtually nothing. %aintaining a
strict vegan lifestyle and flying twelve hours per year still keeps my carbon footprint lower than that
of someone who has a diet with meat and dairy and I could fly over eight hours each year and still
maintain less of a carbon footprint than the average vegetarian. (rom the simple averages I looked
at, my yearly travels produce less than twelve tonnes of carbon than the average
/anadianJAmerican who does not fly at all.
As I have mentioned previously most of the people who call me out on a high carbon footprint are
people who do not even maintain a vegan lifestyle or who may fit into the more mainstream style of
living, but there are also those die hard vegan environmentalists who have claimed the same. These
are the people who believe it is their duty to never leave one spot for the simple fact that travelling
produces carbon. In truth, I can admire aspects of this way of thinking but guess what? The simple
act of breathing produces carbon. I would much rather limit my impact in every other way I can
=such as living out of my backpack, hitchhiking, walking, biking, dumpster diving, ect. ect.> and allow
myself to go out and see the world. I do not want to be one of those people whose knowledge of the
world is so limited and narrow because they have never e)perienced what is out there. I combine
intense activism with my travelling and in doing so I need to get from place to place and this may
re3uire the occasional plane to cross oceans or countries with impassable borders. #ure, I could live
outdoors or s3uat a place with no amenities. I could use my bicycle daily and never drive or take
public transport anywhere to maintain a <ero carbon footprint outside of my diet but then where
would that leave me? I would be stuck in one place forever without really e)periencing what else is
out there. "o thank you. I will choose gathering an education of the world over ignorance any day.
eing an environmentally conscious person does not mean locking yourself in a room and never
leaving. If you want to have a <ero impact then the best thing to do would be to kill yourself this
instant as it would be the only sure fire way to do so. I for one do all I can to limit my impact on a
daily basis and live the lifestyle that is possible. Im sorry to say the people who are too la<y to
switch to a vegan lifestyle, drive their cars when they could use their bike or public transport, refuse
to switch to more environmentally friendly energy, and live outside of their necessary means are
simply not doing the same.
!itchhiking and other methods of environmentally friendly travel
In a world so disgustingly reliant on oil it is a wonderful feeling to know that you can still travel the
world limiting your reliance on the evil that is the oil industry and all you need is your thumb. 0f
course you are technically still using natural resources by being in a car but you are limiting your
impact by choosing to fill a seat which would otherwise be empty and it is usually a lot more fun
than taking the busC
I have now hitchhiked ?ust over +NN.NNNkm throughout $urope, #candinavia, Asia, Australia, "ew
Iealand, "orth America, /entral America, and #outh America and in this coming year I hope to do
some hitchhiking in Africa.
!itchhiking is a pretty self e)planatory type of travel that anyone can do anywhere there is the
transport to do so. Anfortunately hitchhiking has a terrible reputation world wide and many places
do their best to promote hitchhiking as a dangerous and illegal act. ut when it comes down to it
statistically, you have a much greater chance of being harmed or killed taking public transport than
you do hitching a ride.
The thing I love about hitchhiking is that if there is any method of transportation, there is a chance
to hitchhike a ride. I have hitchhiked boats around different islands, a close friend has shared his
cra<y stories of hitching trains in the #outhern Anited #tates, and I have even had a friend hitchhike
a plane in the #ahara desertC The only thing I need to stress with a life of hitchhiking is that patience
can truly be a virtue. I remember waiting more than 5. hours in one spot in The Yukon Territory of
"orthern /anada for a ride that didnPt come. I remember more than a half do<en times in #outh
America where more than seven hours would pass before I could catch a ride. This comes with the
lifestyle, so be prepared for itC
Another thing I wish to add about hitchhiking is that it has the uni3ue trait which makes me lose my
hope in humanity only to find it all over again in an instant. To see hundreds of cars passing by with
empty seats on a daily basis with many drivers who may* laugh at you, honk their horn at you, tease
you by slowing down only to drive off when you walk up to the vehicle, throw things at you as they
drive by, as well as many other methods of humiliation which truly make me want to give up on
humanity. All until that ne)t car pulls over and the driver gives you a huge smile and tells you they
will be happy to take you to your destination even though it is a bit out of their way. They will then
share life stories with you and even invite you into their home and provide hospitality like no other. I
have even been offered money on many occasions, but I have personally adopted the rule never to
take money from people offering when I am hitchhiking.
If long waits and sharing cars with strangers are not for you then why not ?ust walk or take a bicycle?
I have walked long distances through many countries and it was so rewarding because you have a
chance to take in all of your surroundings. The same goes with a bicycle as you can not get more
environmentally friendly than that. I have met so many people who are cycling and even walking all
over the world and I have nothing but the highest amount of respect for all of them. 8alking is by
far the cheapest method of going about your travelling and even finding a good bike can be pretty
easy and cheap to maintain.
If you are feeling a bit cra<ier then you may want to try hopping trains. $ven though I have yet to do
this =and I doubt I will>, thousands of people do it to get around on their travels. 2ook around in your
community or online for the train staffing schedules and talk to people who have e)perience
hopping trains to see if you would be into it.
Another option is to fi) up or buy a sailboat. In my opinion nothing can provide you with the same
amount of environmentally friendly travel and freedom than that of a sailboat. If you can rig up a
boat with solar panels, run off as little fuel as possible, and be respectful with your grey water you
have the ultimate in freedom and travel while respecting the environment. It may cost you a bit
more in maintenance fees if something goes wrong, but you are free to go where ever the winds
take you and you are doing very little harm while in the process. 8hile you are out there, be sure to
tear up some drift netsC
esides transportation you should be taking steps to reduce your environmental impact as you
would in your everyday life. A big one I find is how much water people waste not only in their
everyday lives, but especially when they travel. %any regions of the world have large water
shortages so you should always be careful about your water consumption whether that is when you
are taking a shower =better yet ?ust bathe in a river or lake when you can>, flushing the toilet after
every small use, doing the dishes, or washing clothing. #top buying bottled water and instead use a
refillable container for your water at all times. e sure to turn lights off when you are not using them
or do not need them. Ase recyclable batteries for anything that re3uires them and then recycle the
batteries when you are done with them. There is a long list of small things like this that goes on, but
they are all common sense and should be present in your daily lives as well as when you travel.
4umpster 4iving
I know many of you may be thinking what dumpstering has to do with being environmentally
friendly and if you are thinking this, I have news for you. 4umpster diving is a huge %ay to limit your
environmental impact not only while travelling, but everyday. 8ith the disgusting amount of waste
and pollution that goes hand in hand with todayPs modern societies, I feel as though it is our duty as
environmentally savvy people to help reduce the effects of waste and what it does to our planet.
Too often people limit the talk of waste to recycling when that is not actually getting to the root of
the problem. 8hat is the root of the problem you may ask? ,roduce lessC Anfortunately our
consumer riddled society has failed to see this as a problem as long as they are making short term
profits on long term losses, =i.e., our environment>. This is where the beauty of dumpster diving
comes in to play.
%any people have this twisted, false misconception of what dumpster diving is due to the
brainwashing we have incurred since birth. I am sure more than many of us have heard, &ewwww,
you actually eat stuff from the trash, thatPs disgustingC' The thing these people fail to reali<e is that a
large ma?ority of this merchandise thrown out is still as good as the day it was made and packaged.
(urther still, it is not only the waste of the initial product itself, but an incredible waste of* time,
materials, energy consumption and labour that actually went into the creation of the product in the
first place.
I can not even begin to e)plain all of the wonderful things that I have found in these massive lunch
bo)es all around the world. (ood dumpsters have sustained me for months on end such as that one,
yes one, Trader GoePs dumpster which me and five others lived off of for two months in #anta /ru<,
/alifornia. I have spent many nights with local activists diving in @ermany to find more than we
could eat. I even went diving with an ama<ing couple in Huala 2umpur to find enough food for a
week. This <ine itself was printed on paper that I dumpstered from a local department store. A lot of
the stuff I travel with including one of my backpacks and sleeping matt have also came from the
dumpster. If I look back on my past travels I can count well over twenty countries I have dumpstered
food in and limited not only my food costs, but also my footprint on the planet by consuming that
which would have ?ust gone to waste even though all the energy and resources have already went
into producing it.
"o matter what people say, dumpster diving is not ?ust for angry anarchists and dirty hippies with
too much time on their hands. 4umpster diving is one of the biggest environmental and political
statements you can make in your life and there is no e)cuse not to get out there and hop in when so
much is being wasted on a daily basis.
4ebunking the myth of ecotourism
According to 8ebsters dictionary an o)ymoron is described as, &A figure of speech in which two
ideas of opposite meaning are combined to form an e)pressive phrase or epithet.' If you ask me
ecotourism most definitely falls into this category. In fact, I think there are only two other
o)ymorons in use which upset me more, &sustainable development' and &ethical omnivore'. (or
the sake of this article, allow me to focus on that of ecotourism.
As I have ?ust stated, a main part of the problem is purely definitional. A clear definition must define
what is and is not ecotourism. Ideally, ecotourism attempts to satisfy several general criteria,
including the conservation of biological and cultural diversity through the protection of an
ecosystem, promotion of sustainable use of biodiversity, affordability, reduced waste, and
minimi<ation of its own environmental impact. In ways such as this, it contributes to the long term
benefits to both the environment and local communities of humyn and non-humyns alike.
6ealistically any commercial venture into unspoiled lands with or without the &eco' prefi) is a
contradiction in terms. (or companies to create sufficient profits they have to have a high number of
traffic and tourists which inevitably means a higher pressure on the environment.
!owever, in the range of tourism activities that stretch from conventional tourism to ecotourism,
there has been a lot of disagreement to the limit at which biodiversity preservation, local social-
economic benefits, and environmental impact can be considered ecotourism at all. (or this reason,
environmentalists, special interest groups, and governments all define ecotourism 3uite differently.
environmental organi<ations have generally insisted that ecotourism is nature-based, sustainably
managed, conservation supporting, and environmentally educated. The tourist industry and
governments, however, focus more on the product aspect, treating ecotourism as e3uivalent to any
sort of tourism based in nature. As a further complication, many terms are also used which may
confuse people into thinking they are ecotourism based when it may not be the truth. "ature
tourism, low impact tourism, green tourism, bio-tourism, ecologically responsible tourism, and
others have been used in literature and marketing, although they are not necessary synonymous
with ecotourism.
The problems associated with defining ecotourism have led to confusion among tourists and
academics alike. ,roblems of definition are also sub?ect of considerable controversy and concern
because of greenwashing and green capitalism, a trend towards the commerciali<ation of tourism
schemes disguised as sustainable, nature based, and environmentally friendly ecotourism. %any of
these schemes are environmentally destructive, economically e)ploitative, and culturally insensitive
at its worst. They are also morally distressing because they mislead tourists and manipulate their
concerns for the environment. (rom my various travels around the world I would have to say that
well over QNB of those who labeled their services as &ecotourism' would fall into this latter
category. I have seen ecotourism in Thailand which put people in weighted scuba-style suits so they
can go out and wander around on the coral reefs for the afternoon. I have seen ecotourism in 2aos
where people can cut new paths through the ?ungle to find rare species of monkeys. I have seen
companies doing almost anything for the almighty tourist dollar under the mysterious and
misleading title of ecotourism.
$cotourism has become one of the fastest-growing sectors of the tourism industry, growing
annually by +N-+7B worldwide. 0ne definition of ecotourism is, &the practice of low-impact,
educational, ecologically and culturally sensitive travel that benefits local communities and host
countries'. Anfortunately many of the ecotourism pro?ects are not meeting these standards. $ven if
some of the guidelines are being implemented, the local communities are still facing other negative
impacts. #outh Africa is one of the countries that are reaping significant economic benefits from
ecotourism, but negative effects -including forcing people to leave their homes, gross violations of
fundamental rights, and environmental ha<ards- far outweigh the medium-term economic benefits.
A tremendous amount of money is being spent and human resources continue to be used for
ecotourism despite unsuccessful outcomes, and even more money is put into public relation
campaigns to dilute the effects of criticism. $cotourism channels resources away from other
pro?ects that could contribute more sustainable and realistic solutions to pressing social and
environmental problems. The money tourism can generate often ties parks and managements to
ecotourism but there is tension in this relationship because ecotourism often causes conflict and
changes in land-use rights, fails to deliver promises of community-level benefits, damages
environments, and has plenty of other social impacts.
In a perfect world more efforts would be made towards educating tourists of the environmental and
social effects of their travels before they have even had the chance to leave their homes. ;ery few
regulations or laws stand in place as boundaries for the investors in ecotourism and this is one of the
main problems which must be overcome. These should be implemented to prohibit the promotion
of unsustainable ecotourism pro?ects and materials which pro?ect false images of destinations and
demean local and indigenous cultures.
Although ecotourism is intended for small groups, even a modest increase in population, however
temporary, puts e)tra pressure on the local environment and re3uires the development of additional
infrastructure and amenities to take care of these peoples needs. The construction of water
treatment plants, sanitation facilities, and lodges come with the e)ploitation of non-renewable
energy sources and the utili<ation of already limited local resources. The conversion of natural land
to such tourist infrastructure is implicated in deforestation and habitat deterioration all over the
world. In many other cases, the environment suffers because local communities are unable to meet
the infrastructure demands of ecotourism. The lack of ade3uate sanitation facilities in many $ast
African parks results in the disposal of campsite sewage in rivers, contaminating the wildlife,
livestock, and people who draw drinking water from it. I have also come across this scenario in many
Asian countries as well as many parts of India and /entral America.
Aside from environmental degradation with tourist infrastructure, population pressures from
ecotourism also leaves behind garbage and pollution associated with the 8estern lifestyle.
Although ecotourists claim to be educationally sophisticated and environmentally concerned, they
rarely understand the ecological conse3uences of their visits and how their day-to-day living
impacts the environment. $cotourists rarely recogni<e the great consumption of non-renewable
energy re3uired to arrive at their destination in the first place, which is typically more remote than
conventional tourism destinations.
$cotourism activities are, in and of itself, issues in environmental impact because they disturb fauna
and flora. $cotourists believe that because they are only taking pictures and leaving footprints, they
keep ecotourism sites pristine, but even harmless sounding activities such as a nature hike can be
ecologically destructive. In the Annapurna /ircuit in "epal, ecotourists have worn down the marked
trails and created alternate routes, contributing to soil impaction, erosion, and plant damage. The
same has happened to the famed %achu ,icchu trail in ,eru. 8here the ecotourism activity involves
wildlife viewing, it can scare away animals, disrupt their feeding and nesting sites, or acclimate them
to the presence of people.
The industriali<ation, urbani<ation, and unsustainable agriculture practices of human society are
considered to be having a serious effect on the environment. $cotourism is now also considered to
be playing a role in this depletion. 8hile the term ecotourism may sound relatively benign, one of its
most serious impacts is its consumption of virgin territories. These invasions often include
deforestation, disruption of ecological life systems and various forms of pollution, all of which
contribute to environmental degradation. The number of motor vehicles crossing the park increases
as tour drivers search for rare species. The number of roads has disrupted the grass cover which has
serious effects on plant and animal species. These areas also have a higher rate of disturbances and
invasive species because of all the traffic moving off the beaten path into new undiscovered areas.
$cotourism also has an effect on species through the value placed on them. /ertain species have
gone from being little known or valued by local people to being highly valued commodities. The
simple act of plants becoming a commodity may erase their social value and lead to overproduction
within protected areas. 2ocal people and their images can also be turned into commodities as we
see all over the world with various indigenous cultures.
%ost forms of ecotourism are owned by foreign investors and corporations that provide few
benefits to local communities. An overwhelming ma?ority of profits are put into the pockets of
investors instead of reinvestment into the local economy or environmental protection. The limited
numbers of local people who are employed in the economy enter at its lowest level, and are unable
to live in tourist areas because of meager wages and a two market system.
In some cases, the resentment by local people results in environmental degradation. To use a highly
publici<ed case as an e)ample, the %asai nomads in Henya killed wildlife in national parks to show
aversion to unfair compensation terms and displacement from traditional lands. The lack of
economic opportunities for local people also turns them to degrading their environment as a means
of sustenance. The presence of affluent ecotourists encourages the development of destructive
markets in wildlife souvenirs, such as the sale of rare flora and fauna in many places around the
world. This also encourages poachers to kill to try and reach the demand of the tourists.
$cotourism often claims that it preserves and enhances local cultures. !owever, there is ample
evidence to show that with the establishment of protected areas local people have illegally lost their
homes, and most often with no compensation. ,ushing people onto marginal lands with harsh
climates, poor soils, lack of water, and infested with livestock and disease does little to enhance
livelihoods even when a proportion of ecotourism profits are directed back into the community. The
establishment of parks can create harsh survival realities and deprive the people of their traditional
use of land and natural resources. $thnic groups are increasingly being seen as a backdrop to the
scenery and wildlife. The local people struggle for cultural survival and freedom of cultural
e)pression while being observed by tourists. 2ocal indigenous people also have strong resentment
towards the change and are left with no choice in the matter as they do not have the capabilities to
fight the powers which imprison them.
8hile governments are typically entrusted with the administration and enforcement of
environmental protection, they often lack the commitment or capability to manage ecotourism
sites effectively. The regulations for environmental protection may be vaguely defined, costly to
implement, hard to enforce, and uncertain in their effectiveness. @overnment regulatory agencies,
as political bodies, are prone to making decisions that spend budget on politically beneficial but
environmentally unproductive pro?ects. ecause of prestige the construction of an attractive
visitorPs center at an ecotourism site may take precedence over more pressing environmental
concerns like ac3uiring habitat, protecting endemic species, and removing invasive ones. (inally,
influential groups can pressure or sway the interests of the government to their favor. The
government and its regulators can become vested in the benefits of the ecotourism industry which
they are supposed to regulate, causing restrictive environmental regulations and enforcement to
become more lenient.
The model of a monopolistic competition states that distinctiveness will entail profits, but profits
will promote imitation. A company that protects its ecotourism sites is able to charge a premium for
the one of a kind e)perience and pristine environment but when other companies view the success
of this approach, they also enter the market with similar practices, increasing competition and
reducing demand. $ventually, the demand will be reduced until the economic profit is <ero. A cost-
benefit analysis shows that the company bears the cost of environmental protection without
receiving the gains. 8ithout economic incentive, the whole premise of self interest through
environmental protection is 3uashedK instead, ecotourism companies will minimi<e environment
related e)penses and ma)imi<e tourism demand.
(or these reasons and more I believe ecotourism to be nothing more than a myth and something
that needs to be 3uestioned more by those who travel. The simple act of invading another species
habitat is merely one more way to satisfy our own selfish desires. Antil we can learn to let other
species live at peace in their own surroundings we will be nothing more than imposters and
supporters of ecotourism need to become conscious of this fact.
&. Connecting %ith local activists and organi'ations.
I believe that as a traveler and an activist it is my obligation to combine the two so that I remain
focused and effective. 0f course everyone needs time away from activism at certain points in their
life to ensure that burnout does not come into play, but for the most part I think the combination of
the two are crucial if you are to travel. Travel is a form of education and if you are to learn nothing
from your travels then I have to 3uestion the point of leaving home in the first place.
The world is a very diverse place and with this comes a diversity of social problems and issues that
will always need looking into. The social issues and activism in /anada is going to be contrary to that
of what is happening in Albania. The rights of animals are completely different in /hina where
animals have <ero rights, to that of in #wit<erland who have some of the best animal welfare laws in
the world. The way of protesting is completely different between the countries also so you want to
be sure you know the limits of your actions and be prepared to face any repercussions if you are to
be caught doing something that region deems illegal.
As an e)ample, myself and a few friends were in %e)ico on tour with a vegan musician and one
night we were to play in a city pla<a where I noticed a tiger being hauled around inside a very small
cage on a truck advertising a local circus. In my disgust I went back and told the crowd of people
waiting for the music to start and instead we all went over to the truck driver to protest for the
animal. 8ithin about twenty minutes police cars pulled up and the police began to harass us with
very large shotguns and other weapons. 0ne activist was arrested for nothing more than being in
the way, and our crowd had to disperse with intense police harassment. If this were to happen in a
country such as /anada or @ermany the police would have never acted in such a way =or so we think
and hope> as the right to protest is much more tolerant.
efore leaving on any trip I suggest you research various activist groups or individuals so you can
offer your help or willingness to learn what struggles these other people are faced with. 8ith the
ample amount of social networks out there this should never be a problem. I have been a member of
a travel network called couchsurfing for years and many of the places I visit I am able to hook up
with local groups or activists because I e)pressed my willingness to help out upon my visit through a
group forum before arriving. If you are like me and do not belong to any social networking groups
=(acebook, myspace, twitter, ect. ect.> then ?ust look for animal rights groups through an internet
search engine and there is always something that will turn up. If you have to, go on the website of a
larger animal welfare to find out what may be happening in other parts of the world through them
and continue to find local organi<ations links under a friends category of a page. You will then be
able to help at a grassroots level once you arrive so as not to support those same mainstream
money hungry groups.
$ven more important is actually taking the time to listen to what the struggles are in various areas of
the world. 4o not be one of those people who barges in with their western, middle class idealisms
that may work fine in their country, but would be suicide or impossible in the country which they are
visiting. I have come across enough "@0s or not-for-profit organi<ations all over the world which
already do this on a full time basis. 6emember, you are no longer at home and the way that people
live is different and therefore the way that people participate in activism is going to be different
also. All you have to do is open up and listen to the needs of the people and then offer the help that
you can. 0nce you know the needs of the people and what they actually want for support, you will
be prepared to make up your mind if you have the willingness to support them and decide how you
will go about doing it.
6emember, this is a global fight, not ?ust a local one. 8hen you get home from your travels make
sure that you inform the rest of the activist network what you have e)perienced and be sure to
spread the support as wide as you can. #tay in contact with those people you have shared struggles
with and always keep the floodgates of solidarity open. There is nothing as important as support
and solidarity within the activist community and as soon as more people reali<e that this is indeed a
global struggle I can hope there will be more outward support to those in other regions of the world.
(. The issue of culture and %hy its no excuse for cruelty.
#imply put, culture acts a double edged sword in the societies of today. I admit that I respect
cultural boundaries on many points but when it comes to the senseless abuse and torture of animals
=or any other species> I simply have to disagree that the moniker of culture is sufficient enough
reasoning to allow suffering and abuse to go on unchallenged. I personally find that culture is not
being challenged appropriately in the animal rights movement as many people become worried
about coming off as not being politically correct or culturally insensitive and in doing so animals are
being tortured and killed.
If we look back on some past e)amples of cruelty performed in the name of culture we have a pretty
disgusting list. ,ractices such as* slavery, cannibalism, infanticide, female circumcision, foot-
binding, stoning, and even genocide have at one point =or currently> been passed off as culture.
%ost people are 3uick to look at many practices on this list and say, &0f course we have banned or
are fighting to ban these cruel practices as we live in the civili<ed world.' ut the thing is, as soon as
you start to add &cultural' events such as* bull-fighting, cock-fighting, dog-fighting, fo)-hunting,
whale-hunting, seal-clubbing, and other forums of animal abuse to this list those same people will
not even bat an eyelash. This is where people truly show their speciesist attitude and simply do not
care that animals are not also victims when it comes to cruelty masked as cultural values.
Then you have the welfare activists who may fight intensely against cruel whaling and dolphin
slaughters around the world but fail to see the connection between that and their diet of beef, pork,
and chicken in their own country. !ow can people be so disconnected with what they are fighting
against yet still actively participating in themselves? A meat and dairy based diet is part of the
western culture and this culture is spreading around the world on a daily basis. eing against bull-
fighting or fo)-hunting in $urope makes no sense if you are knowingly =or even unknowingly as the
information is not hard to find> using any products which involve animal testing because torture is
torture no matter which culture it comes from. In short, this means that people must stop
consuming animal products and supporting abusive animal industries altogether if they are to be a
non-hypocritical and effective activist.
I have been to some truly e)otic places in the world which means there has been e)otic foods
presented to me from gracious hosts or on display at the markets. 0ne of the biggest problems
many vegan people have is that of turning down a meal with meat or dairy because it would be
classified as &culturally insensitive' not to eat it. I have met many &vegans' who would rather sell out
their values and support death because they did not want to appear ungracious to their hosts. 8hat
do you think the animal who is to be served would say about culture if she could listen in on that
conversation? If you ask me this would have been a perfect time to respectfully decline the meal and
if 3uestions were continued to be asked you would be able to e)plain why you choose your diet. I
have had hosts who were really disappointed or shocked that I would not eat what they offered me
because in that region, to not receive hospitality graciously was a sign of disrespect. I continued to
carefully make my ideals and reasons clear to these people and e)plain that if they were not willing
to let the issue go and keep forcing the sub?ect on me, then they were in turn not respecting my
ideals. I am not ashamed of what I believe in and I personally think that anyone who caves into
instances such as this is nothing more than a coward who has never really believed in the fight for
animal liberation in the first place.
ut the worst of all are those people who are constantly reminding you that you must try everything
at least once and if you do not then you are the narrow minded ones. I will always remember the
time I was at a market in a remote region of northern 2aos and there were dead e)otic and
endangered animals for sale to eat. I let my disgust be known to the people at the market and to the
other tourists in the surrounding area only to have one middle age $nglish womyn tell me that the
point of travelling is to be a part of e)otic cultures and therefore try everything that is on display. To
this day I can not remember e)actly what I said to this womyn as I kind of went into a white rage at
that moment but I assure you I was not as polite as I could have been. 8here did this idea come
from that we must try everything once in order to appease the cultural gods? %ust I slip drugs into
my dates drink and rape her when she passes out? #hould I go around beating small children with a
lead pipe because I have never tried that? 0r you know what? I could simply kill the ne)t person who
mentions that I need try everything once and sell their remains at the weekend farmers market. I
suppose that would be one more thing I could cross off my list of things to do at least once, although
it would not be very vegan of me.
). The entire glo*al oulation can not *e vegan.
If I have to think of one topic in which I argue most against other vegan activists this is most
definitely it. It upsets me so often to hear people within the vegan community rant on and on how
the entire population of the world needs to go vegan. I have news for those people. It is not going to
happen and it most definitely should not happen.
I should first mention that every time I hear this argument it comes from white activists of a higher
class system. These are the people who feel it is within their right to tell every other social class how
they should live while backing up their reasons with a hard-line approach. 4o not get me wrong as I
claim to be hard-line in my opinions and I am a white activist who came from a middle class
upbringing. The only difference is that I have not lived a sheltered life and therefore do not have
sheltered opinions. I have been out and seen the conditions various people all around the world
must abide to. I have been to some of the most remote and monetarily poor and oppressed places
of the world where I had to reshape many of my thoughts and opinions about veganism.
(irst of all, to make the claim that the entire world population should be vegan is not only racist, but
it is also classist, uneducated and down right ignorant. To sit back and formulate the assertion that
people who do not even have access to clean water and basic foods on a daily basis should never
consume meat or dairy is 3uite simply wrong on so many levels. To state that people who live in
harsh conditions where growing enough grains, fruits, or vegetables should simply move to where
the growing conditions are better is terrible. To tell a tribe of %ongolian herds-people that they
need to stop living that way and move to the city so they can be able to nourish themselves with
vegan food is unfair. To tell a tribe in rural #udan that the few goats they have to sustain an entire
population is wrong for certain vegan ideals is unreasonable.
8hat I am talking about is not a defense for a culture that people choose to follow as I previously
talked about, but more of a statement that not all people have access to the foods that the vast
ma?ority of the world have. 0f course these pockets of people are the very rare minority in the world
but to try and force them to live a lifestyle which they are not capable of is horrifying. A few
categories of people who come to mind are* the already above stated herds-people of %ongolia, the
Inuit in the e)treme "orthern reaches of /anada, native and non-native people of northern #iberia,
the edouin tribes of the #ahara, most of the rural impoverished African regions, and many more.
This argument always ends up with the people saying the same thing. &8ell then, these people
should ?ust be forced to live where veganism is possibleC' In other words, these people are saying
that we need to resort to forced assimilation. Isnt that what is already happening all over the world
with the homogeni<ation of people? In many of these cases these same activists are fighting against
the authorities who are forcing people to move into cities and assimilate into a more &modern and
civili<ed culture'. #o why is it that these activists will fight this one form of assimilation only to turn
around and make forceful statements of their own because it clashes against their hard-line values
and views?
I am most definitely not saying that I am happy these people consume animal products. I am only
saying that these people are a very small ma?ority who need to consume some animal products to
survive as there is no other suitable option available to them. These are the people who have either
been forced to live in e)treme conditions, or who have done so for thousands of years before due to
their birthright and can not leave even if they wanted to. These are not people who torture animals
on high intensity farms. These are not people who use animals for vivisection. These are people who
simply live in inhospitable places and have a hard enough time surviving without some middle class
8esterner telling him how wrong their life choices are. I am not happy that a native tribe will kill a
seal for food although I reali<e that it is a necessity (not a want) and that every part of that animal is
going to be used. I am not happy that the poor #ri 2ankan family who have been forced to live on
land not suitable for growing food have a small herd of goats and a dairy cow, but this family will not
kill and milk out of want, they will kill and milk out of need and only when absolutely necessary to
keep them alive.
These people I mention do not have the convenience of going to the corner market to buy their
food. They do not have the lu)ury of having arable land at their disposal to be self-sufficient in
growing their own food. That is the difference between standing up for the rights of these people
even though they are still consuming animal products, in comparison of doing vegan outreach for
the rest of the worlds population. If you have any angle in which you want to argue the points I have
raised I only ask that you travel to any of these parts of the world and see it for yourself. 8hen you
have spent some time e)periencing the conditions that millions of people such as this live I ask you
to then sit there and tell them that what they are doing is wrong and why.
It is my opinion that we who live in developed countries should stop worrying so much about the
lack of veganism in undeveloped countries and focus instead on what is happening in their own
backyards. The most pertinent item being that we in the developed countries consume a little more
than ONB of the worlds resources even though we only have appro)imately .NB of the worlds
population. In doing so we also contribute to more than ONB of the worlds pollution and have our
hands in most of the worlds environmental destruction for consumer purposes. 8e in developed
countries are the ones who need to lead by e)ample and work on solving the massive problems
which we ourselves have gotten this planet into. To deny this fact is to live with ones head in the
sand and perpetuate ignorance the $arth simply cant afford any longer. 8e in the developed world
need to be the ones to curb our harmful methods and give the rest of the world =who seem to want
to emulate that of our destructive patterns> a more positive model to follow. In doing so we will send
a message that its possible to make difference for the environment and all species that live within
its fragile web. 8hen people stop blaming all the worldPs ills on overpopulation and instead reali<e
that consumption is the ma?or player in killing the planet we would be in a much better state to deal
with what lays ahead.
8e also have to reali<e that privilege, class, poverty and many other variables play into the topic.
%orality may be a universal concept but we in developed countries most definitely have the
advantage over others due to the privilege that comes with living in the developed world. You dont
agree? I again ask you to travel to the less fortunate parts of the world and see for yourself, talk to
the people about the ethics they are allowed to practice in their everyday lives, only then will you
directly see the point I am trying to get across.
+. Conclusion and *i*liograhy.
In closing I would like to say I hope people who may have not reali<ed it before can see there is no
e)cuse for not maintaining an ethical vegan lifestyle while travelling. As I have pointed out many
times before, it all comes down to taking some initiative and doing all that you are capable of in
order to minimi<e your impact. The initiative to do a bit of research before leaving which will enable
you to travel and still know that you are doing everything you can in order to limit your impact on
the environment. A vegan lifestyle and low impact method of living should be carried out everyday,
not ?ust from the comfort of your own living space where you most likely have an ample amount of
convenience. Is the torture and murder of other species and our environment not worth the minimal
amount of effort? ,lease ask yourself this the ne)t time you are faced with any sort of ignorance
which is destroying our natural environment and supporting sordid industries such as meat and
dairy. "ever be scared to speak up or 3uestion that which you feel is wrong. "ever stop 3uestioning
the status 3uo or any self-proclaimed authority. If you do not speak up for those voices which are
ignored, who will?
I have not scoured every inch of this planet and even if I lived to be +NNN I could never hope to
accomplish such a feat. All I have wanted to do with this pro?ect is to share the first hand knowledge
of what I have seen over the years and combined it with information of close friends and people I
have met along the way. I also spent many hours researching many other aspects of this essay and
many important sites, books, and documentaries can be found in the bibliography which follows this
conclusion. I can only hope that given the chance to get out there and see any part of this wonderful
blue marble yourself, youll do so with a smile on your face and vegetables on your plate.
)True "ature) music pro?ect - www.myspace.comJ)truenature)music
;egan passport - http*
!appycow restaurant finder M
;egan 0utreach -
;egan #ociety M
;egan !ealth 8ebsite =info on +. and more> - http*JJveganhealth.orgJarticlesJvitaminb+.
/arbon calculator - http*JJcalculator.carbonfootprint.comJcalculator.asp)
/arbon calculator M http*JJmichaelblue?ay.comJelectricityJcarboncalculator.html
A wiki for dumpster diving M
4ocumentary about global waste -
4ocumentary =also a book> about global waste
8iki page for hitchhiking -
0nline forum for hitchhiking -
/ouchsurfing website M
2ist of animal rights groups M http*JJen.wikipedia.orgJwikiJ2istRofRanimalRrightsRgroups
/rimethinc =literature> M
4irect Action website M
Animal rights news M
;egan backpacking blog - http*JJveganbackpacker.comJ
The Animal Activists !andbook M %att all D ruce (riedrich =book>
Anarchists /ookbook M /rimethinc =book>
$co-4efense M 4ave (oreman =book>
!ow "onviolence ,rotects The #tate M ,eter @elderloos =book>
Ishmael D %y Ishmael M 4aniel Suinn =book>
Animal 2iberation M ,eter #inger =book>
The (ood 6evolution M Gohn 6obbins =book>
Terrorists or (reedom (ighters M #teven est =book>
;eganomicon M Isa /handra %oskowit< =cookbook>
$arthlings M =documentary>
$nd*/iv - =documentary>
old "ative M =A6 movie>
About the Author*
I have been following my Itchy (eet around the world for over nine years spanning five of the seven beautiful
continents that this lovely blue marble holds. It pains me to name countries IPve visited as that admits that the
$arth has borders, and I do not believe in imaginary lines which authority uses to abuse and divide an already
divided people. These past eight years I have been not only been traveling, but constantly providing outreach,
workshops, and activism for causes such asK veganism, environmentalism, animal liberation, sustainable living,
non-breeding, (ood "ot ombs, independent media, and many more causes close to my heart.
I am a radical anarchist and am proud to openly support direct action or any individual who takes part inK A.2.(,
$.2.(, $arth (irstC or by any other means which willingly takes a direct stand against the in?ustices we have
within our society. I am a vegan and have been so for many years even though I grew up on a cattle ranch in
/entral Alberta, /anada. ;eganism and animal liberation are the most important things in my life and rest
assured I will never stop doing what I do until every cage is empty, not ?ust comfortable.
I have been sober and drug free since birth =straight edge> and combined with a vegan lifestyle I truly believe
this is the most compassionate way to live by way of reducing harm and suffering to both humyn and non-
humyn animals as well as our natural environment. Also, for multiple personal and political reasons I had
myself sterili<ed during 0ctober of .NNQ to prevent myself from ever having biological children.
Above all I tend to be very unpredictable and the only plans I follow are the ones that are meant to be changed.
IPm a child of Tolkien because I wander although I have never been lost... IPve never been lost for the simple fact
that IPve never known where IPve been going. I hope to keep it this way. Above all, I am not a label even though
some may e)plain aspects my personality. I am me, nothing more, nothing less.
If you have any 3uestions or comments about anything I have written please feel free to get in touch with me
as I will get back to you. "o matter if you agree or disagree with what I have written I would love to hear your
thoughts to try and create a dialogue.
;egan TerraTist
* I would like to thank Mouthfuls for the initial proofreading as well as providing me with the beautiful coverart.
Many thanks to !hristian and "una for proofreading and criti#uing the final drafts. I also must share my never
ending thanks to $eegan and the %True &ature% music pro'ect. (ithout his friendship and the inspirational flood
of words of the %True &ature% pro'ect I would not be the person that I am today. To everyone else out there who
refuses to sell out their vegan or ethical values even though it would be easier to do so I thank you also.
8e are not here to make friends.
8e are here to make ?ustice.
8e are not here to look good or sound good,
8e are here to voice our opinion,
To give freedom to the enslaved and declare war, again, again, and again, against the unashamed.
8e grew up in a scene of middle class white kids who never knew and will never know nothing about violence.
Hids who still live in a well concealed world made only of hard music, tough looks, and tough images.
(uck you.
(uck your web hatred, your myspace fights and your shallow values.
This is the forth generation of kids that I see turning their back on me and fall into comfort and social acceptance.
8e give no trust for free anymore.
,eople once swore eternal ?ihad and all out war to oppression and in?ustice but here they come, in their weakest,
mild, submissive and yet arrogant lifestyle to ?ust represent everything I hate.
8here the fuck are all these mindless <ombie motherfuckers now?
I hold these people in contempt.
,eople with no self respect should suffocate.
,eople who turn their back on the struggle for human and animal liberation should suffocate.
All sell-outs who once held high flags should suffocate.
,eople who ?ust cant see how negative their influence is on the youth and our environment should all suffocate.
8e have the power of starting a very wild domino effect.
8e have to be the living e)amples that compassion and ?ustice can still have a strong voice against %other /ulture.
I donPt care if you see violence.
I donPt care if you see radical visions.
$very other try has failed.
As warriors before us stated* @et free or die trying.
@et free or die trying.
@et free or die trying.
@et free or die fucking tryingC
Lyrics from Death To All Traitors xDestroy Babylonx
Because not all who wander are lost,
Anti-Copyright 2011