ANIMAL RIGHTS WATCH
News, Information, and Knowledge Resources

Green zone: The US soldiers fighting for vegan food

Interestingly, the military already has prepackaged vegan meals; they’re just not for soldiers. A DLA spokesperson confirmed that plant-based meals are distributed as humanitarian aid to civilians.

RACHEL KRANTZ: ‘The US military doesn’t provide plant-based meals, often leaving vegan service members to rely on snacks – but some are seeing a rise in like-minded comrades. John, a specialist in the US army, went vegan in 2018 while deployed in the Middle East after he started practicing Buddhism… John prefers not to use his real name because he is worried about further ostracizing himself. He says he is often told he’s not a man if he doesn’t eat meat. “Someone told me that being vegan is against God and being vegan makes me weak,” he recalls of an exchange while standing in line for a physical. Because the man who said it outranked him, John didn’t argue…

The military will accommodate a kosher, halal and vegetarian diet for troops, but no meals ready to eat (MREs) – which deployed soldiers rely on for breakfast, lunch and dinner – are totally plant-based. Like other vegan soldiers, John often has to rely on snacks. He once spent a month eating just bread, crackers, peanut butter and canned vegetables… While the number of vegans in the military has never been officially determined, John isn’t alone. Anecdotally, vegan service members I spoke with report a rise in like-minded comrades, one that reflects a larger social trend: in 2017, there were five times as many vegans in America as in 2014…

Interestingly, the military already has prepackaged vegan meals; they’re just not for soldiers. A DLA spokesperson confirmed that while some meals distributed as humanitarian aid to civilians are not classified as vegan, “these meals contain no animal products or by-products, except that minimal amounts of dairy products are permitted.” Having vegan meals as humanitarian aid makes sense – plant-based food is more easily made halal, can be less perishable and may be less expensive…

Financial incentives may be at play in the military as well. Master Chief Petty Officer Eric Gibson, who has been vegan for more than five years… says he thinks a lot of the military’s decisions are linked to industries the government subsidizes, like dairy and meat. This is just one more hurdle, but it seems soldiers continue to look for plant-based alternatives. John says fellow service members now frequently tell him they met another vegan soldier that day – something he almost never heard four years ago’. SOURCE…

RELATED VIDEO:

You might also like
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

ENTER CAPTCHA CODE BELOW: