Difficult to be vegan in france

CasusBelli

New Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2018
Messages
2
Reaction score
3
Age
29
Lifestyle
Vegan
As a Frenchman, I would like to share to you how difficult is to be vegan in France. Excuse me for my English, I do not practice it very well.


There are here strong resistances to vegan way of life because of its incompatibility with a national economy focused on milks, cheeses, meats and other products which involves animal torture (“foie gras”). Hunters and animal products workers represent a very important lobby : they receive lots of subsides and they put pressure on vegans by the law (by forbidding use of words “milk”, “steak” etc. for vegetal products). I live near Calais, in northern France, where a vegan festival has been forbidden by the municipality because of hunters threats. These last months, some butcheries have been sacked by “vegan activists” (even though nobody had been caught). So, they wanted to revenge. Fortunately, administrative court ruled against the municipality and permitted to the festival to take place on September 8th. But hunters will organize a demonstration against it.


Hunter lobby is very powerful here and president Emmanuel Macron is the most hunting-friendly president who has been elected these last decades. Hunting with hounds is still legal in France, although many Western European banned it.


I travelled a bit in Europe and I find it is much easier to supply vegan food aboard. For instance, chocolate is often made with milk in France in order to support producers. German “Nutella” (brand hazelnut cocoa spread) has a higher concentration on cocoa than the French one. Moreover, there are less vegans in France than in any other Western European country.


You may confront a similar situation in your country but if you have travelled in France, let me know about your experience !
 
  • Like
Reactions: TofuRobot and Lou

Emma JC

Active Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
850
Reaction score
871
Location
Canada
Lifestyle
Vegan
Welcome, Bienvenue, to the forum! It is always interesting to hear what is happening in other countries and so thank you for the update.

Eating a whole food diet with limited processed foods is one way to circumvent any restrictions. Are fruits and vegetables and rice and grains and potatoes and greens and nuts and seeds etc still easily available? You have wonderful breads and grow amazing gardens, if I recall correctly, so resist the resistance by supporting the local farmers and artisans of beautiful pastas, produce and grains and eating more 'whole' foods and less of the processed vegan foods.

It is strange as I do not associate 'hunting' with France and am so sorry to hear it is prevelant there, especially supported by your president. Canada also has a large segment of the population that are hunters and fishermen both for sport and for food and yet there is plenty of whole food and tons of food in the supermarket that also not "vegan" is vegan by nature.

Nous vous remercions de votre contribution.

Emma JC
 

CasusBelli

New Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2018
Messages
2
Reaction score
3
Age
29
Lifestyle
Vegan
Yes, fruits, vegetables, cereals are easily available. But organic food originate mainly from other European countries. French farmers are not ready to organic products : they strongly demonstrate against glyphosate ban. So I'm more and more suspicious about local products. Ready-made vegan meals are also hard to find in supermarkets.

I don't know if politicians are lobbying so much against veganism aboard but because of them, it is for instance very rare to find a school which make available a vegan meal alternative. Except some cities and private schools, kids are forced to eat meat-based meals.

Merci pour l'accueil ! :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lou

Lou

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Messages
2,079
Reaction score
1,915
Age
64
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
Vegan
Hey! Welcome aboard and your English is great.

I've heard and read that France is not pro-vegan. Micheal Moore's documentary Where To Invade Next had a whole chapter on France, concentrating on the school lunch program. I was very impressed with France's school lunch program. But also disappointed. If I remember right there was a cheese course at every lunch. And I think I remember that lunches were mandatory.

American school lunches are way worse in every respect. But there are a few schools and school districts that are more vegan and vegetarian-friendly. One of our largest school districts has adopted Meatless Monday. At least one private school is completely meat free. And probably no American school lunch has a cheese course. :)

It seems like the Animal Rights Movement is alive and healthy in France. I remember reading a news article that French butchers had to appeal to the government for protection against animal rights activists. So that kind of stuff is getting international attention.

Here in America, our activists have a favorite saying. "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
 

Forest Nymph

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Messages
1,426
Reaction score
1,086
Age
37
Location
Northern California
Lifestyle
Vegan
Antoine Lavoisier is considered the "father of modern chemistry" and he was executed in France for the activities he used to fund his scientific research.

Human history has a long story of killing people with new or revolutionary ideas (scientists, not just political activists) and also for interfering with whatever their economic schemata is at the time. I think Antoine Lavoisier is a great metaphor for this phenomenon, at least in France (but also in general).

The worst we put up with this days is rude people, social exclusion, heated arguments, and emotional turmoil. People rarely face death for challenging the economic system or presenting new science, unless they actively engage in combat via organizations like Animal Liberation Front or physically throw themselves bodily at protests to protect the environment.

Then again, environmental activists are eerily being murdered world wide due to their interference with global financial schemes with the most direct hits being taken at indigenous peoples in places like South America or Africa, or people in developing countries, and people of the less accepted race/color/religion/gender/socioeconomic status of choice in Western countries like the U.S.

I'm not saying this to belittle your problems, I would probably hate to live among people who banned vegan festivals, so I don't pretend I understand, but one of the reasons I'm such an assertive or even aggressive vegan is because I know that throughout human history, people have actually died for less.
 

Forest Nymph

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Messages
1,426
Reaction score
1,086
Age
37
Location
Northern California
Lifestyle
Vegan
American school lunches are way worse in every respect. But there are a few schools and school districts that are more vegan and vegetarian-friendly. One of our largest school districts has adopted Meatless Monday. At least one private school is completely meat free. And probably no American school lunch has a cheese course. :)
There's also a few completely vegan schools in America. I used to live down the street from a vegan high school for troubled teens, sent there to recoop by growing their own veggies and fruits for the cafeteria, and holding/tending rescue animals who had been adopted from a life of torture in animal ag. If I had stayed in L.A. county I would have gotten a lot more involved there, I just loved everything about the school model.
 

veganDreama

Active Member
Joined
May 30, 2018
Messages
395
Reaction score
167
Age
48
Location
Birmingham, England
Lifestyle
Vegan
Hello and welcome! My mother is French and I used to go and visit my grandparents every summer. However that's before I went vegan so I don't know what it's like to be vegan in France. I used to like crepe de chocolat, and croissants. Only I don't know how to make either of these things vegan.
 

TofuRobot

Active Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2018
Messages
721
Reaction score
687
Location
Southern California, USA
Lifestyle
Vegan
There's also a few completely vegan schools in America. I used to live down the street from a vegan high school for troubled teens, sent there to recoop by growing their own veggies and fruits for the cafeteria, and holding/tending rescue animals who had been adopted from a life of torture in animal ag. If I had stayed in L.A. county I would have gotten a lot more involved there, I just loved everything about the school model.
I wish that were the model for the public school system, but unfortunately it's not. I live in one of the most affluent, supposedly 'progressive' communities in southern CA and the school lunches are horrible, and it's gotten worse as kids approach high school. When my son was little, I made his lunches most of the time (he was pescatarian at the time), but sometimes I had to take advantage of the district-paid lunch program (I'm not one of the affluent), and it used to be that at least you could get a meatless meal 1x/week, but the options were pretty sad. Bean and cheese burrito, mac 'n' cheese, or cheese pizza. Once a month you could get a garden burger (not vegan). That's the extent of it, and that's pretty good compared to other school districts. Now that my son is in high school, they don't even have garden burgers. It's ridiculous. If you need to be part of that program, and wanted meals without cheese or meat, you'd have to go to a doctor and basically get a prescription for "special" meals. How backwards is that? It's ridiculous. It's as if the goal is for our children to grow up sick. I am fortunate now that his dad lives a block from the school so my son just goes home to eat for lunch.

Anyway - @CaususBelli - do you think there might be any vegan Meetups in your area? No doubt there are other vegans where you live, they're probably just "in hiding" ;)