On the road to veganism


Nov 7, 2021
Reaction score
  1. Vegan
I thought I'd share a travel experience...hopefully in the right thread, but could also be in the transitioning thread too.

Early in 2017 my wife and I were travelling in New Zealand, on a road trip. We both come from NZ and have family there. We were in between seeing family and were travelling for ourselves,deciding to go down the west coast of the North Island rather than the more popular middle. It's a route neither of us had taken before. It was a beautiful drive, parts of NZ are bucolic.
However, some time during that 5 hour drive it dawned on us that something was different. NZ used to be known for its sheep, sheep everywhere. During the drive we saw a lot more cropping....huge fields of corn. After seeing what felt like hours of corn (could be other things, I am no famer), it was apparent this was not for human consumption, at least not the local population of 5M. And sheep whilst still around were nowhere near the numbers they used to be.
Then we noticed the cattle, or dairy cows to be precise. This was the next day, most likely in a less climate perfect area for cropping.
So many cows, and then huge industrialised dairy factories showing up every now and then. It seemed that every available space was being used to either dairy cattle or feed for them. Whilst everything was green, I felt that this does not look sustainable, this looks like such a waste.
A few days later, we were swimming in what we thought was a pristine river in the north of the South Island. It was hot, dry, and the water looked wonderful...but once we were in it, we could smell it and taste it...something was off. A quick look up the road, up stream, a large dairy farm was up river , out of direct sight, but its effect was there.
Anyway, this started our journey on the road to veganism. It was not some factory belching smoke into the sky, but a drive that showed us how much land is being used for animal production and the effect that has had one a once pristine country.

We love NZ, but a part of me cringes each time I see it's toursim advertise how clean it is.