For most (please note, not all!) Namibians, the idea of vegetarianism or veganism is slightly bizarre. The first reaction usually being, “But what about bacon?”. And while for some the choice is related to health reasons, to others it is related to something quite a bit deeper.
Let us start off by explaining the basics. What is the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan? Vegetarians cut meat from their diets, but still eat eggs and other dairy products. While vegans eat only vegetables, and absolutely no animal by-products.
So why choose this kind of lifestyle? Often it has to do with the individual’s religion or, as mentioned, health requirements. A major component is also the foremost concern for animal rights. Essentially, it has to do with the way the animals are treated on the various farms.
Coupled with the mass amount of preservatives and hormones that are pumped into the animals through their diets or into the meat during processing. Kind of scary to think about, isn’t it…? In 1989, the European Union even banned the importation of meat that contained any artificial beef growth hormones.
Needless to say, that does not sound appetizing in any way. On top of the hormone treatment, most of the animals are treated inhumanely and are forced to live in harsh conditions for most of their lives.
Having said all of that, is it really a surprise that people choose to cut meat from their diets? For their own health and to protest the harsh treatment of the animals… No, personally I think it is quite admirable. And though, generally, animals are treated with more freedom and less preservatives in Namibia, it remains something to be considered.
Namibian meat is good, mostly fresh and free range, which makes a world of a difference to the taste and the health benefits of the meat. In fact, Namibia was the first country to export meat to the US.
So, it may be slightly odd for most Namibians to understand the concept of vegetarianism, but having mentioned all of the above, it may offer a new insight into the reasoning thereof.
And for travelers coming to Namibia, especially those staying at Gondwana Properties, rest assured our meat is exceptionally well prepared and very tasty.
This is thanks to our working farm in the Stampriet area. Our Self Sufficiency Centre runs a working butchery with only the finest quality, free range meat and have their own garden with home grown vegetables. A Gondwana buffet will always cater to all palettes.
If you have any other stories about vegetarianism and veganism, please share those thoughts in the comment section below.
Author – Jescey Visagie is a proud Namibian and is passionate about writing and language. Tag along for the ride as she tries to uncover new insights into Namibia and explores what the country has to offer.