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On geographical arbitrage (also called "No, a Tuna salad is not a vegan dish...") 


Sometimes, when you move around in the world a lot, the different pace of development in different countries, even fully developed countries, is quite striking. You tend to find that countries are incredibly developed in one area, but totally behind in others, everyone in one country know something in one country, where the relevant equivalent products can be found at every corner, while in other countries even the experts in the field seem to live off information that you learned somewhere else in the 1980, and that has been outdated since the 1990s, but they are totally determined to hold on to it and defend it against any "intrusion" from the outside - oftentimes against their own interests and the interests of those they protect. This is where traveller's and immigrants are so useful. There is actually a book called "Guns, germs, and steel", which was recommended to me 15 years ago by the late CEO of British Colombia's main energy provider (at least then), which explains why certain countries developed faster than others, and it had little to do with the people living there and their intellectual capacity, but a lot with migration patterns - the more migration of people across more diverse areas, the faster these countries developed - because of the dissemination of vast amounts of information regarding innovations from various different cultures and people who were willing to take action - be it the migrants themselves, or the locals who got a new idea. In this case, I just got an email, that prompts me to disseminate a bit of information about eating vegetarian or vegan. No, a Tuna salad is neither vegetarian nor vegan. It has a dead animal in it, being a Tuna. You may like to eat Tuna, but if you do, you are not eating vegetarian, nor are you reducing the problem of overfishing the oceans or mass meat production, if, as a restaurant, you offer only salads with fish or meat in them and no vegan or vegetarian options. Also, you don't have to eat only salads and fresh vegetables if you are vegan. You may choose to, because of the health benefits, but you may want to include a good vitamin pill (available as vegan option), a green drink, and a dose of essential oils daily (and here the fish oil can also be replaced by a vegan alternative, ie Flax seed oil). Don't take my word for it though before relying on this, ask your doctor, and obviously you'd want to eat various kinds of fruit and veg, not just one kind of fruit or veg all the time. If you live in the US, you may want to try Udo's oil instead of the normal Flax seed oil option. I don't get anything from the recommendation, but I wish I had it here - everyone who had it during the last seminar fell in love with it, and for some reason it made me feel good. But not everyone likes just salads and fresh veg. It's not necessary. There are a bunch of more processed options out there, from Cornflakes with Soya or Almond milk, to bread without milk as whitener, to veggie and tofu burgers, to new meat replacement products that taste almost exactly like meat, or, in the case of the below pictured product, which I also get nothing from and which is available in my local supermarket, EXACTLY like chicken, to half of the Indian and Thai cuisine. Some Indians have lived as vegans or vegetarians for centuries, and some of them are or were very poor financially and didn't have a refrigerator. So this isn't just for the rich either. A lot of this stuff can be frozen, and man, can it taste good. In some countries and cities, there is hardly a restaurant that does NOT offer a vegan or vegetarian option, including the local steak house and burger place, and not just a salad either, in most international airports and railway stations you have vegan and veggie options. Even canteens in places like investment banks always have a veggie or vegan option. Some of this can be incredibly tasty, too, I personally love smoothies, if they are made from fresh or frozen veg and fruit. So if you can't make this work as a canteen or restaurant, it's not because it's not possible. Your information is simply out of date. If your mission, or part of your mission is conservation, it may be worth doing some research, and if you live in a place where none of this is available yet, it may just be worth to look abroad and learn from a foreigner. Those you take care of will thank you for it. And in future, you may want to be on the look out for more meat replacement products. There are quite a few vegan options coming online that are incredibly tasty, for real, but there will also soon be a "clean meat" option - ie meat grown from stem cells, without animal cruelty, in less time, with less cost, practically guaranteed disease free (unlike your local mad cow, antibiotic fed pig, or mercury-laden Tuna), and without producing green house gases that come from flatulence - also called cow farts. The future is bright, but you gotta be willing to look into the right direction to see it.

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