Erstellt am: 28. 1. 2016 - 17:16 Uhr
Drumroll over… it is ISRAEL !!!
No, not India, it is in fact the land of milk and honey. So what’s going on there that makes eating animals, by a sizeable portion of the population, a bit of a no-no.
Well. there are several reasons. But one is down to a young guy called Omri Paz. Basically, Omri was just like any other bright youngster, he was interested and engaged in a lot of issues and had embarked on a law degree. But then, his sister sent Omri & his mother a youtube file that had been doing the rounds. The video portrayed a less than flattering account of what is alleged to be going on in the farming industry.
Quite distressed at what he had seen, it basically changed his life. He put aside his studies for a little while and dedicated his time to working out a strategy for convincing Israelis to become vegan. Now, it has to be said that there isn’t a long tradition of veganism in Israel. Like many other countries, be it in the west or in the Middle East, if you walk into towns the restaurants generally serve a wide variety of beef and poultry products on the menu.
His strategy was social media, ie. getting as many Israelis as possible to watch the youtube video that he had seen would, he feel, have a convincing effect. He would accompany the invitation to watch the video with a message more aligned with mainstream conversation about a consideration to becoming a vegan rather than a radical rant about “meat is murder” etc.
And it started to work. One of the largest pizza companies in the world, which has plenty of outlets also in Israel, started to incorporate a choice of non-meat products into a new vegan menu. Additionally, there are now over 400 restaurants or establishments across Israel that carry the vegan friendly embelm, as demand for vegan products has soared.
In fact, as an example of how veganism has become so prominent in Israel, the Israel Defense Force (the IDF) has started catering to followers in its ranks by offering vegan-friendly ration packs, non-leather boots and wool-less berets.
When I contacted Omri, he directed me to chat to his mother Barbara as she, he told me, was a native English speaker. Brilliant, I thought! Who better than to explain things than mum. And Barbara was a bit of a star at setting out, not just Omri’s actions and goals here but the background to Israel’s new love affair with veganism. Here’s what she told me, as heard on today’s Reality Check.