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How Hippie Culture Breeds Veganism

by | January 8, 2019

Disclaimer: Hippie isn’t a negative word, despite how it may be used in the media today. The word, has broadened and expanded from referring to someone against typical social constructs and politics to include and embrace the vegan, sustainability, and eco-friendly communities. Even if I fit the stereotype with my post-yoga kale smoothies and organic produce, hippie culture is something bigger than that; it is about saving our dying planet. I wear this term proudly and so should you.

How Hippie Culture Breeds Veganism
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How Hippie Culture Breeds Veganism

As someone who was born and raised the California Bay Area, I’ve always been surrounded by diversity. This made my change to vegetarian at the age of twelve easy, despite being the only herbivore in my family (which is still true today). I never considered veganism as an option or even something within the realm of possibility until I moved to Santa Cruz, California for university back in 2014. Looking back, I can attest that the hippie culture in the small beach town is what made, makes, and will continue to make veganism a sustainable and accessible lifestyle for those who live there. How is that so?

Santa Cruz is almost infamous to other Californians for how progressive they have been in terms of eco-friendliness. What makes Santa Cruz so uniquely special in terms of veganism and how it’s been prominent for so long here is the influence of the older generations. Veganism and compost habits are passed down from parent to child, not any different from how table manners are taught. It has become a normal way of life for many Santa Cruzians, and the normality of it all is what makes plant-based diets easy to achieve and maintain.

Veganism goes hand-in-hand with many aspects of the hippie culture and lifestyle on both ethical and scientific lines. Ethically, hippies may choose not to eat animals as to do no harm. Scientifically, the negative consequences of animal products are evident, especially with all of the hormones added to everything. This double affirmation against using animal products is what really fuels their (and my) motives.

Looking back to my years spent living there, it wasn’t difficult to find plant-based options either on campus or downtown. Living in the dorms for my first two years, unfortunately, meant that I had to eat at the dining hall. This presented no challenge to my lifestyle. Although the menu became predictable and monotonous, to be expected from any university dining hall, there were always vegan options as well as a full salad and fruit bar in each of the five dining halls. Downtown, it almost felt as if it was a requirement for each eating establishment to have vegan-friendly choices, with the exception of a few major names such as Five Guys and Pizza My Heart. It’s all about progress and I think nine out of ten restaurants offering vegan options is considered progress.

Do you consider yourself a hippie? Let me know in the comments below.


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Gabriella Anaya

Freelance Writer | Paris, France | inquiries@raisevegan.com

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