Why isn’t Veganism Popular in French Culture?
Since I began living in France, I’ve noticed that the French culture has a different relationship with veganism as a whole. The French will buy organic, cruelty-free beauty products, yet will wear leather boots. They will willingly choose to eat vegan burgers for lunch but they will have animal-based foods for dinner. Embracing the idea of veganism, as so many of the French will dabble in it, and never committing fully.
Why is that?
My Experience With French Culture
Based on my experience living in France, I’ve noticed two things:
- Veganism is a trend rather than a lifestyle for the average French person.
- Veganism is primarily for health or environmental reasons in France.
More now than ever, French youth are becoming interested in veganism and adapting it to French culture. Not only is it amazing to see that many restaurants are beginning to offer vegan-friendly options, but the demand for bio (organic) and sustainably sourced food has been on the rise.
At the high school that I teach at, many of my students ask eager questions about what I like to eat while living in France, and during our Anglophone food unit. The idea of veganism made sense to my students, they loved the idea and the movement but they were hesitant when I asked if they would ever consider going vegan. However, after a quick vote, more than half my class said that “Meatless Monday” would be something that they are interested in. It’s a start.
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Just when I begin to think about how much progress France has made in veganism, I realize that I still can’t go to the local grocery store and find many (if any) ready-made options suitable for my diet, compared to the accessibility I’ve encountered in California and the UK. The sense of pride that the French had in their cuisine, which heavily relies on meat and other animal products, may be a factor in why they are not willing to adapt to the veganism movement.
All-in-all, even though France isn’t quite the vegan mecca yet, I am sure that changes will continue to be made in terms of vegan accessibility. Veganism isn’t here to replace the culture, just to make it a little more cruelty-free.
Have you experienced the French culture as a vegan? Join us on Facebook to join the chat.
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