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Ivo Vegter Defends Vegans from the Guardian's Guilt-trip Over the Price of Quinoa

Extreme EnvironmentIvo Vegter, author of Extreme Environment: How environmental exaggeration harms emerging economies, has weighed in on a recent article by Joanna Blythman for the Guardian. In the headline Blythman questioned whether vegans can handle the ethical issues of eating quinoa due to Bolivians no longer being able to afford their staple grain because of the Western demand.

Vegter pointed out the small global impact that vegans actually have on food consumption and highlighted Bolivia’s rising affluence. He quoted Stefan Jeremiah and Michael Wilcox, who made a documentary on the quinoa industry, as saying that growing quinoa is a way for Bolivians to rise above the poverty line and that damaging this growing economy by spreading this idea is undermining their efforts.

One of the under-appreciated benefits of arguing from principles rooted in individual liberty and free markets is that you can defend anyone. Even vegans. Which is what this column shall set out to do, since they got hit with big Guardian sticks about something called “quinoa”. Their elitist tastes are harming poor people, so this guilt-trip goes.

For some reason, it was a popular article. It garnered more than 1,000 comments. For readership, it outranked even a piece about horsemeat in British hamburgers.

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