Veganism in Japan
Posted on April 4, 2022
Next in our series on the writers of “VEGAN VOICES – Essays by Inspiring Changemakers”, is Nadia McKechnie.
Nadia is the volunteer organiser of Tokyo Vegans, a community project that seeks to support the Tokyo Vegan community in growing and connecting to the global vegan movement. Originally from London, UK, she works as a writer and narrator, and has lived in Tokyo for over thirty years.
Extract from his essay in VEGAN VOICES:
“Labelling laws in Japan are also somewhat vague, meaning that animal ingredients can be hidden in additives or flavorings. In many cases, the only way to check for sure is to actually call the company… There are also several cultural issues that complicate matters. In Japan, it is common to share dishes when eating out, and there is definitely the assumption that everyone will be able to eat everything that is offered. I recently discussed the reasons behind this with some of my Tokyo Vegan co-organisers. According to Yukari Iwamuto: ‘It’s complicated. In Japan, we have two strong cultural norms surrounding food. The first one is mottainai – you should appreciate the food on the table, thus you should eat everything in order to avoid wasting any food or ingredients. The second one is deru kui wa utareru – literally meaning ‘a stake sticking out gets hammered down.’ ”
Review of Vegan Voices by Bruce Friedrich, Co-founder & Executive Director, The Good Food Institute:
“There are as many reasons to be vegan as there are vegans, as this lovely anthology makes clear. So many of my heroes in one place—what a treat. Read it and be inspired.”
Vegan Voices: Essays by Inspiring Changemakers
Available at Lantern Publishing & Media
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-59056-650-3
eBook ISBN: 978-1-59056-651-0