MY TRAVEL PLANACCOMMODATION

Being Vegan in The Gambia

My Magazine 2022/08
1 min
Author: Ram
When I took a decision to turn Vegan, my first worries and those who were with me – immediately queried, ‘How will you manage such a strict regime’? The Gambia – with a large population of predominantly meat eaters – and to a large extent dependent on seasonal vegetables and fruit – with very little visible “veganism” in the air. I thought I would take things as they’d come and tackle the hurdles as they came. And I must say that since I have been back for three weeks now, I have found that The Gambia can actually be a haven for vegans.

What is Veganism?

Being Vegan is actually a way of life. Considering all beings of the planet have an equal right to live and flourish on planet earth – for eons since the planet has a recorded history, human beings have been a dominant species, using the other creatures that should have cohabited with it, not just as a source of food, but for clothing, for fashion, for sport, for entertainment, for forced companionship, for research and then rather than be content with the initial exploitation, humans have gone greedy and turned bare necessities into overwhelming greed – industrial exploitation of the earth and its other beings.

The meat, seafood, dairy and leather industry have boomed to a level where there are far more animals than human beings on earth, being reared to cater for whims and fancies – and in the most brutal manner. 

And with this mass exploitation and greed comes a science of producing more – of research on turning the process around faster – using artificial means – of insemination, of hormones to fatten or lactate more – not realising that these very hormones and chemicals used are now entering the human bloodstream. Inducing a number of ailments from animal strains to human beings – and multiplying and mutating in once what were very healthy human beings.

The Vegan movement, realising that the root cause of most illnesses, being animal fat related – has moved away from anything to do with Animal produce – also keeping in view that the Earth's limited resources were being consumed by the animals being reared to be consumed by human beings. Methane levels have run so high that cattle rearing damages the Ozone layer on a scale far more dangerous than emissions of all the cars put together. And these cattle are being reared on an industrial scale – using up far more water resources than is available for human beings.

Pesticides used to grow vegetables and fruits being consumed by animals and by humans either directly or by consuming those animals – has left an unimaginable residue in the human strain.

And within all this negativity, brings me back to The Gambia and why I feel Vegans will be able to thrive here.

Non-Industrialised Dairy & Meat Business

Most farming in The Gambia is Organic, as well as the rearing of cattle for milk, has not attained industrial status. Thus animal treatment is more out familial and restricted to small holding. Thus water and resource use for animals is not concentrated and depriving as yet. Smallholding farmers are spread out and thus methane production is dissipated and spread, not powerful enough to damage the Ozone layer.

Since pesticides are relatively expensive, most farming undertaken is pesticide free and free from toxins to a large extent.

While fruits and vegetables are widely available, local millets and varieties of local rice are highly suitable for vegans and for whole food plant-based diets. The local availability of millets such as Fonio, Sorghum which are ideal for proteins and nutrients, are available locally.

Mangoes during the season are abundant and delicious too. And are naturally organic. And very nutrient too.

Carbohydrates from Cassava, Yam and Sweet potato are available year round and once again are naturally organic.

Potato leaves, Moringa Basil, Mint grow virtually easily and one can very easily plant these herbs in a backyard or a terrace pot.

The Highly sought-after Avocado is available in abundance in The Gambia.

The number of Indian & Lebanese Restaurants that have a huge repertoire of vegan/vegetarian dishes too, make it very easy to get excellent Vegan food in The Gambia.

My Whole Food Plant-based diet

I have been following a Whole Food Plant-based diet that even avoids oil of all sorts – in addition to being Vegan – and I have not yet found myself going hungry or missing any of the fried foods or fish or non-veg foods.

My menu today was:

  • 6.00 AM A Green Smoothie ( Moringa leaves, Basil leaves, Pan leaves, 2 bananas, half a Mango)
  • 8.00 AM Red rice/Lentil dosas (oil-free roasted south Indian pan cake) with Coconut Chutney
  • 1.00 PM Cooked Red Rice, Cabbage Stir Dry Fry (no oil), Sambar ( South Indian Lentils & Veggies curry), Rasam ( Tomato spicy soup), and chickpeas, tomato, carrot salad.
  • 4.00 PM dry fruits mix with dates
  • 7.00 PM Mango, Papaya and Goyabana fruit.

Glasses of Water in between and basil+turmeric infused hot water at intervals.

My diet has not only helped me lose weight (5 kgs in 21 days) – it has brought my diabetes sugar levels to normal, without any medication.

If you’re Vegan or on a Whole Food Plant-based diet – do think of The Gambia.

For more information on Reversing diabetes and other ailments without medication through a whole food plant-based diet, visit www.sharan-india.org.

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