There’s literally no point in being a vegan or vegetarian if you’re still chuffing coke
It’s full of people who think they’re doing more for the planet than everyone else.
They’re annoying because generally, they’re right. They are doing more for reducing CO2 emissions than anyone else – even if you do exclusively light your house with candles and ride a bike.
You often also come across non-drinking vegans who drink very little for both health and ethical reasons (a lot of alcohol isn’t vegan).
But while they might pass on the red wine and sausages, there are a number of vegans who still take coke. And that’s the one thing that’s holding back their dreams of living in a cruelty-free utopia.
I’ve met plenty of environmentalists who have cut their meat and dairy consumption only to spend the weekend chuffing charlie.
Now, you might think that if you’ve cut the booze, the meat, the cheese then you damn well might need a hit of class-A magic from time to time.
But dear vegan ravers, doing coke is possibly the least environmentally friendly thing you could do. In fact, anyone who gives a damn about the environment and animals – even if you can’t give up meat – should put down their rolled £20 note immediately.
In fact, anyone who gives a damn about the environment and animals – even if you can’t give up meat – should put down their rolled £20 note immediately.
Because cocaine production is absolutely ripping the rainforests apart. Apart from the human devastation it causes, farming coca has been linked to rising deforestation in Colombia – pushing many animals like golden poison frogs and harpy eagles to extinction.
And there are other serious environmental consequences to your coke habit. To grow coca, farmers use pesticides which are banned in Colombia.
The first stage of production involves chopping coca leaves and dusting them with lime salt before adding kerosene (that’s the stuff that fuels aeroplanes) or diesel fuel on to them and giving it a good stir. Then it’s heated and filtered and mixed with sulphuric acid and caustic soda.
Once the key element is siphoned off, the rest is dumped in the ground or into surrounding river systems – causing yet more devastation to the local fauna. That’s a lot of toxic substances going into the local environment, let alone into your body.
‘People hardly want to be reminded of the devasting environmental impact their choices are having while they’re trying to have fun,’ Elle, a vegan for two years and a recreational coke user tells us.
‘I’d never remind someone about to bite into a beef burger that getting that burger here has harmed the environment.
All you’d do in those kinds of cases is offend and anger people. And in my case, I’d probably never be invited back to any parties if I started banging on about how bad coke is.’ It’s odd because usually, vegans are quite vocal when it comes to calling out environmental practices.
It’s all very well us being over here seeing little sheep and cows bouncing in fields and congratulating ourselves for not eating lamb or drinking animal milk but veganism should be the intention to live as ethically as possible – regardless of where the fall out may be felt.
It’s hard to associate a line at a party with the slaughter of millions of exotic critters and the wiping out natural resources like rainforests which actually serve to undo the manmade damage we do to the planet.
It’s hard sometimes to think past caged animals and the dairy industry as vegans. They’re more immediate concerns and they’re closer.
Sure, keeping chickens in cages and making them produce egg after egg before being slaughtered for a roast dinner is horrendous.
‘Sustainable’ meat and fish is a bullshit term because it ultimately results in the killing of animals. But so does cocaine consumption.
Cocaine is slowly pushing species to extinction by destroying their homes and polluting their water sources. Colombian rainforests boast something like 427 mammals, 1,300 birds and more than 400 amphibians.
Imagine the horrible kind of death these animals face by consuming diesel-laced water or waste product. It’s a trade that’s not only horribly cruel to the humans involved but also the animals who unwittingly find themselves in the midst of it.
You’re literally funding the killing of all kinds of beautiful, exotic animals on a Friday night. I tell Elle this. ‘That’s really upsetting,’ she says. ‘It’s just another horrifying story about how humans exploit this earth and its inhabitants for our own selfish gain.
As a vegan who cares about the environment as well as animals I already try to avoid buying products such as palm oil and certain brands like Velvet toilet paper. I will certainly be extending this to my drug consumption. ‘But I might keep the reasons to myself at parties.’
And that’s fair enough. No one likes being preached at on a night out.
But if you call yourself an environmentalist, an animal lover, a vegan, then you’ve got to make the effort to make sure that your fun isn’t harming anything else.
And that means staying away from cocaine.