Giving up the food of my family: life as a vegan in diaspora

Media Diversified

Erica Em discusses the challenges of giving up traditional Cambodian food and the cultural consequences of becoming vegan

Switching to veganism has been a conflicting journey of balancing my personal beliefs on the one hand, and my cultural heritage on the other. Whilst I live in Australia, I have Cambodian parents, and food has always been one of the few ways I felt I could engage with my identity and family fully. For many vegans, the most daunting part of their transition is explaining their new lifestyle to others. For me, I had to give up all of the food that is traditional to my culture and cope with my new community denigrating the way that my family and loved ones continue to eat.

Erica’s family

When I think back to my childhood memories associated with food: I loved meat! My favourite were prosciutto, beef steak cooked medium rare, roasted…

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