There aren’t many fruits more smug than an avocado. Delicious though they may be, avos are inextricably associated with a certain type of petty, precious, picky eater. This isn’t their fault. They just happen to go really well with both toast and Instagram - a combination that makes them seem unnecessarily supercilious and millennial. This is a hostile cocktail to almost everyone.
By contrast, there are plenty of people who believe avocados to be the holy grail of groceries. For these peoples, a daily diet might include avocado toast, guac and pitta, avocado pasta and avocado cakes, all washed down with a glug of avocado latte. It might be annoying, but there’s not denying that they are a flexible fruit, which is why anyone with a strict diet welcomes them with open arms. As everyone knows, few diets are stricter than veganism.
While veggies leave themselves with plenty of wiggle room thanks to eggs, butter and all manner of tasty, non-meaty creature treats, vegans’ total refusal to touch anything that has a whiff of animal about it makes things much more difficult. Not for them the joys of a drizzle of honey, or a gooey cheddar toastie. It’s beans and leaves all round. It’s small wonder, then, given that they grow on trees and are also totally delicious, that avocado eating is basically a vegan religion. For all the faithful out there, we have some bad news.
On a recent episode of the popular BBC quiz show “QI”, host Sandi Toksvig revealed that avocados, despite looking all innocent and green, are actually not vegan at all. Addressing a baffled audience and panel, Toksvig declared that the reason for avocados dubious status was the same as that of honey - namely, because it revolves around the cultivation and unnatural use of bees.
As a graphic showing almonds, avocados, kiwi, butternut squash, and melon flashed behind her, Toksvig elaborated, explaining that, “Because they are so difficult to cultivate naturally, all of these crops rely on bees which are placed on the back of trucks and taken very long distances across the country.” According to QI, this invalidates them all as vegan-friendly produce. Goodbye to guacamole.
Fortunately for vegans, there are some who are disputing the show’s claims. Unsurprisingly, the critics also happen to be vegans themselves. Speaking to the not-at-all-partisan-sounding “Plant Based News”, “Vegan Society” spokesperson Dominika Piasecka said that, while “vegans avoid using animals as far as possible and practicable," they are also “aware that many forms of farming involve indirect harm to animals but it is unfortunately not possible or practicable to avoid the destruction of other animals in most farming at this time.” She later added that, “we do not consider that just because it is not possible to avoid one hundred percent of the cruelty, suffering and exploitation to animals that we should not bother at all.” For now, avocados seem to have the vegan all-clear.
Obviously, eating an avocado doesn’t involve as much animal suffering as a bit of battery chicken. Vegans might well say to themselves, “It’s just a few bees going on a little holiday. What can be the harm in that?” Ultimately, you should all feel free to eat what you like. Just know that, when it comes down to it, you’re all really breaking the law. At the end of the day, you’re just like the rest of us. Welcome to the dark side.