November 1st was World Vegan Day. Now I had this thought: “would vegan tea really be a thing, and would the vegan aspect of tea be something that vegans or vegetarians throughout the world would actually pay attention or care to?”
Do you think that there are any aspects that could affect tea to be either vegan or non-vegan? Let me know what you think in the comments below. I’m very interested to get different opinions.
Now, I have thought about this and because tea’s always fertilized, I would say that depending on the fertilizer, your tea could either be vegan or non-vegan.
Tea is a very simple organism. Anything that you feed to its roots gets transported into the leaf and it reflects in the flavor. It happens a lot with matcha, or high-quality teas in Japan where fish remains, fish heads, fish bones, etc. are used as fertilizer. They are literally thrown in between the tea gardens of high grade matcha teas.
It depends on how far you want to take it. If you say nothing that comes from an animal should be in my tea, then we’ll have to look for certain teas that meet that expectation and that we can then call vegan tea. So while at some tea farms animal excrements or remains of fish and other seafood are used in the production of tea, this is not the case for all tea production in Japan.
There are certain teas where this provides sufficient nourishment and nitrates to the soil to help make a lush umami flavor in tea. While it produces a thick umami flavor, I personally find that if a tea is un tarnished, is not blended and is just single cultivar or single origin, then you can literally taste what type of fertilizer has been used on that tea. I like fresh teas as well. Fresh nature, green. Those are the key words that I look for when I select a tea. I have discovered on my search that not al tea is always fertilized with animal waste. This is the good news for you because I would say that in an extreme respect, these teas would absolutely fit the vegan idea.
Free from animal waste
So that being said, a lot of the teas that I select are produced without using any animal waste. And it’s very easy for me to guarantee that because I always go to the farmer, I look at the tea garden, I know the procedures they use, and I only get the tea from that tea garden and that farmer.
Conventional tea blended, which means that one farmer might not use animal fertilizer; another farmer might use fish; and another farmer might use animal excrements. To guarantee that your tea does not include anything from animal waste, you need to exactly know where it comes from. And that is something that I can do with The Tea Crane teas.
A Vegan tea set
As we’ve been talking about veganism, as we’ve been talking about vegan tea, I have put together a vegan tea set, especially for you, and it only includes those teas that have been produced without interference of any animal product.
And again, let me know in the comments if you think vegan tea is something that is worth looking at, or if you rather think that any tea is vegan when it comes to it; That the fertilizer really doesn’t matter. I’d be happy to hear your opinion.
Am I vegetarian?
I can hear the question coming already. So, are you vegan? Are you vegetarian?
This is a story from when I was asked, are you a vegetarian or are you a vegan? To which I responded, “NO”. And a response question to my answer was, then don’t you love animals? To which I responded: “Of course, I love animals, but I don’t specifically only focus my love and attention on animals alone.”
The thing is that I love life in general.
But what does that mean to love life?
By that I mean I love ALL life.
A human is life. An animal is life. A tree is life. A plant is life. Everything that lives on this planet, every living thing, every living organism is life.
To ‘love life.’
And to love life is simply this: it’s to love everything that we see. All life is there for the simple purpose of fulfilling its lown ife, but also at the same time to keep all life in balance.
You are life, and I am life. But it isn’t about you or me. It’s about you AND me AND everything else around us. It’s like this in the way where animals eat other animals to sustain their own life. Animals eat plants to sustain their own life.
The source of life
The animals and the plants that are eaten are the source of life for other life to flourish. We too eat animals and plants to sustain our own life. Without it, we wouldn’t be alive. So it’s a matter of being grateful for the things, the living things that are around us that are there to sustain our life. And to again, do our part in sustaining the life of other life around us.
In this way, you and I, and the dog next door, and the tree in the park are not separate. We are all part of one big system that is called life.
The cycle of life
And all life has a cycle.
We are born and we die, and in between we live.
And we help others to live.
It’s because of this that the cycle of life continues.
That is what I think is one of the most beautiful things.
To look at life in its entirety. To see the cycle of life and to see your part as just one shackle in the chain of the entirety of what life is. It’s just so much bigger than we can imagine. And our part is just a little part in it. So instead of singling out one aspect of the entirety of what life is, I say I love the entirety of life itself.
Buddhism and vegetarianism
We can bring this back to Buddhism as well, where although Buddhism is essentially vegetarian, at some instances they don’t exclude meat. Buddhists think they should not harm animals to sustain their own life. They focus on plants and vegetables to sustain their own life, taking only the necessary amount of nourishment.
In yoga the same idea exists. instead of troubling your system by taking nourishment that takes a long time to digest, it’s considered that having light food is better because it digests better and it gives the system more time to recover.
But there are zen traditions that live in an environment where it is very difficult to get good vegetables, for example a very cold area on top of the mountain. In the summer months it’s okay to get vegetables, etc. But in the winter months it snows. There is not much growth. And they basically don’t have anything to eat unless they stack up a lot. But of course, keeping vegetables good for a long time is difficult.
So they say “we are grateful for anything that we receive.” And so they don’t resort to killing animals themselves, but there are many hunters around in the village who contribute to the temple by bringing some of the pieces that they have hunted.
While Buddhism is essentially vegetarian, in certain situations you can’t just but accept the offer of meat. This flexibility is something that respects the entirety of life and that puts us in a position where we don’t necessarily have to make it difficult regardless of the situations around.
If you have any thoughts about vegetarianism or veganism in relation to tea, leave a comment. And if you are looking for some good ‘Vegan Tea’ check out my special World Vegan Day Vegan Tea Set.