It’s easy enough to say everyone should eat vegan food at all times when that level of quality is readily available and accessible just minutes from your door.
But for many Northern communities in Canada, that’s far from the case.
That’s the issue Canadian Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq is bringing to light with her now-viral tweet about the price of asparagus in the North.
“Oh hi again @peta and everyone else who wants an isolated minority to starve because you are privileged enough to live where there are affordable groceries and all your food is grown and processed for you,” Tagaq wrote alongside a photo of asparagus priced at $32.99 per kg.
The photo also shows that $32.99 per kg is actually a reduced price from $35.55, thanks to a federal government subsidy program for several nutritious food items that must be shipped to the North by plane called Nutrition North.
Tagaq lives in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut — an area riddled with food insecurity.
According to a 2016 study by researchers from the University of Toronto, 46 per cent of households in Nunavut experienced food insecurity during that year.
That number was way up from 33.1 per cent in 2011, when Nutrition North was introduced.
Tagaq’s tweet about the issue has already garnered over 3k likes and over 1k retweets, with so many expressing outrage that food is so unaccessible in these vulnerable communities.
Many are also sharing in the frustration over ignorant attitudes from animal rights groups.
“Animal activists blindly screaming over alarmist photos and claims deprive arctic communities from living sustainably,” one user wrote.
“It affects public opinion about protein markets and pushes for policy change that collapses industry and secondary product markets.”
And while many agree that PETA does have a tendency to shame everyone for consuming animal products, even those without alternative options, others are saying it’s important to focus on the real culprit at hand: a government that has failed to solve this worsening issue.
“It’s not @peta fault the food prices are higher where you live. Talk to your government!”
“Those prices are crazy and peta can be insane but really feels like you are placing blame in the wrong place,” another wrote.
“Feels to me like animal rights activists are more often fighting against the same oppression that the First Nations suffer under.”