Can we be honest? This one makes us chuckle.
It’s a rare occurrence for anyone to be stranded in such a circumstance, and yet this question is asked surprisingly often. For now, let’s pretend we have somehow indeed found ourselves alone on a desert island in a remote part of the world. What would we do?
The survival advice is to find water and shelter first, which poses no quandary to the vegan.
But then comes the tricky question of food, which is, of course, what this question is about. And specifically, would a vegan eat an animal under these extreme circumstances? We’ll overlook for now how these animals came to be living on the desert island but it’s reasonable to assume they’re eating something to stay alive: fruits, nuts, roots and leaves, perhaps. Given that vegans who are not stranded on islands by-pass animals and go straight to the source of nutrients, they’d probably just do that here, too. And picking some shoots and berries would be a lot less fraught than trying to catch and kill a wild animal, skin and eviscerate him, and find a way to rip the flesh into manageable pieces. We’re assuming we didn’t get stranded with a camping stove and a set of cooking utensils?
‘But what if there was no vegetation on the island, just animals?’
Well, now this bizarre hypothetical island has morphed into some strange parallel universe where animals can live on fresh air but humans can only live on animals. We already felt pretty confident that we’d never be stranded on the island, but we feel even more sure that we won’t get sucked through a portal into another dimension.
‘Yes, but what if…?’
If people go to such desperate lengths to try to find circumstances under which it is OK to eat meat, then it’s probably time they gave veganism a go. The worst that will happen is that you may get stranded at a train station sometime, and be forced to eat crisps and flapjacks. But if it makes you feel better, by all means be vegan right up until such time as you find yourself stuck on the Island of Pigs But No Nuts, and then do whatever you need to do to survive. You have our blessing.