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Society & Culture

Cipango (a poetic name for Japan) + ‘plant-based lifestyle’ = ciplantgo, a podcast aimed at introducing people living a plant-based lifestyle in Japan.日本で菜食ライフスタイルを送っている人々のインタビューを中心にしたポッドキャスト。

January 27, 2019

ciplantgo#5: Darcy Kishida, from meat eater/vegetables hater, to vegan - thinking about, and acting based on ethics

Darcy Kishida is a Hawaii born US lawyer living in Tokyo since 2010. The first time Darcy and I met was in the context of my teacher job - his children are currently attending the school I work at. Us introducing each other as vegans happened the second time we met though, at a Tokyo Vegan Meetup picnic. Darcy is one of the meetups most ancient members, having attended the monthly Pink Cow gatherings for about 5 years, at a time when that was the only event organized. His origins, job, family situation and experience within the plant-based community makes Darcy a very interesting person to talk with, and I was really glad he accepted to be one of ciplantgo’s first guests.

This episode of the podcast is a bit different than previous ones in that it is more a discussion than an interview. Darcy expressed his preference for the former, and I happily agreed on making our couple of hours together an exchange of points of views. Our conversation covers a wide range of topics: why I choose the name ciplantgo, when and in which context I went vegan, Darcy’s background and path to veganism, his take on how to be his family’s only vegan, factory farming in Japan, the difference between veganism and religion, the importance of always keeping an open mind, everything health related, where to draw the line in not killing animals, the relation between ethics and feelings, the matter of suffering, and finally Darcy’s favorite eating out spots in town.

I enjoyed every bit of my discussion with Darcy, and I’m sure he will be back on the show in the future. I hope you will find our conversation interesting as well.

- Introduction

- 0:00:00s - Why ‘ciplantgo’?

- 0:01:05s - How I met Darcy.

                 Our approach to running and training.

                 0:04:15s - When and in which context I became ‘a 100%’ vegan, and then joined Tokyo Vegan Meetup events.

- 0:08:00s - Darcy’s background and path to veganism.

                 0:09:10s - Darcy’s staple food for 40 years - meat / rice / bread - and how he felt about it.

                 0:12:35s - Discussing the matter of animal based food with a plant-based friend and how it participated in Darcy giving up meat in 2009.

                 0:14:40s - On the matter of cognitive dissonance.

                 0:15:40s - What drives people to become vegan… then dropping it?

                 0:17:00s - Being used/comfortable to be unusual to be vegan, and how Darcy felt different from early on.

                 0:21:00s - What changed in his diet once Darcy became vegetarian… and how ‘easy’ it was compared to veganism.

                 0:23:00s - How Darcy felt about his vegetarianism at the time - of the hierarchy of living beings.

                 0:27:30s - Attending a Tokyo Vegan Meetup event for the first time, and how it lead to Darcy to go towards veganism.

                 0:30:15s - The case of honey.

                 0:33:15s - How turning vegan changed Darcy’s everyday habits.

- 0:35:00s - About Darcy’s family - addressing or not the topic of veganism with them.

- 0:40:50s - How most Japanese have a positive and distorted image of the facts about factory farming in Japan - is there  a need to expose yourself to the reality of the industry?

- 0:47:20s - Veganism is a no brainer once you reconnect with where the meat comes from.

- 0:53:40s - About the difference between veganism and religion.

- 0:54:40s - Exploring grey areas of veganism - the case of oysters.

- 1:00:15s - About keeping an open mind, and how it shaped my adult life… and got my father to reduce his animal products consumption.

- 1:06:45s - Darcy’s mother adopting a more plant-based diet to prevent cancer.

- 1:08:50s - Some animal products is better for health than none: a common misconception?

                 1:11:55s - What if veganism was unhealthy?

                 1:14:05s - On the importance of health for a good life, and in advocating for a plant-based lifestyle.

                 1:16:30s - About B12.

                 1:21:00s - The best diet: what/who to trust? … and how to advocate best for a plant-based diet: science or facts/examples?

- 1:31:00s - How far do we go to not kill animals: the case of rats and insects - speciesism.

- 1:44:40s - Being vegan and eating animals accidently killed: more a matter of ethics or feelings?

- 1:47:15s - Do plants suffer? … and how to measure/value suffering.

- 1:49:10s - Rapid fire questions.


Introduction BGM: "Corporate Japan" by Birocratic (http://birocratic.lnk.to/allYL)

Additional notes and links

- Tokyo Vegan Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/fr-FR/vegan-389/

- Vegan Tokyo: https://vegantokyo.org/

- ciplantgo Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ciplantgo/

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