Kris Chari, a business class passenger on a seven-hour Japan Airlines flight, claimed he was served a single banana as a vegan meal during the flight’s first meal service, Business Insider reports.
Chari was on his way to Tokyo, Japan, from Jakarta, Indonesia, in February, according to Business Insider. He claimed to have requested a “vegetarian and vegan meal,” as stated on the Japan Airlines website. The website features a selection of vegetarian options consistent with Hindu, Muslim and Jain beliefs, as well as a vegan option, each appearing as a complete meal in the page’s photographs.
But according to Chari, while non-vegetarian passengers were served seared tuna, Moroccan-style eggplant salad, cheese and a baguette, he was only given a banana and a pair of chopsticks.
“It’s a bit insulting to be served just one banana while others are offered a much larger and tastier menu,” he told Business Insider, sharing a photo of the undersized meal. “This seems particularly important given the growth in the number of vegans and vegetarians. »
While many people become vegetarian or vegan for health reasons, some are concerned about the effect of raising animals for food on the environment. Greenpeace reports that eating meat is an inefficient use of agricultural land and directly leads to deforestation, as trees are cut down to make room for livestock.
But in a society built for meat eaters, it can be difficult to transition to a plant-based diet. Japan Airlines isn’t the only organization with disappointing vegan cuisine. Business Insider also reported last August that Air Canada served only water to a vegan passenger on a 10-hour flight. Meanwhile, schools are just starting to offer plant-based proteins in school lunches.
A Japan Airlines representative told Business Insider: “We apologize for not being able to meet expectations” for a suitable vegan menu. “We will continue to respond to our menus in light of the growing interest and diverse needs of customers requesting special meals, including this customer’s valuable feedback. »
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