Being a compassionate, ethical vegan is something one should be extremely proud of. It takes great effort to be an ethical vegan consumer, even today when we are seeing a spike in the availability of products on the market. Grocery stores, fast food chains, beauty products etc., the rise of vegan product availability is growing rapidly every day and companies are at the ready looking for ways to capitalize on this increasing market.
With this new surge of availability comes an issue I've witnessed through being a member of various vegan / vegetarian groups on social media, the issue of ethics when it comes to purchasing products versus supporting the product to send a message that vegan options are both necessary and welcome. An example of this is McDonald's now testing a beyond meat burger at select locations across South Western Ontario. While many are celebrating McDonald's FINALLY making an effort to join in on the vegan market, there are an equal amount of people who are less than impressed because of the company's track record with poor animal welfare and the fact that they admitted the burger would be cooked on the same grill as their meat burgers.
When do ethics trump consumerism when it comes to veganism?
I applaud those who have taken this pledge to abstain from animal products altogether and spend their days fighting for change. I fit somewhere in this spectrum in terms of my consumerism and ethics. I still consume cheese and eggs which is hypocritical because I also spend my days on this blog protesting the abuses of animals. With that being said, I don't wear animal products, I avoid products tested on animals, and I eat vegan meals often but I could never label myself a vegan because it would be untrue. I consider myself an ethical person, one who cares deeply for the rights of animals and their well being although I am nowhere near the level of commitment I've witnessed through the social media groups I am a part of.
What I HAVE witnessed though is a constant back and forth between vegans about whether ethics trump supporting vegan products at chains / companies when their morals or methods of production contradict compassionate beliefs. Cooking burgers on the same grill as their meat counterparts, frying their veggie nuggets / burgers in the same oil as chicken or fish, buying a line of vegan "meats" from a company that otherwise slaughters hundreds of thousands of pigs every day. Where do we draw the line when it comes to ethics?
Interestingly, it's often very easy to say no to these product lines from meat based companies because we claim it goes against our moral compass but in the same token, are we not doing this exact thing when we purchase the beyond burger from A&W or the Impossible Whopper from Burger King? These companies also happen to slaughter millions of animals every year but we insist on purchasing these products because we want these fast food chains to know the value of introducing more vegan products. I find myself wondering though, do we expect them to continue to release more and more vegan products? Do we expect them to suddenly stop killing animals? What are our intentions? We won't purchase mock meats from companies that factory farm animals but we'll purchase burgers from chains that slaughter animals from factory farms? As I said, it's a slippery slope.
For me personally, I think it all boils down to our own morals and what we're comfortable with. I think it's important to purchase the products from these fast food chains because it signals to them that there is not only a desire for these products but that they can be lucrative. For too long, vegetarians and vegans have been left out of the fast food market so it's important to show these companies how important it is to cater to this market for their own benefit and the benefit of those of us who still want that cheat meal. When it comes to factory farms that introduce their own vegan line of meats, the answer is a resounding no from me. Is it hypocritical? Yes, 100%, but it's what makes me feel comfortable. When products like Impossible foods or Beyond meat are organically vegan in their operations, there's no need to purchase these other mock meats from companies that in my opinion, are simply capitalizing on an opportunity and have no ethical background whatsoever.
So now I'm curious, where do you guys stand on this?
Australia has passed bills finally recognizing the sentience of animals for the first time in their history. Learn more under the ANIMAL NEWS page!
Democrats in the US have introduced two bill aimed at protecting endangered species after a recent allowance President Trump made of a lion trophy into the United States. Learn more under the ANIMAL NEWS tab!
Zimbabwe's first female anti-poaching unit is boasting some serious success, so much so that there are 240 new recruits being trained to continue efforts to tackle poaching and protect animals. These women are amazing and deserve heaps of praise! Head to the ANIMAL NEWS page for more!
The 31st horse in under a year has died at a California race track after suffering a broken pelvis. Horses and humans have an intertwined history but our use of horses has morphed into exploitation at the expense of their well being. It's time for a ban on horse drawn carriages in major cities and a global ban on horse racing. Head to the ANIMAL NEWS page!
In complete retaliation to the Trump Admin's slimy efforts to drill for oil in the arctic, the US House of Representatives has passed a bill that will ban efforts to drill essentially protecting Polar Bears and all species residing in the Arctic. Head to the ANIMAL NEWS page!
The first Lion Trophy permitted to enter the US from Tanzania has sent a chilling message to activists who claim this will open the floodgates for more of them to come in. Head to the ANIMAL NEWS page!
The Trump administration is once again facing lawsuits after it permitted a major oil company to further its drilling in Alaska despite being aware that the beluga whales in this area are already extremely vulnerable to extinction. Read more under the ANIMAL NEWS tab.
There are so many instances of animal welfare issues on our planet but there are a few that I'm sick and tired of reporting because they should no longer be happening in this day and age. Head to the ANIMAL NEWS page for my list of need to go's when it comes to animal welfare.
Two animal welfare groups have come together to form CRUSH COCKFIGHTING, an initiative to crack down on illegal cock fighting across the United States. This barbaric "sport" is illegal and disgusting and allows roosters to physically tear one another apart for human pleasure. Learn more under the ANIMAL NEWS page!
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Jonathan - Happy Veg
Dedicated Foodie. Proud Vegetarian. Recipe Creator. Friend to all Animals.