Gransnet forums

Other subjects

The ethics of where vegans buy food

(125 Posts)
StarDreamer Sun 03-Jul-22 10:20:13

I refer to three posts in another thread.

The final two posts on page 26 and the first post on page 27 of that thread.

www.gransnet.com/forums/pensions/1309446-Diary-of-a-benefit-claimant?pg=26

www.gransnet.com/forums/pensions/1309446-Diary-of-a-benefit-claimant?pg=27

The first of those posts raises an issue, yet provides no specific suggestion of an alternative.

Nevertheless the issue does concern me. But what can one do when, as far as I know, all supermarkets sell non-vegan food and many companies who produce vegan food also produce non-vegan food too?

Widening the discussion, I have read of vegans who will not sit down to eat at the same table where anybody is eating non-vegan food. So the widespread concept of going to, say, a dinner of a society and choosing the 'vegetarian' (sic) option and being seated at the same table as the m-word eaters does not work.

Yet is this any different from people in a debate refusing to speak from the same platform as someone whose views they oppose? I remember on television news some video of a debate where one then well-known politician leapt from the platform where someone had stated views he regarded as beyond the pale and spoke standing in front of the platform rather than speak from the same platform.

So is this an issue of guilty by association? If so, how can a vegan avoid that while still getting food to eat?

At what distance does someone have responsibility for things, morally rather than legally?

Please note that I am not posting this in the hope of replies in the nature of "Don't worry StarDreamer, you are doing what you can as best you can", I am interested in the ethics of the situation in the world as it is.

I am interested in the views of both vegans and non-vegans. People may, but need not, mention whether they are vegan or not vegan.

I hope that nobody claims this to be a thread about a thread. This thread is not a thread about another thread, it simply references in this thread three posts in that thread that are off-topic for that thread so that the ethics of the situation can be discussed in this thread without disrupting that thread.

NotSpaghetti Sun 03-Jul-22 10:27:42

Sorry, these links don't work.
Are you asking about the ethics of buying from companies that aren't totally vegan?

Cs783 Sun 03-Jul-22 10:34:37

I’m currently subscribed to a newsletter from the vegan-encouraging site Veganuary’ and here’s their take:

‘WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE VEGAN?

The most widely accepted definition of veganism comes from The Vegan Society. They define veganism as:

“A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals.”

The key part to remember is “as far as is possible and practicable.” We live in an imperfect world and it’s almost impossible to live our lives in a way that doesn’t affect animals whatsoever.

At Veganuary, we believe it’s more important that more people do their best than do nothing at all. We should never let perfection be the enemy of the good!‘

KatieKnitsSocks Sun 03-Jul-22 10:44:14

For ease, I'll repeat what I wrote before in response to something on the other thread about shopping at Tesco:

*

I am reluctant to derail as this is about benefits but you wrote elsewhere about being a vegan. Recently, I wrote about soy and the serious damage it does to the environment and to children’s development***.

The last place a vegan should be shopping is Tesco. They have THE worst record on animal welfare. Please look at this Open Cage report on cruelty to chickens.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7h9MiH2gsY

Also Grocery Gazette have reported on major meat and dairy suppliers who are keeping animals in conditions which create the ideal breeding ground for new diseases and a future pandemic including companies which supply Tesco.

www.grocerygazette.co.uk/2022/02/22/tesco-suppliers-pandemic/

As a vegan you won’t be eating chicken but by supporting Tesco you are supporting cruel practices.

If you care about animals please consider shopping elsewhere.

*

* That was on a discussion about tornados and the reasons for climate change so I wrote about the destruction of rainforest to grow soy.

I’m a vegan and campaigner on animal welfare and environmental issues. I presented the facts in case people are unaware about Tesco cruelty. The truth is very different to what the company wants the public to believe. When other supermarkets comply with requests from animal welfare organsations to clean up their practices, it is always, always Tesco who resist or refuse.

Having the facts means you can weigh up which is more important and necessary to you if trying to find an acceptable compromise between budget and convenience and a commitment to animal welfare. It can be a hard choice if options are limited but there are usually other shopping options available. There are more responsible supermarket chains and several veg box companies who deliver.

I am a vegan but I also believe in freedom of choice. I don’t tell other people what to eat and what not to eat. I only seek to present the facts about retailers so that people can make their own buying decisions.

StarDreamer Sun 03-Jul-22 10:50:16

The links are to the page, not specifically to the particular posts.

Or are you saying that you don't even get the page please?

In reply to your question, yes, that is the issue. I get my groceries delivered by Tesco. The food I buy is vegan, yet Tesco sells non-vegan food too and the poster in the other thread wrote as follows.

> As a vegan you won’t be eating chicken but by supporting Tesco you are supporting cruel practices.

This has rather upset me, I could say that I am not supporting Tesco, I am not a shareholder in Tesco, I (just) buy food from Tesco. But it is an issue, perhaps for other vegans too. I know that this has been an issue over whether The Vegan Society should allow its certification mark to be used on a vegan product if the producer also produces non-vegan products. The debate being whether allowing it is encouraging moving to vegan rather than take an "all or nothing stance".

A related issue is over vegan products that are produced as faux looks-like tastes-like vegan versions of non-vegan products. That is what one might herein call the "vegan chicken" issue.

Does one take the line that as a vegan one wants nothing that relates to horror food, or does one take the view that if that helps people become vegans then that is good?

One issue where I differ in my views from the stance of The Vegan Society is of them wanting the word milk to be used on vegan substitutes. They want it, I oppose it. So does the dairy industry, but i am not siding with them, my view is both that it leads to confusion as to what is vegan and what is not and also I don't want that word on my food. I know there is coconut milk, I know, I know. smile

StarDreamer Sun 03-Jul-22 10:55:18

To KatieKnitsSocks You could repeat your second post too.

Casdon Sun 03-Jul-22 10:59:26

There’s only one answer. Grow all your own food. Anything else is a compromise.

StarDreamer Sun 03-Jul-22 11:05:23

KatieKnitsSocks wrote I am a vegan but I also believe in freedom of choice. I don’t tell other people what to eat and what not to eat. I only seek to present the facts about retailers so that people can make their own buying decisions.

Yet you accused me of supporting cruel practices.

Yet you have not as yet presented any facts.

You wrote When other supermarkets comply with requests from animal welfare organsations to clean up their practices, it is always, always Tesco who resist or refuse.

I am not saying whether you are right or wrong in your claims about Tesco. I am not seeking to defend Tesco. You have the opportunity to present facts.

I have an open mind to consider what you present.

StarDreamer Sun 03-Jul-22 11:07:45

Casdon

There’s only one answer. Grow all your own food. Anything else is a compromise.

Yet what if the seed supplier also supplies fertiliser made from bits of animals?

Casdon Sun 03-Jul-22 11:09:12

If you get your first seeds from another gardener you can use your own in future years - you don’t need to buy anything from anybody.

StarDreamer Sun 03-Jul-22 11:10:38

Well done! grin

KatieKnitsSocks Sun 03-Jul-22 11:17:46

I am going to bow out of this discussion as you said you did not want confrontation and neither do I. All I asked was that you watch the video in the youtube link which is Open Cages investigation into cruelty to chickens in Tesco factories. It is only three and half minutes long.

Chardy Sun 03-Jul-22 11:31:15

As a veggie, I do the best I can, as I'm sure we all do in other walks of life, particularly here as a parent and grandparent, and at work.
In different ways we encourage, we seek to be social activists in animal welfare, and to enlighten supermarkets in environmental issues. Personally I don't instigate dialogue about vegetarianism, I only answer questions, and usually defer even that conversation until they've finished eating.
We can't be everything to everybody.

Blossoming Sun 03-Jul-22 11:38:53

I’m not a vegan so I have no opinion on this. I’m not into policing other people’s choices.

StarDreamer Sun 03-Jul-22 11:39:22

KatieKnitsSocks

I am going to bow out of this discussion as you said you did not want confrontation and neither do I. All I asked was that you watch the video in the youtube link which is Open Cages investigation into cruelty to chickens in Tesco factories. It is only three and half minutes long.

You opted out from discussion in the other thread, which is why, having been upset by being accused, I felt the need to start this thread as you would not.

StarDreamer Sun 03-Jul-22 11:40:52

I am not going to watch a video about cruelty.

Gongoozler Sun 03-Jul-22 11:41:04

As a vegetarian, I totally agree with Chardy and believe it is up to individual choice and conscience where each person draws their own line.

maddyone Sun 03-Jul-22 11:55:03

What happened to live and let live?

Callistemon21 Sun 03-Jul-22 12:00:55

Casdon

If you get your first seeds from another gardener you can use your own in future years - you don’t need to buy anything from anybody.

And make your own compost from the leftovers
You can even pee on it

veganorganic.net/fertilizing-with-human-urine/#:~:text=Recipe%203%3A%20Compost%20pee%20Urine,%2C%20sawdust%2C%20straw%20and%20cardboard.

Just watch out for the neighbours! 😁

StarDreamer Sun 03-Jul-22 12:07:47

I remember the Chief Executive got an interview with the Prime Minister and published a video.

I wonder if the Chief Executive could get an interview with the Chief Executive of Tesco on the topic of animal welfare and publish a video.

MissAdventure Sun 03-Jul-22 12:58:32

We all do what we want to, what we have to, and what is practical for us.

That's all there is to it, as far as I'm concerned.

I'm happy to eat a vegan diet if somebody would like to shop for ingredients, plan menus, and cook them for me, as well as footing the bill.

NotSpaghetti Sun 03-Jul-22 15:40:13

Stardreamer I get the "page has Moooved" thing - with the image of the cow.

Riverwalk Sun 03-Jul-22 16:32:59

Apart from being totally self-sufficient in food and never buying anything that has been produced by a company it's impossible not to be somehow involved in the meat trade, or any other aspect of the big food business.

The residue of Oatly, Alpro, smoothies etc mainly goes to feed livestock - so it's all part of the meat chain.

It was a few years back so don't know the latest but I remember reading an article from The Grocer about how quickly supermarkets pay their suppliers... it was a hot topic at the time. I was surprised to see that Asda were the best and the Co-op the worst! Could of course have changed in the meantime.

choughdancer Sun 03-Jul-22 19:59:22

I am a vegan, and I totally understand the near impossibility of being completely ethical! I think we all pick the bits we can do. For me Fair Trade is just as important, and it is hard to find vegan Fair Trade chocolates! I also try to buy ethical (not from USA) almonds, Fair Trade cashews and other items that don't harm people, animal or the environment.

I have no problem wearing/buying second hand wool and leather, as it does not feed the demand for it as long as I don't buy new. Many vegans have a problem with this. I also don't mind if something has been cooked next to a meat/dairy product, or with the same utensils. It won't make me ill, and I'm not feeding the demand for it. I have no problem sitting next to people eating meat for the same reason.

I buy from supermarkets and I know that this is supporting their profits which include meat and dairy, but my thinking is that if we don't encourage mainstream shops/restaurants/supermarkets to sell vegan products we are just going to end up as a group of outliers. I have heard vegan people say that it is not acceptable if people cut down on or stop eating meat/dairy/eggs for any other reason than 'for the animals', that it doesn't count. What I feel is that ANY reason for cutting back or cutting out is a big step forward.

MissAdventure Sun 03-Jul-22 20:03:27

That includes keeping animals as pets, for some vegans.
Fetishising them for our own pleasure, training them to behave how so that they fit neatly into our homes... Breeding exaggerated deformities of their natural features.

It's a fairly extreme view, but logical.