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DavidT
Apr 7th, 2009, 01:26 PM
How much do you consider what happens to your money once it's left your hands?

For instance, would you have a clear conscience buying food sourced from Carmel Agrexco?

If you have to question the question, then I suggest you either need to do some research or you're happy to support a desperately murderous regime.

Have an MBNA credit card? Yes? Buy Esso fuel? So you're perfectly content funding the American republican party and were an avid supporter of George Bush? Or are you unaware of the connection?

Maybe you bank with Barclays. They fund Huntingdon Life Sciences, which gets paid to torture animals. Monsanto, DuPont, Dow, Exxon and many more are HLS customers, which is enough to put you off them straight away.

What I'm saying is, every purchase you make has an influence, either locally through supporting virtual monopolies like Tesco or pro-actively keeping your friendly organic farmer in business. Also, probably the worst, through helping corporations involved in violence. There are too many to list.

Your money is the only democracy you have left. A vote once every few years makes no difference - the government still get in.

You're already making a huge statement with your veganism - but don't let it stop at food. Make positive choices with your money.

Positive stories welcome.

Spud Addict
Apr 7th, 2009, 02:12 PM
I have to admit the first thing I thought when I saw the title of this thread was "I wish I knew!"
But silliness aside, this is very thought provoking, and yes I often think about what I'm funding when I buy stuff. Although admittedly I do do more thinking than I do spending in the right places. I'd like to make more of an effort to spend wisely and more ethically, supporting the right things and so on, but it will be a while before I can afford to live out of health food shops or small independent businesses.
Thanks for the food for thought though, DavidT. :)

Jiffy
Apr 7th, 2009, 02:21 PM
All my major financial arrangements, Mortgage, ISAa, pension etc are with the CO-OP. On the downside my Mrs does shop at evilTesco.

DavidT
Apr 7th, 2009, 02:29 PM
All my major financial arrangements, Mortgage, ISAa, pension etc are with the CO-OP. On the downside my Mrs does shop at evilTesco.

My daughter once asked me for recommendations for managing her money, ISA etc and I said the Co-op/Smile. She switched and, in the process, saved a bit of money and found the cash benefits of being an 'account whore' - always looking for the better deal. So my advice, half-a-dozen account swaps later, had unintended consequences!

Keep trying to steer her away from Te$co, Jiffy! ;)

Edit: This (http://veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23217) is a timely thread more-or-less concerned with this one.

leedsveg
Apr 7th, 2009, 02:38 PM
You're already making a huge statement with your veganism - but don't let it stop at food.

Hi DavidT

You make some very interesting, important and valid points and I speak as someone who used to work for Agrexco.

Without trying to divert this thread onto a 'What is a vegan?' debate, I think you remind us that there is much more to living an ethical life than our choice of diet. :thumbsup:

DavidT
Apr 7th, 2009, 02:40 PM
Hi DavidT

You make some very interesting, important and valid points and I speak as someone who used to work for Agrexco.

Without trying to divert this thread onto a 'What is a vegan?' debate, I think you remind us that there is much more to living an ethical life than our choice of diet. :thumbsup:

Thank you.

Zero
Apr 7th, 2009, 02:59 PM
Have you ever shopped at Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda or any other supermarket?
Does your car have tires on it?
Do the co-op not own a supermarket that sells meat and other animal products?
Do you buy everything fair trade? (Is that even possible?)
This list could go on forever but I will stop there.......

It is the system and current world view that is flawed, these things you mention are the symptoms of it, not the cause.

Sure it is great to consider where your money goes, and as much as I support my local markets and places like the One Earth Shop and others like it going, I am also going to use my money to keep vegan options alive in my local tesco, because if no one buys it then it is assumed there is no demand and veganism is pushed away from the mainstream.

DavidT
Apr 7th, 2009, 03:32 PM
I am also going to use my money to keep vegan options alive in my local tesco, because if no one buys it then it is assumed there is no demand and veganism is pushed away from the mainstream.

I can't quite accept that. I know what you're getting at but frankly, Tesco needs to be split up - they're almost a monopoly and are not in the least interested in nutrition or, indeed, their customers beyond extracting as much money as possible, as fast as possible, from them.

They should be given no encouragement in their present set-up. You are supporting an oppressive model of business and, if you're happy with that, so be it but for me a very small part of veganism is a reaction to such corporate excess.

There are also so many examples of larger, less ethical corporation swallowing smaller, more ethical ones simply to get on the bandwagon. You cannot buy ethics.


Have you ever shopped at Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda or any other supermarket?
Yes in the past - but I have eliminated virtually all supermarket shopping now. It takes time but it can be done. I had to visit a supermarket on Saturday for washing soda, there was no other place in town. I think I spent a euro there...


Does your car have tires on it?
No, it has tyres. :smile:


Do the co-op not own a supermarket that sells meat and other animal products?

It does. I don't shop at the Co-op. Until we can get people thinking about their money more, they will find that the Co-op is the 'least bad' of the bunch and as such is a step in the right direction. I'd sooner see every vegan shop at the Co-op than one shop at Tesco. Now that would be a way to change things!


Do you buy everything fair trade? (Is that even possible?)
I try but no, it's not possible yet.

On a personal level, we grow a lot of our own food and we have local organic farmers.

My spending priorities are (not in any deliberate order): <vegan - organic - fair trade - local - recycled or second hand - in glass or paper or loose - recyclable> and I try to find the best combination of these.


It is the system and current world view that is flawed, these things you mention are the symptoms of it, not the cause.
This is true.

As I intimated, with the draconian public order laws now in place plus no real representation along with the corporatisation of society, spending is almost the only form of protest these days.

Interesting answer, Zero. Thanks. I wish I had a bit more time to debate it. I'll try if you like.

Zero
Apr 7th, 2009, 04:24 PM
I can't quite accept that. I know what you're getting at but frankly, Tesco needs to be split up - they're almost a monopoly and are not in the least interested in nutrition or, indeed, their customers beyond extracting as much money as possible, as fast as possible, from them.

They should be given no encouragement in their present set-up. You are supporting an oppressive model of business and, if you're happy with that, so be it but for me a very small part of veganism is a reaction to such corporate excess.

There are also so many examples of larger, less ethical corporation swallowing smaller, more ethical ones simply to get on the bandwagon. You cannot buy ethics.


Yes in the past - but I have eliminated virtually all supermarket shopping now. It takes time but it can be done. I had to visit a supermarket on Saturday for washing soda, there was no other place in town. I think I spent a euro there...


Perhaps you would like to explain the difference between Tesco and any other large corporation? I am serious in asking this not because I want to debate for the sake of it but because your posts seem to suggest that you are privy to some sort of esoteric information that the rest of us are not.

As I said, I support my local independent businesses as much as I can, but there are certain things I can only get from Tesco (some due to availability and some due to pricing).

If Tesco gets broken into pieces then who will take their place? Someone else will surely be waiting to step up. Since money isn't likely to be abolished anytime soon, what is the long term solution?

If we all stopped shopping in the large "unethical supermarkets" would the small independent places not eventually become the new "Tesco" at some point?

If so, should there be some sort of restriction on how large companies are allowed to grow?

Of course...... I am not saying that the fact that I need to and choose to do some of my shopping with the larger companies is a "free for all" to just buy the worst unethical products around, however I am doing my part to keep small business going and support vegan products on the mainstream supermarkets as I feel both of the these things are important.

You're not a grocer by any chance are you? :)

bradders
Apr 7th, 2009, 05:06 PM
my position on this is quite aside from veganism. I avoid M&S first off for a multitude of reasons including excessive support for the Israeli state. (Israel in its present form should never have been created. I do not have anything against all of Israeli citizens either. However the actions against the Pallestinian people are unjustified, provoke further violence which is also dealt with with disproportionate and ilegal force [would be illegal if they signed up to the International Criminal Court]) Then there is the production of clothes (a considerable portion of which is sourced from sources where workers are treaded on a similar or sometimes even worse basis than those working for Primark/ Pennys providers). I avoid the biggest chains where I can (Asda/ WalMart and Tesco especially) and those where the people working there are treated the worst (Morrisons) and denied appropriate union rights etc. In Ireland there used to be little choice where we lived. The main choices being Dunnes Stores, Tesco (eventually), Aldi (eventually) and Super-Valu. Dunnes paid a reasonable wage if you worked there for a few years (anual loyalty incriment + bonus + discount). Tesco paid better initially and allowed better union freedom, flextime etc but without as big an anual incriment. Aldi paid incredibly good wages for retail and staff had apropriate union rights. The Super-Valu (locally held franchise of Musgrave) paid minimum wage only, failed to pay all hours work, frequently failed to provide statutory breaks, had no additional staff benefits or bonuses and were actively discouraged from joining the union. Dunnes was the biggest retailer in the country and we used to shop there but only because my mother had a staff discount. The quality was atrocious and was not good value without the discount. Tesco was our second choice of supermarket and even with the discount often proved cheaper. We did sometimes get a few things from Aldi too. We never touched Super-Valu for all the reasons given. I would rather support two big chains if at least the real people are being treated well. Though if possible I would support smaller companies n the interests ofmaintaining good competition.

In the case of WalMart/ Asda I have bought things that I can't buy anywhere else from there (Virgin Cola and Cidona etc) but would not do my shopping there. I go to Tesco sometimes for a few things that I can't get at Sainsburys or Waitrose (cost is also a factor) I tend to buy the majority of my food from a small grocer (cheaper than the big supermarkets too). I couldn't even think about shopping at Morrisons especially after what they have done to a lot of their staff (including the events during the takeover of Safeway).

Personally the point is to think about your purchase including where the money goes, what happens to the staff along the way as much as you can. There are also good arguments for steering companies towards the few vegan products they do make away from their damaging ones.
So I take public transport, use cable rather than sky, get much of my furniture and electonics from freecycle, recycle as much as I can and reuse as much as I can. But as I'm not wealthy I do shop at Primark (why pay literally 10 times as much for something produced with the same or worse human treatment?) for the clothes I need when I can't get them second hand and I do buy some things from supermarkets.
The issue of the shop selling meat is not important (it is but in a different way but not relevant to the purchace) as buy buying vegan products there we are shifting demand to vegan products and away from meat. This we hope leads to bigger stocks of vegan goods, reduced stocks of meat etc and more marketing of the products that are vegan.

But we do often forget the uman cost of our choices and it important to consider them where possible.

DavidT
Apr 7th, 2009, 05:21 PM
Perhaps you would like to explain the difference between Tesco and any other large corporation?

In my eyes, not much; Tesco is is just a particularly nasty example. Who made your computer screen, for instance? I bought a screen back in 1991 made by Hitachi. I was horrified later to find out about their involvement in armaments and so resolved never to buy from them or their subsidiaries again (unless they reformed their company). Eventually, it doesn't leave you with much choice and you have to choose the 'least bad' to get the job done.

I'm just a believer in strict regulation of businesses. I hate the American idea of 'personhood' for limited companies, the unaccountability of them, the disproportionate influence they have on everyone, their bribery, their dictating of laws, their absolvement of responsibilities whilst assuming rights, the way commerce is run for the absolute reason of profit with little or no concern for society. Phew.


I am serious in asking this not because I want to debate for the sake of it but because your posts seem to suggest that you are privy to some sort esoteric information that the rest of us are not.

I don't think so! And would I tell you if I was? ;) No, it's all opinion, I'm afraid, coupled with some kind of drive, principle-wise, that's hard to explain, along with a stupidly large amount of reading of the likes of Noam Chomsky, George Monbiot, Naomi Klein and similar commentators.

I apologise if my posts come out like that. I'll try harder to be clearer.


If Tesco gets broken into pieces then who will take their place? Someone else will surely be waiting to step up. Since money isn't likely to be abolished anytime soon, what is the long term solution?

If we all stopped shopping in the large "unethical supermarkets" would the small independent places not eventually become the new "Tesco" at some point?

If so, should there be some sort of restriction on how large companies are allowed to grow?

I believe that having 25% or more of a market is considered a monopoly and as such deemed illegal - so why is Tesco still one single company?

Think about vegans all shopping at the one place, let's say the Co-op. The Co-op would have to stock what those vegans want. The share of vegan products would increase. Pressure by vegans could be put on the Co-op to cut back and eventually stop stocking meat. Unlikely but worth pursuing.

Companies should be required to be 'ethical'. Unfortunately, companies dictate the law. Therein lies the real problem.


You're not a grocer by any chance are you? :)

No, a typesetter/graphic designer and so spend a lot of my time getting bored with routine work and hence being on fora. I am on the side of grocers, though...

DavidT
Apr 7th, 2009, 05:24 PM
Thanks bradders. What you're thinking about is what the thread is largely about.

It's great to hear about such actions.

Johnstuff
Apr 7th, 2009, 05:27 PM
I guess that if all consumers wouldn't touch 'unethical products' then unethical products would no longer be produced/sold.

I'm trying to cut down on supermarket shopping and buy more from small (more ethical?) shops. I'm lucky that I can sort of afford to.

One problem (for me) is that even the small wholefood shops seem to sell meat, kind of stops me feeling too commited to them.

It is important to point out what companies are very dodgy as they are very good at hiding their crimes. If cheap T shirts had pictures of the children forced to make them on the labels, not many people would buy them. Same with animal products, the suffering is behind closed doors. It's all part of the messed up system of lies that our society seems built on.

DavidT
Apr 7th, 2009, 05:38 PM
One problem (for me) is that even the small wholefood shops seem to sell meat, kind of stops me feeling too commited to them.

I've found that too but they are usually much more willing to listen to their customers.

I've talked about several controversial take-overs of more ethical products with our local whole food shop. For instance, I pointed out about the Burt's Bees products fiasco (not that I'd buy such products) and now they're not stocked.

That's one in the eye for Chlorox and a step in the right direction for veganism, providing the the shop doesn't just replace Burt's Bees products with another creature-derived product.

I've pointedly told them Green and Blacks is no go, that Kallo foods are part of another huge conglomerate, I won't buy Granose or Realeat stuff or Ecover etc etc. I'm still a good customer of theirs, on good terms. This you can do when you talk to the owner.

I've also pointed them in the right direction for 'even more' ethical products, which they now stock and sell.

You/I might become a pain doing this. There again, you/I might help them create a successful business with true ethical values.

bradders
Apr 7th, 2009, 05:41 PM
Agreed, knowing what customers want helps the business. If there are fewer customers then you have a bigger say.

Though on the purely vegan side of things I wouldn't want to ghettoise our lifestyle so that we are no longer able to shop in the mainstream.

Buddha Belly
Apr 7th, 2009, 05:54 PM
This whole argument really winds me up everytime it comes up again. It is brilliant to be completely socially aware and caring with your money. Great. Get by on f*** all cash. Have 10-15 per week for food/ toiletries and see how long that lasts in a socially friendly shopping trip.
I do not think there are any vegans who deliberately shop at supermarkets to make them bigger or deliberately fund capitalistic pig dogs after going through many differant companies first.
I am a socialist and do not think there should be any large companies that are not state controlled or take part in unethical practices. But that is not an option at the moment whilst most of this country is unaware or give a shit about it. My only local shop that is socially and ethically aware is so bloody expensive we would be eating lentils and chickpeas all day everyday, it is also owned by carnivours.
I know a vegan who occassionally eats non vegan food as he has to eat out of FUCKING SKIPS as he can not afford vegan food. Everyone should get off their high horses and look at the reality that everyone else has to live with. It is good that some are financially able to live by a strict moral code but that is not always possible and i find threads like this pillorise and belittle some people's attempts at a better life.

Dig at nearly any company and dirt will arise. That is due to large companies purchasing parts of companies to maximise profits. Breaking up Tesco would leave the way for ASDA to take over until they get broken up and Sainsbury's take over. In the current political system there is always someone to step up and try to take control. Destroying individual companies does not change the system or make things better. It makes the system think of better and smarter ways to take our money and rule our lifes.
EVERY single UK supermarket sells Israeli foods from settlers farms. Even the co-op. To boycott just M&S is a little swipe at the bigger issue. To boycott one shop when nearly every shop is just as guilty for just as many crimes is hypocritical and merely pushes the money into another evil direction.

Anywaybored now as i can rant on for ages and i have probably pee'd you all off.

leedsveg
Apr 7th, 2009, 06:01 PM
(Israel in its present form should never have been created. I do not have anything against all of Israeli citizens either.


Hi Bradders

I don't want to hijack this thread or go off at a tangent and I would imagine that most if not all of this thread's readers are horrified by Israel's recent (and not so recent) actions and so it's easy to see why a boycott of Israel is called for. But should Israel have been created at all, if so, in what form?

Buddha Belly
Apr 7th, 2009, 06:07 PM
Israel should never have been created but it has. We can argue over what should of been done but that will change nothing at all. The arguement should be over what could be done to change Israel's behaviour and make Israel adhere to international law and treat it's inhabitants and neighbours fairly. This could only be done if Israel's neighbours also agree to adhere to international laws and not fund attacks in Israel.

bradders
Apr 7th, 2009, 06:08 PM
(I genuinely believe it immoral to create a religious based country and that is what Israel is. A safe haven from persecution on the other hand is fine but wouldn't we all like that. As for where or from what, if Britain, the US, UN et al wanted to create the state they should have used land in their own countries (not including colonies and managed land) but generally it is my position that it should not have been created. ) Now that it has theoretically the only solution is amalgamation with the rest of Palestine and Jordan et al with a power sharing system of government. Religion/state ties, national service etc need to be abolished immediately.

As for the M&S issue, I avoid Israeli exports generally but there are larger issues with that particular company and its direct support for Israel. This in my case causes an issue as some of my family live in Israel and consider themselves to be Israeli. Some of them farm fruit for a living and it is this very fruit that I boycott.

I do agree that if you aren't well off then there is little choice out there and for many supermarkets allow people to have enough to eat on a very tight budget.

Buddha Belly
Apr 7th, 2009, 06:13 PM
A lot of Jews had settled there before the creation of Israel after WWII. It was a magnet for all the European and US jews since the late 19th centuary who bought up a lot of unworkable land from the Syrian landowners. It was an easy solution to ratify the calls for nationhood than to find an alternative option for the Jewish question. Saying that a lot of the settlers would of refused to move to another country as they saw it as their 'homeland'.

bradders
Apr 7th, 2009, 06:24 PM
A bit like saying that a French businessman would have the right to the land in Ireland if he bought it from the British land owners though. As for unworkable land, working that land has caused no end of ecological problems including the draining of the lakes and seas. As for the 'Jewish Question' really it was a matter for the nations to get rid of religious prejudice in their own countries before encouraging the development of an even more oppressive state that requires huge amounts of financial aid to continue.

Buddha Belly
Apr 7th, 2009, 06:49 PM
The Frenchman would have rights to the land if he bought it from the recognised landowner. Syria was the recognised landowner then. Besides one Frenchman a country does not make.

I did not state and do not believe that Israel should exist as a country. I was stating what was happening to the area in that time. Which explains why there was such a high number of resident Jews able to try to revolt against Palestinian rule in the early and mid 20th C. Part of the reason for the Balfour declaration was a pre-war agreement for Jewish independance on condition that Palestines' Jew's fought against Axis powers also willing to to offer this same agreement. The US was seriously looking into part of Washington and Oregon being a new homeland for Jewish settlers. The main call for Israel as a country came from Britain originally ( I think Disraeli was an proponant of the modern Zionist homeland movement) then was taken up by US based Jewish communities that had huge amounts of power and voting blocks for all US elections. Huge movements to Palestine had been happening since the mid 19th C. and was part of the Zionist dream of escaping persecuation and try to recreate one of the only times the Jewish people was not murdered for being Jewish (that often).


Back then there was no real inquiries into what is best for a potential countries future, for example Rwanda was split into geographical lines rather than a western designated tribal boundry.

Israel has been a mess for the length of it's existance and there is unlikely to be anything that will resolve it for generations. The entire area breeds hate and disdain for what each other thinks and stands for.

bradders
Apr 7th, 2009, 07:01 PM
one Frenchman does not a country make but the right of the syrian land owners to the land would be similar to the British Land owners in Ireland who were recognised legally but many would disagree with the legitimacy of this.

creating Zion in any country is wrong and is still segregation. As an answer to the question the creation of such a state is just getting them out of the way.

bradders
Apr 7th, 2009, 07:02 PM
anyway all of this is getting far away from the topic.

Buddha Belly
Apr 7th, 2009, 07:03 PM
I know but I don't get to have a good discussion with you that often.