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Thread: Where does veganism start and end?

  1. #1
    Vegan-bellydancer's Avatar
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    Default Where does veganism start and end?

    Ive changed my diet to vegan about 3 months ago.

    I quiery as to why some vegans eat products from companies that produce non vegan products as surely we are investing in the company as a whole.

    For example, If Proctor and Gamble were to come out with a eco friendly product, I still wouldn't invest my money in the company.

    How extreme should we take our veganism?

    Personally to me, I think where I'm investing my money.

    Just looking for some input on this subject as feeling a little confused from threads I've read.

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end.

    I quiery as to why some vegans eat products from companies that produce non vegan products as surely we are investing in the company as a whole.
    Hi!
    Every time you buy an apple in a regular grocery store, you put money into a company which helps generating profit for factory farm owners, slaughters and so on.

    It's great to support vegan/eco-friendly/fair trade stores and companies when "as far as practical and possible", but your question is where veganism starts/ends - and veganism starts and ends with the definition of vegan. If you add something to that veganism (like eco friendly), that 'something' is still an ethical add-on to your vegan viewpoints. Veganism as such isn't pro or con GMO, or pro/con buying an orange juice from a store/company which also manufactures/sells milk. 'Vegan' simply isn't defined that way.

    Like you, I'd prefer to support a good company/store instead of a mainstream business, but I also see the importance of eg. increasing the likelihood that semi-vegas. near-vegans and potential vegans may eat more vegan food by making good vegan meals available in regular, non-vegan restaurants. If vegans would boycott such places because they also produce/sell non-vegan meals, we would make it difficult for ourselves and others to find good vegan food when away from home.

    How extreme should we take our veganism?
    The only extreme part of being vegan is that there are still few vegans around. If you end up being 'extreme' in one way or another, that extremism must come from something else than your veganism.

    Then again, maybe there isn't something wrong with being considered 'extreme' in a society whose population use extremely large amounts of animal products?
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end.

    I think its a personal decision, I don't like to support proctor and gamble either even when they have an eco friendly product because i'd rather support a company that only sells eco friendly products rather than one that sells both types. Also because proctor and gamble tests on animals.

    I shop in a regular store that has an aisle of health foods/vegan foods and i figure the more they sell of that type of stuff, the more they'll put on the shelves. I would love an all vegan store, and it would be great not to have to read labels but until then it seems like even regular health food stores sell meat and cheese so we don't have much choice.

    I feel the same way as you though about buying a vegan product from a non vegan company, for example boca burgers have vegan and non vegan products and when I'm looking thru the freezer I'm thinking that I'm disappointed that they have veggie burgers with egg and things like that. But the good thing is that the more vegan burgers sell and the less non vegan products sell, hopefully they will end up having to change the non vegan recipes into vegan ones in order to stay in business.

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    Bad Buddhist Clueless Git's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end.

    Quote Vegan-bellydancer View Post
    How extreme should we take our veganism?
    'Lo VBD

    I think its kinda like Korn already touched upon; An 'extremist' can also be vegan but, further than meeting the definition of vegan, a vegan does not have to be anymore 'extreme'.

    Sometimes somethings seem like such a logical extension of veganism that it seems they must be a part of it. For better, or worse, it is not always true that they are.
    All done in the best possible taste ...

  5. #5
    Zero
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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end.

    If you refuse to suppose mainstream vegan / eco-friendly options how can we prove there is a demand for such products? I want to see more vegan suitable products in the mainstream market place not less.

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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end.

    Good point, if we don't buy the vegan products are the regular stores they won't stock them..

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    Vegan-bellydancer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end.

    It would be nice to not buy from regular super markets..though I have young children to feed and they are not vegan though will eat some vegan products and have some dislikes to vegan products..however I try to support independent/vegan stores and farmer markets, green grocers etc where I can.

    What about chocolate for example.?.we might buy the vegan product from for example Green And Blacks but probably a percentage of the money may go towards the milk chocolate variety so it's likely that our investments may not be very vegan friendly..just a thought anyway.

    I would like to see more variety of vegan products myself so hopefully I'm investing my money (on my part) towards companies that will hopefully benefit the vegan diet. Perhaps one day there will be more variety on the high street that will be more affordable and convenient.

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    DavidT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end.

    What's that saying? Something like, "You want to eat other animals - living, breathing, sentient creatures - yet you call me extreme?"

    VBD, a lot of good stuff has been said; this is a useful forum for that and welcome. I would love to see (and thus support) purely vegan companies and producers. There aren't many but does anyone know of a list of them? Has it ever been compiled?

    The only one that comes to mind without thinking about it is Plamil. There must be more out there!

    Green and Blacks is a prime example of companies we should not support. They started out ok and produced brilliant chocolate (though they did use dairy products in some) but selling out to Cadbury's was IMO a bad move and now they belong to Kraft, what can I say?
    "The trouble with quotes on the internet is that you can never tell if they're genuine" - Abraham Lincoln

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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end.

    Quote DavidT View Post

    The only one that comes to mind without thinking about it is Plamil. There must be more out there!

    Green and Blacks is a prime example of companies we should not support. They started out ok and produced brilliant chocolate (though they did use dairy products in some) but selling out to Cadbury's was IMO a bad move and now they belong to Kraft, what can I say?
    It would be nice to have a list of purely vegan companies (I think they are marked in the Animal Free Shopper but a list would be good as well), it makes shopping easier knowing that a company only makes vegan stuff, and its obviously good to show them support as well, but I also think its good to support companies that try to cater for vegans as well (such as Montezuma's).

    A few more for the list; Redwoods, Frys, Booja Booja, Alpro, Bute Island, So Good, All oatly products are now vegan, Just Wholefoods, Tofutti (in this county), Gomaxgo, Soyatoo, Orgran, Lazy Days, Humdinger(I think), Swedish Glace, Zero Zebra, Moo Free, The raw choc company, Natural Balance Foods, Nanas, Viana, Provamel, Taifun, Wheaty, RiceDream, Impulse.

    With regards to Green & Blacks I believe that they are endevouring buy back their shares from Cadbury/Kraft and make the company privately owned again, they have also stopped listing milk as an ingredient in their dark chocolate - but I still prefer Montezuma's.

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    DavidT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end.

    Booja Booja, yes - great company, great products. I don't know many of the rest. What about having a new thread to bring them all together?
    "The trouble with quotes on the internet is that you can never tell if they're genuine" - Abraham Lincoln

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    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end.

    That's good that the Oatly ones are all vegan, Firestorm - ISTR that they used to use non-vegan vitamin D in some of them so they must have seen the error of their ways - hurrah

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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end.

    Quote harpy View Post
    That's good that the Oatly ones are all vegan, Firestorm - ISTR that they used to use non-vegan vitamin D in some of them so they must have seen the error of their ways - hurrah
    MrFibble posted a message a while ago on a chocolate or milk thread saying that all products with a use by date of 01-01-2012 and after are vegan (due to a change in the vit D source), I emailed them to confirm at the end of May and got this back:

    Dear Firestorm,

    Thank you for your inquiry of Oatly. It is correct. All our products are now suitable for vegans.

    If you have anymore questions do not hesitate to contact us again

    Kind Regards
    Anna Persson, Oatly AB

    Its worth noting that some shops and some online shops are still using up old stock though, Veggiestuff.co.uk know about the change, but are not altering their labeling until they have sold all old stock first.

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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end.

    Quote Firestorm View Post
    It would be nice to have a list of purely vegan companies <snip>

    A few more for the list; Redwoods, Frys, Booja Booja, Alpro,
    Hi Firestorm, don't know which companies you want to have on your list, but ALPRO is owned by Dean foods, which is the largest dairy company in the world, according to Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpro

    The good thing, of course, is that you can get Alpro soy milk (or their Provamel organic brand) in many mainstream supermarkets, and that many omnis have the possibility to buy their products ...

    Best regards,
    Andy

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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end?

    OTOH, the question how 'serious' you take your veganism is a valid one IMO.

    E.g., I read a thread recently (don't know if it was on this forum or on one of the others I read) asking whether you take your own liquid soap with you, as the soap you would normally encounter in a toilet at work or in a restaurant most likely is tested on animals and made with animal ingredients.

    This consideration had never before occured to me, but I nevertheless have to say that I still have not come around getting my own vegan soap and carrying it around with me, simply for matters of convenience and having a bad memory when it comes to things like this

    Best regards,
    Andy

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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end?

    Until very recently (like a month ago) Alpro used vitamin D3 in its margarines and were very deceitful about it, some of that product would probably still be found in the shops. So I wouldn't label them a vegan company at all.

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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end?

    Quote Vegan-bellydancer View Post

    Personally to me, I think where I'm investing my money.
    By your attitude you seem to suggest that you impeccably research who owns every company that produces everything you plan to purchase, and thoroughly evaluate all their business practices. Bravo for your irreproachably vegan car, house, clothing, computer, writing utensils, etc. Please do, if you can find the time, be so kind as to post the fruits of your labors so that the rest of us may benefit from your so-pure example.

    On a serious note, I do not balk at purchasing vegan goods or services from companies that are not exclusively vegan--and this is not, as you insultingly imply, due to a lack of thought. Nor is it, as other users have implied, a sign that I don't take my vegan lifestyle seriously. It is because every time I do so I'm demonstrating that there is a demand for vegan goods in the market place. The greater this demand, the more vegan goods will be produced--and ultimately, the more visible and "normal" veganism becomes. While all-vegan companies are exciting and certainly deserve our support, the argument that all other companies are to be boycotted is, I think, rooted in a misguided desire for personal purity and superiority...in addition to being foolishly impractical.
    "You keep using that word; I don't think it means what you think it means." --Inigo Montoya

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    Vegan-bellydancer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end?

    Hi Llynn

    I appologise if you find me insulting.

    I certainly don't impeccbly research companies etc. I'm quite new to being a vegan and am just interested in others oppinions.I try to be as environmentally friendly as I can..I don't own a house(unfortunately), car, some of my clothes are pre-owned...I shop on a low budget that's why I think where my money goes

    I didn't intend to come across as insulting or claim to be pure. I was looking for some helpful comments and thought to put it in the short Newbie questions to obtain more oppinions and information.

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    Johnstuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end?

    I do feel it is better when you can to favor the more ethical (or should that be less unethical) sources for the things you require.

    It would be a shame if an ethical soya milk producer went bust because we were all buying Alpro from Asda. Ethical companies really struggle because they are trying to compete with the cowboys in this messed up system and where we can I think we should do our best to help them.

    Having said that I do often buy crap from Tesco, often for convenience. I am far from perfect and I am inconsistant with my approach.

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    Vegan-bellydancer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end?

    Quote Johnstuff View Post
    Having said that I do often buy crap from Tesco, often for convenience. I am far from perfect and I am inconsistant with my approach.
    Same as. The small differences matter though I think. I will usually go to a health shop first before hitting Tesco on days my children are not at school for convenience.

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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end?

    I agree that supporting ethical and all-vegan companies where you can is a good thing; what I am objecting to is the idea that all non-vegan companies should be boycotted. This is not productive, nor is it possible without completely removing yourself from society (if at all...). It's silly. Vegans as a demographic are so insignificant that this would have no impact whatsoever--you can see this clearly in how PETA is forced to recruit non-vegans to specific causes by coddling them. You won't be accomplishing anything, you'll just be busy climaxing over your own integrity. In order to get to the point where we are a significant force in society, we need to work with what we've got rather than alienating ourselves. It's not the most savory option, but its the only one that works.

    VBD, please forgive me as I think I was a bit harsher than necessary in my previous post; I react very passionately when I encounter what appears to be thinly veiled "more vegan than thou" condescension, of which there is plenty in our friendly little vegan community. My apologies.
    "You keep using that word; I don't think it means what you think it means." --Inigo Montoya

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    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end?

    I agree that there probably aren't enough vegans for a vegan-only boycott to make much difference but on the other hand there probably are enough to keep a certain number of vegan businesses going if they support them...

    I don't find it needs to be an either/or thing, though. I suspect most people here buy from both vegan and non-vegan companies, although there are some companies that I will go out of my way to avoid because I don't like giving them my money.

    ETA I agree with Korn though that where you buy stuff is not part of the definition of "vegan".

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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end?

    I would never boycott non-vegan companies, firstly because this limits the amount of products available to me, secondly because it would reduce the demand for vegan products made by non-vegan companies, thirdly because some products made by non-vegan companies can be cheaper than the alternative made by a vegan company (I know this sounds shallow but sometimes I just can't afford the more expensive products -Vitalite=1.02, Pure=1.57), fourthly because these products are easy to get hold of for people who want to buy things that I can use - my boss will often buy Hobnobs or Frys chocolate cream bars because he knows that they are suitable for myself and the non-vegans, and they are easy to get.

    That notwithstanding, sometimes I do prefer to buy products from purely vegan companies partly to support them (if it came to a choice between Redwood sausages and Linda McCartney and the price was similar, I would choose Redwood), but also because I can buy them safe in the knowledge that they have not changed the recipe and put milk or something in. Maybe thats just me being lazy and preferring to buy things from companies that I trust?

    I still think the idea of a list of vegan companies is good purely from a ease of shopping point of view

    I agree with Harpy about preferring not to buy from certain companies because of their ethics (mentioning no Unilevers), this is not because I am vegan, but because of the companies actions and I would do this even if I were not vegan.

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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end?

    Quote Firestorm View Post
    I would never boycott non-vegan companies, firstly because this limits the amount of products available to me, secondly because it would reduce the demand for vegan products made by non-vegan companies, thirdly because some products made by non-vegan companies can be cheaper than the alternative made by a vegan company (I know this sounds shallow but sometimes I just can't afford the more expensive products -Vitalite=1.02, Pure=1.57), fourthly because these products are easy to get hold of for people who want to buy things that I can use - my boss will often buy Hobnobs or Frys chocolate cream bars because he knows that they are suitable for myself and the non-vegans, and they are easy to get.
    PS, I know this sounds shallow but I believe that Vegan products made by non-vegan companies can be just as good as a similar product from a Vegan company

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    DavidT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end?

    Quote harpy View Post
    I agree that there probably aren't enough vegans for a vegan-only boycott to make much difference but on the other hand there probably are enough to keep a certain number of vegan businesses going if they support them...

    I don't find it needs to be an either/or thing, though. I suspect most people here buy from both vegan and non-vegan companies, although there are some companies that I will go out of my way to avoid because I don't like giving them my money.
    As usual, a sensible post from harpy; you have it right. It's not either/or - it's something like "support the all-vegan companies in preference to others, where practicable." And it's not a rule...just one suggestion; we all travel this vegan journey via our own paths.

    I agree it's good to have a range of vegan products from almost anywhere, really (maybe not everywhere...). Showing there is a demand for vegan products must surely help give totally vegan start-ups and existing totally vegan businesses more confidence.

    No-one can have a totally pure vegan life but we can all keep it in our minds as a goal for humankind.
    "The trouble with quotes on the internet is that you can never tell if they're genuine" - Abraham Lincoln

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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end?

    "you'll just be busy climaxing over your own integrity"

    Really? is this what (good) Buddhist monks do? I kind of think the "remove yourself from society" option is really the best one. To find a viable alternative to the crazy rat trap of an existence that we currently have. We know for a fact our system (cpitalism) is not sustainable and yet there is this idea that to look for an alternative you must be nuts. Problem being we get addicted to the luxuries of society and don't want to give them up, even at such a cost (the long term survival of our own species).

    Edit: sorry, there I go with my hippy ranting again

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end?

    Quote DavidT View Post
    No-one can have a totally pure vegan life but we can all keep it in our minds as a goal.
    The very definition of vegan does not demand perfection or 'purity', In 1979 The Vegan Society wrote:

    "The word 'veganism' denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practical—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives ..."

    That is something we can all adhere to and not feel guilt about not being perfect, this idea of an unattainable 'pure vegan lifestyle' is defeatist and not at all useful IMO.


    Source: "Memorandum of Association of the Vegan Society"

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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end?

    Pedant!

    "...a goal for humankind" I should have said.
    "The trouble with quotes on the internet is that you can never tell if they're genuine" - Abraham Lincoln

  28. #28
    Zero
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    Sorry Mr T. I figured it was meant in the spirit of the age so to speak.

    I just didn't want those fairly new to veganism getting the wrong idea ;-)

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    Default Re: Where does veganism start and end?

    "The trouble with quotes on the internet is that you can never tell if they're genuine" - Abraham Lincoln

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