ethics in food

4

Consumers Aren’t Confused, You’re Just Upset That We Like It Better

I’ve been thinking about stuff like this all week. People complaining about how labeling vegan products as “milk” or “sausage” or “meat” etc. is somehow deceptive and confusing for consumers.

Meanwhile I’ve never seen someone buy peanut butter when they meant to buy dairy butter. I’ve never seen someone buy a can of coconut milk when they meant to buy dairy milk. I’ve never seen someone confuse the flesh of a young coconut for animal flesh. These are foods that have existed, and have kept the same name, for years and yet have not rustled anyone to the point of writing poorly-penned NPR articles about it or posting passive aggressive tweets about plants being “naughty”.

Using words typically associated with animal products to describe plant-based products IS NOT a new thing. People are only butthurt about it now because these popular non-animal based products are a challenge to the profit they build off of exploitation. Pay attention to who produces the most content about these products being “deceptive”, because almost 100% of the time they’re also the ones making the most money off of using animals.

Farmers, sponsored nutritionists and politicians make a lot of wild claims about how these foods “confuse” people. The article on “can you legally call it milk” even cites one sponsored nutritionist who claims people are confused because they think it means anything labeled “milk” has the exact same nutrients. 

But let’s make it clear: 

1. consumers can read the label on the side of the carton. 

2. There are more reasons people purchase plant milks than just nutritional values (like cooking and convenience). The majority of people who buy dairy milk don’t do it because they “know they need their calcium”, but because it’s just a part of their everyday lives. My mom doesn’t put milk in her tea because of health concerns - she does it because that’s how she likes her tea. We might justify our eating habits by listing its nutritional value, but the majority of consumers do not eat for optimal health - they eat around a lifestyle that they and their culture has cultivated. 

3. Ever hear someone mention drinking dairy for vitamin A or vitamin D? That’s fortified, just like it is in plant milks, making the “but it doesn’t have the same nutrients” point essentially ignorant. Dairy milk, unfortified, really doesn’t have the benefits so many marketing companies boast about. What they do boast about are the fortified nutrients, and so often just omit the fact that it’s added in during processing. 

4. Plant milks are not devoid of nutritional value - like I just said, many ARE fortified, just like dairy milk is, but beyond that the ingredients chosen also have their own nutritional value. Almonds, oats, peas, cashews, soy. These are foods with nutritional benefits. The myth that plant milks lack the same essential nutrients, like calcium, or any nutritional value at all, is really just that. A myth.

And can you really convince me that people are buying sausages out of health concerns? And that meat-free alternatives aren’t healthy, if not healthier?

We get it. You’re upset that our culture is changing and progressing. But throwing a tantrum about plant-based milks, meats, condiments, or anything else is not earning you support. Your arguments are transparent and consumers are not as confused as you’d like to believe.

People are living on top of each other yet 45% of the earth’s total land mass is dedicated to animal agriculture.

We currently have enough food to feed 10 billion people, but we live in a world where 82% of starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals, and then the meat is consumed by wealthier countries.

we are struggling to feed a population yet 1.5 acres of land can provide 37,000 pounds of plant based food.
1.5 acres of land can produce 375 pounds of meat.

¾ of the world’s fisheries are depleted. Scientists estimate we may have a fishless ocean by 2048

Does anybody else see a problem with this?
Be a conscious consumer.

Vegetable Curry is done. Just use any vegetables you like, really! Ginger would taste nice too and if you have coconut cream, add this! I just didn´t have any.

theguardian.com
Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars, says expert
Study shows red meat dwarfs others for environmental impact, using 28 times more land and 11 times water for pork or chicken
By Damian Carrington

Beef’s environmental impact dwarfs that of other meat including chicken and pork, new research reveals, with one expert saying that eating less red meat would be a better way for people to cut carbon emissions than giving up their cars.

The heavy impact on the environment of meat production was known but the research shows a new scale and scope of damage, particularly for beef. The popular red meat requires 28 times more land to produce than pork or chicken, 11 times more water and results in five times more climate-warming emissions. When compared to staples like potatoes, wheat, and rice, the impact of beef per calorie is even more extreme, requiring 160 times more land and producing 11 times more greenhouse gases…

i hate that when it comes to ethical food choices people always have that ‘well you do you, but don’t tell others what to do/eat’ attitude…

like how does this make sense? all other kinds of activism include changing OTHER people’s behaviour. gay rights activism focuses on stopping other people from being homophobic, BLM focuses on stopping other people from being racist, and so on, and it’s common sense to understand why they want to influence other people who are being hurtful towards a specific group.

so what’s the problem with animal rights activists/vegans who tell people to change their behaviour? why is this specific kind of activism suddenly an issue of ‘well you do what you want but don’t tell ME what to do’…

probably the biggest flaw in veganism is that chickens and cows would be rendered completely useless without those industries. like I’m not advocating for factory farming and large scale diary and poultry corporations; we definitely need local and ethical farms.

but if everyone went full vegan, domestic cows and chickens and pigs would go extinct because there’d be no use in keeping them around other than for pleasure, which very few people would do, and because they can’t live in the wild on their own. 

So I work at a sort of very ethical worker-run natural foods store, and as you can imagine it’s very hippie-ish and liberal but I just love the fact that I get these older women who come in and say stuff like “oh I’m just waiting on my wife” or “I have to hide these chocolate bars from my wife because she’ll eat them all” or today this woman was like “I’m hungry. I’m gonna eat this apple now so the rest of the food actually makes it home to my girlfriend.” But these people are so casual about it. It’s just so natural and normal and every time I see these older married gay couples and stuff just doing normal grocery shopping and crap it makes me so happy.

Slip ups

Every vegan accidentally eats some type of animal product at some point or another, don’t feel like you have to restart your timeline! You’re still vegan! Accidents happen to everyone and it’s nothing to be ashamed of!