Supermarkets - angels or demons?
We've had a few comments from supporters questioning why we namecheck supermarket products in our recipes - for a number of reasons, ranging from those companies record on animals, human health, the environment etc. For the record, we love to support independents and all-vegan companies. We namecheck their products too. But there are other things to consider. A bunch of us were chatting over the work kettle recently and came up with these ideas. What do you think?
- Every major food outlet sells meat, whether horse, chicken, cow, pig, sheep and more - all these animals suffer, not to mention the impact their consumption has on the environment and on human health. But consumer demand is changing what these businesses sell, eg more vegan products than ever before - including vegan cheese, yoghurt, milks, desserts, ice cream. Every vegan item sold means one less portion of animal cruelty and environmental destruction and - usually - much better health.
- We don't believe it is realistic to avoid the use of supermarket products as that is where the majority of people do their shopping. Many of us don't have anything but a supermarket, what with 'food deserts' and the loss of independent shops. Many of us don't have a local health food shop and not all of us are able to do online shopping either.
- There are many types of vegans now and we want to appeal to them all - which is why we have such a huge variety of recipes on the Vegan Recipe Club. We also find that many people tweak and change their diet over time - but that they would never get on the 'vegan bus' in the first place if there were too many 'forbidden items.' Basically, we try to cater for all sorts and our recipes reflect this - and they range from raw, wholefood and macrobiotic to vegan convenience food and a bit of vegan junkfood!
- Last but not least... this comment from a colleague was so spot-on I quoted him verbatim. It's actually important for vegans to buy from supermarkets and mainstream shops. If vegans only bought from small wholefoods shops, then supermarkets wouldn't carry the vegan products, and thus the majority of people - who shop at supermarkets - won't ever see those products and get the impression that veganism is less common than it is. Also having vegan products prominently visible in supermarkets exposes the general public to veganism, which could get them curious and potentially help them eventually transition towards veganism, which might not have happened if the products weren't there.