Supermarket Veganism – Don’t Get Excited
There’s a tendency amongst some people to latch on to anything that mentions veganism – or that doesn’t mention veganism but is vegan – and run away with it over a sunset horizon, followed by a fanfare of all their favourite Disney characters, thanking the powers that be for making veganism more “mainstream.”
If this is you, I’m sorry. I hate to lift the needle on your record player, remove the vinyl playing “It’s a small, small world,” and break it over my knee into a thousand tiny pieces (actually, i’d quite enjoy that), but there is really nothing to be excited about here.
Aside from the problems inherent in these things themselves, corporate supermarket chains promoting meat-free Mondays in their free recipe books; a couple of recipes that happen to be vegan in the “vegetarian” section of their brochure – none of it means that veganism is being taken seriously. It’s merely an attempt profit off of an increased societal interest in health-related issues. Even if they mention veganism, it has nothing to do with recognising it as a moral position. It has nothing to do with making veganism as a moral position more “mainstream.” What the fuck does mainstream even mean here? The people who celebrate it likely don’t even know. How is it even possible to think of a matter of fundamental morality in terms of being “mainstream”? Can you imagine talking in those terms with respect to rape? Paedophilia?
No, seriously. Imagine it.
Oh Beryl, isn’t this great – have you seen the latest issue of Cosmopolitan? There’s an article in there talking about the mental health benefits one may experience if they abstain from rape. The feminist movement is becoming more mainstream!
Since when did the validity of animal rights rest upon whether or not corporate supermarket chains had “vegetarian” recipes in their literature that happened to be vegan? Or whether the corporate media paid lip-service to the health benefits of “plant-based” diets? These are not the rays of hope that many people seem to think they are. I enjoy a good vegan-find as much as the next person, but maintaining that these finds are representative of some societal shift towards veganism, or that they represent the ascension of veganism to the “mainstream” in some morally profound way, is both delusional and meaningless.
The reality is we have a lot of hard work ahead of us if we are going to see justice for nonhumans. The last thing we should be doing is elevating this corporate opportunism to a position of power. Enjoy the vegan nuggets you find, but don’t delude yourself into thinking that they are representative of some mass shift to veganism. When we do, we’re merely spewing platitudes in the face of industrial-scale animal exploitation.
Without abolitionist vegan education, a vegan recipe in a corporate supermarket chain brochure is just that – a recipe in a book. Nothing more. The time to get excited is when we have a mass movement of people who take nonhuman interests seriously and who recognise veganism as what we owe to those beings.
On a final point, my friend recently had a legal issue with a supermarket and wanted to take them to court so he decided to get legal representation. He suffered a personal injury and wanted to get compensation for what had happened to him. If something similar has happened to you, then you might want to check out someone like this Davis, Saperstein & Salomon law firm to help you out. They specialise in personal injury claims (as well as many other things), but they might be able to get you compensation if something has happened to you and it wasn’t your fault.