Monday, September 23, 2013

Boycotting non-vegan companies that sell vegan products

Often I read that vegans shouldn’t buy vegans products from companies that also sell non-vegan products. People are saying that we should boycott them. But what we should do, buy products from vegan companies when there aren’t those companies in some countries or people don’t have the means to buy products from those companies. And what about people who want to go vegan who hear that it’s wrong  to buy vegan products from non-vegan companies but don’t have the means to buy those products from vegan companies.

One company which is I won’t name is popular for selling vegan products but they also sell animal products. We are being said that we should boycott them. Why.  Are we supporting use/cruelty in the same way as non-vegans who are buying animal products, no, because we in many cases don’t have a choice. Not all of us live in the countries where there are vegan companies or have means to buy vegan products on-line. Non-vegans have a choice to do the right thing, go vegan.  That’s privilege speaking if you saying that others who aren’t in your position do the things which you are doing. And that is the one of the reasons why vegan movement isn’t progressing faster than it should. Some assume that everyone is privileged as they are.

What those vegans are suggesting to people who are interested in veganism, go vegan only if you can buy products from vegan companies. If they happen to live in countries where are only non-vegan companies selling vegan products, saying that you should boycott them send the message that you can go vegan only if you privileged as some vegans are. And by the way the definitions of veganism don’t say that you shouldn’t buy vegan products from non-vegan companies.  One say “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 for the benefit of humans, animals, and the environment.” Sometimes it isn’t practical or possible not to buy animal products from non-vegan companies.

Should you boycott stores that sell vegan and non-vegan products. If the criteria for boycotting is supporting cruelty/use of other animals, you should boycott those stores too and only buy from vegan stores. I heard that one is in Germany. Can you when you go into store that sells animal and non-animal products and buy vegan products say I don’t want my money to go to buying animal products, salaries of non-vegan employees, pockets of non-vegan owners who will buy animal products. Can you. I suspect that you can't. You are supporting use of other animals/cruelty when you are vegan too and buying vegan products, but you are supporting that indirectly and are doing the bare minimum for the other sentient beings.

Don’t forget people who own non-vegan companies are capitalist, so if its more profitable to sell vegan products and not to sell non-vegan products, what you think they will do. They will sell whatever its profitable. There is merit in saying if more vegans buy vegan products from those companies, they will include more vegan products. They are just responding to the demand. Advocating veganism creates more vegans, more demand for those companies who will respond.

I am not saying if you are in position where you can choice between vegan and non-vegan companies that you should buy vegan products from non-vegan companies, you should support vegan companies. I am saying that many vegans don’t have them means to buy vegan products from vegan companies or live where there are. 

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