Are Vegan Companies Selling Out?

Lou

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So what happens when meat companies buy up vegan brands?

Here is a brand new article from Colleen Patrick Goudreau for LiveKIndly.

Here is a link to the article.


We have discussed this topic before. I'll try and see if I can find the thread. I think I recall a pretty lively debate among us. And I thought it would be interesting to revisit this topic after reading the article.

There is also a post on this subject on The Joyful Vegan. or you can just watch the video.

 

KLS52

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This isn’t the “debate” forum, is it? I don’t debate. I can give my initial thoughts on the subject. I pretty much agree with the article.

I’m sure when these small vegan companies started out they were well intentioned and very into the vegan cause. I’m sure they were also hoping to make a buck.

I don’t know if selling out to a meat company is such a bad thing. I mean, do they really owe it to us to stay small if they don’t have the funds to expand themselves? Sure, ideally it would be better to have a company grow on their own and not fall into the hands of a meat company. I don’t know how practical it is.

So I guess it’s selling out in the technical term. I just don’t know if it’s so horrible. But then I’m not a perfect vegan...just doing the best I can. I don’t mind hearing some opposing views. I’m not hardcore set on my stance on the subject.
 

PTree15

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Honestly, I go back and forth on this issue. On the one hand, I definitely see the benefits of a larger distribution network for vegan products. As the article points out, having more vegan products more widely available is a good thing. And vegans have to remember, as unpleasant and sad as it may be, that they aren't the targets of these companies, flesh-eaters are. Vegans are enjoying a happy byproduct of the mainstream's desire to eat fewer animal products, either for health or environmental reasons. It's possible that some of these people will get on the ethical reasons for veganism at some point. I myself started out as a vegetarian initially for health reasons, but I'm a curious person, so I learned a lot about the evils of animal agriculture and came to realize how cruel and awful it truly is.

On the other hand, the Daiya acquisition by the Japanese pharmaceutical company really bothered me, as I have some real issues with Big Pharma in general. I noticed soon after, that with the Daiya shreds, the taste became more bland, the texture was slightly different (not in a good way), and the packaging size became an ounce less, yet the price remained unchanged. So I stopped buying it, but I probably would have anyway because of my issues with the parent company. I worry that these big companies will alter the formulas of the vegan products by cutting corners and using inferior, cheaper ingredients in the interest of making even more money. But I have to remember that I'm not the desired consumer in this case.

If I based my shopping solely on whether a company was vegan-only, I'd have very few options for things. There just aren't enough places in my area for that to be practical. Also, I'm not a Rockefeller or a Royal, so I have to consider price a lot of the time. So, yes, I buy vegetables from local farmers, who ostensibly raise animals along with crops. I shop at grocery stores that have aisles of flesh that I detest. I buy vegan cheese owned by massive corporations that foster animal cruelty with flesh products and animal testing. I don't feel great about any of that, but I have to consider what is available and how I spend my money. I can send a message to these companies with my purchases by choosing cruelty-free products. Even some vegan products are made with undesirable impacts on the environment (palm oil), or are produced by companies that employ child labor. Everything we buy has some ethical issues to consider, and I try to avoid the most egregious ones in my mind. But that can be different for everyone. Some people loathe Walmart, others can't abide Nike. The list goes on. I'm not giving up on my dream of a vegan world, but I know I can do plenty to help the world get there. So that's what I try to focus on, my part.

As far as the vegan companies' selling out, I kind of get why someone wouldn't turn down $300 million, lol. Financial security is a nice feeling, I'm sure. That kind of money also can do a lot of good, if the previous vegan owners are so inclined.
 

Forest Nymph

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I believe anything that makes plant based foods more accessible and veganism normalized is good right now. I know there are people who say that this isn't the ideal way, but we have to work in the system that we have, because from an environmental standpoint we don't have a lot of time.

I don't think consumerism alone is enough though. I don't think veganism is about vegan products, and that's fairly evident when they either are purchased by people who are already vegan, or are used as a novelty by people who continue to consume lots of animal products.

Aside from it making vegan diets easier, it's sole purpose is social normalizing. Social normalizing just makes veganism more acceptable though...it doesn't necessarily create more vegans or shut down factory farms.

It's one of many diverse strategies that need to be employed. Vegans who are waiting for a miracle in my opinion are childish or elitist, they're making veganism into a religion or something they can feel special and unique about.

Vegan world (or vegetarian world, since vegan world is probably impossible) won't happen without a combination of consumerism, laws, policies, activism and creativity.