The "largest meat producer" in the headline is Tyson. The inventor of the chicken nugget.
I was thinking about adding this to the "Here is Something to Ponder" thread I created last year. It's totally related. But I forgot how that thread had gone off the tracks, through the guardrail, crashed into the river and then blew up. Besides the thread is closed. Rest In Pieces.
Anyway, that thread was more about the healthiness of the new products entering the vegan/plant-based world. Since I have no interest in bringing that up again, this time I'm going to suggest a focus on ethics. And this:
Do vegans have an obligation/responsibility to buy or boycott Tyson Foods.
This kind of question wasn't even relevant when all Tyson did was make meat. It did become a concern when Tyson invested in Beyond Meat. But that was just an investment. It wasn't like they owned Beyond Meat. But now Tyson is going into the Faux meat business.
As a vegan, I sometimes go out of my way to support meat alternatives. When Taco Bell made their options more vegan-friendly I went to Taco Bell and bought a bean burrito. And I don't even like Taco Bell. However, I haven't been back - not even when they put vegan stuff ON the menu. But I feel like I should go back. I mean if the vegan menu items don't sell, they might take them back off the menu. Plus if they do sell, maybe some restaurant that I do like will put vegan items on the menu. Supporting vegan-friendly businesses is just another form of voting with your wallet. I went out to a restaurant to buy an Impossible Burger. I even went back to try out the new and improved version. And before Tyson invested in Beyond Meat (or at least before I knew they did), I bought a package and brought it to a BBQ.
However, with the success that plant-based companies have had the lines are getting muddied. Annies Homegrown Food got bought by General Mills. Silk got bought up by Dean's Foods. There is little appeal to me to support these food megacorps.
Then there is Tyson. IMHO Tyson is like the worst of the worst of Big Food. Interesting Side note, there is actually a web site that tracks corporate violations: Good Jobs First. And they have a page just devoted to Tyson.
Of course, they don't count murdering (billions of ) chickens as a violation. I'm not even sure that page includes the accusations of chicken torture that have been recently made or that scientists believe that many chickens are conscious when being slaughtered. However, they do include the 141 Workplace and Safety violations and the 63 Environmental violations. And although Tyson reports an amputation a month (on average) to OSHA, an ongoing investigation may lead to the discovery of many more amputations that go unreported.
So what do you think? Is this something to celebrate or to boycott?