Palm oil?

Brainstorm

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Is palm oil vegan? I know that if it says may contain animal products it's still vegan. But if it says contains x, y, z/and or (palm oil) does that count?

I don't care for whether or not it's healthy I'm just wondering how/if it harms animals.
Also, what are your thoughts on eating non-vegan food if it's going to be thrown away anyway?
 

VeganAF

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Is palm oil vegan? I know that if it says may contain animal products it's still vegan. But if it says contains x, y, z/and or (palm oil) does that count?

I don't care for whether or not it's healthy I'm just wondering how/if it harms animals.
Also, what are your thoughts on eating non-vegan food if it's going to be thrown away anyway?
great question! Palm oil is plant-based but imo not vegan. People misconceive that a product isn't deleterious to animals if it occurs in the wild, but not all slaughterhouses have walls and a ceiling! Most of our most important macrofauna and plant life lay right in the bath of the slash and burn path carved through the rainforest to farm it!

There are no workers rights on palm oil plantations, and it goes by over 100 different names in our food and products. Wy give it so many names if not to deceive us?
 

MrsTillyMartin

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Hello Brainstorm,

While the product itself is plant based, it’s a massive contributor to deforestation and several other practices which I see as unethical.

My husband and I actually gave up palm several years ago (although we have been caught out before when it’s called something else in preprepared foods). Now vegan, we’re struggling to find a butter substitute without palm oil in it.

T
 

Catfriend

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Hello Brainstorm,

While the product itself is plant based, it’s a massive contributor to deforestation and several other practices which I see as unethical.

My husband and I actually gave up palm several years ago (although we have been caught out before when it’s called something else in preprepared foods). Now vegan, we’re struggling to find a butter substitute without palm oil in it.

T
If you're open to coconut oil, making your own butter substitute is pretty easy. I recommend checking out Miyoko Schinner's book "Homemade Vegan Pantry" if it's available at your local library.
 
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MrsTillyMartin

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If you're open to coconut oil, making your own butter substitute is pretty easy. I recommend checking out Miyoko Schinner's book "Homemade Vegan Pantry" if it's available at your local library.
Thank you, Catfriend. I’ll check it out. I think I’m just going to have to get used to putting more effort in when it comes to substitutes.
 

Forest Nymph

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Palm oil is vegan when it's sustainably sourced.

PETA argues that new vegans, young vegans and poor vegans are good enough being 99% vegan and I tend to agree. As someone who is also interested in social justice and who lives in the real world, I think new/young/poor vegans who eat Nature's Valley granola bars that have like less than 1% honey are still vegan. I think it's okay if homeless people and college students eat Oreos if they're hungry. As someone who went from being self-employed back to college, I'm face to face with these things, how our food program on campus gives away bags of rice and cans of beans, cans of tomatoes and green beans, cans of soup...and for snacks they offer mainstream granola bars more often than they offer fruit. I'm not goin to smack a granola bar out of a broke college students' hand, nor am I going to fault a homeless vegan for doing whatever they can to be as vegan as possible, even if that means eating a processed food that has no animal products but might have unsustainably sourced palm oil, mono and diglycerides or even honey. I think anyone who gets angry at poor people for eating those things needs to check their privilege (and I don't even say that very often but if poor people are vegan and you demand more I start to wonder what is wrong with your soul).

That being said, sustainably sourced palm oil is a thing. Earth Balance includes it in their products and environmental organizations argue that buying sustainable palm oil is actually a more effective form of activism than not buying palm oil at all. Palm oil actually has a higher sustaining yield than some other vegetable oils and the people who farm it aren't going to stop without an alternative incentive. Sustainable palm oil is a way to stop the madness. Read more about it here:

http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/agriculture/about_palm_oil/sustainable_palm_oil/

I study Environmental Science, too, so caring about wildlife is a big issue for me, I don't just care about factory farms, I see big picture reasons to be vegan when I'm saying this.
 

Forest Nymph

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great question! Palm oil is plant-based but imo not vegan. People misconceive that a product isn't deleterious to animals if it occurs in the wild, but not all slaughterhouses have walls and a ceiling! Most of our most important macrofauna and plant life lay right in the bath of the slash and burn path carved through the rainforest to farm it!

There are no workers rights on palm oil plantations, and it goes by over 100 different names in our food and products. Wy give it so many names if not to deceive us?

So when you talk about "worker's rights" how exactly to expect them to feed their families and remain alive if you aren't there actively reforming their government? They're not going to stop palm oil farming without an alternative. RSPO offers these poor farmers an alternative to the worst farming practices that lead to human and non-human animal harm.

http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/foo...solutions/roundtable_on_sustainable_palm_oil/

It's fine and dandy to talk about boycotting a product when it's Nestle or Coca-Cola. It's another matter entirely when you're talking about Indonesian farmers.
 

ap1989

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Its probably is vegan by definition. But I think people who are vegan for ethical reasons would likely want to avoid it as well.
Ethical reasons aside its also usually indicative of a highly processed food.
 

Veganite

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Not just as vegans, but as intelligent beings, we should all be trying to avoid products that directly affect our planet, negatively. It's more a question of being an ethical human being in my humble opinion.