“Food conglomerates are hedging their bets by buying smaller companies that produce vegetarian products. Kraft (KFT) now owns Boca, of vegetarian burger fame. Dean Foods (DF) has WhiteWave, maker of the popular Silk line of soy milk beverages, and Kellogg (K) has meatless sausage and burger maker Morningstar Farms. ConAgra (CAG) recently bought Lightlife, which sells meat substitutes such as Smart Bacon.”
These by now well-known facts problematize the definition of “vegan.” If you buy any of these products, you are supporting the meat and dairy industries and not doing a “noble vegan boycott” of them. If you eat out (especially if you have restaurant fries, etc., you are not vegan, but someone constantly duped). The minimal conditions for being vegan are to avoid these products and any like them, make sure the beer or wine you like is vegan, eat mostly or exclusively at home, and maybe to really be safe go raw (assuming no sludge is sprayed on it).
People say being vegan is not hard, and in some ways in it is not, but very few “vegans” are strict or aware enough not to either unwittingly eat food with milk or egg or butter in it or not to buy a product owned by agribusiness. Most of you know this, but I’ve always found the “go vegan” slogan facile for many reasons, and most vegans technically are not strict vegans, and I am not talking about those phony pseudo-vegan “flexitarians” who eat nonvegan cupcakes or cheese (!) “sometimes” or when they feel like it. And I am not aware that for all their moral superiority and vegan fascist attacks on the imperfect tribes, unlike their own, that the Francione Flock ever raised these kind of problems; hence at yet another level their analysis and “vegan education” (a mantra without a practice) is incredibly superficial. Plus, unless you are raw, small animals are killed in the harvesting of wheat etc., and so you are not non-violent.You may be eating vegan foods shipped across the world, and are not so environmentalist. Strive for the ideal, but Vegan Police fuck off — who will police the Vegan Police?
I am not pontificating, I took the ecological footprint test one time and the results were not flattering, mostly because I fly so much. There is no lifestyle that is non-violent, perfectly ecological, or totally vegan, We all cause violence, death, and harm just by living.
So the question is not how can you be “pure” or should you just kill yourself to truly reduce your footprint, but rather: do you do more good than harm by living? That alone justifies one’s existence, otherwise, one’s best contribution to the world would be suicide.
Your call. Be honest.
Also see: “Natural Foods Buyout Watch”: http://www.veganstreet.com/community/buyoutwatch.html