Recently, someone asked me, “Why do vegans make their foods look and taste like meat if they don’t want to eat meat?” Quite simply, it’s not the food product itself many vegans eschew, it’s the torture, suffering and death of sentient beings we don’t want to support.
I know many people who chose to go vegan, not because they didn’t like meat itself, but because they understood the industry’s vile methods of food production, and didn’t want to participate in it. Once you’ve truly been awakened to the reality of the animal agriculture industry, once you have bore witness at a slaughterhouse, once you have learned of the tortuous practices of farmers, transportation companies, and processing plants, the thought of eating meat is stomach-turning.
And yet, we might still crave that pizza…
What to do, what to do – right, let’s take our food and nutrition knowledge, our technical expertise, and our flair for creation and make a plant-based food that emulates our old favourites, so we can enjoy the flavours we love without the blood on our hands.
Seems pretty straightforward, and I’m not sure why non-vegans don’t get this. Even if they don’t get it, what difference does it make – it’s literally harmless to them or anyone else.
Or is it?
This is a debate currently in front of various bodies of government in the US and EU: more specifically, the labelling of plant-based foods using traditionally meat-centric names. It appears the animal agriculture industry and their cohorts, which includes some politicians (surprise!) take issue with plant-based products using meat-centric names because it might cause people to be confused and buy the wrong thing. This would accidentally subvert profits from the animal agriculture industry, upsetting the status quo and causing consternation about misleading the public.
I kid you not.
So what I take from this is these big multi-billion-dollar industries think you, the general public, are TOO STUPID to realize a veggie burger is NOT a meat burger. Or that soy milk is not from a cow. For realz.
Meanwhile, as stated in the following article from Euractiv.com, ““Only one in five consumers say that these terms should never be used on plant-based products. On the other hand, we have one in four consumers who said that they see absolutely no issue with the use of these terms,” Camille Perrin, senior food policy officer at BEUC, said during a EURACTIV event on Thursday (15 October).”
As an Animal Rights Activist (ARA) there is no shortage of meat-eating dolts out there who are uninformed and uncaring about the drawbacks for consuming meat, both from a health perspective and a humanitarian perspective. I see them all the time at protests, driving by yelling, “I love bacon!” and “For every animal you save, I’m going to eat two more.” Yeah, real bright sparks. Quite frankly, if they are the one per cent who get fooled and buy plant-based burgers by accident, I’m just going to laugh. Clearly, their intelligence levels are below par, and therefore, no amount of labelling will help them. But the majority of people will be able to discern, simply by reading the name, that a veggie burger is not a beef burger.
And let’s talk about this naming conundrum shall we? Speaking of burgers – a hamburger is NOT made of ham. A hot dog is not made of dog meat. A sausage is simply food product minced into a cylindrical shape and inserted into a casing. The dictionary meaning of filet is “1 : a ribbon or narrow strip of material used especially as a headband. 2a : a thin narrow strip of material. b : a piece or slice of boneless meat or fish especially : the tenderloin of beef.” It describes fabric FIRST, then applies that meaning to a piece of meat.
If you really want to get down and dirty with labelling, how about this: a hamburger is “ground animal flesh shaped into a patty”; cheese is “ruminant breast milk fermented with the stomach lining of a baby cow”; Hot dogs would be “pig feet, snouts, ears, anuses and other off cuts minced into a smooth paste and shaped into a cylinder”.
I mean, I’m just sayin’.
And all of it is made by abusing and torturing sentient beings who did not ask to be here, and simply want to live their lives with their babies in peace – much like you and I….in fact, EXACTLY like you and I.
The fact is the plant-based food industry is growing in leaps and bounds, even non-vegans partake of plant-based foods for health or just a change in diet now and then. And animal agriculture is a sore loser. They don’t like it. So rather than get on the bandwagon, concede defeat, and diversify into plant-based products, anticipating a solid future in that industry, they are fighting hand to hand and down and dirty to discredit, disrespect, and disparage their plant-based counterparts in the food industry.
They are currently focusing on such inanities as labelling an item, and when that falls flat, they will find something else, but we know the industry is on a solid decline as more and more people are becoming awakened and want change.
For me, I enjoy my burger, patty, disc or whatever it’s going to be called because it tastes great and no one died. However, I have a feeling the industry is going to end up “eating their words” on this one. Pun intended.