Putting the politics into veganism

More and more people are turning to veganism. What was once dismissed as a cranky fad is now becoming mainstream. There are a growing number of vegan fairs up and down the country that aim to introduce people to the delights of vegan food. It does look as though there could be a real revolution in what people eat.

When veganism goes mainstream, the big brands and retailers take note and start to turn out vegan products for us to consume. Many people see this awakening by the corporations as a good thing to be celebrated.

Hang on a minute!

Veganism used to be radical. It used to be seen as a challenge to the choke hold big business has on our food supply. Now it’s been co-opted by the brands and retailers and turned into another lifestyle option they can exploit for profit.

People celebrate the brands and retailers developing and selling vegan food. These are major corporations. They exploit workers, particularly those working for their supply chains. They have supply, manufacturing, procurement and distribution practices that contribute towards climate change. A fair number of them test their products on animals. Many of them also produce and sell meat and dairy products!

Meat production is a major contributor to rising CO2 levels. If we are to avoid catastrophic climate change, meat and dairy consumption has to be slashed. This requires massive changes in farming practices and the way we grow, source, transport and consume our food.

Although the brands and retailers may be supplying a growing number of lines of vegan food, they’re still complicit in practices that are destroying the planet with some of them guilty of cruelty through testing their products on animals. Buying their products is letting them off the hook. We cannot afford to do this.

Food production has to become more local and sustainable. Can you seriously imagine the corporations who control our food supply contemplating the massive changes needed to slash CO2 emissions which would also slash their profits? They will resist this for as long as they can.

Veganism has to be a lot more than a lifestyle choice facilitated by the brands and retailers. It has to offer a militant challenge to the corporations who are destroying our planet. It has to offer a militant challenge to the political, economic and social system that sustains these corporations. It has to be about revolution if we are going to survive.

It’s time to put the politics into veganism!

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