Should vegans support not-yet-vegan companies?

Let’s face it. If we would be using words such as “hate” (which we actually generally don’t use) then we would say that we hate McDonalds. 

This company produces so much suffering, torturing, harming and killing of innocent animals that it is hard to grasp. The facts about McDonalds are pretty horrific. Not only because of what they do with the animals but also it is extremely unhealthy for people and terrible for the environment. 

Of course people know or heard about all that, but is that preventing them from going and eating there? Hell no. Statistics show that every day worldwide more people eat at McDonalds than the whole population of England. 

Humans can decide themselves to go there. Actually this is arguable, based on all the ads they see on a daily basis, convenience, the worldwide narrative and the fast pill society we live in… But let’s say they decide themselves that they want to go to McDonalds, order a menu and abuse their body and lower their energy level. 

Yet let’s not forget about the innocent animals who are born to be killed as kids, grown and bred in horrific conditions and being murdered so someone can chew on their multilated body parts. Unlike humans, the animals have zero decision on what is happening to them.

SO yeah, you can see. It’s a terrible industry, which does neither care about the health of their customers nor about the well being of the animals. 

But now, this horrible horrible company, sells VEGAN products. 

Should we boycott everything they produce and even protest it or should we support them by buying the vegan options? 

There are two narratives.

  1. We should boycott them since they earn the most money from abusing animals, and with buying vegan options we are supporting them even more. We are showing to the world around us that it is ok to have 85 non – vegan products and only a vegan one → and that this is ok ( btw is not). Let’s boycott those who try to profit from veganism because there are more ethical companies that deserve our support more. 
  2. We should support their attempt to earn money in a more ethical way.

Stop for a moment and think what seems more logical to you?

Depending what your thought process was and maybe your already set opinion on this is, you will either enjoy the further lines or be very challenged. 

We of course suggest you read until the end and at least think about it, before you write a nasty comment back. Our main purpose is to be effective for the end result. So we also thought quite a bit about this one. 

And since we are talking about results. 

What is our outcome, our goal as animal rights activists? 

Since there can be different ones, let’s take the obvious one, which all vegans stand for. 

a vegan world. Animal liberation. 

And let’s for once talk hypothetical.

  1. These are our main thoughts about this very controversial topic: 
  1. It is nearly impossible, since most shops (with exception of the completely vegan ones) sell meat, dairy, eggs and honey + non-vegan clothes, boots, cosmetics, cleaning products which have been tested on animals and so on. If now all of a sudden we condemn eating a vegan product in McDonalds because they sell mainly non-vegan stuff, then we have to do them all in order to be consistent. 
  2. Should we only talk about what is NOT OK or should we rather talk about THE SOLUTION? 
  3. Isn’t it true, that these companies have a way bigger budget to spread the word about veganism, than a small local shop will ever have?

It sucks yes. But think about this: in Switzerland the main supermarket launched an all vegan brand. Now the billboards of this brand with their very catchy slogans are in many busses, in almost every city and when you go to their not at all vegan supermarket store you find so many vegan products, that it is even convenient for the average Joe to buy the plant-based version. Whether we like it or not, convenience is a huge deal when people decide what they will eat. 

What would happen if we support companies who want to make profit from selling violent FREE products and services?

  1. More and more companies would start selling, producing and promoting vegan products and lifestyle. (which is happening on a huge scale right now. 
  2. Our movement would grow faster because of all the convenience of getting vegan products
  3. Vegan movement would get leverage, since more and more companies would put money to promote and earn money from it. 

Probably is not hard to understand where we are leaning towards. 

We believe that with supporting (almost) any ideas that support violence free products or services we would be closer & faster to the vegan world. 

Being too emotional towards some companies ( for ex. McDonalds ) and mainly shaming other vegans for eating there, while you shop in a store that sells non-vegan products is just not consistent. 

Let’s talk a bit more about convenience which we mentioned before briefly. Many people agree that animal abuse is wrong but they don’t want to lose their comfort when they stop eating animal products. Of course we know that you find beans and lentils everywhere and that the suffering of the victims is so horrendous that you’ll find a way if you really want to. 

Even though we should advocate unapologetically for the animals, and we will never say that eating meat here and there is okay, because it is not, we have to be rather realistic, than idealistic. If people will buy the vegan option in McDonalds because they can rather than a Steak, why shouldn’t they? Imagine a 15 year old teen who wants to go vegan but also is in the dilemma to not fit in for ordering a salad at McDonalds, but now all of a sudden she can show that she can also have a burger that is vegan.

I may have a lot of self confidence now and I don’t care what others think because I am so strongly against animal abuse. But I would bet that the 15 year old me, who was very bullied, very shy and dealt with social pressure A LOT, would have also only found strength to order vegan food in a restaurant if there was a good option that wouldn’t make me stand out even more. Again: 

We know that there is no excuse for animal abuse, also social pressure is not valid BUT this is the reality. So let’s think smart and let’s think about what’s best for the animals. 

Also as we said: those huge corporations can make more advertising for plant-based products than any small completely ethical vegan shop will ever be able to do because putting up a simple bill board for 1 month would be more worth in some countries than the profit of the company. 

There are PROs and CONs for buying in those places. But let’s really think about what helps the animals most in the long run and act accordingly without attacking each other. If you don’t want to eat there it’s okay. But don’t blame others for doing so, because we all live in a not-yet-vegan world and we can not only buy from ethical places, even if we prefer to. 

We should support good practices when we can, and not fight them. We should still fight producers of animal products and consumer choices, but not the practices that by itself promote a vegan lifestyle. 

Let us know what you think in the comments below, and let’s talk in a civilized way, since we all have the same goal – animal liberation. 

Therefore we face many ethical dilemmas. So let’s work all together and let us decide for our own, which is the lesser evil as long as we don’t support animal products by living consistently vegan.

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