In the least surprising item of news we’ve read for a while, the big meat producers are buying up makers of plant based foods: Big meat is gobbling up fake meat companies 10.5.22. This has been going on for some while and is what prompted us to produce this leaflet a few years ago: Putting the politics into veganism. This is the text of the leaflet which we feel is more relevant than ever:

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.

Just because McDonalds have launched a plant based ‘vegan’ range, it doesn’t excuse them from their continuing exploitation of animals, the environment and their workers. It’s marketing bullshit to try and get us through their doors. It won’t work. Continue to boycott them! Unilever may be moving into the plant based food market but they’re still an exploitative, land hungry global corporation. Buying their products allows them to continue to carry on with ‘business as usual’ regardless of the real cost to animals, people and the environment.

These are just two examples of many corporations spouting greenwash while their main aim is to carry on raking in the profits. While 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. 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. 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!