Thursday, November 20, 2014

Capitalism: A Love Story

Many of us wish that pure vegan companies will arise and take down established companies like McDonald’s and Tyson. While there are great examples (Hampton Creek Foods, Tofurky, Veggie Grill, Native Foods), these are all very small scale compared to the main food players in the country.

At his great Counting Animals blog, Harish Sethu looked at the advertising budgets (just the advertising budgets, not the operating budgets) of the major animal agriculture companies, and compared them to the full operating budget for animal advocacy groups:

This is why stories like this week’s news are potentially positive for animals: Pinnacle Foods acquires maker of Gardein vegan food line for $154M

We certainly know big companies like Pinnacle are rarely ethical paragons. But for animal liberation to advance, and a vegan world to be built, the concern isn’t whether current vegans personally like a certain company.

Rather, the issue is how quickly we can get new people to stop eating animals and start making ethical choices. And although we’d like everyone to make decisions purely on the basis of ethics, this is not about to be the case. If we are to do our best for the animals, we need to recognize that cost and convenience are key considerations for many current meat eaters.

Of course, Pinnacle could just let Gardein wither and die. But this acquisition could potentially increase the visibility (and decrease the cost) of Gardein products, reaching more new people. And if this turned out to be the case, some vegans might be unhappy, but it could well be a net advance for the animals and our overall goal of a vegan world.

No comments: