Saturday, October 17, 2009

NZ Vegan Podcast Episode 40 - How to be a vegan in a capitalist society? Just kidding, I know nothing about politics

Listen HERE

This week I talk about how as a vegan consumer in a capitalist society I am trying to work as best as I can in the system, as a consumer in my daily life, aside from the main focus of advocating to individuals for a paradigm shift, and opening people's minds up to a fundamentally different way of thinking about all other animals and life on the planet by promoting the abolitionist approach and veganism. I admit I am very uneducated about politics, history, agriculture, sociology, and a myriad of other extremely important subject matters related to vegan advocacy, so I will do my best to educate myself as best I can for the rest of my life, and in the meantime lean heavily on my colleagues and fellow advocates who ARE educated in these things :-)

So this podcast is just some of my personal thoughts, as always, and I do appreciate any advice and constructive criticism. One of the things I touch on is how we can avoid buying from companies that are direct exploiters of animals and their products, i.e non vegan restaurants for example. The truth is, most of us can't. I mean, we can easily choose to avoid some of them (non vegan restaurants for example) but what about the supermarket? What about where we buy our clothing? What about where we buy our fruit and vegetables? My fruit and vege place sells eggs and ice cream bars. Some people are lucky enough to have access and money to buy all their products from purely vegan online suppliers, but I am not one of them.

That is why I always affirm that I personally am part of the problem, which is one of the many reasons I feel such a strong urge to rectify the problem and why make it my personal responsibility to do so as best I can. Please keep in mind, this is nothing at all like some "Vegan Outreach" advocacy that says "oh don't make a fuss and try to be pure, just eat the egg product every now and then so people don't think we are too fanatical". No no no. I am an ethical vegan. I am, however, a human being, an active consumer, and I live in a speciesist society, and whether I like it or not, I am contributing to industries that exploit animals, even when I buy my fruit and veges from the fruit and vege store. BUT we must let the producers know we vegans exist—that there is a legitimate and lucritive demand for vegan products. I am not a supporter of capitalism, I would like to see a better system, but I also live in reality and face truths. Right now, today, I live in a capitalist society and am an active member and consumer in that society whether I like it or not. So in the meantime too, while we are still working for change, we must have a voice. It will grow to a thunderous roar, right now it is a whisper in the grand scheme of things. But that will change. Until it does; don't be shy! Demand vegan! Ask for vegan products. Enquire about vegan products. MENTION vegan products at the very least. Educate sellers and producers about the vegan consumer. Tell them it's a guaranteed sale. That'll prick up their greedy little ears.

Note: I don't consider "prick up their ears" to be a bad animal metaphor. That is because the way I look at it; noting that some lovely animals have ears that can prick up and using it metaphorically for human animals whose ears don't prick up doesn't have anything to do with exploiting the animals whose ears do prick up, so I think this is an acceptable animal metaphor. Thoughts?

There is SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT it is just an inexhaustible subject this animal exploitation, unfortunately. I wish we didn't have to talk about it, but we DO.

This week I mentioned some other podcasts and blogs and I would like to provide those links here, but they are also in my blog link list too.
Firstly I mentioned Gary Francione's latest episode from his Abolitionist Approach Commentary:
A Discussion of Abolitionist Principals

Roger Yates from his On Human Nonhuman Relations podcast:
Dehumanization Processes Part One
Dehumanization Processes Part Two

Vincent Guihan from We Other Animals and Animal Emancipation:
We Other Animals Radio
I must make a correction - the podcast is called We Other Animals Radio not Animal Emancipation. I am sorry!

Sam Tucker from Food for Thought Radio
fftradio podcast on iTunes

And Jordan Wyatt from Jaywontdart's Podcast has a new blog and vegan podcast:
Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals

And this is the link to my favourite vegan restaurant in the whole world (especially since it is right here in Auckland NZ)
Golden Age Vegan Restaurant

This is the video that Randy Sandberg posted:
Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood. It is blood chilling, but watch it! Knowledge is power! This is all part of it too. Thanks Randy, this is a great find.

Finally, I was wrong (in a good way) there ARE other actual physical vegan stores in the world. Here is one:
The Pangea Store in Rockville Maryland.  I am sure there must be others.   Awesome!


  1. Good piece. I often discuss vegan wine with oneologists, wine stewards and wine drinkers. That animal products are used to fine/clarify wine is really not well known, but a lot of producers are waking up to vegans as a market.

  2. Thanks Vincent, it is always a huge surprise to them about the animal products! When I went vegan it wasn't, after my initial discoveries about how incredibly much we use animal products and in the most unexpected (to a non vegan) places, nothing surprised me anymore, so by the time I found out about wine I was like, oh, yeah, of course :(

  3. I totally understand what you mean about mentioning vegan as often as possible... It at least gets people curious and they may even question - giving an opportunity for advocacy.

    About the products - I save the labels or wrapping from what vegan merchandise I buy and leave it with stores that don't carry that item, with a request that they include it too. This works nicely as they can see I've bought the product elsewhere, not from them. The message is: if you want my money spent here instead - (please)supply this product. I'm happy to say it's worked a few times.

    Anyway, thanks for another great podcast - Keep them coming! :)

  4. Thanks Bea.
    That's a great idea about the labels. It works to bring it up under any possible circumstances. Random people are conscious of what they eat around me, and random people talk about their diet and my diet. And it is always positive. In person people way less likely to be so hostile and abusive as they are on anonymous forums, although I am sure it does happen, but way way less.

  5. "I am not a supporter of capitalism, I would like to see a better system, but I also live in reality and face truths."

    What is a better system/what system are you referring to?

    I think it's important to get more vegan options in the mainstream... I'm talking about in MaccyD's, KFC's, etc.

  6. Gordon I am not qualified to answer that.

    I recommend reading the writings of Bob Torres (Vegan Freaks) Vincent Guihan (We Other Animals) and Gary Francione on this subject. There is also a lot of discussion about these things by very well informed people on the Vegan Freaks Forum if you are a member.

    Sorry I don't know the answer,nor am I qualified to speculate at this point. I just know things are not right, but I also acknowledge that is way they are at present.

  7. Excellent podcast, Elizabeth. Thank you.

    "Guaranteed sale" is a great line. :-) And yes, we should ask about vegan products as much as possible and bring up the word vegan as often as it's appropriate.

  8. Hola!!
    quize mandarte un correo, pero me manda notificar que no lo escribi bien
    te estube escuchando. muy bien!

  9. Hola Keren!
    Muchísimas gracias por su apoyo.
    abrazos veganos