Originally Posted by vegamy
I really don't want to start a whole big thing with this. And if I do I'm sorry and I'll just delete this post and not mention it again. But, am I the only one who has a serious problem with the whole concept of "accidentally vegan" products?
I'm talking about the lists that sites like Peta have showing products by major corporations that happen to, according to the lamest glances at the labels, contain no animal ingredients.
First off, I contacted both Kraft and General Mills when I was looking for vegan breakfast cereals and they both assured me, quite blatantly, that because of their use of "natural flavors", various preservatives and addatives, as well as their manufacturing processes; none of their products can truly be considered vegan.
But, despite the assurances of those companies, Peta still has them listed as "accidentally vegan" and so do all the loads of other sites that have copied those lists from Peta.
Isn't the whole concept specious anyway? Veganism is about intention and if these companies aren't actively trying to avoid animal products then there's no way for us to know whether or not they're in the products thus they can't really be vegan.
Perhaps I'm being too neurotic or obsessive again. It's been pointed out that I do that sometimes. But it really does bother me, and maybe I'm the only one, when I see people who claim to be vegan but just go by these superficial lists that don't come close to really determining what is and isn't vegan.
Lists like that are generally designed for help people who want to go vegan but are overwhelmed by how to start. Showing them that a lot of things they may already be eating are vegan (or vegan by a slightly generous definition in some cases) can help people understand that going vegan isn't as terribly hard as they might think.
It's all well and good for vegans who've "settled in" to figure out what exactly the scoop is on various "natural flavors" that make up 0.01% of some product. But when we're talking about the perspective of people who are, for the first time, attempting the big step of going vegan, cutting out meat and cheese and dairy and leather and silk and eggs and re-shaping their lives around it all, is it really fruitful to fuss over whether they are "allowed" to "claim to be vegan" over some possibly
-questionable last-on-the-list "natural flavors" or whatever?
ALL vegans (who live in the modern world) make some kind of compromises; ALL (ditto) vegans are in some way
"not real vegans". It's a process
... and almost nobody start that process by figuring out all the "last on the label, not entirely clear"; they're too busy radically re-structuring their diet and lifestyle and dealing with the "big picture" stuff.
I'll be happy when the day comes that it's all about getting the skinny on red #5, but at this point, considering how far we have to go, I think we've got MUCH bigger fish to fr... err, much bigger pieces seitan to saute.