Should vegans ever eat chocolate or coffee? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 10-04-2010, 09:06 AM
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Wouldn't doing so support the abuse of South American workers? On that note, should we stop eating tropical fruits as well? I don't think I want to support labor abuse. ): I wish every country had strict labor laws!

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#2 Old 10-04-2010, 09:08 AM
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There is such a thing as Fairtrade coffee and chocolate. There are also Fairtrade bananas, so perhaps other fruits as well.
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#3 Old 10-04-2010, 09:12 AM
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Is being Vegan the opposition to animal cruelty or human cruelty?(not that one is more a deserving case than the other)
Unless im getting my wires crossed, The definition of a Vegan is someone who avoid animal produce so eating fair trade (although of course this is better) has nothing to do with being Vegan in itself. If people want to boycott products produced from unfair labour then thats something different altogether?
This then gets into the different subsections of Veganism. Some vegans may adhere to some principles and not others. Its a very wide scope, with people defining what Vegan means to them.

Im not trying to be rude, just my thoughts.
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#4 Old 10-04-2010, 09:14 AM
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Endangered Species is one company that makes fair trade chocolate. And some (although not all) of it is vegan. So if you can find Endangered Species chocolate - not too hard anymore, some time ago I found it in Walgreens (!), you'll be getting yourself some really good fair trade vegan chocolate.

There could be, or should be, at least one website listing items that are fair trade. They and the ingredients that go into foods are grown and processed by workers that are treated fairly by the companies they work for.

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#5 Old 10-04-2010, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by .Goth-Alice. View Post

Is being Vegan the opposition to animal cruelty or human cruelty?(not that one is more a deserving case than the other)
Unless im getting my wires crossed, Vegans avoid animal cruelty so eating fair trade (although of course this is better) has nothing to do with being Vegan.

Well, I know my personal vegan philosophy is hurt not animal, hurt no human, and treat the earth well...And I know there are many others that think similarly. Vegans should not just care about animals, then not care about humans as well. Humans are animals.

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#6 Old 10-04-2010, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Earthling View Post

There is such a thing as Fairtrade coffee and chocolate. There are also Fairtrade bananas, so perhaps other fruits as well.

Really?
Where can you buy these...?

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#7 Old 10-04-2010, 09:23 AM
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Most supermarkets sell Fair trade now. Just look out for this logo

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#8 Old 10-04-2010, 09:36 AM
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i care about humans but my priority when shopping is about reducing the exploitation and suffering of animals, as thats what veganism is primarily about. but its certainly a bonus if my dollars can indirectly help with human rights issues
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#9 Old 10-04-2010, 09:43 AM
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I don't think one should cancel out the other. I think both should be a priority, whenever possible.

I do think that statements about making the animals a priority over people gives weight to the argument that veg*ans care more about animals than about people, which as we know is absolute nonsense. At least that's the case with me.

I did some googling and found this: http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/ It doesn't mention Endangered Species, however, since it's a UK-based site, but I think it should be useful for those of you in the UK anyway.

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#10 Old 10-04-2010, 03:35 PM
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I buy fair trade coffee, mostly buy fair trade chocolate. (I don't eat much chocolate these days in the first place though, I have no idea if the cake at Whole Foods is made with fair trade chocolate...)

I honestly don't know what the deal is with the exotic fruits I buy though, I should look into that.

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#11 Old 10-04-2010, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rapt View Post

i care about humans but my priority when shopping is about reducing the exploitation and suffering of animals, as thats what veganism is primarily about. but its certainly a bonus if my dollars can indirectly help with human rights issues

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#12 Old 10-04-2010, 03:41 PM
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Um.... there are tonnes, tonnes of non-South American countries that grow tropical fruit. Boycotting "tropical fruit" is daft, sorry. Not all coffee comes from South American, either. Why boycott all coffee when you can just get it from somewhere decent? These sort of boycotts seem like cutting your nose of to spite your face, really.

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#13 Old 10-04-2010, 03:44 PM
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Humans are animals, so I believe as a vegan, it's the right thing to care about the wellbeing of all animals, even ones you don't like.

I've never had coffee, and I don't plan on having it anytime soon. There are a lot of free trade goods out there. They usually cost more money, which is no big deal to me, because it's protecting and supporting living beings, which is something I can get behind.

As mentioned, Endangered Species Chocolate is fair trade. Only the dark chocolate ones are vegan (obviously). I love love LOVE them. I love chocolate in general. Here is their website: http://www.chocolatebar.com/ and here are all their vegan ones: http://www.chocolatebar.com/categori...eference/Vegan
I know you can find them at Walgreens for sure (that's where I get them), but I'm not sure offhand other places that carry them. They may have a store locater on the site. Lemme check.

Add: Yep! here it is! http://www.chocolatebar.com/locator/
Add2: I noticed it doesn't show Walgreens in the locater search when I entered my zipcode, even though I know all 800 of them carry them (not really 800, but they build them like crazy around here! A lot of them shut down due to lack of funds, and yet 5 blocks down they start building another one! Friggin' crazy!). If you live near one, check anyways. They should be in the isle with the rest of the candy and chocolate.
Add3: I just remembered the Target near me sells 'em, too, but is also not listed in the locater. I'm guessing it's not updated often when new places start selling.


This is the Free Trade icon that are on the chocolate bars:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

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#14 Old 10-04-2010, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .Goth-Alice. View Post

Is being Vegan the opposition to animal cruelty or human cruelty?(not that one is more a deserving case than the other)
Unless im getting my wires crossed, The definition of a Vegan is someone who avoid animal produce so eating fair trade (although of course this is better) has nothing to do with being Vegan in itself. If people want to boycott products produced from unfair labour then thats something different altogether?
This then gets into the different subsections of Veganism. Some vegans may adhere to some principles and not others. Its a very wide scope, with people defining what Vegan means to them.

Im not trying to be rude, just my thoughts.

Humans are also animals so when thinking about animal cruelty one must also think of humans as well.

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#15 Old 10-04-2010, 06:00 PM
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This company does fair-trade bananas, I buy them at my local health food store.
http://www.organicsunlimited.com/organics/grow

And you can buy coffee, sugar, chocolate, tea, etc fair-trade. Check your grocery stores, trader joes, whole foods, health food stores, etc. Dr. Bronners soaps are fair-trade and Queen Helene cocoa butter lotions and other bath products are fair trade.
http://www.transfairusa.org/

I also don't buy tomatoes from Florida, or that only say from the US and don't specify which state.
http://ciw-online.org/Slavery_plain_and_simple.html

Fair-trade is very important to me. If I can find fair-trade I buy it instead. My take on it is that if it is not vital to living, then if I can't afford to buy it fair-trade I don't need it. I've had people comment negatively on the fact that when I bake I use fair-trade chocolate chips, beecause the only place I can find them around here is at my local health foods store and they are $6 a bag. But you know, I don't NEED baked goods. So why in the world would I support exploiting people just so I can have some chocolate chip cookies? To me it's no different than someone making a cheesecake with cream cheese made from cow milk because it's cheaper than buying vegan cream cheese. If I can't afford the vegan cream cheese then I dont need to make a cheesecake since it isn't necessary to living for me.

Am I perfect about avoiding non-fair trade foods and things made in sweatshops, etc? No I'm not. But I'm learning and I'm trying.

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#16 Old 10-04-2010, 07:58 PM
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Good question and some helpful answers. In the meantime, do as well as you can while looking after your health. It is hard to eat perfectly and as you posted we need to care about all creatures and the earth. That is vegan and ethical.

More people need to think like this.
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#17 Old 10-05-2010, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doktormartini View Post

Humans are also animals so when thinking about animal cruelty one must also think of humans as well.

This is where I was saying about getting into different subsections of what people as Vegans believe. Personally I agree with 'rapt' my first thought is for animals, (of course I buy fairtrade,but that is besides the point),and although humans are classed as animals, I feel that animal rights and human rights are two completly different things.
Please do not misinterperate my point, I am not saying that humans deserve less rights, or animals more. Not for one second.
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#18 Old 10-05-2010, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .Goth-Alice. View Post

This is where I was saying about getting into different subsections of what people as Vegans believe. Personally I agree with 'rapt' my first thought is for animals, (of course I buy fairtrade,but that is besides the point),and although humans are classed as animals, I feel that animal rights and human rights are two completly different things.
Please do not misinterperate my point, I am not saying that humans deserve less rights, or animals more. Not for one second.

I agree. As a vegan my first priority is to avoid animal suffering, and if I can avoid contributing to human suffering too then I do it. But sometimes you can't make a choice that doesn't contribute to the suffering of either humans or non-human animals. And animals have no voice, and they have far less people fighting for them or caring about them than humans do.
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#19 Old 10-05-2010, 06:33 PM
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As far as I know, fair-trade coffee beans, tea, chocolates (not just Endangered Species brand), and bananas are widely available in health food stores and some regular supermarkets.

As long as the item doesn't contain animal products or tested on animals, it's vegan.
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#20 Old 10-05-2010, 06:53 PM
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I try my best to buy fair trade and sweatshop free, for food and for other items. I'm not as strict about it as I am about buying vegan but I'm trying to crack down on myself because human rights are also very important to me.

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#21 Old 10-06-2010, 12:30 AM
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Should vegans wear clothes?

Seeing as pretty much every shop going sells clothing which at some point will have been made in a sweat shop.
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#22 Old 10-06-2010, 12:57 AM
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Should vegans wear clothes?

Seeing as pretty much every shop going sells clothing which at some point will have been made in a sweat shop.

There's a lot of pros and cons to the sweatshop issue. One of them being that although it's crappy by our standards, sometimes it's better than the alternative, which can mean working on the land for even less money.

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#23 Old 10-06-2010, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by semasahin View Post

Wouldn't doing so support the abuse of South American workers? On that note, should we stop eating tropical fruits as well? I don't think I want to support labor abuse. ): I wish every country had strict labor laws!

The framework of your question is too limited.

You're applying the term "vegan" here when the better question is whether an ethical consumer should have these concerns.


Veganism is a very narrowly defined lifestyle aspect. While vegans who care about humans and the environment may logically extend those values or include them in a larger world view that seeks to minimize all harm, these additional values don't fall directly under the umbrella of veganism specifically.

It's not an honest or fair comparison. It's applying values and rules to veganism that don't apply directly to it.

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#24 Old 10-06-2010, 06:39 AM
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I don't drink coffee. When I want to buy a chocolate bar, it's an easy choice for me, since many of the vegan chocolate bars I know that taste good happen to also be these "organic, fair trade" products.

I have used chocolate as an ingredient in cookies etc. though, and in that case, I don't know the origin. But at present I don't buy chocolate in any other form than (rarely) as chocolate bars.

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#25 Old 10-06-2010, 11:12 AM
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You're applying the term "vegan" here when the better question is whether an ethical consumer should have these concerns.

Veganism is a very narrowly defined lifestyle aspect. While vegans who care about humans and the environment may logically extend those values or include them in a larger world view that seeks to minimize all harm, these additional values don't fall directly under the umbrella of veganism specifically.

It's not an honest or fair comparison. It's applying values and rules to veganism that don't apply directly to it.

Exactly. I've seen people try to claim things like cheating on one's spouse "isn't vegan." When you water down the definition of vegan to include everything you don't like, it's just ridiculous and meaningless. The reasoning that, "Well, it's about being nice to animals and humans ARE animals..." and therefore everything that could possibly be uncomfortable for humans isn't vegan is really sloppy thinking about definitions. For practical purposes it would be better if people thought of veganism as relating to "nonhumans" rather than "animals."

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#26 Old 10-06-2010, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by .Goth-Alice. View Post

This is where I was saying about getting into different subsections of what people as Vegans believe. Personally I agree with 'rapt' my first thought is for animals, (of course I buy fairtrade,but that is besides the point),and although humans are classed as animals, I feel that animal rights and human rights are two completly different things.
Please do not misinterperate my point, I am not saying that humans deserve less rights, or animals more. Not for one second.

I agree!

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#27 Old 10-07-2010, 01:54 AM
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Exactly. I've seen people try to claim things like cheating on one's spouse "isn't vegan." When you water down the definition of vegan to include everything you don't like, it's just ridiculous and meaningless. The reasoning that, "Well, it's about being nice to animals and humans ARE animals..." and therefore everything that could possibly be uncomfortable for humans isn't vegan is really sloppy thinking about definitions. For practical purposes it would be better if people thought of veganism as relating to "nonhumans" rather than "animals."

I feel the same way.
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#28 Old 10-08-2010, 02:49 AM
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Exactly. I've seen people try to claim things like cheating on one's spouse "isn't vegan." When you water down the definition of vegan to include everything you don't like, it's just ridiculous and meaningless. The reasoning that, "Well, it's about being nice to animals and humans ARE animals..." and therefore everything that could possibly be uncomfortable for humans isn't vegan is really sloppy thinking about definitions. For practical purposes it would be better if people thought of veganism as relating to "nonhumans" rather than "animals."


Nonhuman earthlings.

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#29 Old 11-04-2010, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by semasahin View Post

Wouldn't doing so support the abuse of South American workers? On that note, should we stop eating tropical fruits as well? I don't think I want to support labor abuse. ): I wish every country had strict labor laws!

Being a vegan has nothing do with labor abuse.
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#30 Old 11-04-2010, 09:54 PM
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Veganism is not a boycott. Vegans avoid animal products because of the inherent nature of the product: it requires animal suffering/exploitation/death.

Abstaining from non-fair-trade (and/or non-organic) IS a boycott. When I buy fair trade organc coffee I do so because there's nothing inherently wrong with coffee. Coffee doesn't require suffering/exploitation/death, only certain practices of obtaining coffee are problematic, not coffee itself.
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