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My boyfriend is taking me out for a birthday meal, and I was just looking at the menu to see what I can ask the place to veganise for me. One of the dishes was a mushroomy pasta dish with truffles (which sounds super tasty), and it got me thinking... are truffles vegan?

The actual truffle itself is, obviously, vegan; it's a tree-root-fungus thing, like a mushroom. But (in most cases), pigs are used to sniff them out and dig them up; a technically non-vegan practice. So I was wondering what other people thought about it.
 

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I think it's vegan. Not all truffles are found using pigs, to my knowledge. For some people it's a pretty lucrative hobby. But you can check with the restaurant to be sure.
 

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You would have to call the restaurant to see how they get their truffles, I have never even heard of them being harvested unveganilly.
 

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Originally Posted by River View Post

You would have to call the restaurant to see how they get their truffles, I have never even heard of them being harvested unveganilly.
Maybe I'm thinking of something else.
 

· Herbivorous Urchin
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Originally Posted by sequoia View Post

Maybe I'm thinking of something else.
No, you're totally right I just googled it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truffle_hog

The ones I get here though are local and dug up by people for fun and profit, so it just never occurred to me there was a sick/sadistic way to do it.
 

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I don't see any harm in training animals, as long as they aren't harmed during the training or anything. For example, I don't see police dogs trained to be used that way as un-vegan, and I've never heard of any harm in the training of pigs to sniff out truffles as being bad. I think it's kind of like saying its un-vegan to train your dog to sit.
 

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A lot of restaurants and companies don't use actual truffles, they use truffle oil and there's a good percentage of truffle oil on the market that's made with synthetic esters. It's cheaper anyway and lasts longer. I would ask if they use oil and what brand.

The truffles collected in the US are not exactly truffles, in that (probably) due to the soil and native flora, they have a different flavour than European truffles. There's also another North American species that grows on pecan trees, but I have no idea what they taste like.
 

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How is training a pig to sniff out mushrooms on a leash unvegan? I'd rather that than the farmers find the truffles themselves and just slaughter all their pigs. I would think a pig they take so much time to train and make so much money from it's assistance would be treated fairly well.

In a perfect world we wouldn't have domesticated animals but this is not a perfect world. I think its just as vegan as military/police dogs and horse riding.
 

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Originally Posted by PerfectxDefect View Post

How is training a pig to sniff out mushrooms on a leash unvegan? I'd rather that than the farmers find the truffles themselves and just slaughter all their pigs. I would think a pig they take so much time to train and make so much money from it's assistance would be treated fairly well.

In a perfect world we wouldn't have domesticated animals but this is not a perfect world. I think its just as vegan as military/police dogs and horse riding.
Depends on the people, I guess.....

I mean, race horses take time to train and they make a LOT of money for their owners. But they don't always get looked after very well and there's quite a few who meet a nasty end once they're no longer 'profitable' to have around.

I mean, if we look at your example of military/police dogs (great example by the way). Putting aside the fact that those animals are put in harms way because humans are jerks, not because the dogs went "Hey, you know what I want to do? Go into a war zone! Serve my country, BOOYAH!". But those animals are usually cared for, they're given a certain status within our community and I have no doubt are often provided with very good 'retirements' if they survive in their jobs long enough.

Greyhounds are raced for monetary profit. When they are no longer of use, they get put down (for the majority, there are some who will adopt them).

It seems to be a disturbing trend, that when humans use animals for profit that they forget that it's still a living creature. They focus on the money.

I'm not saying all truffle farmers are whip wielding psychos ready to kill the pigs once they stop finding truffles so readily. But, what happens when they pig gets too old? Or too expensive to feed? Do they continue to look after the pig? Or does the pig get sent off to the slaughterhouse? Do they starve the pigs at all, to ensure that they will definitely hunt out the truffles?

I guess what I'm saying is, it's not just that animals are used to find something, or do something that makes a product 'unvegan'. But, knowing how the chain of supply works, can certainly sway that product on it's status of 'vegan' or 'non-vegan'.
 

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The pigs those farmers own die regardeless. But at least the truffle pigs get to roam about occasionally. If no one bought truffles they would slaughter all their pigs like farmers do, if people buy truffles they will slaughter all their pigs. Nothing will stop the pigs they own suffering and dying. If you don't buy truffles they won't stop raising and killing pigs.. what they do is cruel but truffles play no role in whether or not they keep pigs.
 

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Originally Posted by PerfectxDefect View Post

The pigs those farmers own die regardeless. But at least the truffle pigs get to roam about occasionally. If no one bought truffles they would slaughter all their pigs like farmers do, if people buy truffles they will slaughter all their pigs. Nothing will stop the pigs they own suffering and dying. If you don't buy truffles they won't stop raising and killing pigs.. what they do is cruel but truffles play no role in whether or not they keep pigs.
But as you say....the pig dies regardless. That's the point, isn't it? That an animal dies because a human decides they're no longer worth profit alive, so they'll make profit from them dead.

Isn't that one of the reasons that a vegan chooses not to wear wool? Because no matter how well the sheep is treated, sooner or later they are killed when they're no longer of use.

Truffles are the reason the pig is there in the farm in the first place. It's not like they have a pig farm and occassionally go truffle hunting and the pig gets a day out. And I'm not sure they do get to 'roam about'. I haven't looked into how truffles are found by pigs, but I'm guessing it doesn't involve letting the pigs out, then the pigs come back to the farm grunting with excitement and the farmer is all "What's that Pepper? There's truffles by the Old Mill?!"

The pigs would at least be on a leash and as the reason pigs are so good at finding truffles is because they like to eat them.....

It's certainly an interesting topic to discuss though.
 

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Originally Posted by Tiger Lilly View Post

But as you say....the pig dies regardless. That's the point, isn't it? That an animal dies because a human decides they're no longer worth profit alive, so they'll make profit from them dead.

Isn't that one of the reasons that a vegan chooses not to wear wool? Because no matter how well the sheep is treated, sooner or later they are killed when they're no longer of use.

Truffles are the reason the pig is there in the farm in the first place. It's not like they have a pig farm and occassionally go truffle hunting and the pig gets a day out. And I'm not sure they do get to 'roam about'. I haven't looked into how truffles are found by pigs, but I'm guessing it doesn't involve letting the pigs out, then the pigs come back to the farm grunting with excitement and the farmer is all "What's that Pepper? There's truffles by the Old Mill?!"

The pigs would at least be on a leash and as the reason pigs are so good at finding truffles is because they like to eat them.....

It's certainly an interesting topic to discuss though.
my point was those farmers will keep pigs regardeless.. at least they get to go for walks for a while first. Those farmers with access to pigs aren't eating tofu.. they are eating pigs. If you buy the truffles they eat them, if you don't they eat them. It makes no difference. I made my point pretty clear. Twisting my words or putting yours in my mouth does nothing but upset someone that has been fighting for animal rights tooth and nail for a decade. My second comment showed the other part of my belief. This is why we are never accepted.. we alienate each other by putting down people on our own side. Veganism will never be the norm if we fight for no reason. It gives the omnis a reason to dismiss us.
 

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Originally Posted by Tiger Lilly View Post

It seems to be a disturbing trend, that when humans use animals for profit that they forget that it's still a living creature. They focus on the money.
Why is there such a large meat industry? Certainly not nutrition - it's all for profit. And this is not a trend, it's the human condition. I bet if someone offered any vegan here $25million to stop being vegan, most would take the money... But conversely, if an omni was offered $25million to be vegan they almost certainly would too!

We humans focus too much on wealth...
 

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Originally Posted by Siv View Post

Why is there such a large meat industry? Certainly not nutrition - it's all for profit. And this is not a trend, it's the human condition. I bet if someone offered any vegan here $25million to stop being vegan, most would take the money... But conversely, if an omni was offered $25million to be vegan they almost certainly would too!

We humans focus too much on wealth...
I agree...Sad but true.
:sick:
On the plus side, I found some vegan truffles.
 
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