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spa_girl, I am going to repost the info in your link. I think it is very important.
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">MORE ON THE BK VEGGIE BURGER<br><br>
Last week, we mentioned the introduction of the largest financial investment ever in vegetarianism -- the BK Veggie Burger -- and the debate surrounding the butter flavor in the bun.<br><br><br><br>
Of course, as pointed out below, it is absurd to believe that anything is really vegan, in the sense the vegan police use the word. For example, much "vegan" food contains insect remnants. So, if we try to draw the line between "vegan" and "non-vegan" based only on what happens to be written on a food label, we are judging in an arbitrary -- and basically indefensible -- fashion. How can we make potential vegans' lives harder by saying Burger King's burger isn't vegan, when what we eat may well be less "vegan" than the bun?<br><br><br><br>
Personally, I find it shocking and saddening how we spend more time worried about butter flavor in a bun, about microwaving vs. grilled with "meat," than about the millions of cow and chicken sandwiches being served. When people say, "XYZ isn't vegan!," I want to scream. Why does it matter? How can it possibly matter, in and of itself, whether a product meets some definition of "vegan"?<br><br><br><br>
My opinion is that "vegan" matters only as a commitment to reduce suffering. Animal products matter only in as much as they are an imperfect indicator of suffering. How we present ourselves to the public, how we spend our time and money, our career choices -- all these are infinitely more important than defending some random definition of "vegan."<br><br><br><br>
It always amazes me (and, to be honest, makes me a little envious) that some people can view the world in such black-and-white terms. As someone who is only concerned about reducing suffering, I am bedeviled with questions, such as promoting vegetarianism vs. veganism, working for legislative and supply-side welfare reforms vs. the slow demand-side changes of education, etc.<br><br><br><br>
Given all the variables and unknowns, I don't know how anyone can feel passionate and absolute certainty regarding what is "right" and what is "wrong." As far as I've been able to tell, the best we can do is to try to be honest regarding our first principles and subsequent decisions.<br><br><br><br>
-Matt Ball<br><br>
Vegan Is As Vegan Does<br><br><br><br>
Let me start off by saying that I realize there is an opposing view to what I'm about to say, with many valid points. Additionally, I'm not suggesting that a company be allowed to label their product "vegan" if they have purposefully added animal ingredients.<br><br><br><br>
I look at the BK Veggie Burger issue as someone solely concerned with the suffering of animals. To me, the underlying question is how we, as a community, define ourselves and others, and why we consider some foods "taboo."<br><br><br><br>
For a number of years now, I have felt our community's focus on the purity of ingredients has significantly harmed the spread of veganism. We may have sacrificed a tremendous number of people who would go 99% of the way, in order to make a big deal over less than 1% of animal ingredients in various foods.<br><br><br><br>
In my opinion, worrying about trace amounts of animal products makes veganism look like a religion more than a social movement. It is hard enough for people to see that they are causing animal suffering by drinking a glass of milk; when people see advocates so worked up over minutia, the connection to animal suffering gets lost. Rather, veganism becomes something that someone else is "really into" and that they, themselves, "could never do."<br><br><br><br>
While I have seen many examples of this in my life, something my mother once said to me summed it up. Over the years, she has been very supportive, and knew the arguments for veganism quite well. One day, she had made some food using some margarine that had whey as one of the last ingredients (she didn't realize this). When I told her I didn't want any, she said, "You can't possibly think you are helping an animal by not eating this, can you?"<br><br><br><br>
I realized that on some level, she was right. Later on, I recognized that not only was I not helping animals by avoiding these sorts of minuscule amounts of animal products, I might very well be harming the spread of veganism by breaking the connection, in other people's minds, between the foods I was avoiding and animal suffering. My example had become about my purity and obscure ingredients, and not about exploitation and suffering.<br><br><br><br>
See No Evil, Smell No Evil, Taste No Evil<br><br><br><br>
A few yeas ago, I started suggesting that our community, to some extent, change the definition of "vegan" to mean someone who avoids perceptible animal products. In other words, if you can't see it, taste it, or smell it, then don't worry about it.<br><br><br><br>
While this idea has definitely not caught on in the traditional vegans circles, potential vegans who read Vegan Outreach's literature about the difference between a "practical" and "symbolic vegan" often write us saying that they never would have gone vegan if they hadn't read this.<br><br>
My idea is to let vegan activists worry about minutia (if they want to do so), but not to expect or encourage ordinary vegans to do so.<br><br><br><br>
I believe it would help us to get over our discomfort with someone who knowingly eats a trace of animal products. I fear that it sends a message of "You don't care as much about veganism as we do; you are not one of us" that is unhealthy for making veganism into a large movement.</div>
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There's a bit of thinking that says demi-vegetarians are helping to reduce cruelty more than true vegetarians, and resultingly causing more fear in the meat producers, because they are a greater number of people by far. The thinking goes, 100% of all people dropping their meat consumption by 50% is easier and just as effective (if not more) in changing the marketplace than 50% of all people becoming true vegetarians. The thinking goes on to suggest that demi-vegetarians are more responsible for the industry changes along the lines of that article I posted today from the L.A. Times.
 

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That said, I still plan on staying vegan regardless of how they reduce or otherwise suppress pain in animals, assuming this is 100% possible. I have many more reasons for being than to prevent animal suffering, environmental and economic reasons among them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Thanks for posting that, Thalia.<br><br><br><br>
I can see where the writers are coming from, but was also thinking if vegans don't show concern for the trace amounts then some non-vegans (at least the hardcore anti-vegans) could point out a vegan's being okay with those trace amounts, calling them hypocrites.
 

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Kurm, you're right, there are times when non-vegans will point out something I eat and say "did you know that has XY in it." But that always provides the perfect opportunity to talk about the importance of reducing animal suffering and removing the majority of meat and diary from your diet instead of focusing on trace ingredients and attempting perfection.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by kpickell</i><br><br><b><br><br>
I'm disappointed by how quickly we dismiss any positive change in a company.</b></div>
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No kidding.<br><br><br><br>
I was jumping up and down when BK came out with it.<br><br>
At the BK in a neighboring base - they had the item, but weren't advertising it well - so I went and talked to the manager. He put up the big color poster he had sitting in the back. People won't try it if they can't see what it is.<br><br><br><br>
My best friend is Omni - this was the first "vegan" thing I could get her to eat - and she is sniffing around now and experimenting - asking questions....it's cool!!
 

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I convinced a friend to get the McVeggie on Wednesday night instead of a Whopper or whatever. *pats self on back* He was pleasantly surprised, but of course, "it's not the same."<br><br><br><br>
LOL<br><br><br><br>
I'm just glad I sold one of them to someone.
 

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I love greasy, unhealthy, oily, heart-busting food. . . .. as long as no animals were killed for it.<br><br><br><br>
There is nothing wrong with eating unhealthy and veg fast food, people. . . . enjoy life.
 

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Dude. Native Foods (Westwood, Palm Springs and soon in Costa Mesa, CA) has the best fried soy chicken and other items. LOVE that place.
 

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I actually like the BK veggie. I didn't really at first but it sort of grew on me. Vegetarian options here are few and far between when eating out.
 

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i posted earlier about McD's Japan new tofu sandwich. i was so happy and they sure were tasty - had 2 in one weekend!<br><br>
checked my email tho and found out that theses sandwiches contain bits of chicken. ugh!
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by sedmikraska</i><br><br><b>i posted earlier about McD's Japan new tofu sandwich. i was so happy and they sure were tasty - had 2 in one weekend!<br><br>
checked my email tho and found out that theses sandwiches contain bits of chicken. ugh!</b></div>
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That doesn't suprise me at all. 99.9999% of Japan doesn't "get" veg*n - and they don't want to. I couldn't imagine a Japanese person willingly going without fish - or fish products.<br><br><br><br>
The Tofu sandwich was probably put on the menu because it's a taste that Japanese prefer - and they feel the chicken probably just enhances the flavor of it. - I guarantee it that the tofu sandwich wasn't put on the menu to give Japanese people a veg*n option.
 

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one of my very good friends is a store manager for a subway and is also vegan. he says that their white bread is vegan because it is made with cheaper soy instead of more expensive dairy, but the wheat bread is not vegan because it contains honey. i could be mistaken, but i would think that he would know.
 

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even though I think they taste like <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/spew.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":spew:"><br><br><br><br>
I know it's not a popular decision with the <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/veganpolice.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":notvegan:">...and I was vehemently against it at first too, but what Erik Marcus had to say made a whole lot of sense to me.<br><br><br><br>
I buy BK Veggie burgers and Ruby Tuesday's veggie burgers because I really want to support that trend...even though I know there's a minute amount of dairy in the BK and have never been able to get a satisfactory response on the RT sandwich. right now is a critical moment in fast food history. The BK is the only major fast food veggieburger out right now...and if it's a huge success, they may come out with more veg foods. If it flops...it might be the last time for decades that a fast food place will try something like his. For me, eating a little bit of dairy is a worthwhile sacrifice to make the BK Veggie profitable to BK. (I do ask that my BK Veg be microwaved instead of flame broiled with the meats, and of course leave off the mayo and cheese.) In the future, when they've determined that they can make a profit off of vegetarians and increase their vegetarian food options, it will be time to insist upon strict vegan options as well. As a result of the availability of information on the internet, people are becoming vegetarian or vegan in great numbers right now. I think that our day will come.<br><br><br><br>
Picture this scenario: BK has two vegetarian options and one vegan option in addition to it's six burger combo meals. A family of four goes to BK to eat...they're not vegetarian or vegan. Dad orders a double whopper with cheese. Mom is more health-conscious, orders the vegan hummus wrap and salad combo. Daughter loves Mexican food, orders the vegetarian fajitas. Son orders a chicken mcnugget happy meal. Two out of four of these non-vegetarian consumers did NOT support the meat industry tonight. Now picture the same family, same night, if the BK Veggie had failed and BK never developed a vegetarian product line. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/bigcry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":cry:"><br><br><br><br>
I'll eat a little bit of dairy in the BK bun, for now, in order to increase the chances that the first scenario will happen. I won't knowingly eat any dairy otherwise, but in this case I think it's important to make an exception- I think it's the one scenario where the best interests of the animals and the earth actually coincide with my eating animal products...and although I've made a commitment not to do that, I've decided that in this case it's more than worth it.
 

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Paisley, The BK Veggie is completely vegan. Ingredients were changed earlier this year to remove all dairy.<br><br><br><br>
nick, yeah, I love Subway and always get the white bread for that reason.
 

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Ruby Tuesday's says their veggie burger is vegan. I have a friend who actually called the company and ordered a case to be delivered to her home because she loves them so much. When she ordered them they confirmed the ingredients with her. They really are my favorite resaurant veggie burgers! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/lick.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":lick:">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>kpickell</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Paisley, The BK Veggie is completely vegan. Ingredients were changed earlier this year to remove all dairy.<br></div>
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Yayy! I hadn't heard about that. Guess that's because I just found this place, I'm a sadly uninformed vegan. Thank you, wise people!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":wayne:"><br><br><br><br>
I'm a Subway lover too, a Veggie Delite with extra jalepenos, black olives and hot sauce is my favorite meal on the go. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/drool.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":drool:"> But I hadn't heard that the wheat bread had honey in it. I'm not a white bread person, that stuff tastes like air. Guess I'll have to whine at them...
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>magates</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
yea subway is great, I used to eat the sandwiches with meat but they taste way better without it. Its insane how much better they are...</div>
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You could also get into how badly the workers are treated that have to pick the veggies that go to Subway (Taco Bell is notoriously bad that way, too). They're basically slaves that make very little money, have to work 14 hours a day and have no decent place to live and no healthcare (that goes without saying). I personally am boycotting McD., Burger King, Subway, etc, because of workers' rights and horrible food.<br><br><br><br>
I'm lucky enough to live in NYC, so there are a thousand other options, but if I lived anywhere else in the US, I think I'd be screwed, and have to eat at one of those places.
 
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