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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the vegan livejournal community to which I belong, there are quite a number of people who call themselves "freegans", meaning they consume the animal products that would otherwise be wasted, much akin to dumpster diving.

I know I'm guilty of this in a way; I don't eat any animal products, but my aunt owns a salon and gives me free bottles of shampoo, free makeup, and the like, some of which I would never spend money on because I know it either contains animal products and/or the company tests on animals.

I was just wondering what you guys feel about the "freegan" movement. Their philosophy is they're preventing food and other items from being wasted, and they have no problem with consuming animal products as long as they don't pay for it. One person from the community mentioned he goes to the grocery store and takes as many free samples as he can, whether it be meat and cheese, or cookies.
 

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aesthetically, i could never do it. the idea of eating and/or slathering my body with the cooked or rendered body parts of dead beings makes me feel ill.

from an economic and ecological standpoint, however, i can see the logic behind it. i can't hate them for it, if that's what you are asking.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Vegankat

Their philosophy is they're preventing food and other items from being wasted, and they have no problem with consuming animal products as long as they don't pay for it. One person from the community mentioned he goes to the grocery store and takes as many free samples as he can, whether it be meat and cheese, or cookies.
i'm not entirely convinced that just because it's free, it is waste.

in the case of the free samples at the grocery store, i can't imagine that food going to waste. people scarf that **** up every chance they get - i see it all the time.

now, if they really WERE dumpster-diving, that would be something else entirely. but that's not really what they are doing, is it?

also, i'm not clear on this, are these "freegans" vegan the majority of the time? what i mean is, unless they are starving, or really in need, do they try to live and eat vegan? or is the term "freegan" just a play on words, and are they simply people who go around looking for free stuff?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Kreeli



i'm not entirely convinced that just because it's free, it is waste.

I also generally agree with Kreeli. I would say that, just because a freegan hasn't paid for an animal product does not mean that money did not get paid to animal product producers in the process. Therefore, such actions do not necessarily avoid economically supporting animal product producers (if that is indeed their intention).

For example, if Oscar Meyer is giving away free samples of hotdogs at the grocery store, either Oscar Meyer paid the meat suppliers for that meat that went into making the sample hotdogs or it owns the meat supplying entities. In the first case, clearly meat producers got paid.

In the second case, though, Oscar Meyer took a loss (at least a temporary loss). Of course, Oscar Meyer is calculating that people who sample their hotdogs will next time, go out and purchase some, so that Oscar Meyer recovers this loss. But when Freegans who never intend to purchase hotdogs eat these hotdogs, there is a permanent loss.

The issue is not quite so clear though. If for example, I go to a friends house and they offer me chicken, even if they said they would only throw it away, if I accept it, next time my friend goes to the store, she is more likely to purchase the same amount of chicken or more. Why? because freegans, nevertheless, create demand. Even though it is demand for free animal products, some people may be willing to pay for it to provide it free to a freegan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Stem



The issue is not quite so clear though. If for example, I go to a friends house and they offer me chicken, even if they said they would only throw it away, if I accept it, next time my friend goes to the store, she is more likely to purchase the same amount of chicken or more. Why? because freegans, nevertheless, create demand. Even though it is demand for free animal products, some people may be willing to pay for it to provide it free to a freegan.
That is exactly what I was thinking. When people eat all the free samples up, the store will figure "Hey, this is a popular product! Let's get more!" and thus the freegans have caused the store to purchase even more of said item, defeating the purpose of being vegan in the first place.

I thought it was interesting that one so-called freegan said the movement was "the next step" after veganism. To me, it seems to be a step backwards and they're trying to justify their consumption of animal products.
 

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If I were in your situation, VeganKat, I would ask your aunt what else she would be doing with the shampoos. If she says she'd give it to someone else, or sell it to someone else, I wouldn't take it. If however, offering it to you is the last alternative to throwing it in the garbage, then I'd take the products. I think its better off being used than going into some landfill.

Personally, I'd rather put a piece of free animal flesh in the garbage or in the cat dish. I think shampoos and products like that are kind of different than meat/dairy.

brake 4 squirrels
 

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I generally agree with everyone, too. The most "freegan" thing I've done was a long time ago after my Grandpa's wake, there was a ton of cold cuts and bread left over. Everybody took some, and I did too. I tried to get my housemates to eat it but they didn't, so eventually I ate a lot of it. Part of it was that I was also on a very tight budget, and I hadn't been veg long enough to be totally grossed out, either.
 

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while i agree with everything that's been said before, if i were ever to buy something at a store or restaurant that contained animal products, by accident, i would go ahead and eat it assuming there was no one else to eat it. that part of their argument i do agree with, that i'd rather it didn't go to waste. like some of you said, i wouldn't do this if someone else had bought the food, because they may be inclined to buy the same (excessive) amount next time. but if i bought it myself and there's nowhere for it to go, i'd eat it. once you buy it, from the consumption piont of view, it doesn't matter whether you eat it or not, it's been bought. thus, i dont want it to go to waste. but i surely wouldn't buy the product again.
 

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i'm with ya, stonecrest, i really am. but surely there is someone in your life that isn't vegan, that you could give the product to?

i really can't see myself succumbing to consuming an outright animal product unless i was truly starving and had no other options.

if "freegans" are really about veganism, and really about reducing waste, they should collect all the stuff that would be thrown away, and give it to those in need.
 

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well, for instance, a few weeks ago i purchased some veggie burgers for the supermarket. i had bought two items of this particular brand before (chik patties and grilled veggie burgers) and both were vegan. this particular time though, they didn't have the grilled veggie burgers, so i thought, well ok, i'll just buy the normal veggie burgers. turns out they had cheddar cheese in them, i don't know why i didn't take the time to check. for some reason, i just thought the whole brand was vegan


but anyway, trust me, i wouldn't be able to find anyone to take those off my hands, definitely not any of my friends. i have a few indian veggie friends but they refuse to eat imitation meats. so i grudgingly ate it, despite the fact that it made me sick every time to think that i was eating an animal product. but that's over with, i won't fall into that trap again.

i do think, however, that it'd be quite difficult to find someone to take your meal at a restaurant, you know? i only eat out about once a month so i haven't run into this problem yet, but i could certainly imagine it happening sometime in the future or to other people.
 

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If you end up already having purchased an animal product, rather than use it, you could also return it to the manufacturer (if there is one) with a letter stating that you won't use this product for a specific reason.

Too bad you can't do this with perishables.
 

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I have a friend who calls herself a freegan. She is a squatter most of the time, the rest of the time she is homeless. When she has money to buy food she eats vegan... or really whenever she has a choice in the matter she eats vegan. But there have been times when she was close to starving (not eaten for a couple of days) and did some dumpster diving.

I don't have a problem with this womon calling herself a vegan or a freegan, because she spends her life working on A/E causes and promoting veganism for free.
 

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my sister went dumpster diving once and scored on a bunch of organic but not vegan cookies that were individually wrapped and then boxed. it was from a company in seattle whose building was partially destroyed in that last notable earthquake. i guess they had to throw out all their stuff (even though it was perfectly fine...). she also scored on some seattle frangos (sp?). i, although claiming the title vegan, did not feel too badly consuming them. i suppose she could have given them away to other people, but she brought them home. she actually did, after we all grew sick of it, hand it out in seattle.

so i dunno- I used to be so obssessed with conforming to the term vegan completely- no questions asked, until I realized that I didn't change my diet to appeal to a group of people, but to limit my negative impact on animals. neither of us have dumpster dove since and I don't know if I could honestly stomach more freeganed dairy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'm involved on and off (due to my stupid work schedule ><) with the FNB chapter in Greensboro. I meet a lot of cool people that way, and help out at the same time. I love it.
 
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