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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My question is two-fold.<br><br>
I was recently asked what the difference is between buying vegan products from non-vegan companies and buying non-vegan products from non-vegan companies since both end up financially supporting a company engaging in non-vegan practices. I understand the key difference; that a reduction in demand for non-vegan products will reduce the necessary suffering endured by our fellow sentient beings to supply said products. However, the money ultimately goes to the same source and how can we ethically justify financially contributing to companies involved in the exploitation of animals?<br><br>
My second question is pretty similar. What is the difference between buying vegan products from non-vegan companies (as I assume we all do) and buying vegan, non-animal tested products from non-vegan companies engaging in animal testing? If the item we wish to purchase is free of abuse in both instances then why do some say it is acceptable in the former case but not ethically permissible in the latter?<br><br>
Thoughts?
 

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Let me pose another question:<br><br>
What is the difference from buying products from a store that only sells vegan products versus a store that sells both vegan and non-vegan? Is it unethical to buy vegan products from the non-vegan store?<br><br>
In my opinion, no, it is not unethical. How would you drive your car if you needed to buy gasoline (assuming the gas station would sell some sort of wonky hot dogs, or beef jerky)?<br><br>
How about another question: What if the driver of the truck transporting the products is an omnivore?<br><br>
We have to be realistic, not idealistic. Ideally, we would only want to support companies and stores that are completely vegan. But that isn't the case, and most likely (sorry to say) won't be the case for the foreseeable future. From cradle-to-grave, a vegan product may come across some sort of non-vegan company, person, product, etc. As a normal person, you can only control the products that are available to you. In other words, unless you create your own company where you ensure that every person and company that you deal with is vegan (including the assumption that the solid waste company is not accepting any other non-vegan company's waste), you have to support the products that are available--whether they are from a complete non-vegan company or not.<br><br>
Boycott the companies you want, but I think it will be near impossible to find a product that is completely non-vegan from cradle-to-grave.<br><br>
So, in my opinion, the answer to your questions is this: You are doing all you realistically can to be vegan and will only choose to support vegan products. You will encourage and support a company's decision to produce and sell vegan products, but you will not support the company's other products.<br><br>
Good luck.
 

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Just think of it from the perspective of a child or a very poor person, someone who mostly relies on the gerosity of others and who doesn't make purchasing decisions based on economic theory but rather someone who is simply so morally opposed to doing something that they simply act in accordance with that belief.<br><br>
For many people, veganism is not a boycott and it's not about where the money goes. It's about avoiding animal exploitation as much as possible and practical. Listen, we don't actually vote with our dollars. You know why? The election is rigged. So stop worrying about who might get you pennies and start getting more active promoting veganism, lobbying for new laws to protect animals, rescuing animals or whatever you're good at!
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ElaineV</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3034224"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
For many people, veganism is not a boycott and it's not about where the money goes. It's about avoiding animal exploitation as much as possible and practical.</div>
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I definitely agree with that, but what do you mean by this?:<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ElaineV</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3034224"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Listen, we don't actually vote with our dollars. You know why?</div>
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Sorry for resurrecting a relatively old post, but it's a curious claim and I would like to understand what you mean.
 

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Voting implies equality, each person gets just one vote. But when we "vote with our dollars" then the number of votes someone gets is based on how wealthy they are. The wealthy people get more votes.<br><br>
Then also consider the fact that our economy is not purely based on supply and demand. Other factors include government subsidies, the history of wealth accumulation, cheats and liars, etc. And so these factors also diminish our capacity to influence the economy through our individual consumption practices.<br><br>
Then also, you could factor in the issue of dollars themselves. They're just pieces of paper literally manufactured by the government. They don't have any inherent value!
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ElaineV</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3065877"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Voting implies equality, each person gets just one vote.</div>
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I've never seen it to imply that; in many organizational structures voting is weighted based on factors like position and seniority. That's why we have terms like an "equal vote" to specify when each member's vote is equivalent.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ElaineV</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3065877"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Other factors include government subsidies[...] And so these factors also diminish our capacity to influence the economy through our individual consumption practices.</div>
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Government subsidies suck, yes. But however diminished our influence, it's still something, right?<br><br>
Even with everything stacked against us, no matter how small we are, and no matter how quiet our voices may be, if we all speak together our shout can shake the very Earth.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ElaineV</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3065877"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Then also, you could factor in the issue of dollars themselves. They're just pieces of paper literally manufactured by the government. They don't have any inherent value!</div>
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the same as voting slips.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>PleasantDream</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3033390"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
However, the money ultimately goes to the same source ..</div>
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No.<br><br>
The distributor is not the source. The source is the producer.<br><br>
What we don't buy from a distributor the distributor will not buy from the source.<br><br>
The idea that money spent on vegan products will be used to buy non-vegan products (in excess of the demand for non-vegan products) is highly flawed.
 

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Yeah you vote with your money.<br>
Yeah if you want to go full purity style, than byuing from a company who uses your money for animal testing or whatever is unethical.<br><br>
But if this company does make a few vegan products, when you vote with your money, you tell this company that this product has a market, that it is a successful product.<br><br>
Today in every english mc donald there are vegetarian burgers. In every single one. Yeah it sucks to buy something in a place like mcdonald. But they wouldn't do it if they woudln't be a market and money behind it. And i let you find the advantages of having something like a vegetarian burger in every single english mcdonald.<br><br>
And do you think that people who never see a vegetarian or vegan labelled product, will see that something like that even exists ? When they become vegetarian, don't you think that they can become encouraged/discouraged by the easy access to those products ? Do you think that they will be available if no one buys them because it's a bad company who makes them ?<br><br>
Boycoting at a small scale don't change things. Telling some bad guys that veganism is succesful can bring more vegan products.
 

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Encouraging companies like Wal-mart or Subway to carry more vegetarian products could only be a good thing for animals and vegetarians in the long run. I mean, that's just common sense. If McDonald's introduced a fully vegan burger, which is more likely than you'd think in the long run, it's not like the profits from that burger will be used to make Mcribs. It'll grow that sector of the business, possibly prompting them to further veganize the menu. That's how economics works. If I ran a co-op and sold lots of tomato seeds but not many cucumber seeds, would I use the money from tomato seeds to buy more cucumber seeds? Would you? That's really how simple it can be.
 

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All the vegans I know don't buy products (vegan or not) from companies that test on animals. This might have been addressed but I didn't read though all the posts.
 

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Valid points regarding various ways to vote. But let me put it this way:<br>
Donating $1000 to Mercy For Animals is much more likely to benefit animals significantly than withdrawing $1000 worth of purchases from businesses that contribute to animal suffering, particularly when we're talking about indirect purchases like those described in the first post of this thread:<br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">buying vegan products from non-vegan companies</div>
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Withdrawing $1000 worth of purchases of vegan products from nonvegan companies doesn't really do much good at all and might even do some harm.<br><br>
Now, I'm not saying there isn't <i>some</i> reason to think that we can influence the world through our purchasing choices. I just don't want to overestimate the amount of power we have. I don't want anyone to think that just <i>buying stuff or not buying stuff</i> actually changes the world. It doesn't.<br><br>
A boycott is a TEMPORARY refusal to buy certain items by an ORGANIZED group of poeople who make their demands extremely CLEAR to those in power. When the demands are met, the boycott is lifted and people begin purchasing those products again.<br><br>
Veganism is not a boycott. For starters, most vegans simply don't view animals as products for purchase. The refusal to buy hamburgers is not in order to urge beef producers to become more humane or environmentally responsible; the refusal to buy hamburgers is based on the principle that cow flesh is not a proper food source for humans given the array of plant-based alternatives. Failing that, even humane-meat proponents who identify as vegans cannot reasonably be said to be part of an organized boycott. They may think of their plant-based diet as a boycott themselves but until there is better organization amongst them it's just individual conscientious consumption and is unlikely to have much influence over actual agricultural practices.<br><br>
I've strayed a bit from my main point, however, in trying to defend my position that we can't actually vote with out dollars. That's <i>not</i> my essential point. My primary aim is to convince people that <b>animals are not food</b>, not to convince them that their money has more impact on the world than their words and actions. <b>Veganism is simple. Children can understand it: don't hurt animals if you don't have to. It doesn't require an understanding of economics or democracy. All it requires is a tiny bit of compassion.</b>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ElaineV</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3066735"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Valid points regarding various ways to vote. But let me put it this way:<br>
Donating $1000 to Mercy For Animals is much more likely to benefit animals significantly than withdrawing $1000 worth of purchases from businesses that contribute to animal suffering, particularly when we're talking about indirect purchases like those described in the first post of this thread:</div>
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I just meant generally; in that buying veggie burgers instead of meat burgers sends a message to companies that this kind of thing sells and can make money, and the more we purchase in that direction, the more companies will shift their business operations (no matter how much that's discouraged by the government and animal agriculture lobbies). In that sense, we are voting with our dollars (as are people who are interested in health food; McDonalds is doing a serious overhaul of its image as we speak).<br><br>
I don't imagine that a vegan world would be free of McDonalds- rather, I would imagine that in a vegan world the McDonalds only sell vegan products. Companies adapt to different cultures (the menus of fast food restaurants can have some pretty drastic differences overseas), they just care about what people will buy and what makes money rather than the kinds of egotistical self-identities people have.<br><br>
I went a bit into the topic of vegan vs. non-vegan companies a bit in another thread, I don't think we differ much on that point:<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>vepurusg</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3066416"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
what the vendor does with the profits from that exchange relative to any other vendor is almost entirely unpredictable, and something we can <b>not</b> reasonably know, and without knowing the relative moral effects of choosing one person over another to profit (not to mention the complications provided by contributing to economies of scale which increases general availability of morally favorable products), the average purchase renders you functionally free of further moral responsibility for the usage of that money beyond the one known use (which is replacing the product).</div>
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Beyond our direct purchase of animal products, economic exchanges are generally too muddled to see any very significant difference in purchasing between different companies (no matter what else they may sell aside from vegan products).
 

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What products you buy does make a big difference!<br><br>
I once called 'Turtle Mountain' and asked them why I couldn't find there soy yogurt anymore, they told me because the coconut yogurt outsold the soy yogurt 4 to 1.<br><br>
They have to buy and compete for shelving space
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
What about contributing to companies like Nike who use sweatshops abroad and are responsible for the suffering and poor livelihoods of the impoverished in LEDCs? Obviously this has no bearing on leading a vegan lifestyle but how does one ethically reconcile not purchasing animal cruelty products but purchasing human cruelty products? Is it possible to justify? Is it harder to avoid products where humans have potentially been exploited than it is to avoid products where animals have endured the exploitation?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>PleasantDream</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3073046"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
What about contributing to companies like Nike who use sweatshops abroad and are responsible for the suffering and poor livelihoods of the impoverished in LEDCs?</div>
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Or how about buying from the Body Shop, which has an anti-vivisection policy, but is owned by L'Oreal which still tests ingredients on animals? Whether the profits from the Body Shop go to L'Oreal or not, its still the principle, especially as The Body Shop is widely known to have a non-animal testing policy - it seems a bit fruitless. Especially as I can go to Lush and get all natural products which I know have not been tested on animals - ingredients or finished products.
 

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Buying vegan can't be bad.<br>
Still, supporting exclusively vegan companies is good idea.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>PleasantDream</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3033390"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
My question is two-fold.<br><br>
I was recently asked what the difference is between buying vegan products from non-vegan companies and buying non-vegan products from non-vegan companies since both end up financially supporting a company engaging in non-vegan practices. I understand the key difference; that a reduction in demand for non-vegan products will reduce the necessary suffering endured by our fellow sentient beings to supply said products. However, the money ultimately goes to the same source and how can we ethically justify financially contributing to companies involved in the exploitation of animals?</div>
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I personally don't (or try as hard as humanely possible) to not buy things from non-vegan companies. Most of what I buy is 100% local, made in the town I live in, but I am in a part of the country where that is possible. I do this simply because I don't want my hard earned money going in an *******'s pocket.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">My second question is pretty similar. What is the difference between buying vegan products from non-vegan companies (as I assume we all do) and buying vegan, non-animal tested products from non-vegan companies engaging in animal testing? If the item we wish to purchase is free of abuse in both instances then why do some say it is acceptable in the former case but not ethically permissible in the latter?<br><br>
Thoughts?</div>
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I won't buy from a company that engages in animal testing, end of story. It's against all that ins in the fiber of my soul.<br><br>
The difference is, one company is just a big jerk, where the other company is a torturous twisted jerk.
 

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I think that how you earn it is probably more important than how you spend it. Money is ultimately an illusion. If your work serves a good purpose, then no one can actually take that away from you. Conglomerate oligarchs don't really need your cash; they have plenty -- all of that is just a device to motivate people into providing services and producing real goods. The worst thing is if you actually serve an evil purpose in what you do. But if you can support good as produced by someone else, that's also a plus.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>iWolff</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3073079"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I won't buy from a company that engages in animal testing, end of story. It's against all that ins in the fiber of my soul.<br><br>
The difference is, one company is just a big jerk, where the other company is a torturous twisted jerk.</div>
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Seconded.
 
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