Everyday Activism: More Veg*n Food, Please!

December 12th, 2007 10:19 pm by Kelly Garbato

And while we’re at it, I’d like an Invisible Pink Unicorn, too!

OK, so I’ve been slacking on these “Everyday Activism” posts. Big time. Which is sad, because I’m brimming with them. Plus, they’re generally really simple, easy actions that you diy in no time. Not to mention…people have packed books full of these tips!

So, my tip for today: write/call/email/otherwise harass (but politely) food companies, and ask them to provide more veg*n options. This can be a general request, for example, to Kraft Foods, requesting that they make more veg*n food choices available overall. However, my feeling is that it would be better still to target a specific brand. Think of a veg*n product that you enjoy, but that might be the only veg*n item in that line. Or perhaps a mostly-veg*n line that, despite the manufacturer’s overall animal- or eco-friendly stance, still includes a few non-veg*n items. Write the manufacturer and lay out your case.

For example, I sent the following email to Near East. Love their couscous; wish there were more flavors I could actually eat.

I used to enjoy your Tomato Lentil CousCous immensely. I went through a case of the stuff every few weeks when I lived in New York, but was unable to find it once relocated to the Midwest. So I was delighted to see the Tomato Lentil CousCous in a Whole Foods store last month! However, I transitioned from vegetarianism to veganism a few years ago, and was shocked when I read the label – just in case! – and found that the Tomato Lentil contains honey, an animal product.

Please, please consider using substitutes when possible to make your vegetarian items 100% vegan. It’s so disappointing for new vegans to find that their favorite products are off-limits. Going vegan when possible will help to widen your customer base AND foster loyalty with those customers who are limited by various dietary restrictions. I will continue to enjoy your vegan items, such your Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil CousCous, but would greatly appreciate it if you would consider making more of your vegetarian items all-vegan.

Thanks for reading!

It’s usually all about the money, so stress how much they can expand their customer base by making omni items vegetarian, or vegetarian items vegan. Throw in some stats if you’re feeling math-y. Tell them that you used to love their products before you went veg, and miss them terribly. And so do all your veg*n comrades! If only they’d ditch the whey…

And if the company isn’t all about the money, but also professes to care about animals or the environment, appeal to their ideals: explain why an eco-conscious company can’t, in good faith, sell products laced with factory-farmed eggs. (And cage free eggs are no better.) If you’re especially offended by their non-veg wares, threaten a boycott (but only if you mean it!). Unlike the Kraft Foods conglomerate, a smaller, tree-hugging company might actually care about losing your business – doubly so since you’re more likely to fall in their target demographic.

Got an almost-veg*n vendor who needs a good talking to? Leave the details in the comments. Maybe we can get a letter-writing campaign going!

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2 Responses to “Everyday Activism: More Veg*n Food, Please!”

  1. Smite Me! [.net] » Blog Archive » Sundried Tomato CousCous: Totally easy, totally veg*n, totally yummy! Says:

    […] * Many of their flavors aren’t vegan or even vegetarian; why not write Near East and encourage them to offer more animal-friendly options, hmmmm? […]

  2. easyVegan.info » Blog Archive » Sundried Tomato CousCous: Totally easy, totally veg*n, totally yummy! Says:

    […] Many of their flavors aren’t vegan or even vegetarian; why not write Near East and encourage them to offer more animal-friendly options, […]

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