Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Accidental non-vegan consumption. Where do you draw the line?

As a vegan, I do not consume animal products. We all know this. 

But at what point is a product consumed? This varies person to person. I, for one find the act of purchasing - paying money to the source for the product as the point of actual consumption. But then once you have bought the item, what if you find it is not vegan due to an oversight? There are a few options here - you can either physically consume it yourself as planned, throw it away or give it to someone else. Each option has pro's and con's but it is also circumstansial. 

Recently I accidentally bought a tofu simmer sauce containing 'scallop'...heres thinking it actually said 'shallot' as was hidden under a little sticker. Completely my fault for not being thorough. But nonetheless, I bought it so had to deal with the consequences. I ended up making it at Vegan Tuesday.

So back to my three choices. I could have thrown it away but then the resources/pain/damage caused during the process of production would be a complete waste and I would be uncomfortable being a part of such waste (this is especially prevalent with dairy/meat). It also could have been given away to someone - but realistically we had nobody to give it away to in a hosuehold full of vegans, it would ultimately be thrown away. So through logical deduction that leaves us with the option of eating it. Why eat it? Because as vegans we KNOW we do not support consuming these products, but eating it - even though it tastes good, we will not want to buy it again. The food has no influence over our lifestyle and moral beliefs, it merely is being consumed to remove it without being wasteful. Whereas if we were to give it to a non vegan they may go "mmm delicious" and be prompted to buy it again (thus we are encouraging consumption). I would much rather give a meat eater vegan food to showcase the lovely foods we get to eat!

But this whole scenario got me to question - where do you draw the line? I ate a sea creature which has a central nervous system...and a penis! Oh my god. What if it contained chicken, cow, pig, cow milk or eggs? 

Would you still consume it if it were meat in order to stick to the logic of not wasting/encouraging the practice? I think I would avoid it at all costs but it depends - as I said, it is circumstansial. 

If it were meat I would most probably feel inclined to throw it away or give it to someone else, to hell with logic. After a certain point the reasoning stems into emotional reasoning. My mind knows that meat/dairy apart from being unnecessary for human health - is morally absurd and barbaric. I cannot handle the thought of the kill floor of a slaughter house hurting precious beings for our whimsical want. It enrages, saddens and deeply upsets me. 

So I guess I do not know where I draw the line if I accidentally purchase a non vegan product. In the end it just comes down to being a case by case scenario and doing what choice feels like the most morally and ethically sound one at the time.

1 comment:

Tom said...

I just wrote a similar post and was searching around to find if anyone else was thinking like me - and found this post...
I've just recently found out that my favourite 'vegetarian' thai dish at my local thai restaurant contains eggs. I realized it halfway through eating it. I fought with it in my mind for a few moments and realized that it would do the chicken no justice to waste what it had sacrificed - so I finished it off. You're right - if I'd given it to someone else to finish, they might have really liked it and continued to order that dish on every return.