17 April 2019

Vegan Food Products:
From “Unicorn Aisle” to Mainstream

(Beth Clifton collage)

"Plant-based patties" accepted as "meat" ––& that scares the meat industry too

OAK HARBOR, Washington ––The entire future of animal agriculture and plant-based alternatives flashed before our eyes a few days ago at the Safeway supermarket.

Nobody died, certainly no animals, but that was just the point.
– Merritt & Beth Clifton


Dear Friends,

As you probably know, a debate is taking place within the animal advocacy movement about small vegan food companies being absorbed by big corporations with the financial means to place vegan products in highly visible, consumer-visited supermarket locations. Corporations like Tyson, Nestlé, Dean Foods and others can purchase expensive shelf space. This means that animal-free meat products are increasingly appearing among traditional displays of slaughterhouse meat. It means that plant-powered milk products are prominently shelved with the dairy cartons. For some of us, this is a betrayal; for others, it’s inspirational.

For Merritt and Beth Clifton, publishers of Animals 24-7, “Nothing does more to liberate animals from animal agriculture than not only making vegan food aisles bigger, but moving vegan food out of the vegan food aisles to where we found the Beyond Meat ‘Plant-Based Burger Patties’ at Safeway, where they are already replacing quite a lot of beef in average Middle American diets.”

In a comment to "Plant-based patties" accepted as "meat" ––& that scares the meat industry too, Mike Winikoff writes: “If the point is to reduce suffering, we want vegan products to go mainstream, and that means moving them out of what I call the Unicorn Aisle and mixing them among the non-vegan items. Nobody shops the Unicorn Aisle except those specifically looking for those products. ‘Normals’ feel uncomfortable in that part of the store and never see the products hidden there.”

Of course, some very bad things are usually hidden somewhere. Commenting on a recent investigation by Compassion Over Killing of a Pennsylvania dairy cow operation that supplies Nestlé and exposes the dark truth of this industry, philosophy professor John Sanbonmatsu, whose website, Clean Meat Hoax, critiques cellular (in vitro) meat, wrote to me last week: “Yes, our old friend, Nestlé—which purchased Sweet Earth vegan foods . . .”
Karen Davis, United Poultry Concerns


What Can I Do?

Support the vegan economy by purchasing, enjoying, and sharing vegan food products – from wherever they are sold. Don’t get hung up on the motivations of corporations marketing animal-free foods. They’re in business to make money. They’ll sell whatever people will buy. So let their money come from people who care about animals and from shoppers surprised at how delicious animal-free foods are as a result of discovering them in the mainstream aisle.

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