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Processed vegan food better for animals?

nobody

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Is processed vegan food, such as vegan faux meats, dairy and eggs, with vegan certification, better for livestock animals than whole plant foods, which are vegan but are not in direct competition with real animal products?

Not that if they are better for animals it means that vegans are morally obliged to eat them to the detriment of their own health, just "are they better for the animals and the vegan movement?" than whole plant foods.

I guess an argument can be made against processed vegan food being better for farm animals on the grounds that higher vegan mortality would mean less motivation for people to go vegan. But on the other side, the purchase of these products leads to the development of yet better faux meats, dairy and eggs which can supplant demand for real animal products.
 
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Forest Nymph

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Um...why would there be detriment to your health if you ate vegan products in moderation? Most vegans eat a lot of whole foods, grains, veggies, fruits, nuts but also eat some vegan products. It's cheaper to eat mostly whole foods, anyway, so the average vegan isn't going to live off of nothing but "products." The cases I've seen where people complain about products affecting their health were people who tried to go vegan without eating vegetables. It's like well, are you really surprised that your diet of vegan cheese pizza and french fries probably wasn't the best long term solution for you if you didn't also eat beans, veggies, fruits, and so forth.

I mean talking about higher vegan mortality is such specious reasoning anyway. I've never seen even one study linking vegan mortality to Tofurky. I have seen studies, however, linking vegan cognitive or physical decline to lack of B12 supplementation or neglecting to ingest Omega 3 sources over a series of years or decades.
 
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nobody

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Um...why would there be detriment to your health if you ate vegan products in moderation?
Maybe there wouldn't. I was thinking any use of a mock animal product would be more harmful to your health than if you had eaten a whole plant food instead. But if that isn't the case, fine. I should have just stopped writing after finishing the first paragraph of the OP because what I want to discuss is how mock animal products help the animal rights movement, as compared to whole plant foods, not the health effects of mock animal products.

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There is a consumerist aspect of standard veganism. An example of non-standard veganism would be where someone grows all their own food or eats only vegan food recovered from grocery store dumpsters. Most of us are consumers who are in this, partially, to vote against animal agribusiness with our purchasing decisions.

Buying whole plant foods or even processed, accidentally vegan food that is not a mock animal product, doesn't help the movement as much as buying mock animal products does. When you buy mock animal products, you are supporting the mock animal products industry, which leads to the development of yet better products. These products allow people to eat the same meals they are already used to. For example, you can have your standard American breakfast with Just Egg, Field Roast Breakfast Sausage, hash browns, pancakes with maple syrup and fresh fruit. People don't have to leave their comfort zone as far as what they are already used to, or learn radically new recipes, to go vegan.

There was a time when I was doing Forks Over Knives when I would badmouth mock animal products, but I have had a big change of heart. To diss mock animal products is to diss the animal rights movement itself.

For wild animals, whole plant foods are definitely the better choice because processed, packaged food has to use more fossil fuels to produce than whole foods. But what products can be better for livestock animals than those designed to replace products coming from them? The victims of direct violence must take precedence over victims of indirect violence, so livestock animals need to be saved before wild animals who are losing their habitats due to fossil fuel use. Mock animal products saves them more than whole foods.

I "step up" and purchase lots of mock animal products every time I go to the grocery store, but it's really more for my own convenience and pleasure rather than the animals. Even though you can use them in moderation with no ill effects on your health, I still wouldn't say vegans are morally obligated to ever buy them, because doing so if you don't really want them goes above and beyond what your moral obligation as a vegan requires. Nevertheless, buying them helps farm animals more.
 

Emma JC

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I agree with you that mock animal products are helpful for the animals and I also know that plant based eaters "not" buying or eating animal products reduces the market for them which helps also. So it is a good symphony - many ways to help the animals and the environment and your health, along the way.

Emma JC
 
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I've usually been someone that bemoans 'faux meat' in favor of getting creative with plants. In a way though, it is being ultimately creative with plants, may entice more people to join in on veganism (due to "missing" meat), and supports businesses going out of their way to create plant-based alternatives.

I do support them, and in lieu of whole-food plant-based fast food, it's very convenient for many.

I think in all, they are still better as they can help encourage transition to veganism and provide more options for those of us already transitioned.
 
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Forest Nymph

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Maybe there wouldn't. I was thinking any use of a mock animal product would be more harmful to your health than if you had eaten a whole plant food instead. But if that isn't the case, fine. I should have just stopped writing after finishing the first paragraph of the OP because what I want to discuss is how mock animal products help the animal rights movement, as compared to whole plant foods, not the health effects of mock animal products.

--------------------

There is a consumerist aspect of standard veganism. An example of non-standard veganism would be where someone grows all their own food or eats only vegan food recovered from grocery store dumpsters. Most of us are consumers who are in this, partially, to vote against animal agribusiness with our purchasing decisions.

Buying whole plant foods or even processed, accidentally vegan food that is not a mock animal product, doesn't help the movement as much as buying mock animal products does. When you buy mock animal products, you are supporting the mock animal products industry, which leads to the development of yet better products. These products allow people to eat the same meals they are already used to. For example, you can have your standard American breakfast with Just Egg, Field Roast Breakfast Sausage, hash browns, pancakes with maple syrup and fresh fruit. People don't have to leave their comfort zone as far as what they are already used to, or learn radically new recipes, to go vegan.

There was a time when I was doing Forks Over Knives when I would badmouth mock animal products, but I have had a big change of heart. To diss mock animal products is to diss the animal rights movement itself.

For wild animals, whole plant foods are definitely the better choice because processed, packaged food has to use more fossil fuels to produce than whole foods. But what products can be better for livestock animals than those designed to replace products coming from them? The victims of direct violence must take precedence over victims of indirect violence, so livestock animals need to be saved before wild animals who are losing their habitats due to fossil fuel use. Mock animal products saves them more than whole foods.

I "step up" and purchase lots of mock animal products every time I go to the grocery store, but it's really more for my own convenience and pleasure rather than the animals. Even though you can use them in moderation with no ill effects on your health, I still wouldn't say vegans are morally obligated to ever buy them, because doing so if you don't really want them goes above and beyond what your moral obligation as a vegan requires. Nevertheless, buying them helps farm animals more.
You are absolutely correct, there is a consumer aspect to veganism and while I can completely empathize with why someone might "drop out" due to disgust with consumerism (and that's their choice and that's fine) a lot of WFPB people are still giving their money to companies like Wal-Mart or Amazon for lower prices or convenience, so it's difficult to avoid it completely unless you always shop at co-ops and farmer's markets. Where I live I usually try to shop at the several co-ops in the area, I'm a member of one, or attend the farmer's market but I do occasionally pick up a few cheap staples at the crappy chain store to save money.

Also, a recent study showed that even eating processed, packaged vegan foods is better for the environment than eating meat of any kind, so ... while you may be right that ultimately locally grown whole foods are better for wildlife, in the big picture local meat from organic farmers is still worse than being a junk food vegan. Ha ha.

No one is morally obliged to do anything as a vegan aside from avoiding animal products, but the way our society is built is that change must come from within the current system before we can ultimately change the current system, because the current system is so massive and insanely wealthy. I think vegan chefs, plant-based chefs, restaurants who offer plant-based options, and all vegan or plant-based products should be applauded and I'm happy when anyone buys them, vegan or not. I'm even more thrilled that big money investors are trying to capitalize on the plant-based movement because it will put the driving power behind it that we need to make those products more widely distributed outside of trendy urban areas or very liberal states (like California, Oregon or New York). It also makes those products more affordable. Daiya mac n cheez dropped a dollar or two right after being bought out by a parent company, and now I see their pizzas go on sale for about half price sometimes...when less people are buying something, and that thing is more expensive to produce because it's higher quality, the only way to justify it is to charge more. But if that thing becomes trendy or "normal" then the price helps normalize the product even further, since now even more people can afford to buy it or can find it in their local area.

Turtle Island Foods, the makers of Tofurky, had their business pick up at such a warp speed that about a year ago they could barely keep up with it. People were complaining they couldn't get their Tofurky in some spots. Turtle Island is also a truly "green company" and I appreciate that aspect of other vegan or plant-based companies as well.

I like vegan YouTube because although I despise the dumb people who are fake vegans who did it for money or their looks then dropped it when it got complicated or less profitable, I like the assortment of people who have been vegan 10, 20, or more years, and observing how they eat. Every single one that I watch eats a lot of whole foods but also eats vegan products on what seems like a weekly basis. I watch two people who have been vegan for over 5 but less than 10 years who are almost exclusively WFPB, and it's interesting to me that they've been vegan for less time. I'm not saying there aren't 10 or 20 year WFPB people, clearly some doctors are doing it, but most people for reasons of culture seem to enjoy being able to have the option of vegan products.

It also makes veganism seem "fun" or "interesting" to young outsiders, like oooh let me try this cool new thing.

I have days where I'm genuinely craving only whole foods and I want raw vegetables or beans or simple dishes like pasta with marinara and broccoli, and I do also have days where I'm really happy I can have a Tofurky sandwich or prepare a Field Roast. I'm sure this applies to a whole lot of people and this sort of thing not only draws curious people to plant-based food products but allows established vegans to feel relaxed, normal and like they're not on a diet. The animals do not care if you are fat or thin.
 

Nekodaiden

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Is processed vegan food, such as vegan faux meats, dairy and eggs, with vegan certification, better for livestock animals than whole plant foods, which are vegan but are not in direct competition with real animal products?

Not that if they are better for animals it means that vegans are morally obliged to eat them to the detriment of their own health, just "are they better for the animals and the vegan movement?" than whole plant foods.

I guess an argument can be made against processed vegan food being better for farm animals on the grounds that higher vegan mortality would mean less motivation for people to go vegan. But on the other side, the purchase of these products leads to the development of yet better faux meats, dairy and eggs which can supplant demand for real animal products.
So occasionally I watch a "I'm not vegan anymore" video, and this is one I came across.


This dude has a fitness channel, so I really wonder what kinds and how much of these he was eating to have iron deficiency at each of the 3 month intervals he was tested. I got my blood test done over a year vegan, I have an alcohol dependency and I smoke, and my iron levels were absolutely fine. I have rarely ever eaten the processed faux meats though, and most everything is whole food except for the beer I consume.

If people eat in a way that leaves them deficient and hungry, that really can't be good for the animals long term, especially if they are leaving because of those things.