Ecology Veganism & animal rights


It’s lunchtime, and I haven’t brought anything with to the office today, so I decide to pop down to the supermarket across the road to find something.

My requirements are simple:

  1. It must be vegan. I don’t eat processed bits of dead tortured animals – I’m weird that way.
  2. Because I like orangutans (and rainforests too), I’m not eating anything with palm oil (aka ‘vegetable oil’ aka several other pseudonyms) in it.
  3. Like a good scientist, I’m invoking the precautionary principle and staying away from anything that could be GM. Damn you and your infernally comprehensive lists,!
  4. I’ll be damned if I’m going to buy things made by evil companies like Nestle that violently force their shit products onto developing countries and exploit child labour for their chocolate in North-West Africa. I’m talking about you too, Coca Cola.
  5. Nothing with suspicious looking E-Numbers please; sunset yellow is for crayons, not nutritious meals.
  6. There’s no stove / oven at work, only a microwave. Nothing that needs cooking.

Unsurprisingly, my radical restrictions cut out around 99% percent of the products in the rather large shop (a shop where, tellingly, there are more chocolates and crisps than fruit and veg)…It’s a good thing my social conscience is not particularly focused today, or I’d also be checking for ‘Made in the apartheid state of Israel’ stickers. Commonsense nutrition will also have to take a back seat.

Eventually, I settle for the following:

  • Tiger Brands peanut butter. The brand sucks (Tiger Brands are a scumbag corporate that hates their workers), but it’s in a glass bottle – you know you shouldn’t eat or drink things that come in chemical-laden plastic containers, right?
  • Bread. Albany, which means it isn’t made with dead animal bones or powdered lactate from an abused mother cow, but which does mean it contains bleaching agents, raising agents, filling agents and ‘flour improvers’, one of which makes my hands itch. Probably the flour improvers.
  • Some kiwi fruit. Organic would have been nice, but the veggie aisle was pretty small to begin with – don’t want to push my luck.

As I pay I realise that I didn’t bring my own bag…

Of course, I could have gone to one of those fancy health shops, but even though I’m relatively privileged there’s no way I can afford R28 for a litre of juice, R52 for a burger or R6 for a single biscuit. Yes, for a single, small, rather plain biscuit (R48 for a pack of 8). Not that these would help me nearly as much as the 400g, R900 glass bottle of magical pure mountain SuperGreens (TM), mixed with double-organic chlorella raised on the music of Chopin.

Modern food is scary. At least I’ve got some lentils soaked for tonight and there’s still some nice spinach in the garden.