I guess that I just have some things on my mind this week. Here they are in no particular order.
First up is the milk situation. Or, should I say "milk" situation? I read this article earlier today about a company called Miyoko's Kitchen. They are being sued over their packaging and choice of words with regard to the marketing of their "butter" products. If this kind of hair splicing is new to you give the above article a read.
My thoughts though are this: as a consumer I am not confused too often about what I am buying, particularly if I am looking for a vegan product. Intellectually I know I am not buying butter which is made from cow's milk. I know I am buying a vegetable spread even if the packaging looks a little misleading. I am able to read and to discern, thankfully. That doesn't mean though that I don't expect the product I am buying to be kind of creamy and salty and to spread nicely on my toast. Sort of reminiscent of butter but NOT BUTTER! I am not expecting butter! I am also not expecting the nutrition profile of my vegetable spread to be at all similar to butter. And frankly, given the saturated fat in butter, is it any wonder that I want something a little better? I don't know the woman who is suing this company but it's a shame she doesn't have more confidence both in me as a consumer and in the real butter product itself.
My other beef this week (ha! ha!) is with that milk carton shown in the picture above. It's an irony to me that a human mother and child are shown together while the cow (presumably a dairy cow) stands in the background without her own child. (Cows must be pregnant and give birth to produce milk. They are mammals after all.) It's all in your perspective I guess.
There are small to mid sized farms all across the country and elsewhere that use "best practices" in the management of their dairy herds. This article describes some of those practices made by farmers in Canada. Organic Valley, the co-op that oversees the distribution of the above carton of milk, sounds like a lovely group of people trying to do right in their chosen business. Just reading about how the co-op was formed and delving into all of the groups and organizations that they work with is heartening. I read about one partner organization that is helping to get extra fruits and vegetables to people who receive SNAP benefits. I can't argue with that. And I think that may be the point of the information on Organic Valley's site. Who can argue with people who are trying to earn a living in good conscience and who are trying to help other people be nourished? They want to protect the earth and its resources just like I do only not exactly like I do. In my world we would all enjoy almond milk, tofu and an abundance of fruits and vegetables. Cows raised for milk production wouldn't be on the radar. Or in my fridge as milk, for that matter.
Which brings me to my sort of last rant. Why is that milk in my fridge? It's because a divorce is more expensive than a nearly $6 carton of milk. Never mind that the cow has left the room and I am just down to the two alternatives of divorce or milk. It's how I live. It isn't perfect.
And come to that, veganism is not perfect. There is no Zen State of Veganism. It's a wildly imperfect choice but one that I wouldn't not choose. Or un choose some time in the future because choosing vegan is inconvenient or uncomfortable. Do I miss dairy or meat or fish? No, I do not. Do I miss leather products? Not a chance. Do I get bummed out about having to consider everything that I buy and use including clothing and new cars and makeup and shampoo? No, I don't. What about health care? Aren't I being hypocritical using lifesaving treatments and medicines tested out on animals first? Yes, probably. It isn't always fun having to delve into everything but it must be done. I consider it to be a moral imperative to try and make the best decision each time given the available information. That cow on the front of that milk carton is depending on me!
Yours in good and animal cruelty free health,