There’s absolutely nothing noble about vegan entrepreneurship
If anything, it keeps rich people rich and maintains traditional power dynamics.
What’s wrong with profiting from veganism you ask ? Good question!
Wikipedia defines profiteering as :
“Business owners may be accused of profiteering when they raise prices during an emergency (especially a war).The term is also applied to businesses that play on political corruption to obtain government contracts.
Some types of profiteering are illegal, such as price fixing[page needed] syndicates, for example on fuel subsidies (see British Airways price-fixing allegations), and other anti-competitive behaviour. Some are restricted by industry codes of conduct, e.g. aggressive marketing of products in the Third World such as baby milk (see Nestlé boycott).”
Does this sound familiar to you? Of course it does. You’ve seen companies soar to great heights and become trillion dollar giants over the course of decades, ever since the industrial revolution began.
But did you know there is actually no way of becoming a billionaire without indulging in shady business practices? Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, a prominent senator from the United States said in one of her famous speeches that went viral all over the world:
“ No one ever makes a billion dollars. You take a billion dollars”
AOC goes on to further elaborate:
“Billionaires make their money “off the backs” of undocumented immigrants, minorities, and single mothers who are all “literally dying because they can’t afford to live,” she added.”
Proponents of veganism claim moral high ground by saying that vegan food is less polluting and less environmentally damaging as compared to meat based products. They then go right back to their dinner tables to dine on luxury vegan delectables like plant-based drinks, cheese, mock meat, kombucha, single origin coffee, gourmet chocolate, and much much more. All enabled by slave labour capitalism working on less than 10$ an hour.
Basically, in their mad rush to rescue and take care of farm animals, vegans have forgotten their obligation towards their very own kind.
There is no way to ethically produce these products. They must either be phased out completely, or the humans employed in these sectors need to be taken care of the way a good corporate takes care of its desk and laptop employees.
What’s the point of this post?
Again, a really good question. I have nothing against vegans or veganism. I’ve been one myself for the past 7 years now. All I’m asking is not to label something vegan, when it clearly isn’t. Whether that be a company, a sport, a hobby, an obsession or whatever. If it involves the exploitation and subjugation of human beings, it isn’t vegan. But how does one draw the line between exploitation, and “the sacrifices that have to be made in order for one to succeed”. That’s where it gets personal and highly individual. So it’s better to ask the employee himself/herself, whether he/she feels like they’re being exploited. We don’t want to be getting into semantics here. All I’m saying is, if your company follows the traditional work and hierarchy structure, which is most inhumane, extractive, and exploitative, then your company isn’t vegan. Period.
Let’s go back to Wikipedia to see the actual definition of veganism (which includes human beings into its ambit):
“A growing political philosophy that incorporates veganism as part of its revolutionary praxis is veganarchism, which seeks “total abolition” or “total liberation” for all animals, including humans. Veganarchists identify the state as unnecessary and harmful to animals, both human and non-human, and advocate for the adoption of a vegan lifestyle within a stateless society.”
So with that defined, it helps me outline the complete scope of this article. Capitalizing on veganism inherently requires wage slaves. That is a fact. You need drivers to drive your produce to your warehouse. You need sorters and pickers to move your stuff around. You need delivery agents to deliver the final product to your customer. You need housekeeping to take care of employee needs at the office. You need miners and oil rig workers to keep the lights and central air conditioning in your plush offices on. You need someone at the cafeteria to make your vegan coffee and snacks.
Capitalizing on veganism inherently requires the company to be a part of the stock market eventually (which is unethical in itself).
Capitalizing on veganism means your company can grow and become successful in the traditional sense only by denying workers rights, using sneaky business tactics to deny salary hikes, hire only contract employees, prevent unionization, block employee growth, indulge in predatory pricing, and all other kinds of unethical business practices.
Capitalizing on veganism means lower income and underprivileged people have to perpetually remain in poverty for your business to be profitable (and for them to maintain their jobs).
Capitalizing on veganism means treating your employees like every other company on the block. They have to tolerate the push and pull of the traditional employee-boss relationship, or have to find another ship to sail.
Capitalizing on veganism means maintaining the status quo of the corporate power dynamic. How else are you planning on controlling your employees?
Capitalizing on veganism means indulging in all kinds of shady and unethical business practices which would make you a billionaire in the long run.
Capitalizing on veganism means employees at any level are expendable and can be fired for poor performance.
Basically, capitalizing on veganism is antithetical to veganism itself. It makes no sense to glorify farm animals, while regular everyday people work themselves to death in order for your business to thrive.
There is no such thing as a vegan company. Read that again.
You cannot keep be taking care of animals while humans suffer the effects of wage capitalism. That’s not veganism. That’s human cruelty! And last I checked, humans are animals too.
And if your head is way too deep inside the sand, try asking one of your suppliers or lower level employees to switch to veganism using your own products, and see what they have to say.
Therein lies the answer to my featured question.