Veganism is capitalism in practice

DAVID PEDERSEN

  • 13th October
    10:00 - 10:45

It has been said that the cold war began to thaw, and capitalism definitively prevailed, not with the fall of the Berlin wall on November 9th 1989, but on January 31st 1990, the day a McDonalds opened in the heart of Moscow.
There’s some anecdotal evidence to suggest, that neither capitalism nor McDonalds is mentioned in flattering, loving terms among the broader animal protection movement.
Regardless of any lack of love on our part, it is clear, however, that in the big arm-wrestling contest of ideologies, capitalism has won the Darwinian gold-medal, in the “Survival of the Fittest”-category.
Economic thinking has affected the weighing of arguments in global discourse, to a point where matters of public and planetary health, animal welfare and food justice is overruled by concerns of economic growth almost every time, as if we were playing a pre-determined game of “Rock, Paper, Return on Investment”.
One option would be to boycott the system all together and become self-sustainable farmers.
However, we have tasked ourselves with the protection of billions of farmed animals, and global meat consumption is projected to rise, regardless of our own consumption patterns.
Luckily, recent years have seen an explosion in the supply and demand for alternatives to animal products and our movement is well-positioned to accelerate this “protein-transitioning”.

The strategy becomes then, perhaps less one of direct resistance towards a hegemonic ideology, but of how we can use the logic inherent in the system, to help some animals not get eaten.
The concrete suggestion will be to expand the movement vocabulary to include new vegan classics such as “Risk-Mitigation through Diversification of your Protein Portfolio”, “Revenue Generation through Reduction of Supply-Chain Complexity”, “Future-proofing Production-Flow by Internalizing External Costs” and many others.