Tag Archives: ethics

Aren’t We Woke? Buy Our Products!

29 Nov

I ran across the term “conscious capitalism” the other day and it gave me an uncomfortable vibe. Not that I object to corporations doing good, but because I don’t like such an obvious heart tug. It’s good for the Earth, but how does this help a company’s bottom line?

I’ll admit, my first prejudice against this term came because I heard it in a commercial – told by a recent female college graduate. With her “like, you know” cadence, I couldn’t help thinking, “they must be just giving MBA’s away.” But again, I wasn’t the ad’s demographic. They’re trying to convince teens to go to their school. “Get out in four years, get your business degree, change the world for good.”

So I did some surface-level research. “Conscious capitalism” seems to be a new branding on traditional business practices. This reminds me so much of mission statements that go no where. Sure, [your grocery store] gave $X million to charity, but where did that money come from? Maybe from all those screens when you’re checking out to give money to the [whatever] fund? So really, did the grocery store give that money, or did you?

Does it really work? Suburu has rebranded themselves completely as the green-loving, earth-caring, responsible car manufacturer. Were you more likely to buy a Suburu after this? Me, not really, but again, I’m not their demographic. In the conscious capitalism article, they used Whole Foods as an example of how this worked, and just then… everything clicked.

It comes down to the business adage, KYC – Know Your Customer. People who buy Suburus and go to Whole Foods tend to be liberal, younger, and make a higher income. These are people who participate in Climate Marches. To keep their customer base, they can’t come across as those capitalists (even though they are), they have to tell their customers “we’re like you–we believe in the movement.”

Maybe they do, maybe they don’t, but even the cynical like me still believe in free trade coffee. (I watched the documentary Black Coffee and it completely changed my mind on this issue–go ahead, it’s streaming free!) When I go to the shelves, I see a brand that says “free trade,” it might even have an accreditation label… but how much research am I going to do to determine how free trade it is? I’ll just pay the extra couple of bucks, get a better cup of joe, and feel righteous.

Is something locally sourced? From where? How would you know? My wife has supported CSA’s (community supported agriculture) before and so you knew exactly where it was grown, but that’s a level of commitment beyond going to the store or even the farmer’s market.

So I’ll admit, I’m biased against “the cause” because I don’t believe that their motives are genuine. But I’ll admit, I may be missing something. If you know what it is, let me know in the comments below!

Unethical Veganism

19 Jul

This is not bacon and eggs. It’s actually tofu scrambled with turmeric and paprika (throw in onions and garlic) and tempeh flavored and shaped to look like bacon. The hash browns are real, although I baked them instead of fried them. Why? Because I’m an unethical vegan–I honestly don’t care about animals, I honestly don’t care if YOU eat meat either, but I’M doing it because it makes me healthier.

There’s an old joke – “How do you know someone’s a vegan? They tell you.” Normally I don’t, but… hey, I need a blog post today! 🙂 Also I don’t tell people usually because no one wants to know that. They don’t wanna feel bad about their eating habits. They know they’re eating crap, but they like it, and so they keep eating it.

If you’re a “serious” vegan, you have to avoid ANY animal products. That means asking people what’s in things when you go the restaurant. Then you have to tell people WHY you’re asking. Then you’re no fun, because in America, we have fun with our friends by going out to eat. And if you’re picky about what the “Veggie Sampler” is, you’re the buzzkill in the group.

So what is the unethical vegan lifestyle? You mostly avoid animal products, but you don’t go out of your way to prove that. I get to be de facto kosher, which is nice for my faith, but again, I don’t go out of my way to determine if the grill that cooked my tofu was also used to cook meat. You try to order the green salad, because every other salad on the menu has freaking cheese sprinkled on it.

Now I’ve lost about thirty pounds doing this lifestyle. Now to be honest, this is the second time I’ve lost thirty pounds eating this way. There is a LOT of unhealthy ways to be vegan and they all have to do with eating grains. I’ve learned the hard way, 2000 calories a day is honestly not that much. They joy in eating veggies is that you can a lot of them. But start adding dressing, and bread, and alcohol… whoo! That adds up fast!

I’m still fifty pounds overweight and not thrilled about it. I cheat on my diet, but just like sin, I’ll do penance at the shrine of the porcelain god later. 😉 I’ll admit it, vegan pizza sucks. I’ll sneak a piece of cheese (or two or three) and be in hog heaven (without the pork). If someone offers me a piece of their meat offerings, I don’t refuse. Although I’ll admit, meat doesn’t taste that good any more. It’s just blah.

I’d rather eat a carrot hot dog than a real one… you just have to marinate it for hours and then roast the hell out of it, but damn, it takes good! And that’s the real downside of unethical veganism – every dish takes SO MUCH LONGER to make. You want to substitute eggs in your recipe; sure, flax eggs… but now you’ve added another minute. Chili? Sure, make sure you soak your dried beans OVERNIGHT! You want pasta-less vegetarian lasagna? A) You just added five syllables to what you eat. B) You have to salt and slice eggplant for an hour.

That’s why it’s so easy to be vegan and eat bad. Rice takes 15 minutes to cook, bread and breakfast cereal is available NOW. Carrots and celery are ready now, but they make your tummy feel weird, so why not add peanut butter?! (sigh) The Battle of the Bulge is real, my friends, but just like being friends with vegans, you already knew that.

But tell me, do you like any vegan dishes? Do you secretly find joy in veggie lasagna? Tell me in the comments section below!

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