What else isn’t vegetarian?


by Sunny
28th May, 2007 at 1:48 pm    

“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to make it law that food manufactured in the UK must state if it is not suitable for vegetarians.”
Sign it dammit.


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  1. sunray — on 28th May, 2007 at 2:02 pm  

    A lot of Muslim Vegiterians signed up.
    They are not really vegiterians are they?
    They just dont like meat in any products that is not halal. Is that right.

  2. Riz — on 28th May, 2007 at 2:19 pm  

    It makes life easier but is that reason enough to make it law. Can this kind of thing be left to the free market or won’t that work?

  3. Leon — on 28th May, 2007 at 3:21 pm  

    Won’t be signing that I’m afraid, don’t see the point. We need a bigger more coherent campaign on food labelling, food packaging and food quality. Not some singular attempt at keeping our non meat eating friends happy.

  4. Riz — on 28th May, 2007 at 4:12 pm  

    Yes Leon, I’m all for a reduction of information asymmetery, although I also believe a portion of the population would rather live in a state of willful ignorance on such matters.

  5. Muhamad — on 28th May, 2007 at 6:54 pm  

    “A lot of Muslim Vegiterians signed up.”

    Sunray, have they specified that they are Muslim? Could it be possible that some of them just happen to have a “Muslim” name?

    Why the hell does the petition wanna know my address?

    Where in the UK do you need to live to not know what’s in your food?

  6. Robert — on 28th May, 2007 at 7:34 pm  

    “Make it law”

    Hmm. Isn’t this very quickly going to lead to one of those cases where some poor local butcher is fined because he failed to label his sirloin steaks as “not suitable”. Which in turn will lead to distracting headlines about “political correctness/Europe/Muslims gone mad”…

    Why not campaign for a badge, logo or similar which makes it clear what the meat status of the food is? These have been very helpful to the consumer, and beneficial to the producers and retailers, when it comes to things like recycling, CFCs, Fair Trade, and most recently Energy Efficiency.

  7. Vikrant — on 28th May, 2007 at 7:54 pm  

    I aint signing. Just back from a family reunion at Windermere. I pissed off all my uncles and aunts and even Granny Singh by demanding chicken for Lunch! Pissing off your irritating vegan relations is just one of the perks of being a non-vegan!

  8. Sunny — on 28th May, 2007 at 8:03 pm  

    We need a bigger more coherent campaign on food labelling,

    Agreed, but this is a step towards that. Evolution is the way forward, not violent revolution! Now where did I put those effigies….

  9. Leon — on 28th May, 2007 at 9:10 pm  

    I wasn’t talking about revolution…

  10. Rumbold — on 29th May, 2007 at 12:55 am  

    How about labelling food that is suitable for vegetarians. That would cut down on labels.

  11. Amit — on 29th May, 2007 at 12:39 pm  

    Signed!

  12. zahed — on 29th May, 2007 at 2:25 pm  

    A lot of Muslim Vegiterians signed up.

    a. There are more Muslim vegetarians than you think (I know a few Muslim vegans, in fact)

    b. In lieu of halal food, Muslims are very careful to check for animal content in other foods they eat. The recent Mars bars controversy meant that those would not have been suitable for Muslims to eat. In fact, I’d say that the (practicing) Muslim diet is halal and vegetarian (meaning no non-halal animal products) in equal measure.

  13. Arif — on 29th May, 2007 at 5:35 pm  

    People who think vegetarianism is important will want this, and people who think it is stupid will think such a law would be stupid.

    I think that in principle it is better to organise society so people can follow their own consciences as long as it does not harm anyone else. And so if it isn’t a big deal to label things to help part of society with their ethical decisions, then we should go for it. In this case such a label would help lots of religious groups who aren’t necessarily vegetarian as well.

    So what about the slippery slope to every kind of label for every kind of consumer fad? Where do we make a cut-off which isn’t arbitrary? I guess we can’t, but we should do as much as we can. The Food Standards Agency tries to promote the health traffic lights, it could incorporate a V for Vegetarian and do it in another colour for Vegan, an H for Halal, K for Kosher, G for Genetically engineered, O for Organic etc, and it could be a reasonably small list which only people looking out for them would notice.

    Otherwise we are left with consumerism without consumer sovereignty which I think is a bit of cheek.

  14. dee — on 29th May, 2007 at 5:44 pm  

    zahed, are there *really* many muslim vegetarians? I don’t think there are at all. My friend is, and gets abuse from his entire family that he is being unislamic. Pakistani culture seems to pretty much view meat as the sixth pillar. Wrongly of course, factory farming meat (which includes most uk halal meat) is the opposite of Islam.

  15. Sunny — on 29th May, 2007 at 5:48 pm  

    I don’t think there are at all.

    I know more Muslim vegetarians than I know Sikh vegetarians.

    There is already legislation to make sure that products that contain nuts etc have to declare as such for allergies. All we need is a good legal case here where a veggie sues a bit company for mislabelling and *bang*, we’ll have proper labelling.

    Sometimes I wish I was a lawyer. Though, only sometimes.

  16. kELvi — on 29th May, 2007 at 6:42 pm  

    That’s right Sunny. There are an unbelievably large number of vegetarian Muslims. I have eaten at a famous Guju vegetarian place in Bombay’s Kalbadevi, while the place was hosting an “interfaith” vegetarian get together – years ago. Although I sometimes wonder if staying off meat in favour of the rich central Gujarati cuisine (lots of oil, ghee, sugar, salt etc.) really makes much of difference! There are a lot of pure vegetarian eating places in Secunderabad run by Muslims. You shd check it out some time. But as St. Augustine said about something else, for me, it is yes to vegetarian food forever, but not yet!

  17. sunray — on 29th May, 2007 at 9:30 pm  

    more reasons why you might want to sign and become a veggi.
    watch the video.

    http://www.clubs.psu.edu/up/vedicsociety/vegetarianism/

    Make poverty history. Become a veggi.

  18. kELvi — on 30th May, 2007 at 4:58 pm  

    Sunray,

    There’s nothing vedic about being vegetarian. It is true that the highest proportion of vegetarians can be found among people who identify themselves as Hindu. But this has nothing to do with the vedas or any vedic injunction etc. The vedas are not dogma, and not the “sacred books” of the Hindus. The case for being vegetarian needs no reference to any religious tradition. The Brihhadaranyaka Upanisad suggests that if a woman wants to have a smart daughter she should eat beef! You can find plenty of verses in the Mahabharata of rishis relishing venison.

  19. sunray — on 31st May, 2007 at 8:31 pm  

    “There’s nothing vedic about being vegetarian.”

    Where did I say Vedic is Veggi? or is that just a passing comment youre making.
    The video is well made and makes sense. Its posted by a Hindu religious group which shoudnt be a suprise to anyone. It could easily be posted on U tube and probably is.
    if they want to use Vedas as the basis of their argument then so be it.
    The Vedas are the holiest of Hindu books.

  20. Roger — on 1st June, 2007 at 7:45 pm  

    It would be really useful if they would do it for vegan / non-vegan too. It’s such a bloody pain having to read the ingredients on EVERYTHING (and having to know them all) – one of the reasons I reverted back to veggie after a few months of trying to be vegan.

    Nowadays I try to only buy raw ingredients, and make all my meals myself. Yes, even loaves of bread – haven’t bought one of those for months now! I’m not vegan, but most of my meals are.

    I’d also like to see it compulsory that things with eggs in them (eg. cake, quiche) have to state what type of farm the eggs come from. Because we all know it’s probably battery farmed, so those organic free-range eggs in your basket don’t count for anything when you stack them up alongside that cake.

    Blissful ignorance of the source allows people to buy these items without knowing about it, which is of course what the manufacturers and battery farmers want you to do, because they don’t actually care about animal welfare, especially not when it gets in the way of profit!

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