For World Vegan Day 2016, I wanted to share my views on supermarkets, and how to shop in them as best you can, as an ethical vegan.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could always shop in local, independent food and health shops, without the need to ever use a supermarket? Unfortunately, for many of us that’s not always practical, for various reasons (opening hours, work commitments, locality), and we often have to fall back on the convenience of a supermarket. I therefore think it’s best to shop in the most ethical of stores (environmental report, human welfare standards, animal welfare, workers’ rights etc…) and this can be particularly important when you’re vegan.
Tesco, for example, has the lowest ethical rating on the list of supermarkets, as compiled by the Good Shopping Guide*. It has a huge range of vegan foods, yet a big red dot (bottom rating) for animal welfare.
I agree that it’s a great idea to buy vegan brands in non-vegan stores, in order to encourage them to continue stocking the products, and to show the demand. However, at the same time, I don’t want my money supporting a company with no concern about animals at all. I’d rather use the best of the worst, if I’m going to use any at all!
Scoring in the animal welfare category is based on both the treatment of livestock, as well as the company stance on animal testing for products it sells. Independent research is far more reliable than trusting the ethical claims on the company website.
Rather than just picking vegan foods, I believe it’s very important to consider where you are buying them from, and what you’re hard earned cash is supporting. Make sure it’s doing more good than harm.
*To find out more about how the Good Shopping Guide calculate the scores, click here.