Buying non vegan food for others?

This weekend i was faced with the moral and ethical conflict/situation of being asked to buy a non vegan food for my friends. And it got me feeling all types of ways and had lots of different thoughts…. so let’s back track.

In the past ive written these posts: Recieving a non vegan gift? &  Accidently buying a non vegan product

So my opinion is that if i am buying gifts for others I’ll buy vegan gifts. And when i lived at home i did my own food shopping and would just buy oat milk or soy yoghurt if i was asked to buy milk or yoghurt for my family.

However in the 2 years that I’ve been vegan I’ve never really been in the situation where i have had to buy something non vegan for someone else. So I’ve never really thought about this.

But i was going to have a picnic with friends and went to the store to buy some strawberries and pepsi max and i asked my friends if i should buy them something. They replied asking if i could buy some non vegan chocolate and protein bars for them. And suddenly i felt very conflicted.

Sure they would swish me so it wasn’t my money. And i tried to remind myself that it was basically the same thing as being a cashier. I.e being the middle man of the purchase of the animal product. But i must admit, somedays i can find it hard to be a cashier when i see how much meat and dairy is bought each day. It sort of feels like i am enabling and helping people to consume animal products.

However, i also know that being vegan is MY choice and i can’t force my choices on anyone else. And in the end, my friends would have bought those bars and chocolate else where or another time anyway.

So i did buy the food and decided to just be a good friend and not make the situation problematic.

However i do still feel guilty, 24 hours later. I can’t stop thinking about it.

The thing is…. even if i didn’t buy the food for myself and it wasn’t my money. I still bought the food. Buying something i ethically don’t think is right. I mean meat eaters buying vegan food for their partners isn’t the same as vegans buying meat for their partners and doing something that goes against their ethical beliefs.

Image result for vegan ethical

Also i thought, what if someone who follows me on social media sees me buying these…. what would they think? I know i don’t have a huge following but i do have alot of Swedish vegans who follow me and the city i live in is rather small.

It just felt weird and i haven’t been in this situation or dilemma before.

However i made a poll on Instagram to find out how other vegans do and think regarding this situation, and i got so many responses which is amazing. That is one thing i love about social media, discussing and communicating with others. Hearing others thoughts and opinions regarding different topics. Such as when i asked about food challenges and thoughts about those.

The comments and feedback varied but the majority said that they did infact buy animal products for family, friends or partners if they were asked to. They wouldn’t use their own money and almost no one was ok with buying meat,but they could buy eggs or dairy products.

Many also replied saying that it would just be problematic and rude and hurt their relationship with their family or partner if they refused to buy the food. It was easier to just buy the food to be helpful and as long as it wasn’t their own money.

This is pretty much my own opinion as well. Or i believe that money is power and what you spend your money on impacts what is sold. It shows the demand of vegan products. (Vegan activism – using your money and choices to make a difference )That’s why it also feels a little extra wrong to buy the non vegan food because even if it isn’t my money i am still – in a way – adding to the demand of the products.

Image result for supply and demand

As i asked if they wanted anything it was also me offering to buy it so it would have been strange to then say no. But in the future i might suggest buying a vegan alternative instead.

But it also got me thinking, how and what i would do if i began dating a non vegan…. i mean i want to pay for dinners and buy food for the both of us. I can’t force someone to go vegan just because i am.

But i guess that’s a problem and dilemma for the future. But i think I’d be more ok if my partner ate lacto-vegetarian or mostly vegetarian/vegan than if the person had to eat meat to every meal or everyday. But that is not something i want to think about now… i mean, the dream is to date someone who is vegan or is interested in eating/being vegan.

I also got some feedback from those who were completely against it and they wouldn’t buy animal products for anyone even if it wasn’t their money. And i understand that as well… that is sort of my stance as well. But at the same time i need to realise that that isn’t always realistic….

And now when i think about it, i have had picnics and brunches with friends where we all split the price of the food and then i have in a way added to the payment and consumption of animal products, even if i only ate the vegan parts of the picnic and brunch…. Never really thought about this situation before.

Anyway, this is my thoughts on the topic, and i want to say a HUGE thankyou to everyone who responded to the poll and gave their thoughts on the situation. It was good to hear how others think and do.

But in the end it is also very individual how you do and what you think is “ok”. I don’t think it makes you any less or worse of a vegan if you need to buy animal products or food for others. Some vegans may think differently or think that you aren’t vegan if you do this… but that’s thei opinion and mindset.

The “good” thing about this situation is that it really made me think… to be put in this conflict and have to ask myself what i think is “ok”. And now i know what i think is ok or not… and my personal opinion is that i don’t want to buy animal products for others, even if it’s not my money. However that is just my personal opinion, and maybe it will change in the future if i date someone who isn’t vegan, or i will most likely be in the same situation again with friends and then i guess i’ll see what i do then.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Kristin says:

    it’s a tough spot. unfortunately i do sometimes have to buy non-vegan food for my husband who is an omnivore. i feel guilty putting money into practices i do not support. i do feel better that as a household we buy much, much less meat/dairy since i no longer eat it (my spend on those items has probably dropped 75%), but i do have to pick things up for him from time to time. but, you’re right. i don’t want to force any choices on him. the good thing is that he usually eats what i make for dinner and then might get meat when we go to a restaurant. in the beginning, we were having two separate dinners. i think not forcing it on him helped him be more open minded about everything, and as a result he eats more vegan (or at least vegetarian) food. it’s tough but i know i just have to do what i can and at least feel better about the choices i’m making, even though the situation isn’t 100% perfect. it’s good that you at least had the opportunity to reflect on the issue!

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  2. carol says:

    I think it comes down to agreeing to respect each others choices in foods you both choose to eat and not to over think things too much. I agree that it must have been difficult for you to buy the food on their behalf and that it did present you with an awkward dilemna. I think if that was me I either wouldn’t offer to buy their food next time or I would get what they wanted but also buy some vegan alternatives alongside. That way they can see other choices. I don`know how close friends you are but if you feel you are able perhaps you could talk to them about how you feel about buying animal products , then they could at least have an understanding of how you feel and not ask you again?

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  3. stephanie says:

    My father lives by me for a while…travelling purposes (well he has been living with me for 10 months now). He is omnivorus, i am vegan. We eat at the same time, food shop together and eat together. He eats regular food i.e meat, fish, eggs, dairy…I eat fruits vegetables starches and pulses….We store our food in the same place. His non vegan food is next or is not far from my vegan food in the fridge. Some times when we shop together get back home and store in the fridge it makes me uncomfortable to see a meat tray when I open it especially the morning. But I can not tell him :” non vegan food in my fridge or house mandatory”.
    I can not impose my way of eating, mindset to someone how does not adhere to my values. When I cook veagn he is happy to eat and just loves it, but he is happy to eat his fish, meat every day (twice a day) and hard boiled eggs every morning.
    This is my father, he is as he his, he will not change as he does not want to.
    I accept this, not that I am fine with it by I accept this…..sight…..

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