Veganism has become much more prominent over the past few years, what with Instagram influencers and celebrities encouraging people to change their lifestyles for the better.
But some of you might still be wondering what exactly veganism is. And I’m right there with you – I’ll be the first to hold my hands up and admit that I’m relatively clueless on the whole thing.
Don’t fret though! I’ve put my researching skills to the test and have found a fairly simple definition to explain it for us.
According to The Vegan Society:
Veganism is ‘a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.
Fair enough. So they can’t eat any animal-derived food or use any animal products, but where do they draw the line?
Apparently not at animal crackers! As it has come to light that some vegans will not consume the delicious treats, even though they do not contain any ingredients which have come directly from animals.
Why is this, you might ask? Well, according to a group of vegan sociologists, by selling animal-shaped food you are reinforcing the idea that humans are superior and have control over animals.
Corey Lee Wrenn, a lecturer in sociology at Monmouth University, wrote:
The consumption of animal crackers reiterates to children their privileged access to the natural world and any subordinates who live within it.
By being able to “collect” animals, pick them up, handle them, and eventually eat them, notions of human supremacy are underscored.
And I’m assuming this doesn’t only apply to animal crackers. Surely veggie Percy Pigs, Colin the Caterpillar sweets and Bear Dino Paws (Google them if you’re unsure of what these are) all fall under the same category.
I mean, I guess I understand the thinking behind it but if they keep going at this rate, there won’t be any food left for them to eat!
And this has come after PETA was successful in making Nabisco change its packaging on their iconic animal crackers earlier this year.
Prior to this change, wild animals were depicted being held captive in cages on the front of their packaging. Whereas now, they are shown roaming freely, a victory for animal-lovers everywhere!
PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said at the time:
The new box for Barnum’s Animals crackers perfectly reflects that our society no longer tolerates the caging and chaining of wild animals for circus shows.
However, some people think that PETA are paying too much attention to unimportant things and should instead focus their attention on the unjust murder of animals.
Which is what this protester did when she broke into a slaughterhouse to save a calf:
One angry Twitter user wrote:
I’m still angry that @peta was more concerned about a box of animal crackers than they were over many thousands of animals getting their throats slit in celebration of the Feast of Sacrifice.
I can’t argue against any of this even though I’m vegan. I’m still angry that @peta was more concerned about a box of animal crackers than they were over many thousands of animals getting their throats slit in celebration of the Feast of Sacrifice.
— ❌Margaret P. Smith❌ (@Meggypaul) September 21, 2018
Whilst another said:
Hey @peta any comment on the mass slaughter and torture of animals going on in Minnesota’s @usbankstadium ?
Others were all for it though, stating that it was a step in the right direction for a vegan lifestyle:
Some are saying @PETA wasted time, money, and effort pressuring Nabisco to free the animals from the circus on Animal Crackers. I disagree. Children will no longer think it’s OK to put animals in cages. Well done PETA. Thank You Nabisco. It’s never too late to change.
Some are saying @PETA wasted time, money, and effort pressuring Nabisco to free the animals from the circus on Animal Crackers. I disagree. Children will no longer think it's OK to put animals in cages. Well done PETA. Thank You Nabisco. It's never too late to change. pic.twitter.com/8KZts5YG7N
— Daniel Schneider (@BiologistDan) August 21, 2018
Still, whether you agree with it or not, you can’t deny that seeing animals roam freely in the wild – even if it’s only on cracker packaging – is a much better alternative to seeing them shut in cages.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to [email protected]
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).