Joyful Vegan, author, and speaker Colleen Patrick-Goudreau has something to say about the choices we humans get to make.
We often ask if we can make a difference in the world, but we’re asking the wrong question. It’s not that we CAN make a difference; it’s that we DO make a difference. Every action we take has an impact on something or someone else. We don’t get to choose whether we CAN make a difference or not. We get to choose only if the difference we make is negative or positive. Those are our only two choices. There are no neutral actions.
Patrick-Goudreau’s words are especially cogent this week as news of the avian flu epidemic sweeps the nation, prompting USA’s largest food corporations to start investigating egg-less alternatives.
While over 47 million chickens have been destroyed as a result of this outbreak so far, people seem to be internalizing the inherent corruption and lack of sanitation promoted by the animal agriculture industry.
Just as our choice to eat chickens and their eggs sends a message to the industry to take increasingly cruel and unsanitary measures to “improve efficiency,” our choice NOT to eat chickens and their eggs sends an equally powerful message to the very same industry.
And that means Hampton Creek’s ‘Just Mayo,’ a vegan, egg-free sandwich spread that tastes even better than the “real” mayonnaise, is looking pretty good right now.
CEO of Hampton Creek Josh Tetrick says to Inc.com, “It’s hard to name a fast food chain or global retailer or manufacturer we haven’t been on the phone with or corresponded with by email.” As food companies eagerly jump ship to safer, cheaper, and healthier food alternatives, Hampton Creek predicts it will see an increase in revenue of 150%–from $48 million to $120 million—as early as the first quarter of next year.
The eagerness demonstrated by the more than 20 food companies that have contacted Hampton Creek reveals that food providers are not so attached to a specific ingredient as much as they are attached to maintaining that bottom line and churning out their own products.
And if that bottom line can be achieved without exposure to epidemics resulting from the inherently unsanitary and cruel animal agriculture industry, vegan products will only grow in demand over time as companies realize they are safer, cheaper, more healthful and of course, cruelty-free. As we witness the slow but steady shift in economic demand, we reinforce the truth behind Patrick-Goudreau’s statement. Every single one of us, at every meal, has the choice to leave a positive or negative impact on the animals, our health, and the planet. Looks like we are closer than ever to choosing positive. For now.