Why the European Parliament Should Relabel Meat, Not Veggie Burgers

Posted by on October 23, 2020 | Permalink

Today, the European Parliament discussed banning terms like “veggie burger”, “veggie sausage”, and “cheese-like” because of pressure from farming and meat lobbyists. In a win for common sense, the ban was rejected.

The truth is that labelling on vegan and vegetarian foods isn’t misleading – it’s animal “products” that are the biggest con of all.

© Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

The proposed censorship was an attempt to throw a spanner in the works for the booming vegan food industry, which is attracting more and more customers. In the UK alone, over one-third of adults are vegan, vegetarian, or actively reducing their meat consumption. Globally, plant-based proteins are the fastest-growing segment of the food industry. The proposed ban is a desperate effort to derail the growing demand for vegan foods and prop up violent and destructive industries.

If we’re talking labels, foods derived from animals are the ones that warrant scrutiny. Product names are often far removed from any link to the animal exploited for it, all so that buyers don’t associate  flesh, milk, or eggs with the individuals they were stolen from.

We have a solution, though. Since farming and meat lobbyists are keen on renaming items in order to be transparent, here’s how we suggest they relabel products that involve the exploitation of animals:

  • Hamburgers: How now, ground cow? Mashed ground-up cows’ bits
  • Milk: Cows’ mammary secretions, also used to make coagulated lumps (cheese) and fat globule spread (butter)
  • Hot dogs: Muscle tissue from pigs and cows stuffed into intestine casings
  • Bacon: Fatty slices of pigs’ flesh, usually from their abdomens, backs, or sides
  • Nuggets: Blended ground-up chickens’ flesh
  • Fish fingers: Breaded scraped-out fish’s insides
  • Seafood: Dead sea animals like shrimp and octopuses
  • Foie gras: Diseased livers from ducks or geese who were force-fed via tubes rammed down their throats
  • Eggs: Unfertilised eggs from a chicken’s cloaca
  • Sausages: Testicle and nostril sticks
  • Kebab meat: Unidentified animal flesh – do you want some horse with that?
  • Caviar: Eggs forcibly squeezed out of living or dead fish
  • Lamb: Baby sheep corpse
  • Veal: Flesh from tormented baby cows
  • Turkey Twizzlers: Your guess is as good as ours.

Meat, Dairy, Eggs, and Fish

Chickens, cows, pigs, sheep, fish, and other animals exploited for food have feelings, thoughts, and personalities. Yet the meat, egg, dairy, and fishing industries subject them to claustrophobic conditions, immense suffering, and violent slaughter.

These animals never get to raise their families, root around in the soil, build nests, or do anything else that is natural and important to them. Most won’t even breathe fresh air until the day they’re loaded onto lorries headed to the abattoir.

The industries are a nightmare for animals, who are treated like a collection of body parts rather than sentient individuals. No matter the label or name, eating “products” forcefully taken from animals is always cruel.

What You Can Do

Eat vegan! Other animals, the planet, and your health will be much better off for it. We have plenty of resources available to help you get started – from our rundown of the best vegan cheeses to our guide to choosing a dairy-free milk.

We’ve made it super-easy for you to embark on your vegan journey: take our 30-day vegan pledge and we’ll guide you through the transition to a compassionate lifestyle.