Video: Vegan grocery stores – are they feasible?

I fantasizes about vegan grocery stores: no more carcasses lining the aisles, and a chance to shop in a kind and peaceful environment. Who’s with me?

This issue has been top of mind for me lately. Whenever I go to our local natural foods store – Community Natural Foods – I’m overwhelmed by the amount of meat and animal products sold there.

Conventional grocery stores actually sell less meat

Now, I expect to see tons of meat at regular grocery stores. But surprisingly, conventional stores like Safeway, Walmart and Costco devote far less of their floorspace to animal products.

As vegans become a larger portion of the population, it makes sense to me that vegan lifestyle stores would naturally start opening to fill the demand for vegan-friendly spaces.

There’s some places I go where I expect to face a lot of animal atrocity (I honestly don’t know what else to call it). My daughter loves the variety of foods at the Chinese grocery store, as do I, but it can be hard at times. Last time we were there they were using some sort of table saw to dismember a whole pig. The sound, plus the knowledge of what they were doing was positively sickening.

I try not to let that stuff get to me. But the longer I’m vegan, the more it grosses me out. And I think as more people go vegan, there’s going to be a real need for places that are free from the omnipresent reminders of animal suffering.

While waiting for vegan grocery stores to become a thing, express your feelings (respectfully) to your local small business

Even though the chances they’ll stop selling meat are practically nil, it’s still worth telling your local natural food store that you wish they’d display meat less prominently.

Meat and animal products are a huge part of our culture. It might not have even occurred to them that you would like to be able to go to the produce section without being greeted by piles of frozen shrimp lying on ice. I’m not making this up, by the way! Our  local natural food store sells seafood in the produce section.

Vegan businesses are an amazing form of animal advocacy

If you are already vegan, and are lucky enough to be in the position to do so, please open a vegan business! It’s a wonderful way to spread the vegan message. And with growing interest in veganisim outside the movement (Beyond Meat, Hampton Creek Foods, Memphis Meats), there’s a lot of room for innovation out there.

And it doesn’t have to be a vegan grocery stores. You can always start small. Heck, even a vegan cookie business would be amazing! I think sometimes we forget that one of the the most powerful way to change hearts and minds is through the stomach. Showing people how delicious vegan food is can be far more powerful than any protest.

Have any of you had weird experiences with animal products on prominent display in natural food stores? Do you agree that conventional stores actually are a bit less offensive in this regard? I’d be interested in hearing what your perspective is on this issue.

Have a great weekend!

Margaret

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