Over the last few years, the vegan community have made some extraordinary advances towards making their weird rabbit food taste as much like meat as physically possible. Businesses like the “Impossible Burger” have shown that just because something is plant-based doesn’t mean it can’t bleed. Quite how this squares with the idea that “all natural eating” remains something of a mystery to those who’ve always been happy to kill cute little critters for the sake of a steak sandwich.
Ignoring how you may feel personally about veganism as a life choice, it’s important to acknowledge that if people want to eat alien chemical “cheese” and claim it’s as good as the real thing, that is entirely up to them. Whether it’s for health, ethical or environmental reasons, going vegan can be a positive thing and people’s dietary decisions and lifestyle should be respected. Cooking with Quorn never hurt anyone.
The idea, therefore, that someone would be tricked into eating something that they are passionately against is shocking. Yet, from time to time, and whether by accident or design, such incidents do occur. Whether it’s a racist McDonald’s employee tricking a Muslim family into eating bacon or the accidental addition of chicken stock to a “vegetarian” risotto, the sad reality is that anyone with specific dietary requirements has to be extra careful.
This has been proved once again, thanks to a clueless Bristolian branch of Sainsbury’s. After purchasing a vegan-labelled falafel wrap in the British supermarket, 21-year old pro-plant activist Isobel Lentaigne was shocked to discover that her lunch was about as vegetarian as a meat feast pizza.
Presumably, thanks to a labelling mistake at the business’ factory facility, the erroneous falafel snack was in fact made up of hoisin duck. Unfortunately for Lentaigne, she only discovered the fault after she had eaten more than half of the meal.
To make matters worse, Letaigne unearthed the error in the aftermath of a day spent protesting animal rights abuses as part of the “Anonymous for the Voiceless” demonstration. Speaking to the Bristol Post later, Letaigne was justifiably outraged at the incident.
“I feel sick. I had been taking part in the Anonymous for the Voiceless demonstration in town all day while I ate this wrap without realising what was in it. Everyone said it was meat. I think it’s hoisin, based on the smell. I have been vegan for four and a half years and I am shocked.
“I have eaten meat and the very thought of meat makes me sick. I don’t see it as meat – I see it as part of an animal that has suffered, and I have now got those parts inside of me. The fact I bought this with a clear label stating it was suitable for vegans and vegetarians and I trusted Sainsbury’s only to then find actual meat in my wrap, it’s really bad.”
Clearly, Letaigne’s story is a horrific warning to vegans and other dietary specific groups. Though Sainsbury’s have been quick to respond, declaring that the matter is being thoroughly investigated, trust in supermarkets has been understandably shaken. In the meantime, vegans and vegetarians up and down the country are worriedly double and triple checking the contents of their food. After all, you never know what you might meat.