If you haven’t yet been acquainted with the term ‘Industrial Vegan,” you’re not alone. This is a fairly new term in the world of veganism that entered the vernacular in June of 2021 after the famous host Craig Ferguson questioned the meaning of the term in the ABC show “The Hustler.”
There are mixed feelings among the netizens, with some of them being irritated with the philosophy while many are resonating with it. Which crowd do you fall in in this discussion? Let’s jump right in.
Who Is an Industrial Vegan?
What’s an industrial vegan? This is one of the highest searched questions on Google. Unlike “Veganism,” there is no clear-cut definition of industrial veganism.
And that leaves people with more questions than answers. Since the popular American TV game show “The Hustler” brought the keyword into focus, people have been really intrigued by the philosophy behind the term “Industrial Vegan.”
Before June, there wasn’t anything on Google Trends about it. But now, the internet has seen its fair share of discussion on it.
To search for the Industrial vegan definition, I went and got the explanation straight from the horse’s mouth. Syd Crouch, a contestant on The Hustler Episode, first uttered the term.
She says, and I quote, “I coined the term ‘Industrial Vegan’ for myself to describe the way I like to choose my food.”
She has an in-depth explanation of what she meant by “Industrial Vegan” on her YouTube channel. You can watch the 11 minutes video on her channel, or you can read what she had to say in my summary below.
Industrial Vegan Definition
Industrial Vegan is someone who avoids only the animal products that were produced from industrially raised and farmed animals. However, they may consume other types of animal products that are free of cruelty.
Now, anyone who has been around for a while knows that the idea or philosophy behind the term isn’t anything new, even though the term itself is. Many people, including myself, have decided to consciously eat “free-range,” “humanely farmed and butchered,” and “organic” dairy, meat, and eggs.
We don’t like to be completely vegan for all sorts of different reasons. Some of us love to eat meat, while others need nutrients from animal products.
Who doesn’t love to be the “good guy”? But are we doing any favors for the animals? Is being an industrial vegan halting the cruel animal industry?
Simple answer – NO. But we can live with a clear conscience, and if we can increase the number of people who think like us, we can actually do a little damage.
The unfortunate reality is that many companies are now using keywords like “Free-range” and “Humane” to sell their products. But if you are not a conscious consumer, you may still be eating the cruelly produced animal products. It’s crucial to do research before you buy your consumable goods.
The Myth of Humane Farming
One of the early marketing tactics adopted by various companies is the usage of the term “Humane.” The claim was that their produced animal products were free from cruelly farmed, caged animals. But that turned out to be a myth more often than not.
Since you can’t use antibiotics and other means of controlling diseases, these companies have to concede losses. And that is unacceptable. This is why most companies’ claims are not backed by evidence.
For example, a free-range chicken can mean a chicken housed together with thousands of chickens with only a narrow exit to the outdoors.
Different Types of Veganism
Since we are talking about a new type of veganism, it’d be nice to brush up on the types of veganism present currently in the world.
There are at least 4 different types of vegans out there.
- Ethical Vegans
- Health vegans
- Environmental Vegans
- Religious Vegans
Thanks to the descriptors, the meaning of each type is easy enough to guess. Here’s what they mean,
Ethical vegans chose veganism as their way of life because of their stance against the cruelty to and exploitation of animals in many forms.
On the other hand, health-oriented vegans live a vegan life purely to live a healthy life because they believe a plant-based diet is better for health.
Vegans who care about the environment believe animal farming is a major cause of climate change and other environmental pollution around the world. So, they chose this way of life as a commitment to their cause of saving mother earth.
Lastly, the religious vegans are vegans because their religion wants them to be. For example, followers of Jainism choose veganism because avoiding the consumption of animal products is a major part of the religion.
However different their beliefs are, the main theme is the same; they avoid all kinds of animal products.
So the question arises –
Is an Industrial Vegan a True Vegan?
The Vegan Society defines veganism as follows –
“Veganism is a philosophy that encourages a way of living in which a person tries to exclude any and all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty in forms of food, clothing, or any other purpose.
It also extends to promoting animal-free alternatives for the benefit of the animals, humans, and for the environment at large.
Veganism as a diet, to put it simply, means the practice of removing all products whether partly or wholly produced from animals.”
So, someone who only chooses to avoid industrially farmed animals and animal products and consumes animals otherwise can’t be a vegan in its true sense, according to many vegans around the world.
Some vegans like to think that by adding more and more divisions and definitions, the term ‘veganism’ is losing its importance.
By the looks of it, the disagreement on what the term “Industrial Vegan” means will go on forever. It’s basically a diet that avoids processed foods. The question is, do we need a separate term for it? Well, the one who coined the term seems to think so.
Industrial vegans are simply people who are health conscious. It doesn’t have anything to do with saving animal lives; rather, it promotes a healthy and humane farming and butchering process.
Everyone has their own definition of veganism, and frankly, the contestant on The Hustler TV show has the right to define her own Industrial Veganism.