Antipodean vegan bullying

Today’s blog has very little to do with ZC/carnivory per se, and everything to do with the evil world of food industry politics, vegendas, ideology and greed. Which just makes you want even more to stay out of supermarkets, or at least avoid everything in boxes, and be a simple carnivore. (My mum always said I was quite simple).

In an earlier blog I wrote about the Seventh Day Adventists. You will have read how, despite their strange beliefs, they came to have a good deal of influence in food policy in the US in the early 20th century, and how that influence still works its power today.

I pointed out that the Seventh Day Adventists were anti-meat and anti-protein because they were anti-fun, anti-smile, anti-enjoyment, anti-pleasure, anti-dancing, anti-sex (especially the self-pleasuring, non-procreative kind, which Mr Kellogg hoped to stamp out by the liberal administration of the then new-fangled breakfast cereals such as corn flakes). And that despite their anti-meat stance being the idiosyncratically religious and ideological belief that meat caused inflamed passions in the loin area, rather than based on, oh, I don’t know, science, reason, logic or evidence, it became enshrined in government policy and from there into the public consciousness, and from there infiltrated its way into much of western beliefs about food and nutrition.

I also pointed out that Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing, the company that grew from those early, heady days of anti-masturbation plotting in Battle Creek, Michigan, is alive and kicking, and churning out millions of dollars’ worth of cereals for Australia and New Zealand to have for breakfast. Sanitarium – named after the very establishment set up by John Kellogg and the other Adventists to help cure people of meat-eating and masturbation – is owned by the Adventist church and as a result pays no tax on its huge profits. In effect, the company is being subsidised to push a plant-based vegenda.

One of Sanitarium’s biggest selling products is a cereal called Weet-Bix. It’s similar to our native Weetabix, which isn’t surprising since both brands were invented by the same man. Sanitarium has been bullying shop-owners in New Zealand who import the British cereal Weetabix to sell to British expats, who generally prefer it to the local variety. The multi-million dollar company has been pretending that shoppers wandering into the tiny store for British expats will mistake this bright yellow box:weetabixfor this dark blue and red box:

weet-bix

despite the different colours, different font, different design etc. And that they’ll be defrauded into buying it, thinking it’s Weet-Bix, and there’ll be a drop in the Sanitarium profits. In fact, they forced one shop to destroy 108 boxes of Weetabix that had been held in customs, at around $4 per box, and in doing so saved themselves, oh maybe $200, if they’d all otherwise been bought by confused (or severely colour-blind and slightly dyslexic) shoppers believing they were buying Weet-Bix.

Even though the High Court found that there was no chance of customers being confused, it also found that the shop, A Little Bit of Britain, had breached the Trade Marks Act, and had to cover the labels of any other boxes of Weetabix lurking on their shelves. A Little Bit of Britain has vowed to fight on against the bullying, however, so it remains to be seen whether Big Agra/Big Religia wins in the end or not. You’d hope the good guy would win, wouldn’t you?

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not sympathising with the Weetabix company. After all, they have recipes for Weetabix-coated chicken on their website for you to feed to your children so that the poor darlings don’t have to go a full 24 hours without ingesting the stuff. No, it’s the behaviour of the plant-advocating, trivially litigious Adventist Sanitarium company that makes my blood boil.

(Sanitarium also threatened legal action against a New Zealand cafe six years ago for using British Marmite in its sandwiches while Sanitarium’s own Marmite was in short supply).

What are the take-homes from this? The food industry is nasty and horrible? Cereal grains make more money than any other food and people will play dirty to keep their share? Yellow is easily distinguishable from blue? Seventh Day Adventists are evil masquerading as good? Eating breakfast cereal doesn’t prevent masturbation?

Make up your own minds, and be glad you’re a carnivore and well away from all this crap.

Till next time.

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