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Waging the Vegan Culture War


KesselsKramer’s Charlie Bowden shares a thought on where fake meat is going wrong

Waging the Vegan Culture War

As January comes to an end, I find myself thinking about an ad a colleague sent earlier this month. It called on Rishi Sunak to go vegan for January (if he did, gen v would donate one million pounds to the charity). It really got my goat. Firstly, if they have the money to both give away one million, and run an OOH campaign, surely there are more effective ways to use it than this stunt? But that’s not my point.

‘Veganuary’ is not new, and broadly speaking a great idea. Leveraging the profile of a celebrity to boost a campaign is also a well-trodden path, we saw Joe Lycett do this with David Beckham at the World Cup just gone. 

So why is this example different? What was it that annoyed me so much?

Simple, it was Rishi Sunak. Not because I just don’t like him, but because, who-the-fuck cares what he eats? Who cares how or what any politicians eat? You can insert your own Ed Miliband joke here.

The fake meat market has afforded agencies the opportunity to make some vaguely funny, vaguely good-looking ads, but all too often they frame the argument as a societal or environmental issue. And, when you do this, you end up with Rishi-fucking-Sunak. 

As a long-term vegetarian (although not vegan) I feel that those who care about the impact of animal agriculture enough to change their diets are likely to also already be aware of meat alternatives and initiatives like Veganuary, so enough with this worthy bullshit. 

Mealtimes are social events, and food fundamentally cultural; sell it such.

Stop telling people that what they are doing is bad, and start telling them why your product great, tasty and mouth-watering in its own right. Afterall, this isn’t a battle for brains but a battle for bellies.

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Categories: Vegetarian / Vegan, Food

KesselsKramer London, Tue, 31 Jan 2023 15:05:08 GMT