Gray Matter: Whole Foods
If John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, weren’t a vegan, I’m not sure this would be such a Gray Matter for me. But he is someone who has evolved, over time, to the realization that he shouldn’t be eating animals. To create a place where consumers can go to feel better about killing animals to eat them, seems entirely contradictory.
The Internet, and the blogosphere in particular, is rife with debates over whether John Mackey should act as a vegan in addition to a CEO, and whether the vegan community should hold him to his personal beliefs. I used to think we shouldn’t, but after further review, I am extremely skeptical that the net result of people feeling better about killing animals is going to ever lead to the long-term goal of Animal People: abolition.
If your goal is to reduce suffering while continuing to believe that we are entitled to use animals for whatever purposes we’d like, I imagine Whole Foods doesn’t present a quandary. But if you don’t think we have a right to create them for the purposes of treating them however we wish to maximize our profits and satiate and fashion desires, Whole Foods is a significant issue. It perpetuates the illusion that there is such a think as humane slaughter. Meanwhile, humane slaughter is an oxymoron.