I sat down with a large grocery superstore's "Healthy Insider's Report" to read about their new organic products. We don't buy veggies at this store, but we usually get soymilk, tofu and other pantry staples there, as they are well-priced and the store is a five minute drive away. They have a fairly well-stocked natural food section and carry many organic products that we use. So I was a little more than annoyed when I saw this page entitled "Vegetarians Rejoice!". They have finally decided to identify their vegetarian products with a symbol. Not an internationally recognized vegetarian symbol, but one of their own creation. They guarantee that the product is suitable for "lacto-ovo vegetarians". Because they are the most "common type". They go on to describe that there are different kinds of vegetarians, such as "flexitarians, freegans and vegans!" but they only label for lacto-ovos because they are the "most common type". It annoys me that they try to discredit veganism by grouping them with flexitarians (who eat meat products when it suits them) and freegans (who are a pretty fringe group that wouldn't buy products at this superstore anyway). They could have said "vegans, fruitarians and raw foodists" or something similar. It is generally pretty easy as a lacto-ovo vegetarian to skim a list of ingredients to determine if the product contains meat. It is harder for a vegan to wade through ingredients like "whey powder" and "dried yolk". They could have easily adopted a variant of the vegetarian symbol to indicate if the product was vegan.
It would be hard for us to boycott this store, as there is only one other local grocery that carries some of the similar products at a higher price and the "locally owned" natural foods store is a twenty minute drive into the city, but we will definitely make an effort to buy less there. And I'll be sending "President's Choice" a copy of this post.