I am not certain how other grocery stores around the country (or world) are set up, but the ones in my area seem to be purposefully misleading. The stores that I frequent generally contain all of the strictly vegan food products that I buy in a designated area. It is sometimes labeled the organic section. This is very convenient, but can also be quite frustrating.
Frequently, I still find myself scanning over many items among the selection that are not vegan or not even vegetarian. These items such as “organic eggs” or “grass-fed beef” are set among vegan products as just another “healthful alternative” to more commonplace foods. However, as we vegans know, this is not the case. Despite packaging labels like “free-range” we know that these foods are still contributing to the abuse and subjugation of our animal friends and that meat and dairy, no matter how it is raised or processed, is still unhealthy for the human body.
The brand Go Veggie!, shown above, is one example of this misleading situation. For the first few years of exploring the vegan and vegetarian lifestyle, I saw this green packaging, suggestive brand name, and lactose free label and bought this product countless times under the impression that it must be a vegan cheese alternative. However, after finally reading the ingredients on the back of the package, I saw that these “cheddar flavor slices” did contain a small amount of dairy!
I was alarmed and outraged. It seems like brands such as this one are purposefully trying to obtain more customers by deceiving them. Not only that, this cheese tastes awful! It is not nearly as close to the taste of cheese as are true vegan alternatives such as Daiya. Upon further investigation of the Go Veggie! brand, I found that they do produce actual dairy free cheese products, so I am not entirely sure why they are even making this alternate, non-vegan, merely lactose-free option. This company just does not sit well with me.
The point is, never let yourself assume that a product is vegan just based on its packaging or placement in the grocery store. As much as we’d all like to stop obsessing over endless lists of ingredients, unless it specifically says it is vegan, there is a good chance that it is not. Don’t let these bullies push their products on us unknowingly. Make sure your money is supporting true vegan brands.
Stay vigilant, my friends. ❤