Veggie Pret staying open all summer
A lot of vegans are happy with the selection of animal-free sandwiches on offer at the Veggie Pret pop up shop in Soho.
News sites have been busy telling the world how well the temporary store front has been doing financially and that the vegan options have been some of the best-selling menu items.
Well, it appears the vegetarian version of Pret a Manger is staying around a little bit longer than originally planned. The company announced today that the Broadwick Street vegetarian shop will be staying open throughout the entire summer.
If you dig a little further into the Pret website, you will find this page dedicated to the animal welfare policies of the sandwich chain.
Now, my intention isn’t to start a shit storm over this but I find this greenwashing a little tough to swallow. Yes, I believe some people within the company are pushing for better treatment of animals and possibly some of the workers are vegan. But I don’t appreciate a corporation using terms like ‘happy cows, happy milk, moo’ when we all know how milk is produced.
Even if a cow gets to strut about a green field all day, she still needs to be forcibly inseminated to become pregnant on time every time in order to be a lucrative milk producer.
And then there are sections of their website on happy pigs who are deliriously ecstatic before being slaughtered for bacon. Or what about the farm bred fish or line caught tuna? Line caught means being flung onto the deck of a boat and then suffocating.
You can all come at me with ‘we should be grateful for what vegan stuff we get’ and ‘a no meat shop in Soho is incredible’ but I’m from the old-school train of thought that victories are hard won, not handed to us. I’m interested by the shop’s success, but I’m not about to allow the rest of the animal-suffering they engage in go unnoticed.
Pret have made this decision to keep this shop open because vegans are making them money. We get this same ‘know your food’ routine from places like Whole Foods Market and we need to realise that these changes are because campaigners have worked hard for decades, vegans make their consumer voices heard and groups such as The Vegan Society talk non-stop to businesses like Pret.
Shop with them for their vegan options if you choose, but don’t let greenwashing campaigns like this stop you from asking for more plant-based food and less animal suffering. Say thank you for the vegan stuff if you want but follow it up with a ‘you can do more’.
Use your vegan clout. Pret are obviously taking notice.
Extra note: this is not an attempt to shame people who shop at Pret for their vegan options. I do it sometimes when I am in London. Rather it is a post to acknowledge the latest news regarding the vegetarian pop up while asking people to realise we don’t have to stop saying ‘more vegan’ whenever someone throws a plant-based bone our way.