Ahimsa Grove

Ahimsa Grove is a resource for vegan pagan living. It will include personal experiences and musings, recipes, shopping tips, vegan ethical and dietary considerations, and ideas for pagan practice including spells, rituals, and herbcraft.

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grab your wallet: how vegans exemplify consumer advocacy


In today's political climate, I've noticed more and more folks talking about consumer campaigns around "grabbing your wallet" when you disapprove of certain individual or industrial practices. I think this is great. It reminds me of the activist magic at work behind veganism. Every single one of us votes with our consumer dollars in one way or another. Veganism is one example of a "boycott," in the sense that we are grabbing our wallet and refusing to pay for certain practices. The concept was popularized (though not invented) by Gandhi as non-cooperation with an oppressive group or practice.


 Voting with your dollars may seem like a really passive form of activism. You may be tempted to shrug and say, “what’s my little grocery cart matter in the grand scheme of things?” But magical practitioners know that every finite action works together when applying our will to a larger goal. This definitely rings true when it comes to voting (with spending) for cruelty free foods.

To demonstrate my point, I did a little inventory of some major store chains in rural Maine. I know some of you will not want to shop at big stores like these. Still, I thought it was valid to demonstrate the rapid growth in vegan food choices at these of all places, since we may be tempted to think that big franchises are even less susceptible to consumer feedback than our local mom and pop or co op.




The stores I snapped some pics at include Shaw’s, Hannaford, Target, and Walmart. For those not familiar with them, Shaw’s and Hannaford are U.S. grocery stores (I think mostly East Coast).




When I first started looking for vegan food, which was within the past ten years, I had considerably fewer choices. Whether I choose to buy some of these products or not, I’m delighted to see that they are available. A lot of them are seen by vegans as “transitional” foods, which aren’t the healthiest options in our diet (though no vegan food contains cholesterol, many processed foods still have too much fat, sugar, and refined ingredients for exclusive use). Still, they are very useful for helping non-vegans or new vegans to get comfortable with the reduction or elimination of animal foods. So, as you enjoy these photos, celebrate the role that each and every one of you has had any time you purchased a product like the ones seen here. Whether they are the pinnacle of nutritional excellence or not, each package represents an option in which fewer animals were used to produce meat, milk, or eggs. And, in the future, give yourself a pat on the back whenever you grab your wallet and say no to animal foods. Blessed be.




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Leslie earned her Master of Divinity Degree at Vanderbilt University and is a Wiccan Priestess, Ordained Interfaith and seeking ordination through the Temple of the Feminine Divine in Bangor. Her column in SageWoman, “Child of Artemis,” deals with women and our relationship with animals. Leslie considers herself a cultural worker, dealing with issues of violence and oppression as they impact humans and other species. She has worked at a rural domestic violence prevention program since 2001 and is a board member on VegME, Maine’s vegan advocacy group.  


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