Empanadas! For breakfast this morning. Martha’s coffee shop in San Francisco recently started offering South American style empanadas, mostly meat. Martha’s offers one veggie (possibly vegan) empanada each day … usually champiñones (mushrooms) or vegetables. In this case, they added Impossible meat (soy-based mince) to the filling.
My Ecuadorian grandmother was known for making good empanadas. I wonder, would she have enjoyed this version with a vegan filling?
Full disclosure, I haven’t seen the empanadas in the coffee shop myself. My husband goes and buys these for me. My husband is neither vegan nor vegetarian. Partly for that reason, I don’t want to bother him to ask the ladies behind the counter about the exact ingredients. Are these empanadas fully vegan? I don’t know. Truth be told, the empanadas could have some animal products in the dough or crust.
If I ever get a chance to ask, and if I find out that the empanadas aren’t totally vegan, guess what … I would still buy them and eat them. YES! J would. 👍
In the past, when I was a strict vegan, I would not have been willing to do that, of course.
What? Why might a veganish person eat something that they knew WASN’T vegan?
Now, as an animal advocate, why would I still buy these empanadas, even if they aren’t fully vegan? Honestly, there are a lot of reasons. I will explain one of the reasons below.
As I mentioned before, the empanadas at Martha’s usually contain meat. If I find out that the dough isn’t fully vegan and therefore decide to boycott these empanadas, Martha’s won’t know why I’m no longer buying them.
Meanwhile, if everyone follows my supposedly “good” example of boycotting these evil non-vegan products (if it turns out the veggie empanadas aren’t 100% vegan), sales of the “vegan filling” empanadas may decrease or disappear completely. Therefore, Martha’s may go back to selling only meat empanadas. How is that a win for the animals?
By contrast, if we show support for Martha’s empanadas made with vegan Impossible meat or veggies, that encourages Martha’s to continue developing more recipes for vegan fillings and to offer even more veggie options. As sales of the veggie options increase, more fully vegan options are more likely to get folded into the mix.
Forget vegan and think about the big picture!
Think about this: even if more totally vegan options don’t get folded in, more people eating meatless and mostly vegan empanadas instead of meat-heavy empanadas is still a huge win for the animals.
I hope our family and friends in Central and South America enjoy this post. If you would like to share some of the vegan or veggie options available in your country, please share in the Let’s Go Vegan-ish groups (public or private) on Facebook.
Or, if you like, please consider becoming an author for our website here, Vegan Dot World.