Vegan Cane Sugar?

I like to think that I’m pretty sympathetic to vegetarianism: it’s superior on environmental and moral grounds, and so even if I’m not there yet, I can see why people would advocate for it.

But I think we’re getting a little ridiculous here.

Last night, my wife brought home a package of what was labeled as “Vegan Cane Sugar.” Vegan? What kind of sugar isn’t vegan? Does most sugar have meat or dairy products in it? Maybe something about honey being a product of bees?

If someone could enlighten me on this, I’d appreciate it. In the meantime, I declare this a Vegan Weblog.

UPDATE: That was fast. A reader writes in:

Some super-strict vegans will not use sugar if the activated charcoal used in the filtration process was or might have been made from bones. (To give some idea how far-removed it is from an actual animal, it’s kosher pareve.)

Who knew? I still say we’re a Vegan Weblog.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.