Commercial reality trumps vegan virtue signalling

Morgan Redfern-Hardisty – Vegan coffee maker extraordinaire

Please allow me to introduce you to Mr Morgan Redfern-Hardisty.

Morgan has hit the news lately and caused a bit of local controversy up in Magical Mangawhai as a result of a classic case of Vegan Virtue Signalling (VVS).

I’m not sure what it is about Vegans and their apparent need to tell everyone, not only how they like to live, but how others should live their lives as well.

You see Morgan Two-Fathers has a nice little coffee cart type business known as Cool Beans Cafe (CBC) in the brilliant local, community trust run, Mangawhai Activity Zone (MAZ). MAZ is a truly awesome skatepark, playground, outdoor gym, play zone for all ages. It is the result of a lot of local fundraising and voluntary effort and really is a beacon to what can be done by a dedicated crew of like-minded good folk who care about their town.

Mangawhai Activity Zone

But on July 27th Morgan decided that he was going to change the world, one cup of soy milk at a time, by taking his cafe Full Vegan (FV), or as many Whaleoilers might suggest, full retard, in an effort to reduce his environmental impact.

Morgan had already been offering alternative milk substitutes like home-made oat milk, soy, rice, coconut, hazelnut and Clarke’s favourite nut milk, almond. By all accounts there are a number of locals who swear by a goodnut-based flat white so by offering all these other options, he seems to have been making a name for himself. I understand you could even buy a sausage free sausage roll!

Problem is, Morgan is a principled chap. He decided to come out to the world and announce that he had been having a bit of a think and as a result, he had figured out that he just couldn’t be a part of the suffering and cruelty that the milking of cows created. No more dairy he announced, henceforth if you want to be fed or watered at his cafe, you would be doing it sans cow or not at all.

He advised if it came down to taste or suffering, then lack of taste was going to win the battle. He simply could not, in all consciousness, be associated with the victimisation of any more moo-cows, not even ones that supply certified organic cow juice.

Of course, the good folk who voluntarily run MAZ as part of the Mangawhai Activity Zone Charitable Trust (MAZCT) thought, Hang on a minute fella, not sure that is really what we want here at our inclusive park.

It seems that our Vegan Social Warrior (VSW) had forgotten who actually owned the cafe!

It turns out that the Trust, in an attempt to provide a better experience for the park’s visitors, had been the ones to cough up the actual cash to build the coffee dispensing container, fit it out internally, and generally supply a virtual going concern to Morgan. Just add the barista and you’re good to go.

Cool Beans Cafe, Mangawhai. Photo credit:

Not only that but Mr Two-Fathers didn?t even have to pay any lease costs for the building or ground rent. All he was required to do was stump up with ten percent of the profits back to the Trust as his contribution towards, and in appreciation for, being gifted a nice little business.

In fact, MAZ magnanimously decided to drop that minor contribution down to five percent to make life even easier for poor Morgan!

So of course, Morgan’s VVS decision to go full Vegan generated a few complaints from the locals too.

MAZ received a number of messages from disgruntled cow product lovers as it was quickly realised that if you wanted moo milk in your coffee or tea, you would have to walk a couple of hundred metres up and across the main road to another cafe, leaving your kids to their own devices probably.

MAZ quite rightly advised Morgan that they would like him to at least offer normal cow’s milk as an option so as not to alienate a large chunk of the populace. They even said he should feel free to pop a sign up to say that he was supplying the dairy product against his will to keep up his VVS credentials. People could then have the best of both cow and plant-based goodness and everyone would be happy, they could sit with their new friends and their kids could merrily play knowing that Mum and Dad had something to occupy themselves with instead of just sitting around reading Whaleoil on their phones.

But nope, that wasn’t good enough for Morgan, he simply couldn’t get past his newfound principles and he decided to put a bit of pressure on the MAZ Trustees by getting into a Facebook war!

This degenerated to a point where finally the Trustees gave Morgan the DCM (Don’t come Monday).

Someone generated a petition, (of course), to try to force the Trustees to go back on their decision. The fact that it conveniently avoided the question of who owns the cafe, in reality, seems to have been missed. 14,000 signatures were quickly gathered, and the Facebook war continued, becoming quite heated at times. Eventually, the local Mangawhai Facebook page cried enough and deleted the thread in an attempt to bring civility back to the region.

So poor old Morgan, remaining resolutely passionate about not hurting dairy cows, (while conveniently forgetting the environmental destruction that results from intensive coffee bean farming in third world countries), now has to close down his business. Labour weekend will be his last time serving dairy free coffees to the locals of Mangawhai.

Now Morgan is by all accounts, not a bad sort of rooster. He recently raised around $1500 for MAZ by shaving off his dreadlocks. But after continuing your war against the people who set you up in business for free by claiming that it is all a Big Dairy conspiracy and playing the Vegan Victim Card (VVC), it was never going to end well.

In summary, you just can’t get around the fact that if you go FV in your CBC at MAZ trying to be a VSW, you probably going to get a DCM from the GB’s at MAZCT and you can play the VVC as much as you like but at the end of the day, you’re just another VVS who’s been owned by CR (commercial reality).

So what’s a boy to do? Well, there is really only one thing that makes sense…

Protest by walking the entire length of New Zealand along the Te Araroa Trail, barefoot!

Now walking a 3000-kilometre trail will be hard enough, so I’m not sure why the need to go and do it barefoot, but there you go, once a hippy, perhaps always a hippy.

At least he will be raising money for poor mistreated animals, good on him. His walk shall be known as, ‘The barefoot walk for those who can’t talk!’

Now we here at Whaleoil are never ones to shirk our responsibility when it comes to supporting good causes. So you will no doubt all be pleased to know that Cam is happy to sponsor Morgan in his quest.

He would like to announce that The Whale Meat Company will donate $1 for every Whale Meat beef steak, pork chop, or bacon filled buttie that Morgan consumes during his walk. (conditions apply).

The Whale Meat Company

And we would ask that our wider Oiler community also pitch in and help Morgan out if they see him walking barefoot down the road. Please feel free to offer him food, you know, a sausage roll, a steak and kidney pie, and maybe a glass of milk. It’s a long way and he will need to keep his protein intake and energy levels up.

A nice pair of leather sandals probably wouldn’t go amiss either.

Morgan’s feet, possibly.