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Vegans: Why not vegetarianism?

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  • MarttaHPMarttaHP Member Posts: 36 Member Member Posts: 36 Member
    I'm vegetarian and for me that's good enough. If I want to become vegan I also can't buy leather shoes while it's best to buy leather shoes for my foot issues. And due an other health condition I tend to be feeling cold a lot during winter and wool keeps me warm better. I became a vegetarian due health benefits and all else is a plus.

    Also I noticed that being vegan used to be a trend among YouTubers. It annoyed me because they kept promoting it and such but then in the next vlog you saw them buying a Gucci leather bag or the latest sneakers which are made out of leather.

    I don't see a reason why someone couldn't cut animal products from their diet while simultaneously using leather and wool. If that doesn't make you "vegan" in the strictest definition of the term, so be it. At least you will be making less of an environmental/animal wellfare impact through your food choices.

    (I'm "only" a vegetarian myself, so I'm not trying to be preachy here.)
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 24,034 Member Member Posts: 24,034 Member
    MarttaHP wrote: »
    I'm vegetarian and for me that's good enough. If I want to become vegan I also can't buy leather shoes while it's best to buy leather shoes for my foot issues. And due an other health condition I tend to be feeling cold a lot during winter and wool keeps me warm better. I became a vegetarian due health benefits and all else is a plus.

    Also I noticed that being vegan used to be a trend among YouTubers. It annoyed me because they kept promoting it and such but then in the next vlog you saw them buying a Gucci leather bag or the latest sneakers which are made out of leather.

    I don't see a reason why someone couldn't cut animal products from their diet while simultaneously using leather and wool. If that doesn't make you "vegan" in the strictest definition of the term, so be it. At least you will be making less of an environmental/animal wellfare impact through your food choices.

    (I'm "only" a vegetarian myself, so I'm not trying to be preachy here.)

    The very definition of veganism is to avoid animal exploitation to the extent that it is possible and practicable. So if a vegan has a medical condition that requires the use of an animal product, by definition, they can take care of it. If a good faith effort has been made to determine that other products just won't meet the need, then using leather and wool (to the extent necessary to meet the need) would be consistent with vegan ethics.

    I'll also add that there are vegans who consider thrifted leather and wool products to be consistent with vegan ethics, especially if it prevents someone from buying a new product. Obviously thrifted leather shoes would be a bad idea for someone with a food condition (since leather typically fits to a specific foot), but thrifted wool items are a potential option for someone who needs the items to keep warm but is concerned about the wellbeing of sheep. If I required wool, it's the option that I would choose.



  • MarttaHPMarttaHP Member Posts: 36 Member Member Posts: 36 Member
    The very definition of veganism is to avoid animal exploitation to the extent that it is possible and practicable. So if a vegan has a medical condition that requires the use of an animal product, by definition, they can take care of it. If a good faith effort has been made to determine that other products just won't meet the need, then using leather and wool (to the extent necessary to meet the need) would be consistent with vegan ethics.

    I'll also add that there are vegans who consider thrifted leather and wool products to be consistent with vegan ethics, especially if it prevents someone from buying a new product. Obviously thrifted leather shoes would be a bad idea for someone with a food condition (since leather typically fits to a specific foot), but thrifted wool items are a potential option for someone who needs the items to keep warm but is concerned about the wellbeing of sheep. If I required wool, it's the option that I would choose.

    Right. And in general I am in support of flexible rather than all-or-nothing approaches. Like omnivores who are willing and able to cut back their meat consumption even if they don't want to give it up completely. Doing something is always better than doing nothing, especially since one's food choices amount to such a large part of one's carbon footprint.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 24,034 Member Member Posts: 24,034 Member
    MarttaHP wrote: »
    The very definition of veganism is to avoid animal exploitation to the extent that it is possible and practicable. So if a vegan has a medical condition that requires the use of an animal product, by definition, they can take care of it. If a good faith effort has been made to determine that other products just won't meet the need, then using leather and wool (to the extent necessary to meet the need) would be consistent with vegan ethics.

    I'll also add that there are vegans who consider thrifted leather and wool products to be consistent with vegan ethics, especially if it prevents someone from buying a new product. Obviously thrifted leather shoes would be a bad idea for someone with a food condition (since leather typically fits to a specific foot), but thrifted wool items are a potential option for someone who needs the items to keep warm but is concerned about the wellbeing of sheep. If I required wool, it's the option that I would choose.

    Right. And in general I am in support of flexible rather than all-or-nothing approaches. Like omnivores who are willing and able to cut back their meat consumption even if they don't want to give it up completely. Doing something is always better than doing nothing, especially since one's food choices amount to such a large part of one's carbon footprint.

    I understand your point, but I think there are two schools of thought on this. The first is yours, that declining specific instances of animal exploitation is doing something positive even if one is deciding to harm animals on other occasions. The second is that we have a moral obligation to avoid harming others unnecessarily and that refusing individual instances of it isn't laudable, it's the moral baseline.

    When it comes to humans, most of us generally use the second approach. We do not usually consider ourselves generating moral credit for the things we don't do that we know we SHOULDN'T do. The exceptions might be situations where it was extremely tempting or when we face peer pressure, but generally you don't see people praised for refraining from harming others. When it comes to animals that we're accustomed to harming, many of us do seem to adopt the first approach, which I think unfortunately reinforces the idea that animals are ours to use to gratify our desires and we can address the problem by minor decreases or fluctuations in our participation.

    I understand the danger of seeming to discourage people from incremental changes, but I don't think it's honest for me to pretend that I think it's okay to hurt animals Tuesday-Sunday if you're doing "meatless Mondays," for example. I'm glad if someone gives up meat on Monday. It doesn't change anything for the animals impacted the other six days of the week, unfortunately.

    It's like the distinction between those who believe veganism is "helping" animals and those who don't. Veganism doesn't nothing to help an animal. I'm declining to participate in something that I have no right to participate in. Individual vegans can and do sometimes take steps to affirmatively help animals, of course. But in and of itself, I'm no more "helping" an animal than I'm "helping" a human when I don't assault them.
  • mylittlerainbowmylittlerainbow Member Posts: 539 Member Member Posts: 539 Member
    I can't take the final step to being vegan because I admit that I can't give up my yogurt. Never keep milk in the house, only get cheese for recipes for the most part, really don't eat eggs that much, but I do like my yogurt with fruit in it every day. But I'm not doing what I do for political reasons but for other reasons instead.
  • MarttaHPMarttaHP Member Posts: 36 Member Member Posts: 36 Member
    MarttaHP wrote: »
    The very definition of veganism is to avoid animal exploitation to the extent that it is possible and practicable. So if a vegan has a medical condition that requires the use of an animal product, by definition, they can take care of it. If a good faith effort has been made to determine that other products just won't meet the need, then using leather and wool (to the extent necessary to meet the need) would be consistent with vegan ethics.

    I'll also add that there are vegans who consider thrifted leather and wool products to be consistent with vegan ethics, especially if it prevents someone from buying a new product. Obviously thrifted leather shoes would be a bad idea for someone with a food condition (since leather typically fits to a specific foot), but thrifted wool items are a potential option for someone who needs the items to keep warm but is concerned about the wellbeing of sheep. If I required wool, it's the option that I would choose.

    Right. And in general I am in support of flexible rather than all-or-nothing approaches. Like omnivores who are willing and able to cut back their meat consumption even if they don't want to give it up completely. Doing something is always better than doing nothing, especially since one's food choices amount to such a large part of one's carbon footprint.

    I understand your point, but I think there are two schools of thought on this. The first is yours, that declining specific instances of animal exploitation is doing something positive even if one is deciding to harm animals on other occasions. The second is that we have a moral obligation to avoid harming others unnecessarily and that refusing individual instances of it isn't laudable, it's the moral baseline.

    When it comes to humans, most of us generally use the second approach. We do not usually consider ourselves generating moral credit for the things we don't do that we know we SHOULDN'T do. The exceptions might be situations where it was extremely tempting or when we face peer pressure, but generally you don't see people praised for refraining from harming others. When it comes to animals that we're accustomed to harming, many of us do seem to adopt the first approach, which I think unfortunately reinforces the idea that animals are ours to use to gratify our desires and we can address the problem by minor decreases or fluctuations in our participation.

    I understand the danger of seeming to discourage people from incremental changes, but I don't think it's honest for me to pretend that I think it's okay to hurt animals Tuesday-Sunday if you're doing "meatless Mondays," for example. I'm glad if someone gives up meat on Monday. It doesn't change anything for the animals impacted the other six days of the week, unfortunately.

    It's like the distinction between those who believe veganism is "helping" animals and those who don't. Veganism doesn't nothing to help an animal. I'm declining to participate in something that I have no right to participate in. Individual vegans can and do sometimes take steps to affirmatively help animals, of course. But in and of itself, I'm no more "helping" an animal than I'm "helping" a human when I don't assault them.

    Yes, I suppose from an animal wellfare perspective, what you choose to eat is an all-or-nothing proposition; your arguments were something I haven't considered before. But I tend to look at people's (and my own) dietary choices more based on the environmental impacts of food production (I have an environmental engineering background). Since no one can have zero impact on the environment while being alive on this planet, I'm more concentrated on harm reduction.
  • AliciaHollywoodAliciaHollywood Member, Premium Posts: 97 Member Member, Premium Posts: 97 Member
    I’m vegetarian but do eat eggs and cheese. I get organic no hormone free range eggs and no hormone cheese from France where I hope they are kinder to cows than in the U.S.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 24,034 Member Member Posts: 24,034 Member
    I’m vegetarian but do eat eggs and cheese. I get organic no hormone free range eggs and no hormone cheese from France where I hope they are kinder to cows than in the U.S.

    Dairy farms in France tend to be smaller than those in the US, which can reduce the risks of some types of mistreatment especially associated with industrial farming. But the cows are still slaughtered after a few years of milk production, years before they would normally die, as they are "spent" and are no longer producing as much milk (a cow can live up to twenty years or even longer, but a diary cow is usually killed for meat after just a few years). Male calves are still sold for slaughter, as they cannot contribute to profit in any other way. The need for profit in dairy farming makes it virtually impossible to give an animal a full life.

    I believe the situation is similar for chickens used in egg production. The farms tend to be smaller, which may reduce some of the more graphic cruelties shown to chickens in larger populations, but there are still issues for those who believe we have an obligation to avoid unnecessary cruelty or exploitation. An example would be the immediate killing of male chicks -- France currently has a goal to eliminate this by the end of 2021 by figuring out a way to "pre-sex" eggs and destroy the male eggs before they hatch. But right now, they're still being hatched and killed (typically by grinding them up in an industrial grinder or gassing them to death). Again, while France has a goal of ending this by 2021, it's important to note that the technology doesn't yet exist to do this in a economically feasible way. If they're unable to do it, I wouldn't be surprised to see this pushed back (like in Germany, where the government has made it clear that the practice can continue until a technological solution is found).

    I was not able to find specific information to what happens to laying "hens" that are considered "spent," but it's likely they are not retired, but are slaughtered (just as they are in the US).

    So I think it comes down to what "kindness" means to an individual. I would not consider any of these practices "kind" although it's arguable that some forms of French farming are "kinder" than what one would see in a US industrial farm setting. But outside of food production, many of us would not condone treating animals in this way. That the end result of treating THESE animals this way results in food that we find pleasurable should, IMO, inspire us to be more critical of any ethical reasoning that leads us to excuse or condone it, not less.
  • chubbycatcornerchubbycatcorner Member Posts: 100 Member Member Posts: 100 Member
    I can't take the final step to being vegan because I admit that I can't give up my yogurt. Never keep milk in the house, only get cheese for recipes for the most part, really don't eat eggs that much, but I do like my yogurt with fruit in it every day. But I'm not doing what I do for political reasons but for other reasons instead.

    There is some really really yummy vegan youghurts out there. Coconut and mango is my favourite.
  • very_californianvery_californian Member Posts: 97 Member Member Posts: 97 Member
    lol dairy sucks. were not supposed to consume it except in very small, infrequent amounts, if at all. That's the biology.

    Now, onto the dairy industry....
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 24,034 Member Member Posts: 24,034 Member
    lol dairy sucks. were not supposed to consume it except in very small, infrequent amounts, if at all. That's the biology.

    Now, onto the dairy industry....

    What biology are you referring to?
  • nuzzieknuzziek Member Posts: 67 Member Member Posts: 67 Member
    I'm vegan for many reasons that have already been mentioned here. One reason that has NOT been mentioned: by eating a vegan diet, you eliminate cholesterol completely from my diet. Only animal products contain cholesterol (including dairy and eggs). Within 6 months of becoming vegan, my LDL dropped to 0.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 24,034 Member Member Posts: 24,034 Member
    nuzziek wrote: »
    I'm vegan for many reasons that have already been mentioned here. One reason that has NOT been mentioned: by eating a vegan diet, you eliminate cholesterol completely from my diet. Only animal products contain cholesterol (including dairy and eggs). Within 6 months of becoming vegan, my LDL dropped to 0.

    Very low LDL is defined as less than 40 MG (100 is low, I believe). It is not clear that very low is better than low, and in fact, there seems to be a higher risk of some conditions associated with VERY low LDL (cancer, stroke, depression, anxiety). I would be careful about touting this as a benefit of veganism because the people you're saying this to may be aware that very low -- specifically what you're claiming, having zero LDL discernable in your blood -- may not be better than low.

    What studies have shown is that vegans, as a population, do tend to have low LDL (as in less than 100 mg), but don't -- as a population -- dip into very low. To me, this is generally a good thing as we don't have a good understanding of the long term consequences of having very or extremely low LDL levels.



  • cephlovecephlove Member Posts: 11 Member Member Posts: 11 Member
    I have a question for someone who has gone vegan for ethical reasons, if any feel like discussing it. There is an animal sanctuary in my area which has quite a few chickens that still lay eggs. They sell the eggs to help raise money for the sanctuary. Would someone who has gone vegan for ethical reasons be willing to eat non-vegan food that was produced in this manner, e.g. a byproduct of rescued animals which are well-treated and not kept for their ability to produce? Not trying to stir the pot, just genuinely curious.
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