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Mfap
Feb 13th, 2008, 02:35 PM
With the entire approach to changing the wardrobe or not aspect of 'dietary veganism' as opposed to veganism surely its a matter of not buying further animal-based produce (or if you have to, buy it secondhand from a charity shop that is consistent with your beliefs, thereby subverting what would be a funding of the exploitation of animals into an act which causes benefits to the populace.) Whatever you do, I'd advocate not merely rubbishing things, as I see that as counter-productive on an enviromental basis, as well as being anti-utilitarian in terms of cost of suffering versus benefits. For clarification that is not me saying that one should consume first hand the produce of exploitation if it is beneficial, rather it is my opining that if one has contributed to such industries as do this already , one should make the most out of it (or enable others to utilise the produce without funding the industry).

On the whole however, I can see that taxonomically there is a need to encourage the use of the older term "strict vegetarian" to distinguish plant-based diet from veganism. And indeed, I agree with Nivvie that we should not have recrimination for those who use the term. Such a thing would be needlessly derisive.

Ooi - didn't the term veganism actually evolve from such a rift concerning whether or not the vegetarian movement was one that was strictly diet based or one that dealt with the entire spirit of the affair?

Russ
Feb 13th, 2008, 10:19 PM
Get yer torches and pitchforks ready ...

Here goes ...

By the strictest definition, I'm not vegan. Dietary, yes, I won't go near meat or dairy, ever. I don't buy leather (I still have a couple pairs of leather shoes 'left over', but wouldn't buy any more) or any other clothing made from animals.
But when it comes to, for instance, detergents, like someone mentioned up there, I don't go looking for the vegan option. For one thing it's going to be pretty hard to know, and for another, pretty hard to find. This also extends to things like shampoo. Yes, it's possible to get 'vegan' shampoo ... it would mean taking a day's trip into London, or ordering online ... which would be about four times as expensive and probably smell weird. My experience with 'vegan deoderants' has been one of watery rock-sticks that don't do anything beneficial and soon end up smelling like armpit. No thanks.

Let me pose a question ... if you're out at a pub or restaurant and you go and use the bathroom, do you wash your hands afterwards? Yeah? Good, I'm glad to hear that ... what soap do you use?

Right. So we all know where we stand. Unless you carry your own soap around with you. I'm sure there are 100% totally pure vegans on this forum, but by my reckoning, they're few in number. I'm just going on what I've heard and what I've picked up. The dietary part of veganism is clearly the most crucial, because if we move away from killing animals for food then we'll probably stop with the 'byproducts' too ... I know how horrible animal testing is, but I can't find alternative products that actually do the job ... I do tend to buy those kind of things from Sainsburys, but last time I checked, there's a lot of conflicting evidence over their animal ethics.

horselesspaul
Feb 13th, 2008, 10:53 PM
Let me pose a question ... if you're out at a pub or restaurant and you go and use the bathroom, do you wash your hands afterwards? Yeah? Good, I'm glad to hear that ... what soap do you use?

I just use the water. Preferably hot. No problems in 18 vegan years..

Topaz
Feb 13th, 2008, 10:55 PM
Great points, Russ.

I personally wish that vegans would stop spending so much time criticizing each others' choices. We are such a tiny percentage of the population, we should spend more effort trying to find ways to be inclusive and less effort ruminating about who is pure enough to be in the club and who is not.

It reminds me of that old joke about being a group where our response to being attacked is to circle the wagons and fight with each other.

Russ
Feb 13th, 2008, 10:59 PM
I personally wish that vegans would stop spending so much time criticizing each others' choices. We are such a tiny percentage of the population, we should spend more effort trying to find ways to be inclusive and less effort ruminating about who is pure enough to be in the club and who is not.

It reminds me of that old joke about being a group where our response to being attacked is to circle the wagons and fight with each other.

I feel the same way about vegetarians in general ... the whole vegetarian-vegan war is the dumbest thing I've ever heard ...

*braces self for ostracism*

xrodolfox
Feb 13th, 2008, 11:11 PM
While I agree that we shouldn't fight with other veg*ns who aren't vegan, the idea that the depth of idea and value and social impact of being vegan is lost by the passive change in definition scares me.

I think being vegan is much more than a diet or what type of toothpaste is consumed. It is a philosophy, and to reduce it to something less makes the social impact of what it means to be vegan much less powerful.

There is great power in words, and how they are defined. Being concise, such as calling people "Strict Vegetarians" when they avoid animal products but aren't vegan by philosophy makes a lot of sense to me.

I think it isn't a matter of a "club" or not. It is a matter of being concise and clear with our language.

aubergine
Feb 13th, 2008, 11:58 PM
I don't know what I'd do without the Co-op. Specifically cruelty free brands cost money I just don't have.

Shells
Mar 21st, 2008, 02:52 AM
Russ, as much as I hate to admit it, I'm in a very similar boat as you. I simply can't afford to buy most vegan soaps and detergents. I canfind them, but the laundrey detergent is literally 4 times or more the price of non-specific vegan detergent, everywhere I looked. I can find dish soap for a normal price, but it physically hurts to spend ten dollars on a small bottle of laundry soap when I can get a giant bottle for 4 dollars, or two for seven.

My current solution is to ask for these more expensive products as gifts, actually. I haven't run out of deoderant yet (I tend to stock up on toiletries, so I'm still using pre-vegan purchases - and it's been three months!) but I'm sort of dreading the deoderant replacements - my mother had me and my sister using "natural" deoderant in middle school, and it was my biggest rebellion to keep "normal" deoderant in my gym locker. People were making fun of my because I would smell after gym class, or if it was hot out. It just... didn't work at all. And we tried eeeevery brand.

I'm hoping that there have been some advances in the deoderant technology, because I can't stand BO.

Luckily, Colgate makes vegan toothpaste, so I don't have to change! My makeup is already vegan as well (not the brushes though, sadly) so I don't have too much to change. Just shampoo (which I'm sort of dreading), hair products (ditto) and the whole detergent thing. Soap is easy because... well, soap is soap. It works the same if its natural.

Unlike deoderant. Sigh.

*still not calling myself vegan yet*

missbettie
Mar 21st, 2008, 05:34 AM
Shells I think you are vegan, It is about doing what you can for the cause. Doing whatever is possible for you to be vegan. You have the mindset, unfortunately not the money...its difficult.... I find myself yelling at my boyfriend for using my vegan soap because it is so much more expensive than his and he just doesn't care...its very petty and stupid but I do it anyways, because I would rather not spend 10 bucks on soap, with that money I could do a lot more...like buy a new dress...ah but then again i'm pathetic...lol

The_Jeweller
Mar 21st, 2008, 09:03 AM
I used the term in my first post on this forum a few days ago without giving it much thought. I am, however, a very new vegan (only since Aug-07) and still learning. The only bit of leather left in my wardrobe is, like some of you, a pair of DMs which I will continue to wear in bad weather until I can find a suitable replacement.

Also I still use a depressingly large number of animal by-products in my trade as a jeweller from the glue that keeps my sandpaper sandy to many of the polishing compounds. Then, of course, there are the ethical questions raised about where and how my metals and gemstones are sourced. Despite my full-fledged vegan aspirations, I simply cannot abandon my trade or my tools as there are few to zero alternatives. It's a pickle.

And then there's the question of WATER! Even tap water is filtered through animal bones making it, technically, non-vegan.

It all makes me wonder: can there possibly be such a thing as a perfect vegan?

Besides, who has the right to attack a newbie vegan who has made the leap and still looking for footholds? Advice and a friendly helping hand is what we need - not a hostile lecture about why we're wrong to call ourselves 'dietary vegans'.

But now I'm ranting.

(by the way Original Source shampoo & conditioner not only smells and feels fantastic to use, it's also cruelty-free and endorsed by the Vegan Society!)

Risker
Mar 21st, 2008, 09:16 AM
And then there's the question of WATER! Even tap water is filtered through animal bones making it, technically, non-vegan.


Woah there! Lets not spread myths about that stuff.

Korn
Mar 21st, 2008, 10:04 AM
a hostile lecture about why we're wrong to call ourselves 'dietary vegans' Hi Jeweller, I have yet to see any hostility in statements about why people disagree with the term 'dietary vegan'. ;) It's a totally relevant term to use if someone wants to describe what they eat "without giving it much thought" (to use your words). When people order food at a restaurant, they sometimes use the word vegan about themselves instead of about the food they want ("I'm a vegan" instead of "I'd like some vegan food"). It's possible and to talk about food without using people descriptions', but we sometimes use the word 'vegan' about themselves - even if other words like total vegetarian' or 'vegitan' already exist. The confusion probably exist because both vegan, vegitan and total vegetarian food is entirely plant based. I don't think anyone use the 'dietary vegan' term for other reason that it's simple. The very existence of the term 'dietary vegan' is in itself a proof that veganism is about more than food, because why would they otherwise add 'dietary' before 'vegan' in the first place?

Some vegans order 'total vegetarian' food instead of vegan food because they have found that some waiters don't know what vegan means, which could indicate that it would be simpler for total vegetarians to call themselves total vegetarians instead of vegans or dietary vegans anyway...

If people say that a person who use animal products is not a vegan, it's just because they don't want the word vegan to change it's meaning. The term 'vegetarian' has almost developed into a word anyone who happen to not like os use or stomack red meat can use. This started to happen before internet was commonly used, and thanks to internet, we can now prevent that the same thing will happen with the word 'vegan'. To remind people what vegetarians don't eat chicken, or that veganism is about more than food isn't "hostile", because it isn't about a person - it's about a definition of a word.


Even tap water is filtered through animal bones making it, technically, non-vegan. We're going off topic here, but I agree with Risker, let's not spread some myths about water not being vegan, because too many people think 'in block'. If a myth about water not being vegan would be spread, there are actually people out there that aren't intelligent enough to understand that 'if not even water is vegan, I might as well use other animal products as well, because it's not possible to be a perfect vegan anyway'.

The great thing about the word 'vegan' is that there isn't baked any kind of unrealistic perfectionism into it. If you think that tap water as such is not vegan - and if you think this is important, first of all some documentation would be needed, confirming that a) bone char is commonly used for water filtering, and b) that a product that doesn't contain any animal products is not to be considered vegan (according to a commonly accepted definition of vegan) if animal products has been used somewhere in the process between creating it and bringing it to your home. If your postman eats a burger while delivering your post, because he's not a vegan and ned some food, animal products have been used in the process of delivering your mail to you, but that doesn't mean that receiving post technically isn't vegan.

'Vegan' is about doing your best to avoid harming and killing animals as far as practical and possible, and personally I'm not even interested in whether my tap water has been filtered with bone char or not other than if I would contact someone involved in water filtering and suggest that they should use something else instead of bone char. I'm not going to try to figure out what the postman is eating either. If you walk on a sidewalk, some insects and maybe some mice were probably killed when that street and sidewalk were made, but that doesn't mean that sidewalks - or walking on sidewalks - technically aren't vegan. If my tap water would have been filtered using bone char, I wouldn't start buying/collecting water from other source to use with cleaning, cooking (etc) anyway, I'd just say that it's not practical/possible to not use tap water, just like I'm going to continue to walk on sidewalks and live in a house without going into a depression about how streets and buildings are made.


who has the right to attack a newbie vegan This is not about attacks, it's about calling a spade for a spade, since the word 'vegan', just like the word 'Chinese' is not limited to describe what people eat. ;) If my neighbor would claim that he is now Chinese because he has been eating only Chinese food for a month, and I'd tell him that he's not Chinese, it wouldn't be an attack on him as a person, it wouldn't even be an attack on how he is using the word 'Chinese', it would only be a reminder about 'Chinese' being about more than what people eat. Non-Chinese people have been living in China for many years, eating only Chinese food, without needing to call themselves 'dietary Chinese'.... ;)

horselesspaul
Mar 21st, 2008, 11:38 AM
This is not about attacks, it's about calling a spade for a spade, since the word 'vegan', just like the word 'Chinese' is not limited to describe what people eat. ;) If my neighbor would claim that he is now Chinese because he has been eating only Chinese food for a month, and I'd tell him that he's not Chinese, it wouldn't be an attack on him as a person, it wouldn't even be an attack on how he is using the word 'Chinese', it would only be a reminder about 'Chinese' being about more than what people eat. Non-Chinese people have been living in China for many years, eating only Chinese food, without needing to call themselves 'dietary Chinese'.... ;)

Korn, you fuqing rule man.

Peas.

Shells
Mar 21st, 2008, 07:57 PM
I might be dietary Thai... :)

teaboy
Mar 24th, 2008, 08:35 PM
This is why straight-edge is so fractured; everybody analyzing each others commitment to it and trying to show that they're just that little bit more straight-edge than the next man. It doesn't matter to me what somebody else choses to call themselves or how they order their food. It's not my business either.

Korn
Mar 24th, 2008, 08:50 PM
It doesn't matter to me what somebody else choses to call themselves or how they order their food. ---but it matters for many others, eg. vegetarians who have to explain that vegetarian food doesn't contain chicken or fish when they order food.

Communication is simpler if people don't have introduce new definitions of words that already have a useful definition - it isn't more complicated than that. :)

teaboy
Mar 24th, 2008, 09:05 PM
---but it matters for many others, eg. vegetarians who have to explain that vegetarian food doesn't contain chicken or fish when they order food.Sure. I agree with that sentiment, but it shouldn't matter that a non-vegan is ordering vegan food, if that is the best way to get what they want. I'm not trying to pick holes in your original argument, but I feel that if anybody is doing anything positive at all where animal wefare is concerned, that it is better to accept it and appreciate it as a good gesture, than to find anything wrong with it. I'm sorry if I came across as belligerent, that's not my intention at all.:)

Redveg993
May 20th, 2008, 11:31 PM
I am absolutely in agreement. Anyone heard of the Vegan Police? Their website is www.vegan911.com.

I think that if an individual can honestly say that s/he is doing all that s/he can to avoid animal products and animal exploitation in her/his life, then that person should be supported rather than being taken for a hypocrite by a holier-than-thou critic. The Vegan Police go right up to the rank of Inspector, but I have to say that I've seen a few Commissioners in my time.

Risker
May 20th, 2008, 11:45 PM
That sites dead.

Korn
May 21st, 2008, 07:40 AM
I think that if an individual can honestly say that s/he is doing all that s/he can to avoid animal products and animal exploitation in her/his life, then that person should be supported rather than being taken for a hypocrite by a holier-than-thou critic. The Vegan Police go right up to the rank of Inspector, but I have to say that I've seen a few Commissioners in my time. 'Guarding' the definition of a word (vegan) with the intension that it's meaning shall not go down the drain (this has more or less happened with the word 'vegetarian', hence all the 'But you do eat fish, right?'-questions) has nothing to do with not supporting people doing their best or 'policing' them. It's two different topics, really...

Actually, the better we are at keeping the meaning of the word 'vegan' intact, the less likely it is that anyone ever would be capable of digging up any motivation for 'policing' others: discussions a la 'you're not a vegetarian, because you eat fish/chicken' would never have happened if the definition if nobody would have attempted to 'hijack' the word vegetarian and allow/suggest that it could be used for people who eat chicken. That very 'policing' situation is a direct result of the fact that the original definition of the word 'vegetarian' hasn't been maintained.

Dizzycow
May 21st, 2008, 08:01 AM
If vegans get caught up in trying to maintain vegan perfection, they will either burn out from frustration or fail miserably. This is because our industrialized world is fraught with unavoidable animal-based commodities. Our non-leather shoes and vegan cookbooks may be bound with animal-based glue. Our car and bicycle tires contain stearic acid. The plastic encasing our computers incorporates animal products. Our treasured photographs and videos include animal derived gelatin. It's endless!"

Jo Stepaniak,Grassroots Veganism (http://www.vegsource.com/jo/index.htm)

Risker
May 21st, 2008, 02:04 PM
Our car and bicycle tires contain stearic acid. The plastic encasing our computers incorporates animal products.

Kinda O.T. but I'm yet to see any supporting evidence of these claims.

Dizzycow
May 21st, 2008, 02:11 PM
I don't know any either but thought is was a relevant quote.

It made me feel a bit better as I'm newly vegan and feel a bit overwhelmed at times on the amount of changes to be made. I did wonder wether I was a bit of a fraud calling myself vegan but I'm making all the changes I can as I can and actually feel like I'm doing quite well, I bought my first vegan deordorant and toothaste this morning : )

treehugga
May 22nd, 2008, 06:10 AM
I always thought vegan was so much more than just a dietry thing, but rather a holistic belief system. I am proud of the reasons I do this around ethical reasons. I thought it was an understanding on here that those reasons are important. Otherwise, we would not worry about wearing leather or wool. I don't care if people just do it for dietry reasons but I don't think this alone constitutes being vegan - it's the belief system. Of course we can't avoid everything as previously discussed, but surely we can do the best we can to avoid cruel systems and not let this sway us.

cobweb
May 22nd, 2008, 10:44 AM
I always thought vegan was so much more than just a dietry thing, but rather a holistic belief system. I am proud of the reasons I do this around ethical reasons. I thought it was an understanding on here that those reasons are important. Otherwise, we would not worry about wearing leather or wool. I don't care if people just do it for dietry reasons but I don't think this alone constitutes being vegan - it's the belief system. Of course we can't avoid everything as previously discussed, but surely we can do the best we can to avoid cruel systems and not let this sway us.


well i totally agree, but if it's impossible to get vegan tyres, or to get 100% correct information about them then there's little point in wasting energy worrying too much about them is there? :confused: