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Vivisanctor
Aug 14th, 2004, 12:54 PM
Vivisanctor, i don't know what the animal testing is like in the US, but in the UK i believe most medications are made by companies that continue to test on animals. the actual medication may not have been for years, but the companies that make them still experiment for new drugs. so if you need prescription medication it's not that easy to use one made by an organisation that doesn't test or commission animal testing. :(Indeed, and the idea is then that you only use what is absolutely necessary. If you are forced to contribute to animal suffering, which we all are in some form or another, you want to reduce your involvement.

I wasn't offering an alternative to taking the medication, I was just putting the whole situation in perspective. Instead of wanting to boycott medicines which have been tested on animals, we should be wanting to boycott the companies that test on animals currently; or at least want to make it not be mandatory that they test new medications on animals. Boycotting them is not a possibility, as you said, especially when you need a lifesaving medicine. Currently in the US, all new medicines must be tested on animals before they are approved by the FDA and then available for prescription. Perhaps at some point they will see the total exploitation we are causing.

Think about this: We are eating meat filled with saturated fat and cholesterol and then we develop heart disease, so what do we do? We test on more animals to find out if some new drugs will help cut down on our heart disease. And we claim to be the most intelligent species.

Vivisanctor
Aug 14th, 2004, 01:14 PM
Where I live there are so few things that are totally vegan to buy, and I don't wanna eat the same things all the time....same dinner, same things on the bread etc.... I often eat the same anyway but it almost makes me wanna spew because I'm so tired of those things... And also I don't think it's good for the body, I need some vary. I don't know... for me it's not THAT easy. Especially not when it comes to cosmetics. And I don't know if I WANT to be an "extremist" there either cause I want to show companies who make ALMOST vegan stuff that it's good anyway and want to support them for that.I can't know what you have available to you, as far as food and cosmetics, so I'll just trust your judgment.

I do have a comment about your idea of 'extremism.' Being a vegan, I'd think it would be within your 'code of conduct' to reduce the the amount of animal suffering you cause as much as possible. I understand that you don't want to think of yourself as an extremist, because labels can be deceiving and ridiculous, but the idea of reducing animal suffering is not about what we think of it, it's about what the animals think of it; how it affects them. It seems I may be misunderstanding you, so I apologize if I am. I really don't mean to make it seem like I have a right to question your way of doing things. I'm just pointing out what seem to be inconsistencies, hoping that if there are inconsistencies (which there may very well not be, because I may just be misunderstanding you), you will want to fix them.

;) :)

Vivisanctor
Aug 14th, 2004, 01:52 PM
I am particular about what my family eats in general, so if I didn't cook it, if it didn't come form the Co-op Deli, and it's not a brand of food we know to be clean, we just don't eat it! Also, we eat very few packaged foods and no commercially prepared baked goods, so we have no suprises. I wouldn't eat most of these things even if they were vegan because they are simply not health-building.
I hope to one day be able to be so conscious and picky about the food I eat. I have a great deal of learning still to do about nutrition before I could come close to where it sounds like you are at. You have my respect! :cool:

Got any quick and easy tips?

Fruitbat
Aug 14th, 2004, 02:07 PM
Where I live there are so few things that are totally vegan to buy, and I don't wanna eat the same things all the time....same dinner, same things on the bread etc.... I often eat the same anyway but it almost makes me wanna spew because I'm so tired of those things... And also I don't think it's good for the body, I need some vary. I don't know... for me it's not THAT easy. Especially not when it comes to cosmetics. And I don't know if I WANT to be an "extremist" there either cause I want to show companies who make ALMOST vegan stuff that it's good anyway and want to support them for that.It is always easy to be vegan - everywhere sells tinned beans, lentils, rice and pasta. Granted they dont always sell soy products and vegan alternatives to mayonaise, spreads, ice creams, dairy products, meats, nut roasts etc but you can always get the staples of a vegan diet - it's knowig wot to do with them that is sometimes a little tricky.
Adding a variety of vegetables pulses and lentils to any vegan pasta sauce makes it completely different, the possibilities in a stirfry are endless...

I mean on your bread: try salad sandwiches, tomato and avocado sandwich, salad and bean puree with garlic and fresh herbs mixed in; hummus and slad or roast vegetables, tahini and salad, nut butters and jams, fry onions in garlic and dired herbs, puree with some nuts of your choice, some breadcrumbs and some oil to make to the texture of your choice and you have made a type of mushroom pate to have with salad in a sandwich... the choices are there

Mystic
Aug 15th, 2004, 12:51 AM
I guess I would use aninflexible definition of vegan - but that makes me un-vegan because occasionally my enovironment contrives for me to break with a vegan diet and I hate and feel guilty about it but have no choice, also I work with non-vegan products, I take non-vegan medication and I use non-vegan household products because my student budget cannot always afford the vegan ones. I understand why it is important for the definition of the word vegan to maintain its full meaning and nothing annoys me more than when ppl are imprecise with their language ex fish-vegetarians calling themselves vegetarians when they are actually pescotarians and poulrty eaters are pollotarians... Still I would call myself vegan because to all intents and purposes mainly diet I am vegan and requrie vegan foods so that all those around me do nt see the non-vegan aspects of my life and if they do I explain very carefully that that is not vegan... Do i make sense?
Ditto to all of the above

St George
Aug 15th, 2004, 08:31 PM
I am on the path to veganism after 15 years as a vegetarian. Until the past week or so i have posted questions asking what a vegan is and if ,for example,i were to consume some cake with milk in once every six months,would it still make me vegan if that was the only "transgression".
I had varying answers to that question,some saying yes;some saying no.

I guess i just wanted it to be made easier for me to be vegan because,yes,it means something to me to be able to use the label "vegan".But,on reflection and having read numerous posts on this msg board and on others,i have come to the conclusion that if you *vountarilly* consume/use an animal product (where there is no viable,practical alternitive) then you are not vegan. I believe veganism should be THAT strict.Of course,with regards to medication,car tyres,computers etc it can be nigh on impossible to avoid,but i trust that you get my drift.

I think that excusing your lapses by saying " extremism is bad for you" or " i have better things to do than read every minor detail on a label" means that you are doing a dis-sevice to the vegan movement,and also to fellow vegans.

I must stress that i am not vegan yet and i believe that it will be some while before i can meet the strict criterea that i believe is necessary to be a vegan,but by some peoples criterea i already am one.When in my own mind,i think i am some way off.

I think that if,for example,milk is against your beliefs as a vegan,you should not consume it in any form,even if it is a trace ingredient in some otherwise vegan product.It is still milk,whether it is a small amount or if it is an entire pint in a glass! The principle is still the same.

Sorry to ramble on,but lets stop demeaning what a vegan is(and the same with vegetarians.ie,the"fish issue!") and refrain from calling ourselves vegan unless we really do fit the proper definition.

After The Rain
Aug 15th, 2004, 08:51 PM
Hi St George, since we live in a society that is so far from being vegan as it is, it is not possible to avoid animal products 100% vegan. Therefore, if someone is 95-100% vegan, I'd call him a vegan as long as he tried as much as he could.

If you eat a cake with milk every six months, you are a vegan for 179 days and a non-vegan for 1 day, which is a lot better than giving up the whole vegan thing because it has to be all or nothing.

And you know what? It doesn't matter what you call it. The animals don't care either. They're just happy the more vegan we are. If you look around, the definition of a vegan is often one that avoids animal products as much as possible.

If I see a green car on the street, I'll still call it green even if the wheels are black. If it is driven by a black guy, I'd still call him black even if his teeth are white.

Nobody would be vegans if only a perfect vegan would be accepted as a vegan. Should we call The Vegan Society and tell them to dissolve the organization because there are no perfect vegans? That wouldn't make sense, would it?

Fruitbat
Aug 15th, 2004, 08:58 PM
In my opinion - yes it is nigh imposs to be 100% vegan and the more we try the better/ However I make a distinction between a vegan having something non-vegan forced upon them and a vegan voluntarily lapsing. In that case they are still vegan but i would say a converting vegan not an accomplished vegan if i make sense????? On the other han i dont think ellitism is a good idea..... i guess i am confused about wot to think!

St George
Aug 15th, 2004, 08:59 PM
Hi. I thought i addressed those points in my previous post.

Firstly,ALL of us on here are doing a lot to aleviate the suffering of animals and i dont imply any criticism of anyone. The only qualms i have are when people claim to be something that they are not.If labels didnt exist,then fine. We are what we are,and we do what we can do.But labels ARE out there and it is not really up to us to alter the meanings of them.

I know that it is impossible to be 100% vegan.That goes without saying. But if being 95% vegan qualifies one as being vegan,that is fine.But in that case,dont go below 95%.If you do,where do you draw the line? 94%?? 93%? 89%?

I just think that you are either vegan,or you are not vegan.

St George
Aug 15th, 2004, 09:09 PM
It seems that it is very easy to misundertand on here. With it all being the written word as opposed to the spoken word it can lead to confusion.

I dont see the issue,really. If you are not vegan,call yourself vegetarian. I dont see the point here.the thing about the green car with black wheels is a reasonably valid point,but like i read someone else say with regards to claiming to be vegan,but consuming non vegan products,it is rather like saying" i am Christian,but i worship satan once a week"

It just doesnt work. You are either vegan,or you are not

After The Rain
Aug 15th, 2004, 09:38 PM
I know that it is impossible to be 100% vegan.That goes without saying.



I just think that you are either vegan,or you are not vegan.

Looking at these two sentences, if I understand you right, there are no vegans?

St George
Aug 15th, 2004, 09:41 PM
No.Because i specified that 95%(for example) qualified as being vegan..

I dont wnat to get into a debate about what percentage equals veganism,but you know what i mean.

This is whta i hate about msg boards.We all just keep misunderstanding each other and debating pointless remarks that are taken out of context.

I just dont like vegetarianism or veganism to be watered down.

Vivisanctor
Aug 15th, 2004, 11:53 PM
I think that excusing your lapses by saying " extremism is bad for you" or " i have better things to do than read every minor detail on a label" means that you are doing a dis-sevice to the vegan movement,and also to fellow vegans.The purpose of being vegan is to reduce animal suffering. You can use whatever label you want. It matters not. You can take the time to discuss the definition of 'vegan' or you can spend your time more wisely. Veganism is not a club that you enter, it is something that is a natural extension of your respect for animals. Do not worry so much how other people do it. Those people who are not extremists may naturally turn away from veganism if they are expected to be 'extremist' about it. LEAVE THEM ALONE! Fact is, if you convince them to try being 'extremist,' they might give up on being vegan, out of frustration, since they may simply and naturally not be comfortable being extremist. The best help you can be to these people is to just be a repected model of a vegan life(this helps with the meateaters' view of us, as well). Also, if they are 90% vegan instead of 95% vegan, they're still doing good; so go spend your time questioning the people eating meat every day! Those people are 0% vegan!!

I don't mean to be rude.

Does the label matter? yeah, a little
Does the suffering of animals matter? HELL YEAH--A WHOLE BUNCH.

you decide which is more important. And then spend your time on the one you find to be more important, because in many situations you have to choose between the two.

Also, on another note... If people who are into animal rights who are still omnivores see that there are strict criteria to being vegan they will not be as likely to enter our 'club.' If they see that every move they make will be under scrutiny, they will likely not want to deal with it.

I understand where you're coming from, but there is a bigger picture that you seem to be missing.

The basic point of all my ranting and raving is: It does not matter what you or I think, it only matters what is best for the animals.

Also, keep in mind that the reason I feel so strongly about what I have just said is because I have also worked through exactly what you're thinking! I am not putting myself above you. In fact I bet if the tables were turned you would be telling me exactly what I have just told you! The only difference between us is that I began my vegan lifestyle before you.

animalsvoice
Aug 16th, 2004, 10:59 AM
I appreciate your last post Vivisanctor, very much my thoughts.

St George: I am not sure which one of us is helping the animals more. That you always read labels on everything doesn't have to mean you are helping them more. I am not saying that I am either, just saying we don't know.

We could also stop driving cars and other things that kills animals... Even if you did, you would still kill animals just by eating.

St George
Aug 16th, 2004, 05:08 PM
Hi,Vivisanctor.

The point you make about omnivores being put off by the percieved extremism of veganism is a valid one. It actually put me off and until recently,i had serious doubts as to whether i could actually become vegan is it seemed ludicrously extreme.Not only that,but i also thought it was unnecessary as well.

After all,what difference does some trace of milk protein make to an otherwise vegan suitable meal??

But after thinking about it extensively,i came to realise that,whether you like it of not,veganism IS quite extreme. After all,eliminating ALL animal products(as far as humanly possible.please lets not go down the road of things that contain animal by products.we all know that some things are nigh on impossible) is quite an extreme step.

But that is what veganism is. And it may yet exclude me from ever becoming vegan(although i would hope not) but i dont want it to be watered down just so i can claim the vegan title.If i cant become a TRUE vegan,then i dont want to use the label.I would then be happy to consider myself "strict vegetarian".

You say that you thought about my reasoning,but i dont think that you did,really as i agreed with a lot of what you said,although i found some of it to be irrelevant.For example,you say that our time would be better spent helping animals than debateing whta makes a vegan,vegan.But it isnt an either/or situation. I dont spend every moment of my life helping animals.If i want posting this now i wouldnt be out leafleting and campaigning.I would probably be reading another post,or watching TV,reading a newspaper etc.

Also,even though i specified this before,i imply ABSOLOUTELY NO CRITICISM of anybody who is in the process of cutting animal products out of their lifestyle.No matter what stage they are at.As far as i am concerned we are,in many ways,all the same thing.Psychologcally at least.Ie,we are all striving to lessen animal suffering.

Having said that,it is sometimes necessary to label people as it can give people somthing to strive for.For me,it is to be vegan.That way,my conscience will be truly clear as i will know that i have limited animal suffering as much as i possibly can and not because the label has been watered down and demeaned.If you lessen the critera for being vegan once,you will do it again,and again,and again.And before you know it,we will be having vegans "who consume fish" Sounds stupid,but that it how it could end up..

Sorry that was a rambling post,but i typed it as it came to me!!
vbmenu_register("postmenu_5820", true);

Vivisanctor
Aug 16th, 2004, 07:35 PM
St George-

For some, being vegan may possibly be the extreme of their involvement in animal rights advocacy. For others it is a lifestyle. Those people who are not so picky about animal ingredients, who spend their time furthering the message of veganism to people, are possibly doing more for the animals than others(even if they are not 'extreme' with their definition of the word 'vegan'). Therefore, they should not be under fire from those who are not doing any acivism.

Again, please remember, that what I am saying has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with right and wrong or true and false, it has only to do with what will overall cause the least suffering of animals. A long term less strict vegan lifestyle helps. A long term very strict vegan lifestyle helps more. A long term less strict vegan lifestyle coupled with animal rights activism helps even more. A long term very strict vegan lifestyle coupled with animal rights activism helps most of all. Each individual person finds their natural place in the movement.

I think we agree on quite a bit, I just think that there is something not quite totally jibing. But such is the nature of opinions! :p

St George
Aug 16th, 2004, 08:14 PM
Yes. Basically,we are singing from the same hymn sheet.
I agree with what you say about activism coupled with not so strict veganism being more effective than strict veganism with no activism. I agree with that 100%,but that is not central to my initial point about what is vegan and what isnt.As i said previously,it is not about rights and wrongs,and who does more than anyone else to help animals.

My issue is only with the definition of what is vegan. We have a lot of common ground on this subject,and the only difference being that you require less of someone to claim the vegan label,and i require more.


That really is the crux of the issue.

Vivisanctor
Aug 17th, 2004, 01:03 AM
As i said previously,it is not about rights and wrongs,and who does more than anyone else to help animals.
Doing more to help animals is the only thing that should be relevant to someone who cares about animals.


My issue is only with the definition of what is vegan. We have a lot of common ground on this subject,and the only difference being that you require less of someone to claim the vegan label,and i require more.
discussing your definition of the word will have negative influences on others.

I personally do not care who uses the term. Caring who uses the term has negative effects on the movement for animal rights. I personally have no criteria for considering a person a vegan, cause it doesn't matter at all what I think of them, or what label I use for them. It only matters how they benefit the cause.

It's like debating the definition of the word tall. It's all relative, and subjective! There is a general, underlying meaning of the word, but it is always in comparison to something else. Tall is in comparison to short. Vegan is in comparison to non-vegan.

St George
Aug 17th, 2004, 05:29 PM
Ok.In that case we may as well scrap all of the labels.Do away with vegetarianism and veganism as labels as,to you,they clearly mean nothing as you have said that you have no criterea set reach veganism.

Ok. By that token,i am vegan. I still consume plenty of milk and egg by products and i havent yet checked any of my houshold cleaning products either.But who cares!

Hey,i am vegan!!!!!!!


(doesnt mean a fat lot though)

Vivisanctor
Aug 17th, 2004, 06:32 PM
Ok.In that case we may as well scrap all of the labels.Do away with vegetarianism and veganism as labels as,to you,they clearly mean nothing as you have said that you have no criterea set reach veganism.
Ok. By that token,i am vegan. I still consume plenty of milk and egg by products and i havent yet checked any of my houshold cleaning products either.But who cares!
Hey,i am vegan!!!!!!!
(doesnt mean a fat lot though)the point is for us to let OTHERS make the decision on whether or not they are vegan. Let them use their own criteria and decide for themselves. There is really no substantial difference between holding a strict definition of a label and feeling that you have a right to judge others' way of doing something according to your label.

You believe you are vegan, I support you! Becuase it's what is best for animals!

St George
Aug 17th, 2004, 07:48 PM
But you cannot go through life just changing certain definitions to suit yourself.
Veganism is vegansim.Vegetarianism is vegetarianism. Black is black.White is white.

It is like saying to Eminem" you want to be a black man? Well,damn it,you ARE a black man! It doesnt matter what your skin colour is.It is about what you WANT to be"!! It is ludicrous!

By your logic,you could have an omni who has,for example,stopped eating fish. he may as well call himself a vegan as well,as "he is doing all he can to save animals"

I am amazed that we have got through so many posts now and you still havent seen my point.I do not denigrate anybody for the decisions they make,and i have no qualms with your assumptions that labels dont matter to you.That is fine. But a vegan is a vegan because they dont eat/use any animal products!(within obvious reason) That is the definition of veganism! Not "doing all you can" as "doing all you can" could mean someone just cuts out dairy,for example. It is a farce.

Sorry.No offence.But you logic just doesnt make any sense to me.

Vivisanctor
Aug 18th, 2004, 01:51 AM
By your logic,you could have an omni who has,for example,stopped eating fish. he may as well call himself a vegan as well,as he is doing all he can to save animals"
--is that all he CAN or is capable of doing? I don't know! perhaps its not for you or I to say. Try to get him to do all he can. But all he can do and what we call him have absolutely no bearing on each other, in the context of minimizing the suffering of animals.


I am amazed that we have got through so many posts now and you still havent seen my point.I do not denigrate anybody for the decisions they make,
--you indeed do denigrate them when you attempt to apply your label to them, at least in their minds. Not only that, but it does no good for the cause of veganism.


But a vegan is a vegan because they dont eat/use any animal products!(within obvious reason) That is the definition of veganism! Not "doing all you can" as "doing all you can" could mean someone just cuts out dairy,for example. It is a farce.--there is an understood, implied meaning of veganism that exists independent of what any one person thinks. It is the overall, basic, understanding of what the word means. That I agree with. But that definition is extremist by nature. Trying to push it on others may likely hurt the cause more than it helps.


Sorry.No offence.But you logic just doesnt make any sense to me.--It's not the first time I've heard that. :D


But you cannot go through life just changing certain definitions to suit yourself.Veganism is vegansim.Vegetarianism is vegetarianism. Black is black.White is white.It is like saying to Eminem" you want to be a black man? Well,damn it,you ARE a black man! It doesnt matter what your skin colour is.It is about what you WANT to be"!! It is ludicrous![/--there are many instances where you making an opinion does not impact negatively on the cause you believe in. I was not suggesting that you should always keep your opinion to yourself, in all situations, with all labels. But in this situation, you are doing more harm than good by talking about it because you are extremist with your definition of the word.

Beyond that, on a different note, black is not just black. Black implies 'not white.' The word dark implies 'not light.' the concept of 'dark' does not exist in our minds independently of the concept of 'light'.


I am amazed that we have got through so many posts now and you still havent seen my point.--neither you nor I intended for the thread to get this long, that's for certain! Let's just give up, cause it's not going anywhere. I can't seem to figure out what exactly it is that we disagree on. :confused: I'm probably only talking at this point just because I'm long-winded by nature hehe. I dunno bout you. But no hard feelings, right? :p I personally am very glad to know that there are people out there like you; interested in veganism and highly intelligent.:D

St George
Aug 18th, 2004, 08:15 PM
But no hard feelings, right? :p I personally am very glad to know that there are people out there like you; interested in veganism and highly intelligent.:D
Lol.Likewise:)

No hard feelings at all;)

redlentils
Aug 19th, 2004, 10:50 AM
IMHO, living a vegan life is an aspiration rather than an absolute :)

Vivisanctor
Aug 22nd, 2004, 07:56 AM
Here is a relevant site:
http://www.thevegetariansite.com/ed_nolonger.htm