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#31 Old 10-30-2012, 03:43 PM
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Rare case or not, not everyone can be a vegan. For many, it's more about convenience than anything. I wish vegan food was easier to get at restaurants and when on the road.


How many current vegetarians cannot, as a practical matter, be vegan? The case you presented of a 2 year-old suffering from multiple food allergies is unfortunate but is hardly representative of the overwhelming majority of vegetarians. If someone isn’t a particularly skillful cook then they can practice, read recipes, watch videos of people taking you through the process of preparing various delicious dishes with a step-by-step guide. Not everyone has access to vegan restaurants and processed vegan foods but these aren’t essential for leading an optimally healthy life on a vegan diet. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, breads, seeds, nuts etc. are available virtually everywhere. If one does have an allergy, there are dozens of blogs attending to the needs of vegans who are allergic to gluten or who avoid soy. Veganism really isn’t that difficult and unless in exceptional circumstances, I struggle to see why the average vegetarian could not be vegan.

I think your second sentence addresses something that I find particularly concerning. I often encounter the convenience excuse, both amongst meat-eaters and vegetarians. An omnivore could argue that giving up meat would be too inconvenient. I hope that we would both conclude that such an argument is ridiculous because convenience cannot serve as a sufficient moral justification for the imposition of suffering and death on vulnerable sentient creatures. So, why is it any different in the case of vegetarians who don’t want to be vegan because they perceive it as an inconvenience? There really isn’t a moral distinction in the sense that purchasing dairy and eggs also contributes to suffering and death and we just established that convenience isn’t a good enough reason to participate in such violence towards animals.

I aplogise in advance to anyone who feels like I’m attacking them. That’s honestly not the intention of this post. I only wish to advance the perspective that veganism is perfectly practical for the vast majority of people (including current vegetarians) and the consistent application of principles we already share would lead to veganism.
 

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#32 Old 10-30-2012, 03:56 PM
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How many current vegetarians cannot, as a practical matter, be vegan? The case you presented of a 2 year-old suffering from multiple food allergies is unfortunate but is hardly representative of the overwhelming majority of vegetarians.

I never said it did. The post I replied to was a blanket statement that if you're not a vegan, you don't care about animals. That's not the case for many.

 

 

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If someone isn’t a particularly skillful cook then they can practice, read recipes, watch videos of people taking you through the process of preparing various delicious dishes with a step-by-step guide. Not everyone has access to vegan restaurants and processed vegan foods but these aren’t essential for leading an optimally healthy life on a vegan diet. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, breads, seeds, nuts etc. are available virtually everywhere. If one does have an allergy, there are dozens of blogs attending to the needs of vegans who are allergic to gluten or who avoid soy. Veganism really isn’t that difficult and unless in exceptional circumstances, I struggle to see why the average vegetarian could not be vegan.
 

 

I cook vegan constantly and try to eat vegan when I'm out. That doesn't mean it's EASY to eat out as a vegan. You said those things are available everywhere, that's not true. There are areas that DON'T offer fresh produce, don't have a huge variety of breads that are vegan (I've been to stores that don't have a single one), don't have affordable nuts. What about when they're out with family, go hungry?

 

Because veganism isn't easy in MOST places, I can see why a vegetarian who wanted to be vegan (You assume that all vegetarians want to be vegan, they don't) would struggle. When I went vegan for a while, I was hungry constantly. Even with planning, I didn't have access to food I could eat often. I ended up very sick because of it.

 

 

 

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I think your second sentence addresses something that I find particularly concerning. I often encounter the convenience excuse, both amongst meat-eaters and vegetarians. An omnivore could argue that giving up meat would be too inconvenient.

 

Do you honestly think switching from vegetarian to vegan is just as easy as switching from omni to vegetarian? I strongly disagree. If it was, I would have been vegan almost 8 years ago.

 

 

 

 

My question is why focus on vegetarians? Why not focus on meat eaters, who contribute the most to cruelty and suffering? Putting down vegetarians for "not doing enough" discourages people from being vegetarians in the first place.

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#33 Old 10-30-2012, 03:56 PM
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Just curious PD, where do you live?

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#34 Old 10-30-2012, 04:12 PM
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I aplogise in advance to anyone who feels like I’m attacking them. That’s honestly not the intention of this post. I only wish to advance the perspective that veganism is perfectly practical for the vast majority of people (including current vegetarians) and the consistent application of principles we already share would lead to veganism.

Most of the reasons I've seen for not going vegan are socially based. Sometimes it's a teen who lives at home and the parents won't support veganism, or a college student who doesn't have enough vegan options at the dining hall (that seems to be changing with time). Other times it's because of a relationship - especially when the other partner does most of the cooking. It's much easier to simply leave the meat to the side and eat the rest together than to make two meals. Sometimes people are very fond of holiday traditions and can't imagine changing them completely - it's easy to leave the bird off the table, but to not have whipped cream on pumpkin pie?!? shocked.gif

I think you are right - it is quite practical to adopt a vegan diet (as long as you live in a fairly urban city and have a lot of shopping variety). But just because it's practical doesn't mean it's easy. I am extremely lucky that I'm married to a person who trusts my instincts and happily eats anything I set in front of him, even though he is not vegan. And I'm lucky that my kids were grown. I can't imagine what would have happened if I'd had to impress a teenager with a Tofu Pup!

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#35 Old 10-30-2012, 05:10 PM
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Vegans sometimes post as if they think we vegetarians make up for our lost meat with increased cheese and eggs. It's been just the opposite for me, and for every longtime vegetarian I know. Vegan at home (which is where I usually eat), vegetarian when I'm out. I choose vegan options when I'm out, any time there are palatable vegan options to choose. At the little heart-attack diner where I have breakfast with friends a couple of times a month, my standing order is "two veggie sandwiches on toasted rye, no cheese, no mayo." It's not a veggie burger. It's a sandwich made of green pepper, cucumber, lettuce, tomato and onion.

 

I hear the Greek chorus warming up with "but it isn't just diet, it's a lifestyle."  Yes, that's right. That plus trace ingredients plus what I order when there are no palatable vegan options is why I'm not vegan. On the "bang for the buck" choices, I'm there; on the "diminishing returns" choices, I'm not. If you care about animals, what I do should be encouraged because it results in lowered animal consumption across the board. That is all you really need to care about, except for your own motives behind your own actions. Don't worry about trying to bring people like me the other five or ten percent of the way there. It's not what matters if sparing animals from being bred and killed is your main concern.

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#36 Old 10-30-2012, 05:34 PM
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Most of the reasons I've seen for not going vegan are socially based. Sometimes it's a teen who lives at home and the parents won't support veganism, or a college student who doesn't have enough vegan options at the dining hall (that seems to be changing with time). Other times it's because of a relationship - especially when the other partner does most of the cooking. It's much easier to simply leave the meat to the side and eat the rest together than to make two meals. Sometimes people are very fond of holiday traditions and can't imagine changing them completely - it's easy to leave the bird off the table, but to not have whipped cream on pumpkin pie?!? shocked.gif
I think you are right - it is quite practical to adopt a vegan diet (as long as you live in a fairly urban city and have a lot of shopping variety). But just because it's practical doesn't mean it's easy. I am extremely lucky that I'm married to a person who trusts my instincts and happily eats anything I set in front of him, even though he is not vegan. And I'm lucky that my kids were grown. I can't imagine what would have happened if I'd had to impress a teenager with a Tofu Pup!

 

I love you, Beth grin.gif

 

Some things are easier than others to cut out. I've had many vegan Thanksgivings. When I'm with my family though, there's no point in bringing vegan mashed potatoes, vegan pie, vegan rolls, etc etc. I bring my Field Roast and vegan stuffing, then have the other vegetarian sides. If I'm at a birthday party, I'm not going to reject the cake just because it has eggs and dairy, but when I bake, it's vegan 98% of the time. I think any steps taken to reduce cruelty is great.

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#37 Old 10-30-2012, 08:05 PM
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I cook vegan constantly and try to eat vegan when I'm out. That doesn't mean it's EASY to eat out as a vegan. You said those things are available everywhere, that's not true. There are areas that DON'T offer fresh produce, don't have a huge variety of breads that are vegan (I've been to stores that don't have a single one), don't have affordable nuts. What about when they're out with family, go hungry?

 

Because veganism isn't easy in MOST places, I can see why a vegetarian who wanted to be vegan (You assume that all vegetarians want to be vegan, they don't) would struggle. When I went vegan for a while, I was hungry constantly. Even with planning, I didn't have access to food I could eat often. I ended up very sick because of it.

 

Do you honestly think switching from vegetarian to vegan is just as easy as switching from omni to vegetarian? I strongly disagree. If it was, I would have been vegan almost 8 years ago.

 

My question is why focus on vegetarians? Why not focus on meat eaters, who contribute the most to cruelty and suffering? Putting down vegetarians for "not doing enough" discourages people from being vegetarians in the first place.


Firstly, keep in mind that I know absolutely nothing about your current place of residence, your general life situation, income, health history etc. I don’t presume to know whether veganism is practical for you. It might well be that exceptional circumstances necessitate that you cannot be vegan at this point in time. Although my post was a general response to points you had raised, it wasn’t intended as a direct criticism at you.

If one’s family is going out then that might bring up difficulties and certainly might prove problematic. One could call the restaurant and see if they have any vegan items or could prepare anything. If not, what about planning ahead and cooking and eating something just prior to dining out? If your nearest local store doesn’t have fresh fruit and veg. then drive out further. This should be done even if one eats meat because fruit and vegetables are essential in one's diet. If a packet of nuts is too expensive then perhaps one should forgo expenditure on items that aren’t strictly necessary and allocate the budget in a different way.

Yes, all this may not necessarily be easy and may even involve considerable effort but we need to understand it in context. We need to consider our discomfort relative to the suffering and death our choices involve. The interests sentient beings have in not experiencing unimaginable anguish, pain and senseless murder should always trump our concerns about the ease and convenience of being vegan.
 
I also don’t assume that vegetarians “want to be vegan”. I’m just stating that if one is morally opposed to animal flesh, that moral concern should also translate to other animal products because there really isn’t a moral distinction.
 
I never suggested that it is “just as easy” to go from vegetarian to vegan as it is to switch from omni to vegetarian. However, as I argued above, whatever the difficulty associated with the switch, it is trivial relative to the suffering the animals endure. I’m basically stating that so long as it is practical and possible to be vegan, how easy and comfortable it is doesn’t matter.

Regarding your final point, I don’t really believe in giving vegetarians some special protection from having their decisions challenged and analysed. The same would apply to vegans. I’m saying that if one believes it is wrong to inflict unnecessary suffering and death on animals then this should lead to veganism. Since consuming dairy and eggs still results in suffering and death, I see it as morally indistinguishable from animal flesh. If vegetarians, as a general matter, also consume less dairy and eggs than the average omnivore then this is certainly better although I don't think this provides a justification for eating eggs and dairy in any amount. Of course, less suffering is better than more suffering but suffering in the first place cannot be morally justified if the best reason we have is convenience. I also don’t believe that reflecting on the ethical impacts of one’s consumption decisions and engaging in constructive debate, as we are currently doing, is putting people down or discouraging anyone.
 

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#38 Old 10-30-2012, 08:45 PM
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Firstly, keep in mind that I know absolutely nothing about your current place of residence, your general life situation, income, health history etc. I don’t presume to know whether veganism is practical for you. It might well be that exceptional circumstances necessitate that you cannot be vegan at this point in time. Although my post was a general response to points you had raised, it wasn’t intended as a direct criticism at you.

If one’s family is going out then that might bring up difficulties and certainly might prove problematic. One could call the restaurant and see if they have any vegan items or could prepare anything. If not, what about planning ahead and cooking and eating something just prior to dining out? If your nearest local store doesn’t have fresh fruit and veg. then drive out further. This should be done even if one eats meat because fruit and vegetables are essential in one's diet. If a packet of nuts is too expensive then perhaps one should forgo expenditure on items that aren’t strictly necessary and allocate the budget in a different way.

Yes, all this may not necessarily be easy and may even involve considerable effort but we need to understand it in context. We need to consider our discomfort relative to the suffering and death our choices involve. The interests sentient beings have in not experiencing unimaginable anguish, pain and senseless murder should always trump our concerns about the ease and convenience of being vegan.
 
I also don’t assume that vegetarians “want to be vegan”. I’m just stating that if one is morally opposed to animal flesh, that moral concern should also translate to other animal products because there really isn’t a moral distinction.
 
I never suggested that it is “just as easy” to go from vegetarian to vegan as it is to switch from omni to vegetarian. However, as I argued above, whatever the difficulty associated with the switch, it is trivial relative to the suffering the animals endure. I’m basically stating that so long as it is practical and possible to be vegan, how easy and comfortable it is doesn’t matter.

Regarding your final point, I don’t really believe in giving vegetarians some special protection from having their decisions challenged and analysed. The same would apply to vegans. I’m saying that if one believes it is wrong to inflict unnecessary suffering and death on animals then this should lead to veganism. Since consuming dairy and eggs still results in suffering and death, I see it as morally indistinguishable from animal flesh. If vegetarians, as a general matter, also consume less dairy and eggs than the average omnivore then this is certainly better although I don't think this provides a justification for eating eggs and dairy in any amount. Of course, less suffering is better than more suffering but suffering in the first place cannot be morally justified if the best reason we have is convenience. I also don’t believe that reflecting on the ethical impacts of one’s consumption decisions and engaging in constructive debate, as we are currently doing, is putting people down or discouraging anyone.
 

 

My point is, you can have all of these ways to avoid eating animal products, but you don't offer true solutions. Most restaurants aren't vegan friendly, calling ahead, in my experience, isn't very helpful. Many places get their bread from bakeries where they can't tell you if there is honey, dairy, eggs, or other trace ingredients. On more than one occasion, I ended up with a salad with no cheese, no croutons, no dressing, nothing except some lettuce and tomatoes (paid $6 for it too). Eating ahead isn't always an option too.

Not everyone has a car to drive out to get fresh fruits and veggies. In perfect circumstances, people have access to both a car and fresh food. Ever heard of Food Deserts? (http://marketmakeovers.org/node/147) I used to think the same thing until someone on VB opened my eyes to the reality. When people are struggling paycheck to paycheck, you really think people are going to choose buying a $6 pack of nuts over 4 meals for their children so they don't go hungry? That would be a poor choice and use of money when struggling. There are A LOT of Americans going hungry and missing meals. It's not a reality for everyone to go vegan, especially in this current economy.

Honestly, do you really think someone who is mostly vegan (like I am) really contributes that much to the industry compared to a vegan? I seriously doubt it. Especially when they live more a freegan lifestyle.

There is a huge difference between challenging/analyzing and being self righteous/judgy, which is what happens A LOT in threads like this. I absolutely think your tone and approach is respectful and I thank you for your politeness.

I would love to see changes in our food system in general. I think MORE people would eat vegan foods if they were more readily available at fast food restaurants.

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I am wondering what answer to this question would be satisfactory for the OP. 


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#40 Old 10-30-2012, 11:28 PM
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Do you know what happens to dairy cows and their calves on farms?

yeah but i bought the kosher smoked gouda cheese so no rennets were harmed.

 

 

i understand where vegans are coming from and share many of their values. some things i have genuine disagreements about like honey, some are just difficult sacrifices and some are not impossible but i just am completely unwilling. i could give up my smoked gouda but not my cat.


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#41 Old 10-31-2012, 07:09 AM
 
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Why would being vegan mean giving up your cat?


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#42 Old 10-31-2012, 08:11 AM
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I despise vegetarian-shaming, and the fact that the management here allows this sort of nonsense to take place in any part of the forum is just sad.  Last I checked this board was supposed to be a safe haven for vegetarians but oddly enough, I get more support from my omni friends than I do from some vegans.  Am I the only person to see something terribly wrong with this?  I would imagine that the majority of vegans were vegetarian at some point during their transition anyway, so this sort of shaming is not just counter-productive... it's hypocritical.  Do the vegans who start threads like these not see that they're causing more harm than good to their cause?

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#43 Old 10-31-2012, 08:12 AM
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Where I live, (Northern Ireland), when eating out, I can barely get a choice of food as a Vegetarian! And I've been one for almost 30 years!!

 

To be a Vegan in this country, is like a death sentence. Whereas most restaurants have heard of Vegans, they certainly

don't cater anywhere for them. And I'm not talking about far away from towns, I mean even in major cities like Belfast etc!


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#44 Old 10-31-2012, 08:21 AM
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I have been a vegetarian for 3 years and realize that if I had read this thread back then I might not have even bothered. I would have thought that I wasn't doing enough so why even change the way I ate. I am not that person though and I luckily don't care about some anonymous person on the internet who is looking to always tell people what they feel other people are and aren't doing for the animals.

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#45 Old 10-31-2012, 09:41 AM
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I despise vegetarian-shaming, and the fact that the management here allows this sort of nonsense to take place in any part of the forum is just sad.  Last I checked this board was supposed to be a safe haven for vegetarians but oddly enough, I get more support from my omni friends than I do from some vegans.  Am I the only person to see something terribly wrong with this?  I would imagine that the majority of vegans were vegetarian at some point during their transition anyway, so this sort of shaming is not just counter-productive... it's hypocritical.  Do the vegans who start threads like these not see that they're causing more harm than good to their cause?


If by "management" your mean mods, our participation should show that we're following the thread. Please pm one of us if you think something is over the line rather than lambast vegans in general!

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#46 Old 10-31-2012, 09:46 AM
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I don't believe that my post was lambasting vegans in general at all.  Did you read it as that?  Interesting...

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#47 Old 10-31-2012, 10:14 AM
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Digger, I thought your response was very polite. I can't understand how anyone could see it as anything else.

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#48 Old 10-31-2012, 10:24 AM
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Digger, I thought your response was very polite. I can't understand how anyone could see it as anything else.

 

It's cool... this forum has always been primarily a vegan and AR forum where vegetarianism is frowned upon, despite the name.  That's why I went elsewhere and will do so again now.  I do hope that people don't get discouraged from becoming vegetarian after visiting this site.

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#49 Old 10-31-2012, 10:32 AM
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It's cool... this forum has always been primarily a vegan and AR forum where vegetarianism is frowned upon.  That's why I went elsewhere, and will do so again now.  I do hope that vegetarians don't get discouraged by joining this forum since that would sort of be... oh I dunno... a bit counter-productive.  tongue3.gif


I've been a vegetarian the whole time I've been here and I've never felt that way.

 

Mods and I will huddle together, see if we want to change the rules. Adding things to the TOS also creates drama with people saying "Why can't this be like other forums when we can say what we want? We're always censored here and I hate it!" Those were my observations lonnnnnng before starting to Mod.

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#50 Old 10-31-2012, 10:36 AM
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Why would being vegan mean giving up your cat?

a lot of veg*ns have attempted to make their cats eat a vegan diet with poor results. buying big bags of meat product for a creature i keep around for entertainment sure doesn't feel vegan.


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#51 Old 10-31-2012, 10:42 AM
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a lot of veg*ns have attempted....

"A lot"?  Are you sure about that?

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#52 Old 10-31-2012, 10:44 AM
 
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a lot of veg*ns have attempted to make their cats eat a vegan diet with poor results. buying big bags of meat product for a creature i keep around for entertainment sure doesn't feel vegan.

 

I'm a vegan and I never thought about it that way. I think it is cruel to feed a cat anything other than a carnivorous diet. I also never thought of a cat as entertainment, I rescued her because there was a place for a cat in our house and I'm responsible for her health and safety. 

 

I don't know, having a cat just doesn't seem like a good reason to eat cheese and wear leather. :P

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#53 Old 10-31-2012, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by danakscully64 View PostI've been a vegetarian the whole time I've been here and I've never felt that way.

 

You allow anti-vegetarian posts on a vegetarian board... what part of this are you not understanding?

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#54 Old 10-31-2012, 11:02 AM
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I don't know, having a cat just doesn't seem like a good reason to eat cheese and wear leather. :P

Haha, true. smiley.gif

 

In my experience vegans have widely differing views on companion animals, I have read opinions that range from people refusing to "own" a pet as they see it as exploitation to vegans saying that they would euthanise a cat rather than feed it meat (rolleyes.gif) I have 6 cats and I feed them a meaty diet as I'm not convinced that it is healthy for them to be vegan, and also they refused to eat the biscuits I bought them as a supplement to their usual food.tongue3.gif

 

I don't really have a problem with this thread as obviously people are replying in an honest way. Personally I thought I couldn't go vegan as I loved cheese too much.

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#55 Old 10-31-2012, 11:06 AM
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I don't know, having a cat just doesn't seem like a good reason to eat cheese and wear leather. :P

you don't actually think i'm saying that do you? thats a straw man. if you can turn a blind eye to certain parts of your lifestyle in conflict with your veganism good for you. i'll feel more honest calling myself a vegetarian.


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#56 Old 10-31-2012, 11:09 AM
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You allow anti-vegetarian posts on a vegetarian board... what part of this are you not understanding?

 

Don't make it personal, the Mods follow rules that were previously put into place. Like I said, the Mods will talk about it. I already started a thread in the Mod forum. I already said this, what else are you looking for?

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#57 Old 10-31-2012, 11:14 AM
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No problem... I just think it's sad that anti-vegetarian posts are allowed on a vegetarian forum.

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#58 Old 10-31-2012, 11:18 AM
 
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you don't actually think i'm saying that do you? thats a straw man. if you can turn a blind eye to certain parts of your lifestyle in conflict with your veganism good for you. i'll feel more honest calling myself a vegetarian.

 

No, I don't think you're saying that. You are saying that one of the reasons you can't be vegan because you have a cat, and in my experience that doesn't make much sense because I don't think it's exploitative to take care of a rescued animal. If you're of the opinion that being vegan means not having animals living in your home, and not feeding them the diet they are biologically obligated to eat, then it would make sense for you to not call yourself a vegan.

 

It still doesn't explain the cheese, though.

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#59 Old 10-31-2012, 11:26 AM
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No problem... I just think it's sad that anti-vegetarian posts are allowed on a vegetarian forum.


And I'm not saying I disagree smiley.gif  I can see both sides though. I know that many people here were looking for less censorship in threads, I think it's frustrated many people to a point where they've left (again, another thing I heard as a non-mod). We'll talk, don't worry smiley.gif

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#60 Old 10-31-2012, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Digger View Post

You allow anti-vegetarian posts on a vegetarian board... what part of this are you not understanding?

First, let me apologize for my previous remark about lambasting vegans in general. I admit I get grumpy when the moderation is criticized before any problems are reported.

What exactly are you upset about? This thread was moved to the compost heap, and from what I've gathered, all posts have been fairly civil (or members have been called out on questionable responses).

To discuss why VB members don't choose to be vegan can be very supportive for some vegetarians, who, for whatever reason, aren't vegan. Most of the vegetarians who have been here a while have either tried to go vegan, or have reduced animal products down to small levels. Their experiences could be helpful for new folks.

We don't allow Vegan vs. vegetarian threads on VB, in order to keep an atmosphere of community. This thread hasn't disintegrated to level, imo.

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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