All this is to me is further proof that veganism is a reaction to industrialism. While I'll allow that perhaps veganism was possible in the ancient Mediterranean or a similar climate, on a global scale nothing more removed from animals was possible until the Industrial Revolution.
The Industrial Revolution is what ultimately gave us excess fossil fuels and man-made climate change, it's what gave us factory farming, and veganism is generally a response to one of the above or both things: either people are vegan for environmental reasons, or because they are so horrified by factory farming that the thought of eating an animal product again becomes unthinkable. Or both.
However, the irony is that veganism really can't exist in most parts of the world without industrialism. Shipping or carrying crops to different parts of the world or at least different parts of the country becomes a necessity. Cobalt mining is necessary for B12. Unless you live in the fertile crescents of Northern Africa or something similar, veganism becomes very, very difficult to impossible without industrial capitalism.
NOW - I know many of you will argue, but since we can't crush industrial capitalism and the state of the world, then being vegan is the only rational response to the world as it currently is. I agreed with this argument myself in the past.
BUT the reality is that some aspects of veganism actually aren't sustainable and are even exploitative to other humans. Of course we all know the "perfect vegan" who only shops local, organic, fair-trade and eschews palm oil, but to do that is difficult, time consuming, takes a ton of self-discipline, a certain level of intelligence or education, not to mention the income and/or free time to make these choices.
"We're all doing the best that we can" ...true as that may be, there are cases where it's actually less damaging to the environment to drink a glass bottle of locally farmed milk than a Tetrapak of almond milk. Many areas outside of major cities can't even recycle Tetrapaks, and getting pasture eggs from two streets over is far more sustainable than getting a vegan egg substitute from the other side of the country, maybe even from the other side of the world. Let's not go into the fossil fuels that are required to produce a packaged vegan product versus a local container of goat cheese or a dozen eggs.
"I'm doing it for the animals not for the environment." That's great, but just know we've reached a critical point that without humane, sustainable bee keeping we'd actually be seriously endangering the survival of our pollinating friends. So if you say you don't eat honey because of the bees, you're either grossly misinformed, or you must not have access to anything but cruel commercial honey.
"Vegans can't have cats" - okay this is when veganism actually becomes toxic and not just idealistic. Why? Because when you say vegans can't have cats or a relationship with any particular domesticated animal, you've actually become so far removed from the natural world in a post-industrial society that there's no way in hell you're doing anything "for animals." The further you remove yourself from non-human animals, put a wall between you and they, you become an enabler to the destruction of the earth and all of the animals in it. Prior to industrialism in agricultural societies - vegetarian societies let's argue - cats were a critical partner in hanging about the farm, chasing the mice away from the grain and the corn. The farmers didn't "work" the cats, they volunteered their "services" in a symbiotic relationship with agricultural humans. We never domesticated cats, they domesticated themselves.
How will you continue to live in this delusion if some breakdown of society comes due to war or climate change? Are you pro-industrialism? Do you want the industrialism that created factory farming and climate change to continue? And if so, why? What's the point of being vegan at all unless you're attempting to radically change the current structure?
I'm starting to think someone should start an organization called Sane Ethical Vegetarians Unite or something like that, to get rid of all of this superfluous garbage about pets, cats, service animals and honey, so we can focus on real important issues, like saving our planet and saving the animals.