Practical Veganism - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-07-2009, 10:56 PM
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Good reading here: http://www.veganoutreach.org/howvegan.html



and here: http://www.veganoutreach.org/advocacy/path.html (starting with The Vegan Example section)



When I first considered going vegan I thought it absolutely had to be all or nothing until I realized it could never be that simple. Now my focus is on eliminating the use of any food/product that directly contributes to animal suffering and exploitation (as in meat, eggs, dairy and their respective derivatives). I'm not sure if that would make me a vegan or just a strict vegetarian but I really don't care about the label and this just seems like the best way I can help other animals and encourage others to do the same. I'd love to hear others' thoughts on this view of veganism.

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#2 Old 12-07-2009, 11:09 PM
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This board is very into purity.







So much so, that i tend to not add my opinion on it.





*wink*

Quote:
"You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.”
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
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#3 Old 12-07-2009, 11:21 PM
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I'm open to dissenting opinions for sure and that is the main reason I started this thread. I'd like to hear arguments that reject this view and can explain why another position is superior to helping reduce suffering and winning over converts.

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#4 Old 12-07-2009, 11:28 PM
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I'm open to dissenting opinions for sure and that is the main reason I started this thread. I'd like to hear arguments that reject this view and can explain why another position is superior to helping reduce suffering and winning over converts.



That's the thing, people will scream till they're blue in the face about Vegan Purity, but that doesn't convince any omni. Omnis like baby steps and knowing what they're doing *does* help a little, that every additional effort does help.





But, that does not make them a vegan.





Though, honestly, being 100% vegan is impossible for most people.

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#5 Old 12-08-2009, 12:54 AM
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Heya I haven't read it all (I should be doing physics revision!) but I read some of the links to get the jist before I replied. I'm vegan, and I don't consider myself a "purist" however I also don't believe that it's in the benifit of veganism principles to just forget about the little ingrediants.



So, this is what I feel and how I think.



I think the little ingrediants can be important, for many reasons. Upholding a consistant image of veganism is important to me, because it enables veganism to become accepted, and vegan products be labled, which help the vegan cause as it makes veganism easier. To acheive this, there must be a definition of vegan (no animal products, not tested on animals, I think is the rule of thumb), and vegans must uphold this definition where it is practicable. Furthermore, little products from animals in big amounts still equal profit for the animal-exploitation industry. Also, everytime you don't buy a product because of a little animal product, and do buy a vegan product, you're affecting the supply-and-demand for vegan products.



I think that there's a difference between getting worked up about ingrediants which are unavoidable, and convincing yourself that ingrediants are too hard to avoid to be worth bothering about. To me, there's a difference between saying "it's not worth worrying about" and saying "I'm doing my best right now, and that's enough".



I appreciate it's easier for a lot of people not to sweat the little ingrediants, which enables them to make a huge difference with less headache and I don't think this is a bad thing, and I don't think they're any less commited because of it. Infact, it allows vegan principles to be acessed by people who'd otherwise be put off by veganisms strictness, and it allows people to see there's more than one way to reach a common aim. As far as I can see, they're commited just as much to the same cause as me, and this is good. Their approach is different, their lives are different, and that's fine. I didn't become vegan overnight and I'm happy that in my inbetween stages I was just as commited as I am now, I was just doing as much as I could.



So, in short: I think the little ingrediants are important, but I applaud anyone trying to reduce their animal consumption and if it's not right for them to sweat about them, as far as I can see their no less commited, they're just not "vegan".



Gah, rant. x
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#6 Old 12-08-2009, 02:01 AM
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I think that becoming vegan is a process. For me it started with the food I ate and then when it came time to buy new shoes, the clothing I bought. As I learned more, I realised that I would have to change the household products and personal care products I used. However I do still drink wine which I'm not certain is vegan. As a result of this one inconsistency, I've been seriously conisdering just going back to calling myself vegetarian.
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#7 Old 12-08-2009, 02:54 AM
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I think that becoming vegan is a process. For me it started with the food I ate and then when it came time to buy new shoes, the clothing I bought. As I learned more, I realised that I would have to change the household products and personal care products I used. However I do still drink wine which I'm not certain is vegan. As a result of this one inconsistency, I've been seriously conisdering just going back to calling myself vegetarian.

Just because of a wine? See, it's stuff like that which I think actually could hurt the vegan cause. Sure you could look at it one way, being a "real" vegan vs "not real" because of some minor vitamin that may or may not be animal derived or how the wine is made (or how the vegetables are shipped for that matter?), but I look at it like this: If there are 10 people who don't eat meat, and 3 of them don't eat eggs/dairy, isn't it better for those 3 people to define themselves as vegan to the public, rather then all 3 just call them selves vegetarian because they may not know where their wine is from or if the vitamin D is animal based? Because if they don't, then you have 10 vegetarians, and the general public sees NO vegans. You know what I'm saying? And in the end, what would make someone want to convert- seeing 3 vegans that are happy and eat great food, or just having heard that it's possible to be vegan but never having seen it done in real life? I know how it is on this board (more geared towards purity then converting- this is not a put down just a general observation), but I think people should try to think more of what will make less suffering in the world. Influencing others to eat vegan will reduce much greater amounts of suffering, rather then turning people off due to looking obsessive/making veganism look very difficult.



I say this as someone who ate maybe like 90% vegan for a few years. A big part of what stopped me from going totally vegan was the trace ingredients/vitamins, and the idea of having to call every company to figure out where they all came from, it just seemed overwhelming and felt too obsessive to me. It really did make me shy away from going all the way with it. I'm not saying people should be like eating cheese and calling themselves vegan, I'm just saying that some of the little minor ingredients that may or may not be vegan should not be as important as showing a great happy impression to omnis.
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#8 Old 12-08-2009, 05:27 AM
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Just because of a wine? See, it's stuff like that which I think actually could hurt the vegan cause. Sure you could look at it one way, being a "real" vegan vs "not real" because of some minor vitamin that may or may not be animal derived or how the wine is made (or how the vegetables are shipped for that matter?), but I look at it like this: If there are 10 people who don't eat meat, and 3 of them don't eat eggs/dairy, isn't it better for those 3 people to define themselves as vegan to the public, rather then all 3 just call them selves vegetarian because they may not know where their wine is from or if the vitamin D is animal based? Because if they don't, then you have 10 vegetarians, and the general public sees NO vegans. You know what I'm saying? And in the end, what would make someone want to convert- seeing 3 vegans that are happy and eat great food, or just having heard that it's possible to be vegan but never having seen it done in real life? I know how it is on this board (more geared towards purity then converting- this is not a put down just a general observation), but I think people should try to think more of what will make less suffering in the world. Influencing others to eat vegan will reduce much greater amounts of suffering, rather then turning people off due to looking obsessive/making veganism look very difficult.



I say this as someone who ate maybe like 90% vegan for a few years. A big part of what stopped me from going totally vegan was the trace ingredients/vitamins, and the idea of having to call every company to figure out where they all came from, it just seemed overwhelming and felt too obsessive to me. It really did make me shy away from going all the way with it. I'm not saying people should be like eating cheese and calling themselves vegan, I'm just saying that some of the little minor ingredients that may or may not be vegan should not be as important as showing a great happy impression to omnis.



I agreed with what you're saying but on another forum (vegan freaks to be specific) I was told in no uncertain terms that such inconsistencies meant that I was not a vegan or that I was not committed enough to veganism.
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#9 Old 12-08-2009, 05:31 AM
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Vegan Freaks isn't the only group of vegans or respresentative of any collective differing vegans' views, since they require that all/most of their members have uniform views. Just FYI! There's plenty of different and varying and arguing and dissenting vegans on here.
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#10 Old 12-08-2009, 05:40 AM
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I think that becoming vegan is a process. For me it started with the food I ate and then when it came time to buy new shoes, the clothing I bought. As I learned more, I realised that I would have to change the household products and personal care products I used. However I do still drink wine which I'm not certain is vegan. As a result of this one inconsistency, I've been seriously conisdering just going back to calling myself vegetarian.



Yeah but its very easy to find vegan wine. In fact, there is a very good chance the wine you are drinking is indeed vegan. Isinglass is being used less and less in winemaking.



So you could simply look for vegan wine, just as you looked for vegan food, clothes etc and continue your path to complete veganism.
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#11 Old 12-08-2009, 05:45 AM
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Just because of a wine? See, it's stuff like that which I think actually could hurt the vegan cause. Sure you could look at it one way, being a "real" vegan vs "not real" because of some minor vitamin that may or may not be animal derived or how the wine is made (or how the vegetables are shipped for that matter?), but I look at it like this: If there are 10 people who don't eat meat, and 3 of them don't eat eggs/dairy, isn't it better for those 3 people to define themselves as vegan to the public, rather then all 3 just call them selves vegetarian because they may not know where their wine is from or if the vitamin D is animal based? Because if they don't, then you have 10 vegetarians, and the general public sees NO vegans. You know what I'm saying? And in the end, what would make someone want to convert- seeing 3 vegans that are happy and eat great food, or just having heard that it's possible to be vegan but never having seen it done in real life? I know how it is on this board (more geared towards purity then converting- this is not a put down just a general observation), but I think people should try to think more of what will make less suffering in the world. Influencing others to eat vegan will reduce much greater amounts of suffering, rather then turning people off due to looking obsessive/making veganism look very difficult.



I say this as someone who ate maybe like 90% vegan for a few years. A big part of what stopped me from going totally vegan was the trace ingredients/vitamins, and the idea of having to call every company to figure out where they all came from, it just seemed overwhelming and felt too obsessive to me. It really did make me shy away from going all the way with it. I'm not saying people should be like eating cheese and calling themselves vegan, I'm just saying that some of the little minor ingredients that may or may not be vegan should not be as important as showing a great happy impression to omnis.



No, the vegan lifestyle usually takes some getting used to and it is very specific. If its not for you, then great. But should the term vegan be relaxed in order to incorporate those without the drive to fully embrace the concept? No. What's wrong with being a vegetarian? Nothing at all. If you're veggie, then congratulations.



Just look at the word 'vegetarian'. It means many things to many different people. Some people think vegetarians eat chicken and fish. Some think vegetarian means eating meat every other sunday. Some think it means eating rennet. It is in fact become a meaningless word. the word 'vegan' was invented to breakaway from the loose definition of 'vegetarian' to describe something specific which is the 'vegan path' as described. If you don't want to follow the vegan path, then fine. But don't criticise the strictness of the diet because you cannot find the will to embrace it fully. Be happy being a vegetarian and let the vegans have their own path.
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#12 Old 12-08-2009, 05:52 AM
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Vegan Freaks isn't the only group of vegans or respresentative of any collective differing vegans' views, since they require that all/most of their members have uniform views. Just FYI! There's plenty of different and varying and arguing and dissenting vegans on here.



Vegan Freaks did seem like a rather noxious place.
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#13 Old 12-08-2009, 05:59 AM
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No, the vegan lifestyle usually takes some getting used to and it is very specific. If its not for you, then great. But should the term vegan be relaxed in order to incorporate those without the drive to fully embrace the concept? No. What's wrong with being a vegetarian? Nothing at all. If you're veggie, then congratulations.



Just look at the word 'vegetarian'. It means many things to many different people. Some people think vegetarians eat chicken and fish. Some think vegetarian means eating meat every other sunday. Some think it means eating rennet. It is in fact become a meaningless word. the word 'vegan' was invented to breakaway from the loose definition of 'vegetarian' to describe something specific which is the 'vegan path' as described. If you don't want to follow the vegan path, then fine. But don't criticise the strictness of the diet because you cannot find the will to embrace it fully. Be happy being a vegetarian and let the vegans have their own path.



yeah, I mean if someone is comfortable where they're at with the animal products taht they do consume and they feel it's the best they can do, then so be it. the term "vegan" doesn't exist to put others down. It's just a word, a descriptor. If you aren't it, doesn't mean you have to feel bad. ANd esp. doesn't mean you have to feel bad therefore try to cut other people down. I hope you feel more comfortable eventually, Blue. I know you bring this up frequently.
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#14 Old 12-08-2009, 06:00 AM
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When I drink at home, it's easy to do that because there's a shop near my flat which labels its own brand wine as vegan. In restaurants, unless they're vegan or vegetarian, it's not that easy, given that wine that one year is vegan will not necessarily be the following year, and sometimes I like a glass of wine when I go out to dinner.
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#15 Old 12-08-2009, 06:02 AM
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For bone-char sugar and other filtered items, beer and wine, it's my understanding that some vegans do not consume ones if they don't know the filtration status or are sure it was filtered using an animal product. However, there are no animal products in the final item, so some vegans do not concern themselves with such things. It'd be hard to get processed/cooked foods at a restuarant as a vegan and know where the sugar comes from.
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#16 Old 12-08-2009, 06:04 AM
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For me, it's just much simpler and easier to be as strict as is possible. I do not want to have to play mental games with myself trying to justify everything I put in my mouth or wear or bathe with. Things out of my control, like the tires on my car, or the municipal water aren't things I'm going to pour a lot of thought and guilt into, but the things I can control, I will. If you don't want to read lists of ingrediants, there are other ways. Eat whole foods, vegetables, and grains, and if there is something on the list of ingrediants that you don't know whether or not it's derived from animals, just don't buy it.



I guess what I'm saying is that it might actually be easier to be pure than not.
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#17 Old 12-08-2009, 06:10 AM
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When I drink at home, it's easy to do that because there's a shop near my flat which labels its own brand wine as vegan. In restaurants, unless they're vegan or vegetarian, it's not that easy, given that wine that one year is vegan will not necessarily be the following year, and sometimes I like a glass of wine when I go out to dinner.



Again, there is a very good chance the wine your are drinking is vegan whether is labelled as such or not.



There are also huge lists of vegan friendly wines: http://www.barnivore.com/wine http://vegans.frommars.org/wine/



The trick is to find a couple of places that serve the wines listed above and patronize them. In the past, I've talked pubs into stocking vegan wine and beer for me as a regular customer.



There are ways of dealing with pretty much any 'vegan dilemma' if you look hard enough and have the desire to make it happen.
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#18 Old 12-08-2009, 06:12 AM
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For bone-char sugar and other filtered items, beer and wine, it's my understanding that some vegans do not consume ones if they don't know the filtration status or are sure it was filtered using an animal product. However, there are no animal products in the final item, so some vegans do not concern themselves with such things. It'd be hard to get processed/cooked foods at a restuarant as a vegan and know where the sugar comes from.



The whole thing gets ridiculous if you paint it black and white. One time I saw a tofu delivery truck in the drive-thru of a fast food restaurant.. So I put together that if I bought that brand of tofu then I was inadvertently supporting meat fast food restaurants. But that's just crazy. People need to have some common sense about it.
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#19 Old 12-08-2009, 06:22 AM
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Yep, veganism has always been about what's practical and possible. None of us control what's put into the sidewalks or that a worm walked across a carrot we later ate.
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#20 Old 12-08-2009, 07:53 AM
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I don't like the term "practical veganism". You're either vegan or you're not.
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#21 Old 12-08-2009, 09:11 AM
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I don't like the term "practical veganism". You're either vegan or you're not.



I think that what lies behind the term "practical veganism" is an acknowledgement that there is a certain minimum that is required to be a vegan and that there exist grey areas which are a matter of discretion for individual vegans. So abstaining from meat, dairy products, eggs and honey and not buying wool, leather or silk is the minimum that a person has to do to be considered vegan. After that people may decide to go further with their own veganism if that is what they want to do. I can conceive of situations were it may not be possible to buy vegan personal care and household cleaning products that are vegan because of budgetary constraints. I'm lucky in that I found a couple of shops where I could buy such products inexpensively. However, alot of vegan products are stupidly expensive (liquid soap that costs £4 a bottle and only lasts a week!) and some people cannot afford to buy them. Are they not vegan because they cannot afford to buy those expensive products?
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#22 Old 12-08-2009, 09:18 AM
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As far as i know, people can use baking soda, lemon juice, and peroxide to clean.
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#23 Old 12-08-2009, 09:20 AM
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Sorry, I think it's vinegar, not peroxide.
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#24 Old 12-08-2009, 09:27 AM
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Well said, Penny79. You can find a cost effective vegan version of just about anything.



'I can't afford to be vegan' is the lamest excuse in the book as it simply isn't true.
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#25 Old 12-08-2009, 09:32 AM
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@dividedsky



I do the same thing as you, basically. Right now I'm only focusing on what I eat and to me that's the single greatest designation of veganism. As far as my diet is concerned, I'm entirely vegan except for genuine accidents (flippin' gum with gelatin in it!), but I haven't gotten into the whole no animal testing or ingredients in non-food items other than apparel (shoes, belts, coats, etc.). I plan on putting more emphasis on this in the future, but I do think that it is more complicated and overwhelming that just dietary veganism.
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#26 Old 12-08-2009, 10:21 AM
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Well said, Penny79. You can find a cost effective vegan version of just about anything.



'I can't afford to be vegan' is the lamest excuse in the book as it simply isn't true.



That's not actually what I wrote.
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#27 Old 12-08-2009, 10:27 AM
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That's not actually what I wrote.



You are correct, you did not write that. However, i see 'I can't afford specialist vegan products' as an excuse that others make not to go vegan quite often on this board. I just lumped your comment in with those comments.
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#28 Old 12-08-2009, 10:56 AM
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You are correct, you did not write that. However, i see 'I can't afford specialist vegan products' as an excuse that others make not to go vegan quite often on this board. I just lumped your comment in with those comments.



Well I agree that's a bit silly. The fact that some vegan products are expensive would not have made me change my mind about cutting eggs and dairy products out of my diet (I never liked honey so that was never an issue).
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#29 Old 12-08-2009, 12:08 PM
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RE: expensive vegan products, I think it depends on your attitude and you're desire for convienence. What I mean by this, is there's plenty of vegan cheap alternatives available (often supermarket own brand products, etc) but often it involes hefty ingrediant searching, checking, and emailing companies (I'm forever emailing companies!), because they're not specificly designed vegan products - they're just accidentally vegan.



"Vegan" designed products are over priced, 99% of the time. Prime example: I used tp buy VEGAN bourbon biscuits at an exortionate price, untill I realised supermarket brand ones are usually vegan at a fraction of the cost! A mistake new vegans, or prospective vegans often make, is thinking they're commited to only buying specialist vegan products. There are lots of alternative cheaper choices out there, bu tyou really have to search for them. If I had the time, I'd email when I found them to ask them to consider labelling their products vegan in the future, but I never think to.



A bit offtopic, sorry. x
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#30 Old 12-08-2009, 12:10 PM
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As far as i know, people can use baking soda, lemon juice, and peroxide to clean.



Awesome suggestion Penny. It's amazing what you can do with a few simple household items! Here's a link to recipes for homemade cleaning products: http://organizedhome.com/clean-house...aning-products



PS: You can also shine shoes with a banana peel.
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