It's interesting that people use the idea of religion, or any similarity to religion, pejoratively. While I think the analogy is usually stupid, I also disagree with the analogy's implicit assumption that religion is necessarily something very negative.
Veganism is simply a way of life that reflects certain moral values. It is natural to want to "convert" others to those same values, when the moral values extend far beyond the sphere of one's personal choices that affect only oneself. When a moral code is traditional and accepted by the majority of people, the very same "converting" or "forcing of beliefs" happens, but it is not seen as similar to religious conversion, because most people agree with it. I think that's dishonest.
In fact, with traditional moral codes, there is not merely an attempt to "convert" through information and rhetoric, but actually enforcement through laws and the threat of physical force.
Originally Posted by Kellye
1. Vegans have a set of beliefs concerning the nature of the world and the way humanity runs it.
2. They observe rituals/abstainence from certain activities.
3. They follow a moral code they believe should govern the conduct of human affairs.
Uh... That argument is painful to even read.
1. Every human being* has a set of beliefs concerning the nature of the world.
2. Whether veganism involves "rituals" is a subjective matter of opinion.
But every human being does "abstain from certain activities".
3. Every human being follows a moral code.
Kellye has just demonstrated that the behavior and beliefs of every single human being imply religion. Which is obviously false.
*at least of a certain age
Ok, maybe some completely insane or braindead human beings are excluded from being religious.