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#1 Old 06-16-2011, 09:02 AM
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I have been told that I can't call myself vegan unless I not only eliminate animal products from not only my diet but my life and that I need not harm animals in anyways. I have some questions and these have bothered me for along time. Until I can reconcile somethings I don't think I will ever then be considered vegan.

Bees: I understand that harm can come to the bees collecting honey- but then if you are truly vegan should you not avoid cellphone use. As it has been proven that cellphones are killing the bee population.

over-population of animals causing diseases: I grew up in areas were over population of deer leads to disease that are passed to humans. Even to humans who do not eat them, how are we to keep this from happening.
-over population of coyotes are pushing them into the subs of Chicago and pets and children are being attacked.
How do we deal with that?

Zoos: People say that it's not right to visit zoo's or even have them, however now most of the animals that are in zoo's were born in captivity, or were found injured and were treated back to health. These animals can not safely be returned to their natural environment so what are we suppose to do with them. (I have a teenage son who wants to be a zoologist so he can take care of these animals. He feels that through this he can help others learn more about animals)

And if it's not good to take animals out of their natural environments for our pleasure- then why do we keep pets in our homes. We domesticated them, my cats were rescues- if I put them out on the streets now, they wouldn't stand a chance. 2 don't have front claws, (i wasn't there for that) but my baby still has claws and he is not fixed. I will not do that, as I find it is cruel, but others say if we don't fix our pets we are going to have over-population. so it goes in this evil circle. I mean seriously we could do that to humans saying it's to prevent over-population right? yet that is not right.

I know this seems so random, but it's what goes on in my mind... and till I can justify some of this... I just guess I will be called a strict veggie instead of vegan.

Hope I can get some answers.
thanks

Chrissy
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#2 Old 06-16-2011, 09:32 AM
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There's not a single person on this planet who does not kill animals every day simply by existing. Heck I probably kill some animals everytime I walk across the grass... I just can't see them as I'm crushing them under my feet. But that doesn't make it cruel. Cruelty is a choice. Veganism can only hope to minimize the number of animals that are killed for us to live, but it can never eliminate it, and as far as I know that is the definition of veganism. You can live without honey, and dairy, and eggs, and leather, and zoos, and pets. You cannot however live without food and that inherently involves the death of some animals whether we like it or not. I don't have a cellphone right now because I don't have a job that requires it, but if my livelihood did depend on having one I would consider that to be a condition of my survival. Also, I do not have a 'pet' of any kind but if I were to have one in the future it would be a rescue.
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#3 Old 06-16-2011, 09:50 AM
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Here's my take.

Your initial premise is flawed. There is no way to guarantee that you do not harm animals in any way.

About the bee issue, it all comes down to where do you draw the line. Let's assume that you decide not to use a cellphone for the bees. But then there's oil, electricity, tires, and a long list of etc's that also harm or exploit animals. Even the vegetables we eat may be harvested in ways that animals die. So unless we are prepared to go into the wild, be totally off the grid and grow our own food there's no end to this debate. Now veganism strives to minimize suffering as much as possible (emphasizing the words minimize and possible), so just because you can't avoid all suffering does not mean you should not try to avoid any.

The deer overpopulation and the zoos, in my opinion, have to do with the same issues. Why is there deer overpopulation? Where did their natural predators go? Why are we living so close to wild animals? The answer is that our sprawl has taken us to the limit, the deer didn't come to us, we came to them, we annihilated their habitat and their natural predators, created an imbalance and then have the nerve to get mad at them because their diseases make us sick. The way I see it we probably deserve it.

The same goes for zoos. We destroyed the ecosystems were these animals lived for millions of years and now we want to solve the problem not by letting those ecosystems recover and protecting what is left of them but by unnaturally breeding them in captivity with the added bonus of charging money to have people stare at them. Yes those animals can't go back but we should not perpetuate the cycle, we should move towards a real solution, like securing the resources to protect wild environments so species can thrive and we can stop breeding animals in captivity.

Pets are a complex issue in my opinion. We have a long history of relationships with these animals, like dogs used to be wolves that became friendly with humans thousands of years ago. I think feral populations should be left alone and unbothered, they way it is supposed to be. However, the problem, again, is us, we breed dogs and cats so they can be sold and then we have the problems we have, declawed cats, overpopulation and so on. The solution then is not to have pets, because they are already here, they are already domesticated and need a home, the solution is to stop breeding them for sale.

At the end, it doesn't matter what you call yourself, the animals don't even care why you do it, they just want to be left alone to do what they have done for thousands of generations.

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#4 Old 06-16-2011, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Starlight Butterfly View Post

I have been told that I can't call myself vegan

Veganism is about recognizing the sentience and autonomy of other animals, and doing your best to live without benefiting from their exploitation. Most people don't seem to understand this, which is where all these arguments about killing and harming come from.

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#5 Old 06-16-2011, 11:27 AM
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Hi,

I'm new to this whole thing in practice but have been thinking about it for quite some time. I can't give you solutions--I can only share with you the answers I've come up with.

I've learned to take anyone who judges my practices as "not vegan enough" with a grain of salt. As the wise posters above me have mentioned, no one could ever live up to a lifestyle that never, ever harms another living creature; it's impossible. Life requires death and death requires life. However, that fact of existence is not an excuse to kill other creatures at our pleasure or convenience. Simply because some deaths are unpreventable does not mean we should not bother to prevent others.

If anyone tells you that you aren't doing enough, just shrug it off. It's all relative unless they're living in the middle of nowhere in a cabin made from reclaimed wood, living off of nothing but their own vegetable garden that is watered from their personal well, and living completely off the grid. No one has any real moral high-ground to judge you as 'not vegan enough' if you're making a concerted effort, especially if this person is judging you through an online message board while (s)he uses up electricity, which probably contributes more to animal suffering than that one wool sweater you own.

I, too, think the issue of having pets is a complex one, especially with regard to dogs. Humans would never have progressed as far as we have were it not for our relationship with dogs as protectors and hunting companions. We've also, through our own interactions and breeding of them, have created a new species and many of its variations have no viability in the wild. Cats, on the other hand, present their own problems. First among them is that while they might do well in the wild, they're not native to the Americas and might do more damage to an ecosystem than harm.

I'm always skeptical about the 'over-population' argument. Over-populated in what sense? As in too many animals in a specific area? It usually means that there are more animals in the area than the humans, who relatively just moved in, would prefer. 'Animal over-population' would not be an issue if we humans practiced sustainable living and weren't greedy land-hoarders. What it really boils down to is convenience. If the unhealthy living conditions of animals, or humans proximity thereto, presents a danger, the sensible and compassionate solution would be to move--not kill a living creature who is simply living in its native habitat.

I, personally, wouldn't have a problem with a zoo that was comprised entirely of rescued or rehabilitated animals. But I doubt that's the case for most of the animals there.

Also, I'm not sure that I would count pet-ownership as exploitation or enslavement in most cases. If anything, I think a healthy pet-human relationship is the closest thing humans can come to symbiosis: they get a home free of predators, a life perhaps twice as long than otherwise expected, and a constant supply of nourishment and entertainment and all (most) humans ask for is some love.

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#6 Old 06-16-2011, 11:32 AM
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Veganism can only hope to minimize the number of animals that are killed for us to live, but it can never eliminate it, and as far as I know that is the definition of veganism.

I'm not sure what you're saying here. What is the definition of veganism, as far as you know?

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#7 Old 06-16-2011, 11:40 AM
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I'm not sure what you're saying here. What is the definition of veganism, as far as you know?

Heck I'm never really sure what I'm saying either. But in the context of this post I'm saying that the killing of animals for us to survive can never be completely eliminated, merely reduced to the lowest possible level through the choices that we make.
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#8 Old 06-16-2011, 11:42 AM
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Heck I'm never really sure what I'm saying either. But in the context of this post I'm saying that the killing of animals for us to survive can never be completely eliminated, merely reduced to the lowest possible level through the choices that we make.

Yeah, but veganism is mainly defined through animal products and not animals killed, and even then, the "as far as possible and practical" qualification is added, which is a standard agreed on by the community of people identifying as vegans.

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#9 Old 06-16-2011, 11:43 AM
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Also, I think a lot of the killing of animals in agriculture, transportation, etc. is due to the indifference towards non-humans that vegans, even though supporting those violent systems, are trying to politically address and object to. If animals can be treated as pieces of meat, they surely can be driven over or poisoned too.

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#10 Old 06-16-2011, 11:51 AM
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Oh sure.
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#11 Old 06-16-2011, 12:02 PM
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Actually, Sevenseas I know for a fact that you and I both agree on this, so I think maybe I just worded my post badly.
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#12 Old 06-16-2011, 12:05 PM
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Actually, Sevenseas I know for a fact that you and I both agree on this, so I think maybe I just worded my post badly.

Well I don't know if you worded anything badly, but when you've said that Tom Cruise looks good in Risky Business, I've just assumed you have worded it really badly and don't really mean it

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#13 Old 06-16-2011, 12:08 PM
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Well I don't know if you worded anything badly, but when you've said that Tom Cruise looks good in Risky Business, I've just assumed you have worded it really badly and don't really mean it

Yeah... ummm... Tom Cruise in Risky Business? Tighty whities and all? We ARE going to disagree on that. Oh yeah.
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#14 Old 06-16-2011, 12:57 PM
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Thank you all- you have made me feel much better about this.

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Also, I'm not sure that I would count pet-ownership as exploitation or enslavement in most cases.

I had to laugh cause in my case I am the one enslaved to at least one of my cats... LOL! Our vet told us he hasn't any health problems just attitude problems. My hubby said so what your saying is I just paid you $150 to tell me he is perfectly healthy he is just an "a-hole" and the doctor said yes. So he is officially diagnoised that per the doctor.

I do try to do everything to make sure I am not harming any living thing, not just because of my thoughts on food but because of my religious beliefs. Most of my friends think I am a goof, but love me because of it. I feed the geese daily (I live on the river) and have begun naming them. I will catch a spider and put him back outside, and would stop to help anyone human or not. But to be told I can't say I am a vegan, because I wear a sweater that was given to me by someone I totally love and respect just because it is wool, hurts.

Chrissy
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#15 Old 06-16-2011, 02:36 PM
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Who is telling you you can't call yourself vegan? More often than not I find meat eaters will do this, in a sort of "well since I can't do this and call myself vegan, you can't do something else and call yourself vegan either" argument, as if being able to call yourself vegan is the most important aspect of the whole deal. Makes them feel better about choosing not to bother at all, when they can make it look like your own efforts to do your best are a waste of time.

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#16 Old 06-16-2011, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Starlight Butterfly View Post

I have been told that I can't call myself vegan unless I not only eliminate animal products from not only my diet but my life and that I need not harm animals in anyways.

That's certainly one interpretation of what "vegan" means. I suppose it might even be logical, but it becomes ridiculously hard to adhere to. I doubt any human could make it even a single day without accidentally stepping on a bug or something.

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I have some questions and these have bothered me for along time. Until I can reconcile somethings I don't think I will ever then be considered vegan.

If we must, we can play your game, but I insist your princess is in another castle.

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Bees: I understand that harm can come to the bees collecting honey- but then if you are truly vegan should you not avoid cellphone use. As it has been proven that cellphones are killing the bee population.

If I were "truly vegan" I wouldn't have driven my car to work this morning. I think I took out a few bees on the way. My approach to veganism is an attempt to reduce horrible suffering in the world by avoiding giving my money to cruel industries which directly enslave and exploit animals.

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over-population of animals causing diseases: I grew up in areas were over population of deer leads to disease that are passed to humans. Even to humans who do not eat them, how are we to keep this from happening.
-over population of coyotes are pushing them into the subs of Chicago and pets and children are being attacked.
How do we deal with that?

There's another way to look at this, you know...it might occur that we're the species that's grossly overpopulated. Besides, as above, this has nothing to do with an organized boycott of animal agribusiness. Even if it became necessary to reduce populations of wild animals this does not excuse the fate of over ten billion land animals every year on factory farms. You're far more likely to die of some mutated strain of E.Coli or Avian Flu than any diseases the deer have, by the way.

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Zoos: People say that it's not right to visit zoo's or even have them, however now most of the animals that are in zoo's were born in captivity, or were found injured and were treated back to health. These animals can not safely be returned to their natural environment so what are we suppose to do with them. (I have a teenage son who wants to be a zoologist so he can take care of these animals. He feels that through this he can help others learn more about animals)

This is not one of my personal immediate goals as a vegan or activist, but I am opposed to the systematic enslavement of any wild animal, and I feel zoos must eventually make way for a more civilized form of entertainment.

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And if it's not good to take animals out of their natural environments for our pleasure- then why do we keep pets in our homes. We domesticated them, my cats were rescues- if I put them out on the streets now, they wouldn't stand a chance. 2 don't have front claws, (i wasn't there for that) but my baby still has claws and he is not fixed. I will not do that, as I find it is cruel, but others say if we don't fix our pets we are going to have over-population. so it goes in this evil circle. I mean seriously we could do that to humans saying it's to prevent over-population right? yet that is not right.

This has absolutely nothing to do with zoos. There's no accurate comparison. Cats and dogs have been domesticated for literally thousands of years.

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I know this seems so random, but it's what goes on in my mind... and till I can justify some of this... I just guess I will be called a strict veggie instead of vegan.

Call yourself what you want. It's not the label that matters. There is intense, brutal and inexcusable suffering going on in factory farms every day. By choosing not to give your money to people who commit these atrocities you are living your life with more ethical consistency than before. "Vegan" be damned. It's just a word.

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#17 Old 06-16-2011, 05:09 PM
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Who is telling you you can't call yourself vegan? More often than not I find meat eaters will do this, in a sort of "well since I can't do this and call myself vegan, you can't do something else and call yourself vegan either" argument, as if being able to call yourself vegan is the most important aspect of the whole deal. Makes them feel better about choosing not to bother at all, when they can make it look like your own efforts to do your best are a waste of time.

I have been on other "veggie" or "vegan" boards in the past. And had my feelings hurt pretty bad and I usually have tough skin. It's made it very difficult for me in this transition.

I do consider myself very much against things like factory-farms and such. I try to do what I can to help. I just sometimes find people are so over the top that they completely disrespect others in the fight to save a flea on the back of a dog.

I hate labels but when I say I am a vegetarian I have gotten lectures about not being vegan and when I say I don't eat any animal products, they tell me I am not vegan because I may have accidentally used a product that had something I didn't know in it. It's crazy and fustrating all at one time.

Chrissy
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#18 Old 06-16-2011, 05:46 PM
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I think the short answer to your question would be that veganism is just about doing your best to reduce the amount of harm we cause animals. I think it'd be a bit hard to avoid cellphones completely in this day and age, but if there was a bee-friendly alternative I'd go with that one.

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#19 Old 06-16-2011, 07:38 PM
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I have been told that I can't call myself vegan unless I not only eliminate animal products from not only my diet but my life and that I need not harm animals in anyways. I have some questions and these have bothered me for along time. Until I can reconcile somethings I don't think I will ever then be considered vegan.

Well, I think there have been a lot of intelligent responses to this and I agree with several of them.

I did want to touch upon a few of your other points.

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Bees: I understand that harm can come to the bees collecting honey- but then if you are truly vegan should you not avoid cellphone use. As it has been proven that cellphones are killing the bee population.

Proven? Can you link a/the study proving that?

My understanding is that there have been studies showing that there is some correlation with cel phones placed near bee hives causing some 'agitation' or at least some kind of reaction within the hive while cel phones are sending or receiving a call (and maybe when they're in a call), but I'm currently not aware of anything proving that celphones in and of themselves kill bees.

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Originally Posted by Starlight Butterfly View Post

over-population of animals causing diseases: I grew up in areas were over population of deer leads to disease that are passed to humans. Even to humans who do not eat them, how are we to keep this from happening.
-over population of coyotes are pushing them into the subs of Chicago and pets and children are being attacked.
How do we deal with that?

As another poster commented, is this an over deer/coyote (or whatever animal is being criticized) or a human overpopulation? How much land do humans really need and is it necessary for humans to exclusively use all the land? (How many other animals need a big house and fence their yard and spray herbicides, pesticides, etc all over, pave all sorts of land to drive around etc?).

Is this a by-product of our lifestyles or a by-product of these animals 'overpopulating'?

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Zoos: People say that it's not right to visit zoo's or even have them, however now most of the animals that are in zoo's were born in captivity, or were found injured and were treated back to health. These animals can not safely be returned to their natural environment so what are we suppose to do with them. (I have a teenage son who wants to be a zoologist so he can take care of these animals. He feels that through this he can help others learn more about animals)

I think there have been a number of threads about zoos here, and there are so other critiques online. The search function on VB can help find those and I'll see if I can find some of the links I have on zoos.

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#20 Old 06-16-2011, 07:56 PM
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The fact of the matter is that adopting a plant-based diet is the best possible thing you can do for the environment. The meat/egg/dairy industries are destroying our planet and are responsible for world hunger, the destruction of the tropical rainforests, antibiotic-resistant "superbugs", global warming, and the depletion of our natural resources to name a few. As long as you refuse to consume animal products, you are doing yourself and the world a great service and should not worry about accidentally stepping on an ant.

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#21 Old 06-17-2011, 04:44 PM
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I had to laugh cause in my case I am the one enslaved to at least one of my cats... LOL! Our vet told us he hasn't any health problems just attitude problems. My hubby said so what your saying is I just paid you $150 to tell me he is perfectly healthy he is just an "a-hole" and the doctor said yes. So he is officially diagnoised that per the doctor.


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#22 Old 06-17-2011, 05:56 PM
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The fact of the matter is that adopting a plant-based diet is the best possible thing you can do for the environment.

I disagree, it's not the best. In general, I would agree that most things being equal, a plant-based diet is better than an omnivorous diet.

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The meat/egg/dairy industries are destroying our planet and are responsible for world hunger, the destruction of the tropical rainforests, antibiotic-resistant "superbugs", global warming, and the depletion of our natural resources to name a few.

Really? I agree that the meat/egg/dairy industries do considerable damage to the environment, but so do plenty of other things that even vegetarians do. I don't agree with framing the discussion as such and putting the responsibility on those industries.

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#23 Old 06-17-2011, 08:15 PM
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I wouldn't be able to explain all of these. As others have stated, there are large portions of society that make it nigh impossible to completely keep yourself from harming something, because even simple unconscious activities lead to destruction in this day and age. I also feel that veg*ism in general is largely subject to opinion on what is OK and what is not. If YOU feel that something is cruel, then don't do it. If you happen to feel that something else is not cruel, don't sweat it.

For me, and like I said this is largely based on opinion, pets and zoos are vastly different. Zoos, for one thing, have a reputation for not caring too much about the animals. Also, these are WILD animals that are displayed for bratty children to throw peanuts at. Pets, generally (although not always), are not really pets so much as companions and members of the family. We take the best care of them, pay ridiculous vet bills, let them sleep with us and shower them with attention. Also, most animals kept as pets have been domesticated over thousands of years. Granted, this was done by humans keeping them in the first place, but they served practical purposes way back then, not just as something to cuddle. To me, these show completely different intentions and levels of care.

There was another part of your post that I was going to explain my stance on, but I forgot. ): So there's my two cents, anyway.
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#24 Old 06-18-2011, 09:53 AM
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I disagree, it's not the best. In general, I would agree that most things being equal, a plant-based diet is better than an omnivorous diet.



Really? I agree that the meat/egg/dairy industries do considerable damage to the environment, but so do plenty of other things that even vegetarians do. I don't agree with framing the discussion as such and putting the responsibility on those industries.

I can see your point on that too- My ex works for a trucking company that moves produce from the west coast to the east coast. Your post there made me think of all the stuff he saw going on in the fields / pickup buildings and on the roads to bring produce to us. I can see where there can be a lot of environmental damage and harm done to animals and such to move produce.

His company alone spent over $2 million in fuel each year.
Many of the produce points - have flash cool systems in the warehouse, so let's say a truck of onions comes to the warehouse, coming out of the CA fields in July/August when outside temps are 90 or above, the would put the whole truck load into this area that quick cooled them and brought the temp down to under 40 degrees, then it was loaded on his truck that ran air at that temp all the way back to TN.

hmmm. makes one think.

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#25 Old 06-18-2011, 11:08 AM
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I don't agree with framing the discussion as such and putting the responsibility on those industries.

I take responsibility for my actions and decisions. I don't see why an industry - or any entity - should get a bye on basic social responsibility.

Of course there will be discussion, debate, and disagreement over exactly what this 'basic social responsibility' entails. This is a good thing.

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#26 Old 06-18-2011, 11:27 AM
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I take responsibility for my actions and decisions. I don't see why an industry - or any entity - should get a bye on basic social responsibility.

Of course there will be discussion, debate, and disagreement over exactly what this 'basic social responsibility' entails. This is a good thing.

I'm not stating they get a free pass or they should take no responsibility. I'm stating that I don't agree with putting all that responsibility (for those mentioned in SonicEarth's post) on those industries. Plenty of what we as humans whether vegetarian or not do, causes issues with the very same things that were mentioned in SonicEarth's post.

In other words, if the world were vegetarian, it's not as if that would solve "world hunger, the destruction of the tropical rainforests, antibiotic-resistant "superbugs", global warming, and the depletion of our natural resources."

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#27 Old 06-19-2011, 12:38 PM
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Maybe the key to all of this is in one word, intention. An omnivore, by their actions, intentionally is the cause of harm to other living beings. A vegan never intentionally cause harm to other beings. So we choose carefully, what we will eat, wear, use to clean our homes and ourselves and how we entertain ourselves. And always, it should be our intention to not cause harm either by direct action or indirect action. So for example, I like to knit once in a while, but I choose not to use wool because I know that somewhere is a sheep that either had parts of its butt sliced off (for the sake of my wool, i.e. merino sheep in Australia) or will be slaughtered the minute it no longer produces top grade wool. Intention is a key word in the vocabulary of the vegan, in my opinion.
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#28 Old 06-19-2011, 02:21 PM
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First and foremost, please remember that the vast majority of animal suffering and death is related to the food industry and not the pet trade or circuses or zoos or hunting or fur or experimentation or any of that. Eating is also probably the most common way in which most people directly interact with animals. People make these life and death decisions about 3 times a day. Thus, the greatest impact each of us can make to reduce animal suffering and death is to eat plants instead of animal products.


As you can see, you make the greatest impact by choose a plant-based diet.
Now, let me get to your questions...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Starlight Butterfly View Post

Bees: I understand that harm can come to the bees collecting honey- but then if you are truly vegan should you not avoid cellphone use. As it has been proven that cellphones are killing the bee population.

Whether you want to use a mobile phone or not is up to you.
But consider that using mobile phones does not necessitate the exploitation of any animal. The consequences to pollinators are indirect, unintentional, and furthermore, debateable. Therefor, it's not really an issue of veganism because veganism is about abstaining from causing unecessary intentional harm to animals.

Moreover, we can probably do more good for pollinators like bees by eliminating or reducing our use of pesticides and by creating environments that are friendly to pollinators by planting certain types of flowers and practicing certain types of landscaping maintenance. For more info, look here: http://www.nbii.gov/portal/server.pt...ollinators/986

Quote:
over-population of animals causing diseases: I grew up in areas were over population of deer leads to disease that are passed to humans. Even to humans who do not eat them, how are we to keep this from happening.
-over population of coyotes are pushing them into the subs of Chicago and pets and children are being attacked.
How do we deal with that?

The most humane way to handle a real or perceived overpopulation problem is through birth control. Many animals can be given birth control through arranged feedings or through tranquilizer type darts. There's no need to kill animals in order to reduce their population size. Other methods of humane pest control include using deterrants, barriers, capture and release, etc.
And when it comes to disease prevention, vaccines and sanitation go a long long way.

All that said, the concept of overpopulation is itself debateable, and certainly in regards to animal species who are often only considered overpopulated when humans want to do something with the land those animals live on.

I live in Nevada where the majority of the American wild mustangs live. Did you know our government thinks they're overpopulated? They've been rounding them up and killing these horses and burros! And do you know why? One of the main reasons is that ranchers would like to use the land and its water, but if they have to compete with horses there's not enough land and water. Ugh! So... you can see how our food choices play a role in many other animal issues.

Quote:
Zoos: People say that it's not right to visit zoo's or even have them, however now most of the animals that are in zoo's were born in captivity, or were found injured and were treated back to health. These animals can not safely be returned to their natural environment so what are we suppose to do with them.

There are places called zoos and then there are places called sanctuaries. Zoos are for-profit institutions that rely on exploiting animals for human amusement. Sanctuaries are non-profits that serve one purpose: to shelter animals who cannot survive without human help. Both places can offer tours and povide a rich learning experience for humans, but the zoos put the interest in profits above all else whereas the sanctuaries put the animals' interests first.

Quote:
And if it's not good to take animals out of their natural environments for our pleasure- then why do we keep pets in our homes. We domesticated them, my cats were rescues- if I put them out on the streets now, they wouldn't stand a chance. 2 don't have front claws, (i wasn't there for that) but my baby still has claws and he is not fixed. I will not do that, as I find it is cruel, but others say if we don't fix our pets we are going to have over-population. so it goes in this evil circle. I mean seriously we could do that to humans saying it's to prevent over-population right? yet that is not right.

You are providing sanctuary for your cats. So long as you respect them and you meet their needs, all is well.
To be vegan, the issue is really about where the "pet" (aka companion animal, animal companion, companion, furbaby, etc.) comes from and how he or she becomes your buddy. If the animal comes from a shelter or is a rescue "off the street," all is well. If, however, you purchase the animal at a pet store or from a breeder, then that supports the pet trade which is exploitative and in many cases cruel (see here on that: http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/puppy_mills/ ).

I hope this helps answer some of your questions and feel free to ask more as you learn more about animal rights and veganism
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#29 Old 06-19-2011, 07:19 PM
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Nicely written Elaine!

I think as far as the bee population goes, we're going to be finding out that the pesticides and GMO crops are going to be the cause of CCD (colony collapse disorder)....frankly, haven't see too many honey bees at all this spring, and my dad lost 2 out of his 3 colonies....they just aren't very strong like they used to be.....I truly believe we've created this problem, and doubt that much is going to be done to reverse it, although pollinating our crops is essential....I may be going up to the garden and doing a lot of hand pollinating this summer!

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