Ethical Veganism - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-22-2015, 10:31 PM
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Ethical Veganism

Is anyone here a vegan for purely ethical reasons?
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#2 Old 08-22-2015, 10:42 PM
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Is anyone here a vegan for purely ethical reasons?
Is there another type of vegan? :P

Sorry, I'm in a playful mood.

I honestly think that the term 'vegan' doesn't apply to those who only eat a 'plant-based diet'. It's a philosophy, it's a way of living, rather than just a diet. So, I don't think there's such a thing as someone who's a vegan, but not for ethical reasons. It doesn't work.

Vegan=ethical reasons.

But to answer your question, there's lots. I'm sure they'll introduce themselves soon
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#3 Old 08-23-2015, 12:52 AM
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I agree with TigerLilly. We're all vegan for ethical reasons.
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#4 Old 08-23-2015, 01:03 AM
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Good. Now how exactly do you teach ethics outside of a formal philosophy class?
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#5 Old 08-23-2015, 01:11 AM
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Good. Now how exactly do you teach ethics outside of a formal philosophy class?
I suppose you could write a compelling article for others to read, start a YouTube channel, engage in conversation with willing participants.
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#6 Old 08-23-2015, 01:17 AM
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Good. Now how exactly do you teach ethics outside of a formal philosophy class?
They say experience is the best teacher, which I suppose means, you must gain experience living ethically, before you can teach it to others, in order to teach it well.
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#7 Old 08-23-2015, 05:51 AM
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It's an interesting thing that I've found: you get attention in life by being different. It sparks interest. You then get to explain the reasons why you're different and those who are of a good disposition will listen with intent. Even if they don't agree with you, you'll get the opportunity to make them think about it - even if just for a second. In time that second can build up and move change. Writing blogs, YouTube and other means of discussing your views publically will feed the interest that your simply being different sparks. Xx

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#8 Old 08-23-2015, 06:02 AM
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Most importantly stay peaceful and wise, know when and where to say something, and don't go to the extreme slaughter/torture description with most people. These are all mistakes I make and at the end haven't accomplished anything other than turn people away.

I think a more wide scale environmental conservation approach portrayed in a knowledgeable (fact based/numbers) calm manner works best. It's hard to do though because I have always had issues with letting my edgy emotions out...something I am trying to work on currently!

I have found that there are some people that really just don't care about the environment or animal rights, probably best to just avoid them unless they confront you on issues you are passionate about - then please try to remain calm and collective, because you never know who is watching or listening and should always try to lead by example. The sensible person will almost always side with the one who keeps their cool and has good intentions.
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#9 Old 08-23-2015, 02:03 PM
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It's fun to think that I'm wiser than everyone else because I'm a vegan, but also maddening that others don't get it.
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#10 Old 08-23-2015, 02:28 PM
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I don't think compassion and widsom/intelligence are related.
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#11 Old 08-23-2015, 03:31 PM
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Always ethical if it's for health reasons you're not a vegan i don't think - some might for environmental reasons though.
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#12 Old 08-23-2015, 03:51 PM
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Always ethical if it's for health reasons you're not a vegan i don't think - some might for environmental reasons though.
Oh, great. Where does that leave me? I started looking into veganism in 2009 because of a family members allergy testing (she couldn't have eggs or dairy, and she was 5--I wasn't going to tell a 5-year-old she wasn't having dessert because of allergies). Then her mother's half brother and sister moved here, and they were vegans. Not wanting to exclude anyone or put them on the spot, I chose to make everything vegan for them and hoped no one else complained. Now I'm a vegan, although not for ethical reasons.

Anytime I think I'm perfect, I remember that my cousin lives on an island, and I've never walked over to visit her.
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#13 Old 08-23-2015, 04:36 PM
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I don't think compassion and widsom/intelligence are related.
Well I guess it depends on what someone's perception of wisdom really is, I think wisdom goes hand in hand with compassion.

Intelligence on the other hand - let's just say there have been plenty of "intelligent" people that are down right evil.
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#14 Old 08-24-2015, 03:19 AM
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Oh, great. Where does that leave me? I started looking into veganism in 2009 because of a family members allergy testing (she couldn't have eggs or dairy, and she was 5--I wasn't going to tell a 5-year-old she wasn't having dessert because of allergies). Then her mother's half brother and sister moved here, and they were vegans. Not wanting to exclude anyone or put them on the spot, I chose to make everything vegan for them and hoped no one else complained. Now I'm a vegan, although not for ethical reasons.
If you genuinely only do it out of consideration for your family, then you happen to be eating a plant-based diet-- which is great, but that doesn't make you vegan. Similarly, if a friend were to come to stay with me and I were to provide all her meals, she would happen to be eating a plant-based diet, but unless she made an intentional decision to avoid animal products (including non-food products like leather and fur) out of consideration for animal welfare, she wouldn't be vegan. She would just be eating the same things that vegans eat because of her circumstances. Veganism isn't a diet. You don't become vegan simply by eating what vegans eat. Veganism is an ethical philosophy which rejects the exploitation of animals. We focus on diet because so many animals are killed for food in our society, but veganism also encompasses zoos, breeders, hunting, clothing production, animal byproducts, animal testing, and many other facets of daily living. It's no insult to say that you aren't vegan. It's not a secret clubhouse or something, and you can certainly choose to be vegan if the stuff you've read on these boards has opened your eyes to the horrors of animal suffering, but there's also no shame in being a strict vegetarian because it's convenient and tastes good, or because that's the food your family happens to enjoy eating. That's a wonderful thing. It's just not the definition of "vegan." I don't know what you prefer to call yourself. Personally, I like "strict vegetarian."
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#15 Old 08-24-2015, 08:08 AM
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Oh, great. Where does that leave me? I started looking into veganism in 2009 because of a family members allergy testing (she couldn't have eggs or dairy, and she was 5--I wasn't going to tell a 5-year-old she wasn't having dessert because of allergies). Then her mother's half brother and sister moved here, and they were vegans. Not wanting to exclude anyone or put them on the spot, I chose to make everything vegan for them and hoped no one else complained. Now I'm a vegan, although not for ethical reasons.
yeah i think i would just call that a plant based diet which is great, but if you do learn about the ethical side to veganism and it becomes another reason for you to follow a plant based diet then you would be a vegan i would maybe look into the ethical side if you haven't already
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#16 Old 08-24-2015, 08:36 AM
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Maybe other than some disease stricken individuals (like cancer patients), I can't think of a vegan who's not in it for the ethics.
The health benefits of the plant based diet that goes hand in hand with our ethical lifestyle are just bonuses for us vegheads

As for teaching ethics...
Like teaching anything else, I'd think it varies upon the "student" you're targeting. As a "teacher" or voice of veganism for the animals, we should have the answers to any question; and if no answer is available or no question is asked, then we can give them something to think about that will have them questioning their current stand on the topic. So of course it helps to learn all angle of the ethical arguments and be ready to preach words with value that can change the "student's" wqy of thinking.

Kinda a broad answer so idk if dat makes sense or answers the question :/
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#17 Old 08-24-2015, 08:41 AM
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Good. Now how exactly do you teach ethics outside of a formal philosophy class?
I suppose you could write a compelling article for others to read, start a YouTube channel, engage in conversation with willing participants.

I agree making a YouTube channel would be a nice way to teach! That way if you don't have time in person you can be like, "check out my YouTube channel for more information"!
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#18 Old 08-24-2015, 09:58 AM
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It's probably easiest to just read "vegan person" as "person who follows a vegan diet" in many situations. Unfortunately even people who make a distinction between the two are terribly inconsistent in usage (especially when it comes to celebrities and athletes) . Best to note the distinction and continue.
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#19 Old 08-24-2015, 02:28 PM
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I've never forced a person, old or young, to work for me against their will
I've never pushed someone out of my way
I've never intentionally inflicted harm on anyone
I try my best to research where products were made to try and avoid slave labor
I buy fair trade when possible
It's not because of laws. It's not because of ethics. It's because that's my perspective on how to live

But I have never called myself a humanitarian

I don't even like cows, but I have always spoken for their right to their own freedoms
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#20 Old 08-24-2015, 06:34 PM
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the "ethical vegan" is a figment of the imagination.

by definition an "ethical vegan" is one who does not support the exploitation of animals for any purpose - please note the last 3 words.

if you wish to attach a label, a more accurate term would be "ethical dietary vegan" as that would preclude any possible element of hypocrisy that might be assumed otherwise.
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#21 Old 08-28-2015, 08:19 PM
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"ethical dietary vegan"
I'll be honest: I can't even begin to unpack that. "Dietary vegan" is used (incorrectly) in loose everyday speech to differentiate from the redundant "ethical vegan". Sticking both "dietary" and "ethical" in front of vegan doesn't clarify anything while it decides the basic question "is veganism an ethical stance or a meal plan" in favor of "meal plan". Stick as many adjectives as you want in front of it, the answer is assumed before hand.

Part of the problem is that everyday usage of "vegan" focuses on one easily identifiable characteristic of vegan behavior - the dietary bit - and decides that one behavior is the definition of the word. It's similar to noticing the behavior of Orthodox Catholics involves not consuming red meat on Fridays during Lent and assuming that is what makes one a Catholic! Gandhi gave a talk in 1931 to the London Vegetarian Society titled The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism (he has a book of the same name, but IIRC it's not the same text). In it he addressed this very issue, noting that traditional Hindus follow a lacto-vegetarian diet (he didn't put it in those words, but that's what we call it today). Following a lacto-veg diet doesn't make a non-Hindu a Hindu, neither does following a Hindu diet make a Hindu an ethical vegetarian. On paper a Hindu diet and a lacto-veg diet are identical, but factors beyond the diet of an individual determines whether that individual is Hindu, (ethical) vegetarian, both, or neither.

More info on Gandhi's talk is here.
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#22 Old 08-29-2015, 03:55 AM
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I'll be honest: I can't even begin to unpack that. "Dietary vegan" is used (incorrectly) in loose everyday speech to differentiate from the redundant "ethical vegan". Sticking both "dietary" and "ethical" in front of vegan doesn't clarify anything while it decides the basic question "is veganism an ethical stance or a meal plan" in favor of "meal plan". Stick as many adjectives as you want in front of it, the answer is assumed before hand.

Part of the problem is that everyday usage of "vegan" focuses on one easily identifiable characteristic of vegan behavior - the dietary bit - and decides that one behavior is the definition of the word. It's similar to noticing the behavior of Orthodox Catholics involves not consuming red meat on Fridays during Lent and assuming that is what makes one a Catholic! Gandhi gave a talk in 1931 to the London Vegetarian Society titled The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism (he has a book of the same name, but IIRC it's not the same text). In it he addressed this very issue, noting that traditional Hindus follow a lacto-vegetarian diet (he didn't put it in those words, but that's what we call it today). Following a lacto-veg diet doesn't make a non-Hindu a Hindu, neither does following a Hindu diet make a Hindu an ethical vegetarian. On paper a Hindu diet and a lacto-veg diet are identical, but factors beyond the diet of an individual determines whether that individual is Hindu, (ethical) vegetarian, both, or neither.

More info on Gandhi's talk is here.
Very well said. Thank you!
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#23 Old 08-30-2015, 05:59 PM
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I'll be honest: I can't even begin to unpack that. "Dietary vegan"....
if you're going to quote please do so correctly within your reply - i believe i stated "ethical dietary vegan" not "Dietary vegan".

the original thread referred to "ethical veganism" & the question of being a purely ethical vegan - i replied within that context & wrt the definition of a "ethical vegan".

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" Following a lacto-veg diet doesn't make a non-Hindu a Hindu, neither does following a Hindu diet make a Hindu an ethical vegetarian. On paper a Hindu diet and a lacto-veg diet are identical, but factors beyond the diet of an individual determines whether that individual is Hindu.."
what a truly profound deduction.

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#24 Old 08-30-2015, 07:00 PM
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I fell backwards into this lifestyle. I was a vegetarian for years, and when I first began eating vegan, it was because all my vegan friends were effortlessly skinny. I started as a weight-loss tool. I treated it as a "diet", and nothing else. Then one of these friends I was trying to imitate gave me the book "the kind diet" by alicia silverstone. She talks about health and weightloss and such, but she also talks about animal cruelty and eating mindfully. That brought me to documentaries like Earthlings, which ruined the whole egg & dairy industry for me. When I decided I'd go 100% vegan for ethical reasons was just before Forks over Knives came out. I went to go see it with the same friend, and then I reaffirmed my beliefs for health-and-wellness centric reasons. Cowspiracy came out just last year, and then I had another whole arsenal of reasons not to go back.

So yeah, it's a trifecta - being kind, body & health, and being green. Do I believe you only gain the right to call yourself vegan if you're living ethically? No, I find that a bit elitist in a community that should be so desperately welcoming. But, I haven't met a vegan yet that hasn't remained vegan because of something ethically related.
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#25 Old 08-31-2015, 01:47 AM
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I don't see how defining a word could be construed as elitist. Regardless of how many people mistakenly view veganism as a diet, it isn't. It's an ethical philosophy which concerns itself entirely with the exploitation of animals. Any other benefits of the lifestyle are secondary, and a vegan wouldn't eat animals even if there were no health benefits. Additionally, there are a number of vegan issues which are entirely unrelated to food: zoos, breeding, animal ingredients in toiletries, animal testing, fur, leather, wool, silk... To say that veganism is a diet is to discount the importance of these issues. Nobody gives up leather or stops buying pets from shops to look good or lose weight. The only reason to adopt this lifestyle is to reduce the exploitation of animals. I can't understand why someone who considers himself a "dietary vegan" would even covet the term. There is certainly no glory that comes along with it.
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#26 Old 08-31-2015, 05:22 AM
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Perhaps, but what I'm saying is: say someone switches to the lifestyle and foregoes meat, dairy, and egg for the green or health benefits, and doesn't immediately assign themselves to getting rid of their leather couch, or stop supporting zoos. When the waiter asks them their dietary restrictions, are they supposed to say, "I'm a non-ovo non-lacto plant-based, honey-free vegetarian", or should they be able to say "I'm vegan" with some sense of pride, regardless of the reason. I feel that to say "vegan" is reserved for a certain set of ethical standards is non-inclusive to people that could be swayed to our way of thinking provided we stop telling them, "Oh no, you're PLANT BASED. You're not a vegan."
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#27 Old 08-31-2015, 05:59 AM
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Perhaps, but what I'm saying is: say someone switches to the lifestyle and foregoes meat, dairy, and egg for the green or health benefits, and doesn't immediately assign themselves to getting rid of their leather couch, or stop supporting zoos. When the waiter asks them their dietary restrictions, are they supposed to say, "I'm a non-ovo non-lacto plant-based, honey-free vegetarian", or should they be able to say "I'm vegan" with some sense of pride, regardless of the reason. I feel that to say "vegan" is reserved for a certain set of ethical standards is non-inclusive to people that could be swayed to our way of thinking provided we stop telling them, "Oh no, you're PLANT BASED. You're not a vegan."
I have been a vegan for over a decade, and I find that using the 'vegan' word in restaurants often elicits a blank stare. They often have no earthly idea.

To them I say I am vegetarian, including no dairy, eggs, or honey. Often by now I don't have to say anything, just order my food, because I know what is vegan in the restaurants I frequent, and I'm a fast reader so have no trouble skimming ingredient lists. I also check online menus and decide ahead of time.

When first going vegan, I kept my leather shoes, bags, and belts until they wore out, or I was sick of them and gave them to a thrift shop.
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#28 Old 08-31-2015, 06:52 AM
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Perhaps, but what I'm saying is: say someone switches to the lifestyle and foregoes meat, dairy, and egg for the green or health benefits, and doesn't immediately assign themselves to getting rid of their leather couch, or stop supporting zoos. When the waiter asks them their dietary restrictions, are they supposed to say, "I'm a non-ovo non-lacto plant-based, honey-free vegetarian", or should they be able to say "I'm vegan" with some sense of pride, regardless of the reason. I feel that to say "vegan" is reserved for a certain set of ethical standards is non-inclusive to people that could be swayed to our way of thinking provided we stop telling them, "Oh no, you're PLANT BASED. You're not a vegan."
A person can use the word "vegan" when ordering food if that makes it easier, but that doesn't make her a vegan-- just as telling a waiter I'm lactose intolerant because I don't drink milk doesn't make me lactose intolerant. In either case, I don't understand why the person ordering food should expect to use any of those terms "with a sense of pride." What's there to be proud about?

If someone is genuinely interested in not exploiting animals, my explaining that veganism isn't a diet shouldn't have an effect either way. I can't accept as a legitimate excuse, "I was gonna eat vegan food but someone told me veganism is about animals rather than my physique, so I started eating steak."
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#29 Old 08-31-2015, 02:15 PM
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If you're going to quote please do so correctly within your reply - i believe i stated "ethical dietary vegan" not "Dietary vegan".
Yes you did, And that was in the bit of my post that quotes you. You know, the bit in a box saying "quote"? In my discussion after that quote I was calling out using 'ethical' as an adjective to modify the phrase 'dietary vegan', which makes no sense. Unpack it, subbing the meaning of the the adjectives for the adjective itself. Dietary means 'primarily motivated by dietary considerations' Ethical means 'primarily motivated by ethical considerations. 'ethical dietary' would mean 'primarily for ethical primarily for dietary', which is nonsense. The two adjectives are mutually exclusive. Like 'tiny' and 'enormous'

If you assume that veganism is a diet plan, than 'ethical dietary vegan' would make sense (but still be redundant, this time on 'dietary'). But that's the point under contention. Requiring folks to concede the point before discussion isn't a good strategy for discussing the point.

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what a truly profound deduction.
If you would care to provide a counterfactual, I'd love to hear it. Tell me about the people who became Hindus from their lacto-veg diet. And the people who ate fish on Fridays and woke up one day with an unexpected belief in transubstantiation.

I could write more defending the reality that eating a vegan diet does not make one a vegan, but that's a topic for a seperate thread. Instead I'll assume the OP meant "who follows a vegan diet for (primarily) ethical reasons?" and answer "I do". I have friends who follow a vegan diet because it helps their weightlifting and other athletic endeavors. They don't call themselves 'vegans'.
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#30 Old 08-31-2015, 07:28 PM
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Yes you did.............
no i didn't - i said "ethical dietary vegan" not "Dietary vegan" & i don't care what you conveniently subbed out in order to misquote me for the benefit of trying to substantiate your rather verbose response(s)

'm trying to decide whether you're just a common compulsive 'showboater' or simply someone confused by the banality of their own rhetoric?
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