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#1 Old 06-10-2017, 01:24 PM
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Why have so many vegans forgotten what veganism is about?

Hello kind people,


This is a post that I hope many will gain a new perspective from or perhaps further cement one that you already had. I've been a vegan for about 2 years, and in this time I've began to work as an animal rights activist as well, giving speeches and educating others on as many occasions as I can. I'm a full time college student, so often it's difficult to manage such a busy schedule along with activism. However in the future I have plans to dramatically increase the time I devote to activism.

I've come to notice something with the "Vegan community" that is concerning to me, and I think it's something that needs to be hashed out and discussed before veganism becomes something which it should never be. I've been guilty of this myself from time to time, and so I can relate to the underlying psychology which causes it.


Veganism, to many people have become about food, and not ethics, though I don't think that people are aware that they are committing such a fallacy. Let me explain. As an example, I've seen vegans debating and obsessing endlessly about whether something as minor as white sugar is vegan since it's processed with bone char, usually from the bones of slaughtered cows. Now while I find this practice to be completely idiotic and unnecessary, it's not something that vegans should spend too much time thinking or talking about, and especially acting as if all vegans shouldn't consume white sugar or you're really not a vegan.

It's really this simple. By purchasing white sugar, or foods which contain white sugar as an ingredient, how many animals are being enslaved, exploited, or killed because of that purchase? ZERO. Even more, if everyone, non vegans included, stopped purchasing white sugar and only bought sugar that wasn't processed with bone char, how many slaughterhouses would close down? How many more animals would be saved from the animal agriculture system? ZERO. So why are vegans even spending time on this issue? If we acknowledge that since sugar processed with bone char is a by product of the meat industry, and that purchasing or not purchasing this product has no affect one way or the other on how many animals are bred into existence or killed, then we are admitting that it's not an ethical issue and that it in no way directly affects animals.

We are thus making veganism about food ingredients and not ethics and not about whether or not our food choices cause cruelty and exploitation to animals. Additionally we very well may be doing harm to animals because we make veganism out to be something in which one must have an obsession and walk around with a magnifying glass all day looking out for even the smallest ingredient in our food. Veganism is supposed to be a practical philosophy that we can all reasonably follow that is about saving animals, not an obsession and not a dogma centered around eating plants.

The meat industry does not slaughter cows so that they can remove the color from sugar and make it white, they do so simply because they try and get rid of and use every part of the animals body. As deplorable in principle as this is, we must realize that if it doesn't directly support exploitation and slaughter, it's not something that should be something we focus much attention on.

White sugar, as well as many other by products will disappear only when the main industries that breed and slaughter animals cease to exist. The fact that a breakfast cereal may contain white sugar, and thus it's considered off limits for vegans, is in my opinion completely absurd and completely straying from the root of veganism, which is ethics.

We don't need to be making following an ethical vegan lifestyle anymore difficult, especially if we want hundreds of millions or even billions of people to follow it. If we want veganism to be an elite cult, where one has to be constantly afraid that they might accidentally consume a micro amount of some by product, because if they do they'll be condemned by the vegan police, then this philosophy will not become mainstream.

I can assure you, the cows which as I write this are having knives shoved into their throats, don't care much about what they are doing with their bones after the fact. They care most about humans not supporting the main reason they are there to begin with.

Do you really think that if everyone stopped eating meat, that slaughterhouses would still be open just so that we can kill them and use their bones to make sugar white? The next time you see a truck transporting cows to a slaughterhouse so that they can use their bones to make sugar white, please let me know. Otherwise, I encourage all vegans to not have an obsession and stop making veganism about food, it's not. The truth of the matter is. The bowl of oatmeal that vegans eat for breakfast directly kills more animals, that does the white sugar they put in their oatmeal to sweeten it. Yet vegans without a thought buy and consume oatmeal, and yet nearly develop a mental disorder wondering whether or not white sugar is vegan when it directly kills or exploits not a single animal. The oatmeal doesn't contain or isn't processed with any animal products and so it is deemed vegan and yet thousands of small animals are unfortunately killed in the harvesting of wheat and other crops. Yet, white sugar simply because it is processed with an animal product is deemed not vegan even though it doesn't directly support or cause exploitation and cruelty to a single animal. So what is veganism about again? Food ingredients or ethics?


I apologize for any agitated undertone I may have while writing this. It simply frustrates me that billions of sentient beings are being killed each year, and yet vegans are focusing on something that literally is not even 0.0000001% of the problem, and making this infinitesimally small issue what defines veganism and whether or not someone is following a vegan diet.
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#2 Old 06-10-2017, 02:16 PM
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People who follow a vegan diet to reverse their heart disease or diabetes are avoiding more than animal products. They heavily restrict fats, processed foods, cooking oil and sugar. Their diets aren't veganism, but there are a lot of them and more all the time, and their diets probably spare at least as many animals as do people who are concerned about small animals killed in the oat harvest. And a huge reason that meat and dairy consumption are declining is that more omnivores are seeking out plant-based alternatives to meat. As you say, the animal doesn't care why, only whether, he'll be going under the knife. Which of course is a fallacy too, since every animal born into the system is going to be slaughtered for meat.

When you say veganism isn't about the food but about the animals, consider that more omnivores eating fewer animals results in fewer slaughter animals being bred. All meat avoidance contributes to the same outcome. Your argument against avoiding white sugar could apply equally to leather, gelatin, glue. Flesh is the primary product, and slaughterhouse by-product is a small percentage of the total carcass use. I agree with you about concentrating on the 90 percent of the trade that's concerned about the flesh itself. but I wouldn't be so selective over which slaughter by-products are correct to boycott and which are correct to keep using. That gets you into fertilizer (bone meal, blood meal, manure) territory as well, and veganic farming is not set up to feed the entire population. There are excellent health reasons for avoiding sugar. If people avoid it because of the bone char and end up losing weight and not contracting Type 2 Diabetes, that seems like a change to encourage.

Last edited by Joan Kennedy; 06-10-2017 at 02:20 PM.
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#3 Old 06-10-2017, 03:10 PM
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People who follow a vegan diet to reverse their heart disease or diabetes are avoiding more than animal products. They heavily restrict fats, processed foods, cooking oil and sugar. Their diets aren't veganism, but there are a lot of them and more all the time, and their diets probably spare at least as many animals as do people who are concerned about small animals killed in the oat harvest. And a huge reason that meat and dairy consumption are declining is that more omnivores are seeking out plant-based alternatives to meat. As you say, the animal doesn't care why, only whether, he'll be going under the knife. Which of course is a fallacy too, since every animal born into the system is going to be slaughtered for meat.

When you say veganism isn't about the food but about the animals, consider that more omnivores eating fewer animals results in fewer slaughter animals being bred. All meat avoidance contributes to the same outcome. Your argument against avoiding white sugar could apply equally to leather, gelatin, glue. Flesh is the primary product, and slaughterhouse by-product is a small percentage of the total carcass use. I agree with you about concentrating on the 90 percent of the trade that's concerned about the flesh itself. but I wouldn't be so selective over which slaughter by-products are correct to boycott and which are correct to keep using. That gets you into fertilizer (bone meal, blood meal, manure) territory as well, and veganic farming is not set up to feed the entire population. There are excellent health reasons for avoiding sugar. If people avoid it because of the bone char and end up losing weight and not contracting Type 2 Diabetes, that seems like a change to encourage.
Thank you for your response to my post. To your point about omnivorous eating, such a way of eating is not and cannot be considered truly ethical especially since we know that there is a much more effective and practical way to reduce animal suffering (veganism). Consuming white sugar, or even other by products doesn't have the same ethical weight as does someone for no logical or reasonable reason merely cutting back on products that directly cause animal exploitation and slaughter. I'm not sure how these two are even related in our discussion.

To your other point about my argument potentially being used in regards to other by products such as gelatin, glue, etc. You are absolutely right and this is a thought I'd have myself, and I've wondered if I could somehow get into dangerous territory with my argument. Let me ask you, where do you think that vegans should draw the line? In my own mind, I don't think that white sugar being a nearly meaningless issue condones someone going out of their way to buy leather or to buy products that contain animal by products. In my own personal opinion, I think it's rational for vegans to honestly and intentionally try to avoid all animal by products that they can, without it becoming an obsession or mental disorder to do so.

I'm sure all vegans would agree that it wouldn't be reasonable to not drive a car since car tires are partly made with animal by products, in fact even bicycle tires are. I will be the first to admit that it's an interesting grey area to say the least. I feel that there has to be a reasonable place for vegans to draw the line. In my own opinion, the white sugar issue seems to be pushing it, simply because there are thousands upon thousands of products that contain no animal products whatsoever, yet do contain white sugar, and I feel that demanding that these products be avoided for that one small thing can actually do more harm than good simply because it severely limits the amount of vegan products that people can obtain.

Most milk substitutes have refined sugar in them. Should we go around telling people not to drink almond milk because it has white sugar in it? Yet at the same time we are telling people to stop drinking cows milk for obvious ethical reasons. Recently I bought a box of Kashi cereal which was labeled as vegan, and yet had refined sugar in it. I don't feel that most people who are interested in becoming vegan, are willing or will feel able to avoid something simply because it has sugar in it and thus may be discouraged from attempting the lifestyle at all.

Personally, if I'm buying a bag of sugar, I'll buy sugar that wasn't processed with bone char, there are actually quite a few affordable sugar brands popping up that are bone char free. I do so, because I have the reasonable option of doing so. However if I'm buying a product that is "Accidentally vegan" and has sugar listed as an ingredient, I'll buy it even if it potentially is sugar that was processed with bone char. I don't feel that it's reasonable for our entire population to overnight start avoiding everything that has white sugar in it.

Again, I cannot say for sure where the line should be drawn. I feel that things such as gelatin are MUCH easier to avoid that something like sugar, and that it's not even in the same stratosphere. In my experience, most of the time when there are animal by products in something, they also contain the primary animal products as well, such as milk, cheese, meat, etc. However, the one common exception in my experience is sugar.

If people want to avoid white sugar for health reasons, then by all means go for it. If people want to avoid oil for the same reason, then why wouldn't I support that? I'm simply saying that in terms of ethics, obsessing about a by product isn't all that important in the entire scheme of things. Again, I would honestly like to hear where you think vegans should draw the line in terms of by products, it's certainly possible you can reshape the perspective I have.
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#4 Old 06-10-2017, 03:37 PM
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I forgot to mention, as a specific example. If you look at silk vanilla almond milk, one of the ingredients is "cane sugar". More than likely this is sugar processed with bone char since it's not organic sugar. There are countless vegans and also omnivores who are cutting back on or giving up milk who drink this as well, should we go around telling them to stop drinking it since it has white sugar in it? I feel there has to be some point where vegans draw the line. I can't say I'm an authority over veganism, and that only my opinion matters so I'm always open to hear the opinion of others.

I know that PETA, for example has often promoted "Accidentally vegan" foods such as cereals and potato chips that do have ingredients such as white sugar, vitamin D (from animals), and "Natural flavors" which could possibly be animal derived as well. I think there may be a difference between something being vegan in terms of food ingredients and something that is vegan in terms of it being ethically permissible for a vegan (the noun) to consume.

Just as in the same sense that a vegan doesn't have to have a road bike to survive, but they may do so for exercise or recreation, and yet the tires on the bike are produced with animal by products, should we tell them to not buy a road bike and just walk? If not, how is that any different than the sugar issue? I'm not saying that I necessarily have the answer, but I feel it's something worth talking about since a lot of people make such a big deal out of even the smallest amount of an animal by product.
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#5 Old 06-10-2017, 03:51 PM
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Actual vegans can weigh in more meaningfully than I can, but I’m more of a veganish vegetarian. I follow the diet nearly all the time, and my exceptions are never for meat. But I usually break vegan two or three times when I drive cross-country, which I do twice a year. And apparently my leather shoes, bags and belts and my old Persian rug are never, ever going to wear out. I think actual vegans do and should draw the line wherever they can personally sustain it. If they’re off meat, milk and eggs they can call themselves vegan as far as I'm concerned, even diet alone, and no matter why they're off animal products. I say this not because I don't care about animals, but because I do. Taking on more restrictions than they can sustain will drive some people right back to Whoppers and wings. I’ve seen it happen over and over again.

I think a practice like avoiding sugar is “accidentally healthful” the way Oreos can be “accidentally vegan.” We can disagree about whether doing something for your health (for example, are you living in service to others? How would your death impact them?) is an explicitly ethical action. But I think it certainly can be. If giving up animal products reduces the burden of your care on your country’s health system, it’s even altruistic. Contrasted with just eating yourself sicker and sicker until you need bypass surgery or a new heart, with dozens of expensive prescriptions all along the way.

The only people my age or older I know who take no medications are vegan. Seventy percent of our health care budget pays to treat chronic conditions that are considered preventable and even reversible. So if it became the norm to eat as health-minded vegans do, the strain on our national budget would shrink dramatically. To the point of the government, which pays most health costs, being able to pay for all public universities without raising taxes. And surely encouraging others to act in a way that brings down disease and extends lives has to be considered ethical! So that would be one ethical reason to just stand back and tacitly let it happen, this boycotting by conscientious vegans of sugar and processed foods that contain sugar.

About making a big deal out of something you consider trivial, like sugar processed with bone char: I think people have different coping mechanisms when they go to make a big lifestyle change. A lot of us do our dietary regimens best with clear boundaries. If I ate meat, that would be a lapse, and I'd feel horrible. If I ate a veggie burger that contained a quarter of an egg, that would be an indulgence. Seeing it as something I want to avoid instead of something I have to avoid actually makes it easier to avoid. Except on those summer drives between Virginia and Oregon. Just having clear in your mind what you mean to avoid and what you mean to restrict, that makes it easier for some of us to turn down food on the other side of whatever line we've drawn. When people know I mean it, they eventually stop waving it in front of my face. Likewise, some people who do best with clear boundaries do best to avoid sugar processed with bone char. I think once it gets down to fine points like sugar, vegans don't all need the same boundary.
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Last edited by Joan Kennedy; 06-11-2017 at 12:29 AM.
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#6 Old 06-10-2017, 06:57 PM
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Hello kind people,
This is a post that I hope many will gain a new perspective from or perhaps further cement one that you already had....
I've come to notice something with the "Vegan community" that is concerning to me, and I think it's something that needs to be hashed out and discussed before veganism becomes something which it should never be....
Veganism, to many people have become about food, and not ethics, though I don't think that people are aware that they are committing such a fallacy....
It's really this simple....
We are thus making veganism about food ingredients and not ethics and not about whether or not our food choices cause cruelty and exploitation to animals....
The meat industry does not slaughter cows so that they can remove the color from sugar and make it white, they do so simply because they try and get rid of and use every part of the animals body....
White sugar, as well as many other by products will disappear only when the main industries that breed and slaughter animals cease to exist....
We don't need to be making following an ethical vegan lifestyle anymore difficult, especially if we want hundreds of millions or even billions of people to follow it....
I can assure you, the cows which as I write this are having knives shoved into their throats, don't care much about what they are doing with their bones after the fact....
Do you really think that if everyone stopped eating meat, that slaughterhouses would still be open just so that we can kill them and use their bones to make sugar white? The next time you see a truck transporting cows to a slaughterhouse so that they can use their bones to make sugar white, please let me know....
I apologize for any agitated undertone I may have while writing this....
I think you make excellent points, vegan4peace. I have noticed similar examples myself.

Last edited by 121674; 06-10-2017 at 07:02 PM.
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#7 Old 06-10-2017, 09:29 PM
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Of course your right - it is about ethics and saving animals from cruel exploitation but people have to talk about food - and clothes and personal hygiene products etc and what is in them - we all still have to live in the world while trying to change that world and we don't want to be supporting the thing we are fighting while we do it.

Sugar producers in the Nth America could stop filtering sugar through charred bones now if they wanted too.

CSR refines its white sugar using activated charcoal made from coal.

North and South America do not - they use bones.

I agree it sounds petty to worry about it but where does it stop. Not using the bones won't stop the cattle industry, nor will not using the skins so do we say its ok to wear leather? Where do we draw the line? Meat farmers, dairy farmers chicken farmer etc have to have their businesses made unprofitable to stop them. So unprofitable that they can't even be propped up their governments. To do that I think we need to stop using everything they sell that makes money for them. For many people money talks louder than words but with business people words like "I won't buy your product because it has animal products in it" can talk very loud indeed, so you need to know what is in your food and how it was produced.

I think vegetarian and vegan food ingredients are important things to discuss to be successful at being a vegan (or vegetarian). Most of the newbies here ask about what the can eat to keep a healthy and interesting diet and still be vegan. The food has to be suitably nutritious and tasty and varied or you will get a lot of people just giving up regardless of their ethics. It's very hard for some people and talking about foods that are or are not vegan can be very helpful.
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#8 Old 06-11-2017, 02:03 AM
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I think sugar is so ubiquitous in the US that trying to trace the manufacturing process behind its every occurrence would be very difficult. Maybe (as Joanne Stepaniak suggests in Being Vegan) a prudent approach would be to "reduce our use of all types of sugar including sugary processed food and to train our taste buds to more fully appreciate the natural sweetness of fresh and dried fruits, grain sweeteners and other whole foods"?

A similar concern/problem for vegans could also apply when wanting to avoid vegetables grown using fertilisers of animal origin.

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#9 Old 06-11-2017, 03:13 AM
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A similar concern/problem for vegans could also apply when wanting to avoid vegetables grown using fertilisers of animal origin.

Lv

So true. It can be very difficult especially foe people who don't live in the city.

The thing is if it isn't talked about it doesn't get addressed. It comes down to being aware and just doing ones best.
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#10 Old 06-11-2017, 10:35 AM
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Of course your right - it is about ethics and saving animals from cruel exploitation but people have to talk about food - and clothes and personal hygiene products etc and what is in them - we all still have to live in the world while trying to change that world and we don't want to be supporting the thing we are fighting while we do it.

Sugar producers in the Nth America could stop filtering sugar through charred bones now if they wanted too.

CSR refines its white sugar using activated charcoal made from coal.

North and South America do not - they use bones.

I agree it sounds petty to worry about it but where does it stop. Not using the bones won't stop the cattle industry, nor will not using the skins so do we say its ok to wear leather? Where do we draw the line? Meat farmers, dairy farmers chicken farmer etc have to have their businesses made unprofitable to stop them. So unprofitable that they can't even be propped up their governments. To do that I think we need to stop using everything they sell that makes money for them. For many people money talks louder than words but with business people words like "I won't buy your product because it has animal products in it" can talk very loud indeed, so you need to know what is in your food and how it was produced.

I think vegetarian and vegan food ingredients are important things to discuss to be successful at being a vegan (or vegetarian). Most of the newbies here ask about what the can eat to keep a healthy and interesting diet and still be vegan. The food has to be suitably nutritious and tasty and varied or you will get a lot of people just giving up regardless of their ethics. It's very hard for some people and talking about foods that are or are not vegan can be very helpful.

Thank you for your reply to my post. I certainly agree that as vegans we have to talk about food and other products. I think you may have misunderstood what I meant when I said veganism is not about food. What I mean is that in principle, veganism is not about food, it's about anything that we do that causes exploitation, suffering, and death to animals. It just so happens that food is the number one reason for this, and because of this I think that vegans often times can assume that veganism is merely about something being animal derived or down to food ingredients. 99.9% of the time this is a fair assumption due to the nature of our world. More than likely if it's animal derived, it was acquired through animal exploitation and death. However, there are some grey areas, and also certain things that are animal derived that vegans will acknowledge is unreasonable for us to stop using in our current society. As a rather interesting example, I recall Gary Yourofsky mentioning in one of his speeches that he and I believe one of his friends has come across a dead cow that apparently died of natural causes, and he said that he could have had barbeque that night if he wanted to, implying he could have eaten the meat of that cow. Now while that wouldn't be considered vegan in terms of food ingredients, since it's animal derived, it in no way would contribute or cause animal suffering or exploitation. I think Gary understood this. It's important to realize however, that these are fringe cases, that are not normal or common, and thus why it's frequently left out of the vegan discussion. I think this however has sometimes caused vegans to look at an issue simply in terms of the origin of a food ingredient. In my particular post, I mentioned how white sugar in North America is processed with animal bones, and yet I don't see it as something that vegans should obsess over in order to avoid simply because it doesn't directly cause animal exploitation. I've heard vegans telling people a box of cereal isn't vegan, because it has white sugar, and yet they apparently don't realize that the wheat in the cereal caused more animal death and suffering than did the white sugar. One is deemed vegan due to it being processed with animal bones, and the other is considered vegan due to it not being derived in any way from animals and yet it does cause animal suffering. Therefore when we make such statements, we are making veganism about food ingredients and not ethics, and not animal suffering.

I am NOT saying that vegans should therefore go out of their way to buy animal by products which do not directly cause animal suffering. I think it's reasonable for vegans to avoid all animal products that we reasonably can, but do so without an obsession and without losing sight of the big picture. I feel that demanding that vegans avoid white sugar even when it's in something like almond milk, peanut butter, bread, etc is losing sight of the true meaning of veganism and the big picture, specifically for the reason stated previously. Personally, When I am buying a bag of sugar (which I rarely do), I purchase sugar which wasn't processed with bone char simply because I can reasonably do so. However, if I'm buying products that are otherwise vegan on all counts, save the fact that it may contain white sugar, I buy it without obsessing over it. As stated, it doesn't make much sense to have to avoid products that are 99.999% vegan, even though the vegan food ingredients actually cause more harm than the non vegan ingredients. If we all demanded that vegans avoid white sugar even in an ingredient list, thousands of food items that most consider to be vegan would now be off limits, severely limiting the amount of food that vegans can consume, especially those whom are new to the lifestyle. I don't intend on telling someone to stop drinking milk, and then when they go pick up a carton of silk vanilla almond milk, telling them they can't drink that either because it has white sugar in it. Anyway ,those are just my own thoughts.
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#11 Old 06-11-2017, 11:05 AM
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I really appreciate your input, and completely agree.
I find too many new vegans become so obsessed with the origin of foods they risk becoming overwhelmed by what they see fit to use. We get posts of anguish from people who realized too late their last meal was tainted by some form of animal by product, or just realized something was (or may be) from an animal by product, and cry their eyes out with guilt. Not helpful.

Everything dies, and everything lives because of death. More focus should be placed on reducing suffering, and killing, and less on the principled idea of avoiding extraneous by products.

To be totally real, isn't it more vegan to feed our relatives bodies to carnivores rather than fret over boiling bones for gelatin?
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#12 Old 06-11-2017, 12:36 PM
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I really appreciate your input, and completely agree.
I find too many new vegans become so obsessed with the origin of foods they risk becoming overwhelmed by what they see fit to use. We get posts of anguish from people who realized too late their last meal was tainted by some form of animal by product, or just realized something was (or may be) from an animal by product, and cry their eyes out with guilt. Not helpful.

Everything dies, and everything lives because of death. More focus should be placed on reducing suffering, and killing, and less on the principled idea of avoiding extraneous by products.

To be totally real, isn't it more vegan to feed our relatives bodies to carnivores rather than fret over boiling bones for gelatin?

Thank you for your kind reply. I too have seen the same thing, and have occasionally been a victim of it myself. It's what caused me to write about it to begin with. I eventually realized, that it's not reasonable for me or for most vegans to be perfect. This doesn't mean to be mediocre and make excuses to consume animal products, it simply means that when we extend our best effort, often times it's not reasonable to avoid every little thing such as white sugar, or those mysterious mono and diglycerides in bread that may or may not be from animals, and other such examples. The most important thing is that we make an HONEST effort to avoid these by products, but focus on avoiding the main causes of exploitation and harm of animals in food which is meat, dairy, eggs, honey, etc. Beyond that, all we can ask of ourselves and others is to do the best they can. In my experience it's not difficult to avoid most animal by products. However, it began to really frustrate me that I would occasionally consume something that may have been processed with animals or if I was consuming something such as mono and diglycerides and I simply didn't know the origin of it. The fact that a vegan may from time to time, out of practicality may consume an animal by product isn't that big of a deal when we look at the overall intention and goal of veganism. Thankfully, it's actually getting easier and easier to even avoid these smaller by products, as more dedicated vegan products are coming out. I think that as more and more people choose this way of living, these annoying by products will begin to be phased out and then it won't even be an issue. Because of that, I hope it's something that vegans can do their best not to obsess about.

I know of one animal rights advocate (Gary Francoine) who goes as far as to say that Vegans shouldn't eat fries in a non vegan restaurant if the fries were cooked in oil that was also used to cook animal products, and claims that if we "take morality seriously" we simply won't eat it. Again, going back to my previous point, this is turning veganism into an obsession and not a practical philosophy centered around ethics. Sharing equipment or cooking fries in "Contaminated" oil at a non vegan restaurant does not support animal exploitation or cruelty in anyway. How many more animals are saved, or killed, because of us choosing to order fries at a non vegan restaurant? None. At least not from the act of cooking the fries on oil. Ironically, the potatoes used to make the fries are responsible for more animal and insect deaths than does the act of frying them in contaminated oil, and yet such people focus on the oil when it involves no exploitation and death. Again, the definition of veganism in these grey areas is being changed from ethics, to simply food ingredients or whether something of animal origin may have contaminated it. I cite this example not to say we shouldn't avoid animal by products, but to say that we shouldn't obsess about them if there are some instances where it's not reasonable to avoid them.
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#13 Old 06-11-2017, 12:58 PM
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I agree that not eating animals is more important than sugar issues.

If eliminating eating animals (and perhaps dairy) would eliminate use of by products in sugar, however, it does NOT logically follow that using vegan sugar has no impact on animal suffering. Any extra revenue stream that the industry can get might increase profits and therefore lead to more animals being killed. If they lose the money from the by products, then they would have to sell the meat itself at a slightly higher price in order to make a profit, and that would likely mean that people would choose to eat slightly less meat, which means less animal suffering, and a slightly vegan world. This is probably a very small effect, so I agree we shouldn't be focusing on it, but we shouldn't think of it as zero, because it probably isn't.

Also, found this:
https://www.peta.org/living/food/is-sugar-vegan/
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#14 Old 06-11-2017, 03:38 PM
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Thank you for your reply and thoughts. You made some great points. I do think that perhaps in a small way even these by products do support financially industries which profit off of using animal products, such as gelatin, etc. Certainly, in terms of principle, I think that vegans should avoid as much as they reasonably can, giving money to companies that use animal products and by products, simply because they do support the main industries of exploitation even if it's by purchasing these "left over" substances from slaughter. However, I think that in order for veganism to be a practical philosophy, we have to draw the line somewhere. Where exactly that line is, is certainly something worth discussing. This is why for example, I do buy sugar without bone char when buying it by the bag, but I don't worry about buying products that list "sugar" as an ingredient. I feel it's unreasonable to avoid countless vegan products, including common ones like almond milk because of this one thing. I don't think of it as being meaningless, just as I don't think of there being animal products in my car tires as being meaningless, I just feel that I can only do so much, and that vegans need to be able to maintain a basic quality of life and sanity for this way of living to become mainstream.

Speaking of bone char free sugar, a new brand I've been seeing a lot lately is called Zulka I believe, it's a rather inexpensive (2 dollars a bag) sugar that is "bone char free" and even advertised as such, this is what I personally buy when buying sugar. It's actually been flying off the shelves where I live, so that's a great thing.
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#15 Old 06-11-2017, 09:20 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2016
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One thing I think is good to point out is that there is no demand for sugar processed with bone char, only sugar. On the other hand, there is a demand for non-food animal products, such as leather.
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