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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have asked this question already on a running forum (I like to do a little gentle jogging) to see the running point of view, but I would also like to see this side of the debate, too.

I went meat-free two months ago, mostly out of curiousity at the start. But I've found that I like the way I am losing weight, feel better, stronger, happier, the new tastes and flavours are AMAZING and of course, the ethics, too.

I am leaning towards going Vegan, but I have been told by a Vegan very, very close to me, that Veganism is about the ethics and any side effects are perks.

Now, whilst I will agree that I now find the idea of eating meat a little uncomfortable, I wasn't aware that I had to adhere to "rules" if I decide to go Vegan.

Surely, the end result, regardless of my motives, are the same?

I like the food, it's healthy, helps my sports, I like the ethics and as and if I were to live with a Vegan, given that I have gone this far, surely it would make sense that I make that final step?
Whilst I will have to admit that whilst my friend is a little militant now and again, I thought it was a little harsh to say that Veganism should be just about ethics.

I think this train of thought is a little unfair. If I chose to do it out of just health and taste issues, so what? True, I *do* like the ethics and I agree with them, but since when were there "rules"?

Your views would be appreciated.
 

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This issue has been debated a lot on these boards and you'll find that various vegans have various ideas about it.

Here's my opinion: Veganism is a set of practices, habits if you will, that may or may not be a praxis associated with an animal rights or other political philosophy. To me, it matters not why you are vegan, just that you are. (I'm pretty sure the animals don't care either.)

That said, being vegan is more than merely a diet. It's about refraining from using animal products in all areas of your life, as much as is practical and possible, for example avoiding leather, silk, wool, or fur as well as avoiding toiletries/cosmetics made from animals or tested on animals.

From the Vegan Society:
Quote:
Question: What is a vegan?
Answer: A vegan is someone who tries to live without exploiting animals, for the benefit of animals, people and the planet. Vegans eat a plant-based diet, with nothing coming from animals - no meat, milk, eggs or honey, for example. A vegan lifestyle also avoids leather, wool, silk and other animal products for clothing or any other purpose.
link: http://www.vegansociety.com/resource...---FAQs.aspx#8

Obviously, you can choose to eat a purely plant diet for any reason whatsoever. And you can choose to call yourself vegan even if others think you're not "vegan for the right reasons." It's up to you because it's your life and your personal identity.
 

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Vegans abstain from all products of animal exploitation for ethical reasons. In other words, we don't use leather, wool, silk, feathers, cosmetics, cleaners, or anything else with animal ingredients or animal testing. There are no health benefits to avoiding leather clothing and beeswax candles, just ethical motivations. It's not harsh. It's not even rules, since no one is forcing you to live your life that way. That's just how it is defined.
 

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Rules of being V:

1. Always stay loyal to Anna.

2. Never reveal your true identity to humans.

3. Present an image of yourself as wanting peace and harmony.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

Rules of being V:

1. Always stay loyal to Anna.

2. Never reveal your true identity to humans.

3. Present an image of yourself as wanting peace and harmony.
You're silly. I think I like you.
 

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I agree with what the others said... the issue, really, is that veganism is more than a diet. It's a lifestyle. You aren't a vegan if you're still using leather, wool, animal-tested toiletries, etc., even if you don't eat any animal products.

Now, I guess I would agree that anyone who does not eat, use OR wear any animal products is vegan, even if not ethically motivated, but it's hard to imagine why someone would abstain from ALL those things if not for ethics, since leather, wool, beeswax, etc., really have nothing to do with health.
 

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Six simple words a wise man said to me so many years ago.

Stood by me through all of life's changes.

The only advice I have to give is "Reasons, not rules, make us strong."
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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Originally Posted by ashlend View Post

I agree with what the others said... the issue, really, is that veganism is more than a diet. It's a lifestyle. You aren't a vegan if you're still using leather, wool, animal-tested toiletries, etc., even if you don't eat any animal products.

Now, I guess I would agree that anyone who does not eat, use OR wear any animal products is vegan, even if not ethically motivated, but it's hard to imagine why someone would abstain from ALL those things if not for ethics, since leather, wool, beeswax, etc., really have nothing to do with health.
Oh, don't get me wrong, I understand totally with what it all means.

But it's like my current situation. I don't eat meat and I don't drink milk or eat eggs. I don't call myself a vegetarian, as I'm not into labels. OK, I might fit that mold and if for the sake of convienience, it helps people "term" me, fine. I have no issue with that.

But like I have said before, I *DO* agree with the ethics of it all. I've done the reading, seen the films and documentaries and yes, I find the treatment of some animals absolutely abhorrant.

I just don't see why reaping the benefits in terms of health and taste, is such a bad thing.

I sometimes feel - probably wrongly - that some people who choose to call themselves Vegan are protective of their "club" and don't like outsiders joining in.

I realise that sounds a little obtuse, but I can only speak from what I have experienced myself.

I'm putting it down to the fact I've only been doing this for 2 months. I've barely even scratched the surface and I'm sure, in time, it'll open itself out to me much more.

In the meantime, I'm going to continue revelling in flavours I would never have had before and getting that warm and fuzzy feeling knowing I'm doing just a little bit to help out.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grubnutter View Post

Oh, don't get me wrong, I understand totally with what it all means.

But it's like my current situation. I don't eat meat and I don't drink milk or eat eggs. I don't call myself a vegetarian, as I'm not into labels. OK, I might fit that mold and if for the sake of convienience, it helps people "term" me, fine. I have no issue with that.

But like I have said before, I *DO* agree with the ethics of it all. I've done the reading, seen the films and documentaries and yes, I find the treatment of some animals absolutely abhorrant.

I just don't see why reaping the benefits in terms of health and taste, is such a bad thing.

I sometimes feel - probably wrongly - that some people who choose to call themselves Vegan are protective of their "club" and don't like outsiders joining in.

I realise that sounds a little obtuse, but I can only speak from what I have experienced myself.

I'm putting it down to the fact I've only been doing this for 2 months. I've barely even scratched the surface and I'm sure, in time, it'll open itself out to me much more.

In the meantime, I'm going to continue revelling in flavours I would never have had before and getting that warm and fuzzy feeling knowing I'm doing just a little bit to help out.
I think that's great! And I enjoy the health and taste benefits too. But I do agree with your friend, in that that's not my primary reason for doing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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Originally Posted by ashlend View Post

I think that's great! And I enjoy the health and taste benefits too. But I do agree with your friend, in that that's not my primary reason for doing it.
Not the primary reason, no.

But a FANTASTIC reason to possibly "clinch the deal" and embrace the lifestyle if you're not completely convinced at first.

::highfive:: ....don't you dare leave me hanging, here....
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

Rules of being V:

1. Always stay loyal to Anna.

2. Never reveal your true identity to humans.

3. Present an image of yourself as wanting peace and harmony.
OMG that is too funny!


And yeah, what everyone else said. Not really rules, just a definition. It's great that you're doing this for whatever reason, just do what feels right.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grubnutter View Post

Not the primary reason, no.

But a FANTASTIC reason to possibly "clinch the deal" and embrace the lifestyle if you're not completely convinced at first.

::highfive:: ....don't you dare leave me hanging, here....
Ha! ::highfive::
 

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You can certainly eat a vegan diet without being vegan. If you want to do it for health reasons, go right ahead - you're right, eating vegan is a great way to feel wonderful. Just be sure your diet is balanced, contains plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables,and that you supplement your B12.

Being vegan is certainly a state of mind that goes beyond diet. But there's no reason on earth why you can't enjoy a vegan diet and reap all it's benefits. As a matter of fact, many of us kind of slid into the rest of the vegan lifestyle once we found the diet itself so rewarding. Eating vegan will expand your awareness and I hope you try it!
 

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While there may be "rules" for some people, no one's following you around with a handbook noting every little thing you do and holding it before a committee. You do what feels good for you and know that however much of the vegan lifestyle you take on, you are in some way helping the overall cause. I'd rather know there are a bunch of vegans out there doing it their own way than just a handful carefully adhering to strict rules. No matter what anyone says, it's your body and your choices. Who cares why you're a vegan if it makes you feel good and it's helping the environment/economy/animals? You're doing it, that's all that matters.
 

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Nothing wrong with enjoying the health benefits. I'm doing it for the animals AND for my health. Just because I'm doing it for animals doesn't mean I'm going to live off of Boca burgers and vegan ice cream. If others choose to do so, it's their life.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

Rules of being V:

1. Always stay loyal to Anna.

2. Never reveal your true identity to humans.

3. Present an image of yourself as wanting peace and harmony.
Love it can't wait for next season!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grubnutter View Post

Oh, don't get me wrong, I understand totally with what it all means.

But it's like my current situation. I don't eat meat and I don't drink milk or eat eggs. I don't call myself a vegetarian, as I'm not into labels. OK, I might fit that mold and if for the sake of convienience, it helps people "term" me, fine. I have no issue with that.

But like I have said before, I *DO* agree with the ethics of it all. I've done the reading, seen the films and documentaries and yes, I find the treatment of some animals absolutely abhorrant.

I just don't see why reaping the benefits in terms of health and taste, is such a bad thing.

I sometimes feel - probably wrongly - that some people who choose to call themselves Vegan are protective of their "club" and don't like outsiders joining in.

I realise that sounds a little obtuse, but I can only speak from what I have experienced myself.

I'm putting it down to the fact I've only been doing this for 2 months. I've barely even scratched the surface and I'm sure, in time, it'll open itself out to me much more.

In the meantime, I'm going to continue revelling in flavours I would never have had before and getting that warm and fuzzy feeling knowing I'm doing just a little bit to help out.
I just posted on this too! I am doing first for the health benefits, and I am like you the ethics are there, but somethings take time to replace and remove from my life and to be told I am not good enough because I don't run through my house throwing things out because they don't fit the standard "rules" hurts. 1. I don't have the money to do so. 2. Some things were given to me by people who are very important to my life and it's more the sentimental feelings I am holding on too. (as some of those people have passed on)

What I have decided to do is keep what I have but as I need to replace things -replace them with things that follow more of the ethics I am looking to live by
 

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I don't think there's anything wrong with being vegan for the health benefits and dabbling in ethics. I certainly wouldn't back anyone that carries on about the 'rules' of being vegan. Sure, there's some things you have to refrain from by definition, but if you're eating a vegan diet and doing the best you can everywhere else (sometimes you can't avoid certain things, or they're impossibly impracticle..), that's fine by me. You're still doing a hell of a lot more good than you would be if you were, say, an "ethical omnivore", whatever your reasons. Bollocks to the vegan police, I say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
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Originally Posted by Mungbean View Post

Bollocks to the vegan police, I say.
First of all, massive Kudoes to you for being an American (I assume) and using "bollocks" correctly. I like that a lot!


This thread is pretty much confirming what I thought at first. It was only when a handful of vegan police pointed their fingers and said I shouldn't be doing it, as it was being "done for the wrong reasons", that I had my doubts and frankly, felt a little insulted.

Whilst I know I shall never be 100% hardcore vegan (I play cricket that uses a leather ball), I am at least TRYING.

Compared to how I lives, say, 3 months ago - chewing through countless steaks, eggs... the whole bit - I'm practically a different person. Mentally AND physically. Together with the odd bit of gentle jogging I do, my weight has plummeted 40 pounds. I feel fitter, healthier and happier.

But for someone to point their finger and say, "hey, but you're doing it for reason (a), not reason (b) - you're doing it wrong".... well, I honestly don't think it matters.

I was told that over the course of one year, a vegan - through diet alone - will save the lives of 100 animals. This doesn't include clothing, beauty products, etc. If I join those ranks, surely it doesn't matter. I doubt very much the animals care what the reasons are.

I'm told the an important word in the veg*n lifestyle is "compassion". Indeed, my friend want this tattooed somewhere about her person. How about extending that to people, too?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mungbean View Post

I don't think there's anything wrong with being vegan for the health benefits...
Vegan for what health benefits? I still haven't got an answer to the question of what sort of health benefits come from not wearing leather. I hate to sound like the vegan police, but it does get frustrating when people define veganism as a diet only.
 
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