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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before making a judgement upon my argument because I use the word "moralistic," which some people do not know the meaning of and have mistaken for a grammatical flaw, look up or read the definition of it for yourself.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/moralistic

Definition of MORALISTIC
1
: characterized by or expressive of a concern with morality
2
: characterized by or expressive of a narrow moral attitude

It appears that I am mostly referring to definition number 2.
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I have been noticing a type of mindset going around that I think hurts our cause more than helps it. The mindset of "You're not vegan if you eat honey. You're not vegan if you consume refined sugar. You're not vegan if you eat such and such blah blah blah." Now of course I know not all vegans are so picky towards other vegans but I have been noticing that this has been going around.

Let's get something straight, of course we want vegans to exclude animal ingredients as far and "practical and possible." but at the same time, we all have our own different lines to draw. That doesn't necessarily mean any of us are less vegan than another.

"You're not vegan if you eat honey!" While there is no problem expressing your opinion on the matter that vegans "shouldn't" eat honey, I think there are bigger problems that need to be addressed rather than if a vegan eats honey when they avoid pretty much everything else animal based.

"You're not vegan if you consume refined sugar!" Yes, I have had this one thrown at me, and I find it rather insulting. And I assume any other person that does the same would. I try hard to be diligent and sincere with my veganism but at the moment refined sugar is the least of my worries. The whole "bone char thing" will go away once factory farming does. Plus, at this time, it would be harder for my family to shop for things if they couldn't get me anything that didn't use "vegan" sugar, which is a lot of things that I currently eat. At this point it's just comfortable for me right now to not worry about the sugar issue. It's not like I go to the store and go "Ohh joy!! I'm going to eat things that might contained sugar refined with bone char!! Goody goody
!" No.


If we keep using the "you're not vegan if..." mindset, then everyone here would not be vegan. It seems like every vegan here is "okay" with using a computer that might have "animal based glue," but it is possible that there is another vegan out there that chooses not to use computers. Wouldn't they be entitled to say "You're not vegan if you use computers with animal based glue!" To them, if they can live without their computers, then every other vegan should be able to, and if they don't..."they aren't vegan." After all, we are talking about excluding ALL animal products as far as "possible!" I certainly am not going to stop using my computer, even if it has animal based glue, and I don't expect anyone else to.

In the end, it's really a "1-up" game. Where some just want to feel like they are "more vegan" than someone else because then they feel like they are somehow "better morally."

Our energy would be better directed towards opening omnivores minds towards veganism, rather than belittling our own kind. Some people, whether omni, veg, or vegan really are earnestly trying to make compassionate choices but are struggling due to some situation, it's nobody's place to make it even harder by calling them out on the small things. If we are going to get more omnis or vegetarians looking towards veganism, we have to congratulate the small steps they do in choosing to live more compassionately, but we can't do that if we are picking on vegans for eating honey :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
LOL that was a quick response? What like a minute after I posted xD. Not quite sure I fully understood what you said though. o.o
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4everaspirit View Post

LOL that was a quick response? What like a minute after I posted xD. Not quite sure I fully understood what you said though. o.o
i was just pointing out my annoyances with vegans as well as anyone else. and yes, they often come across condescending. at least on here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cool, thanks for clarifying
I understand where you are coming from
 

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This is a real dead horse sorta subject here, but i must say that as someone who doesn't believe honey to be vegan, it's not (for many) about one upmanship in any way. Easily 100 times I've posted on this board about my support for anyone who chooses to consume less meat/animal products. Lots of folks I know eat local honey or cultivate their own hives. it's really not that big of a deal to me, but maintaining a definition of veganism that excludes obviously animal products is important. Vegetarians who decry those who are "fish eating vegetarians" aren't labeled as bitchy or self-righteous, yet vegans who struggle with the same issue are obnoxious or being too strict? That's just silly.

Now, there are lots of grey areas: medicines are almost always tested on animals, people get non-vegan gifts or have previously owned non-vegan items. Zoos, feeding cats and on and on. Honey that comes out of a bee's gut = pretty simple to classify as an animal product.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamJen View Post

This is a real dead horse sorta subject here, but i must say that as someone who doesn't believe honey to be vegan, it's not (for many) about one upmanship in any way. Easily 100 times I've posted on this board about my support for anyone who chooses to consume less meat/animal products. Lots of folks I know eat local honey or cultivate their own hives. it's really not that big of a deal to me, but maintaining a definition of veganism that excludes obviously animal products is important. Vegetarians who decry those who are "fish eating vegetarians" aren't labeled as bitchy or self-righteous, yet vegans who struggle with the same issue are obnoxious or being too strict? That's just silly.

Now, there are lots of grey areas: medicines are almost always tested on animals, people get non-vegan gifts or have previously owned non-vegan items. Zoos, feeding cats and on and on. Honey that comes out of a bee's gut = pretty simple to classify as an animal product.
My sentiments exactly. Well said.
 

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I think they eat is mostly for health reasons, as they see it as more natural than other types of sugar. It's not vegan, though.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamJen View Post

This is a real dead horse sorta subject here, but i must say that as someone who doesn't believe honey to be vegan, it's not (for many) about one upmanship in any way. Easily 100 times I've posted on this board about my support for anyone who chooses to consume less meat/animal products. Lots of folks I know eat local honey or cultivate their own hives. it's really not that big of a deal to me, but maintaining a definition of veganism that excludes obviously animal products is important. Vegetarians who decry those who are "fish eating vegetarians" aren't labeled as bitchy or self-righteous, yet vegans who struggle with the same issue are obnoxious or being too strict? That's just silly.

Now, there are lots of grey areas: medicines are almost always tested on animals, people get non-vegan gifts or have previously owned non-vegan items. Zoos, feeding cats and on and on. Honey that comes out of a bee's gut = pretty simple to classify as an animal product.
said it better than i could have
 

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Quick question, how long have you been vegan? I ask because you are sounding like a wound up, bossy vegan that would also get on my nerves, no offense.

"Let's all get along" is a nice thought in theory but not realistic. You've got to learn how to tune out the annoying people and live and let live.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4everaspirit View Post

I have been noticing a type of mindset going around that I think hurts our cause more than helps it.
Prove it.

A lot of people like to make claims like this. But the reality is that there's absolutely NO proof whatsoever that promoting a super-strict definition of veganism is harmful.

It might be less effective than promoting a flexible definition. Or it might not be effective at all in encouraging people to adopt a plant-based diet or eat fewer animals. But those are different claims than the claim of counterproductivity.

And even those claims require some proof. Otherwise, it's just meaningless, useless hot air.

Quote:
Let's get something straight, of course we want vegans to exclude animal ingredients as far and "practical and possible." but at the same time, we all have our own different lines to draw. That doesn't necessarily mean any of us are less vegan than another.
Personally, I agree with you. For the most part. I think that self-identity is a very complex thing. There are a lot of ways in which self-identity can conflict with the identity others give you: gender, religion, and race are key examples of this because they vary by culture and sub-culture. Anyway, the point is that self-identity is tricky so I do agree that there's not much reason to call out beegans for "lying" about their self-identity.

Quote:
"You're not vegan if you eat honey!" While there is no problem expressing your opinion on the matter that vegans "shouldn't" eat honey, I think there are bigger problems that need to be addressed rather than if a vegan eats honey when they avoid pretty much everything else animal based.
I agree that there are much larger problems than honey, however I've noticed that a lot of beegans actually don't think that insects are animals - at all. They literally don't understand that bees are animals. And so, there's a basic way in which they misunderstand veganism and reality in general. That's kind of a big deal. And while it's not worthy of huge heated rude internet debates, it is worthy of a chat.

Quote:
If we keep using the "you're not vegan if..." mindset, then everyone here would not be vegan. [...]

In the end, it's really a "1-up" game. Where some just want to feel like they are "more vegan" than someone else because then they feel like they are somehow "better morally."
I agree with other posters here that one-upmanship is not the main motivator for most vegans who argue against honey or bone char sugar or other issues. I hate to speculate about people's motives when I haven't got much to go on. I think it's rude. And I think it leads to all kinds of miscommunications. In general, it's best to take everyone's words in the most charitable light possible.
Quote:
Our energy would be better directed towards opening omnivores minds towards veganism, rather than belittling our own kind. Some people, whether omni, veg, or vegan really are earnestly trying to make compassionate choices but are struggling due to some situation, it's nobody's place to make it even harder by calling them out on the small things. If we are going to get more omnis or vegetarians looking towards veganism, we have to congratulate the small steps they do in choosing to live more compassionately, but we can't do that if we are picking on vegans for eating honey :p
I agree that's a better way to spend our time.

But I also want to caution against arguing that vegans are somehow responsible for anyone's backsliding. It may be easy to point a finger at infighting or at a bit of hostility in the vegan community regarding the definition of veganism as the reason for someone's choice to remain omnivorous or to reject the vegan label.

But vegans are not problem! The problem is a society in which it is so easy to reject veganism. The problem is a society where hurting animals is so commonplace that it's acceptable to blame vegans for someone's failure to act compassionately and spare animals' lives!
 

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The way I see it, we get a lot of posts about way "a lot" of vegans act, and how it effects the perception of veganism/the vegan "cause"... but at the end of the day, you don't know how people react. So some people might see a strict vegan with strict ideas about what is and isn't vegan and be turned off, someone else might see a flexible vegan and think they're being hypocritcal and be turned off by that... but in reality most people you meet will just see you as you, not as a walking talking vegan promotion.
 

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Perhaps 'moralistic' is the wrong word to use in this instance...

I am a vegan as of now and to be honest I do not obsess over trace ingredients but would agree that honey is most definitely not vegan.

I do think that obsessing over trace ingredients hurts us more than helps us.
 

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How is picking apart vegans for what they say to other vegans any different than vegans picking apart others vegans for what they eat?

I feel like the "politeness police", or "unity police" are a far bigger problem than the "vegan police", both on this forum and every ****ing place I go. I hear a lot of, "vegans shouldn't preach so much", "vegans think they are morally superior." Seems to me that people generally just what vegans to stfu, both inside and outside of the movement.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazyeeqen View Post

How is picking apart vegans for what they say to other vegans any different than vegans picking apart others vegans for what they eat?I feel like the "politeness police", or "unity police" are a far bigger problem than the "vegan police", both on this forum and every ****ing place I go. I hear a lot of, "vegans shouldn't preach so much", "vegans think they are morally superior." Seems to me that people generally just what vegans to stfu, both inside and outside of the movement.
Great question and I agree with you 100%.
 

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More ways than not, I agree that the issue is a dead horse. But there are reasons it keeps coming up from new vegans, and I don't think they're being dumb. I think a lot of the questions about the practice come from similar thought processes. Disclosure for people who don't know me here: I'm not vegan, a vegetarian who nearly always eats as a vegan. This would not be my issue in any case, as maple syrup and raw sugar work so well whenever something needs sweetening.

1. People are used to thinking of honey as a plant product, nectar which has been further processed by an animal.

2. The orchard products vegans eat are more and more fertilized by trucked-in bees, nearly exclusively in some pretty vast regions, and I've rarely seen this brought up as a vegan issue. If a vegan can eat the apples those bees were exploited to fertilize, why not the honey those same bees would drown in if it weren't being periodically drawn off.

3. Even while knowing that bees are animals, a new vegan might not have gotten to the point of considering the insect kingdom as sentient, able to suffer, and worthy of consideration. It's hard to extend enormous empathy to bees alone, out of all insects, if you're still swatting mosquitos, poisoning cockroaches, killing the fleas and ticks on your dog, and spraying insecticides at flies. I think treating insects as fellow beings is something that usually happens further along in the process than cutting out eggs and dairy, if you're eliminating things one at a time. But once a person has eliminated eggs and dairy as well as meat and fish, they meet what many consider the minimum requirement for being considered vegan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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Originally Posted by AspireToInspire View Post

Quick question, how long have you been vegan? I ask because you are sounding like a wound up, bossy vegan that would also get on my nerves, no offense.

"Let's all get along" is a nice thought in theory but not realistic. You've got to learn how to tune out the annoying people and live and let live.
I have been vegan for 2 years. I have no idea how you would classify me as bossy. Far from it. I'm merely pointing out what I have seen that may affect us negatively and suggestions for fixing it. We can all get along if we want to, or we can all choose to belittle each other to feel "better" about ourselves. I was just hoping to maybe bring out some realization for people that choose to belittle others.
 

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A big contributor the problem of a simple topic of discussion ('would this be considered vegan?') becoming a big contentious issue is the topic being changed from WHAT to WHO. Discuss abstract actions, not people. Problem solved. If someone is doing A, which is a very unvegan thing to do, a response of 'vegans don't do A' is preferable to 'you're not vegan because you did A'. Yet again and again personal judgements are made rather than focusing on what is actually happening. (This is equally applicable to the folks making 'you're too vegan' claims.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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Originally Posted by kazyeeqen View Post

How is picking apart vegans for what they say to other vegans any different than vegans picking apart others vegans for what they eat?

I feel like the "politeness police", or "unity police" are a far bigger problem than the "vegan police", both on this forum and every ****ing place I go. I hear a lot of, "vegans shouldn't preach so much", "vegans think they are morally superior." Seems to me that people generally just what vegans to stfu, both inside and outside of the movement.
I made it clear that I know not "all" vegans think they are morally superior, however, even by me suggesting that quite a few are, it doesn't mean I actually want vegans to be quiet. Quite the opposite. We all need to stand up for the compassionate lifestyle. I was merely suggesting that it might be better if., for some, our approach was a little more "considerate." If vegans pick apart other vegans for small different lines they walk, who's to say they wouldn't be picking apart omnivores who are just starting to open up more to compassionate living? That certainly won't make them feel anymore "welcome" to the cause.
 
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