One of the main reasons for starting this blog, apart from my desire to raise awareness of and to contribute to nonhuman animal liberation, was to connect with like minded people as well as to educate myself. I find that, while I was passionate about my beliefs, I do not have all the facts and am, like many of you, confused about the terms surrounding veganism.
What is the difference between going vegan and being vegan?
What does free range mean?
Should we really use the term vegan food instead of 100% plant based food?
Does one have to be vegan to eat vegan food?
Do people think of vegan food as a type of food, like Italian, or do they understand the belief behind the word?
What the heck is an ethical vegan? This sounds redundant to me.
Why is the language we use so important in the fight for nonhuman animal liberation?
When we approach veganism from a personal health perspective, are we being self serving?
These are some of the questions I continue to ask myself. I feel as if I know the answer to some of them-others, not so much. I feel so strongly, that if I want to be believable, I need to have some credible answers when questioned about being vegan. And I do mean questioned. I have had lots of interest in why I believe what I believe and why I do what I do. And let’s not forget how people justify their choices.
Where do you get your protein?
Aren’t nuts fattening?
How do you cook twigs and bark? (Yes, someone did say that to me!)
What do you make for your husband to eat? (as in, “Why are you depriving him of nonhuman animal meat and secretions?)
But the cows have to be milked.
I love to eat meat.
You must feel healthier. ( I always find this odd. If people know that eating a plant based diet is healthier, then why aren’t they doing it?)
Oh, right, you can’t eat chicken. (I can eat chicken, I choose not to.)
Free range is okay because the nonhuman animals are treated well.
Being vegan in a non-vegan world can be a lonely place. I don’t mean lonely in a personal sort of way, because I have a very full life filled with friends, family and kittens to love. Some are with me still and some are not. I have beautiful memories of the Diggity- dogs and kitty-cat in my life. I think of Bertha, Mac, Lucy ,Elfie, Baguette, Sal and Birdie all the time and wonder what fun they are having up there in doggie and kitty cat heaven. It goes without saying that those human people I have lost are always in my heart.
My mom’s canine friends and companions in life were Sal, Birdie and Daisy. She used to say that they listened to her. And I am sure that they did.
Sometimes, I feel lonely as a vegan because I do not have the opportunity to exchange ideas with many like minded people. There is my daughter and a former neighbor, but that is about it. So, I decided to branch out. I have connected with people on Facebook and on Twitter. Recently, I have found and friend-ed or follow several vegans who appear to be campaigning tirelessly for those nonhuman beings who are trapped in those cruel industries which cater to our own personal appetites. If you would like to do the same, check out The World Peace Diet, Jo-Anne McArthur, and Earth Friendly Choices, for example.
Annie’s Vegan View
1) I believe deeply in the freedom of all nonhuman animals.
2) I am striving to be a Vegan Warrior by becoming as healthy and strong as I can be.
3) I believe in treating people with compassion and respect when presenting my vegan message.
4) I am imperfect but dedicated.
6) I challenge daily the strength of my convictions and my understanding of the difference between a want and a need.
7) I believe that my personal space needs to reflect my convictions.
8) I believe in learning from others who have more experience and wisdom than I do and even from those who are angry and misguided.
9) I believe that the children of this world are the future of kindness, compassion and respect for all nonhuman animals.
Let us be a part of showing them the way.
May all beings be happy and free.
5 thoughts on “LEARNING ABOUT VEGANISM IN A NONVEGAN WORLD!”
I read your blog Auntie! I would love to see you answer some of those questions.
So great to hear from you. I am delighted that you are checking out my blog. So, that is a tall order-answering some of the questions. Some of them like language, I have touched on in a previous post.
But let’s take one of the questions and see how we get on.
What is an ethical vegan?
I f we look at the definition coined by Donald Watson in 1944, he says, The word “veganism” denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practical — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; …”
So, a person who eats only plant food, but wears leather, is not a vegan, even though many people will say that they are. I believe this is not an attempt to fool people, but really is just a lack of info on this issue. I was the a little bit the same when I started calling myself a vegan. As my understanding grew about what being vegan really means, I stopped exploiting nonhuman animals for any purpose.
So, if one is vegan in the truest sense of the word, one is following the ethics of what it means to be vegan and therefore is, by virtue of Donald Watson’s definition, an ethical vegan.
If one accepts the validity of the term ethical vegan, then it is deemed possible to be a vegan if all one does is follow a plant based diet. And this is not the case.
The term is meaningless and redundant and really should not be used, because it dilutes the message inherent in the definition of veganism.
Take care and keep the comments coming. Dialogue about this issue is so very important.
I love seeing all the pictures of our treasured non-human family members (past & present). It’s actually quite a gift to grow up with animals in the house (other than the usual human kind), and probably a very influential factor in developing compassion for species other than our own. After all – there is very little difference between a dog, a pig, and a cow 🙂
The first thought that I had when reading your comment is that “Some of my best friends have been and are nonhuman animals”. I remember sharing with Elfie the morning quiet after the commotion of getting everyone off to school and work. She would sit at my feet and when I was not looking would sit up and take a sip of my coffee and cow’s milk (not proud of that, but so glad I am not doing it anymore), even if it was too hot. I remember how Bertha who took, so seriously the responsibility of protecting my children from harm. And who could forget Mac who tried so hard to be loved by the lady dogs in his life only to be spurned at every turn. And Lucy was our scruffy devil may care dog. Baguette was such a sweet cat and let’s not forget my mom’s friends who helped to protect her heart.
I hope the compassion is there-maybe it just needs to be awakened.
I agree. Most of my best friends have been animals too. When I was growing up I found it very difficult to relate to people and confided in my cat Candy. She was and still is my soul mate. They understand our emotions more than people give them credit for. That I am certain of.