Can anyone relate?

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Mad Bard
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Please read before commenting. Please do not comment if all you have to say is that I'm "narrow" or "judgemental" or "need therapy." Please do not comment to make a case for why your unethical behaviour is valid.


3. People in your life mistake veganism for a plant-based diet and it drives you crazy but you don't know what to do about it without literally alienating half the people in your life.
The first comment here suggests you just want us to agree with everything you say so I wonder what you are doing on a public forum.

The reason the second happens is simple. When the term vegan was coined by Donald Watson, the founder of the vegan society, it was purely about diet and not specifically about ethics. The Vegan Society was taken over by animal rights extremists who spitefully removed Watsons membership of his own society and arbitrarily changed the definition of vegan. However, by that time, the original definition was so ingrained in the minds of people, many of whom were vegan before you were born, that it has stuck and continues to this day. With language, even when new definitions occur, the original definition is still valid as long as it is in common usage, therefore it is perfectly valid to refer to yourself as a vegan if you avoid animal foods for environmental or health reasons or any other reason and the now corrupt Vegan Society, once a genuine information charity and now a supplement business, have no say in the matter. They have not stopped proving that they care more about animals than people since they did the disgusting thing to Watson.
 

edde

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7. You feel overwhelmed by the vastness of animal abuse and exploitation - in every area of your life, it's there. The numbers are beyond comprehension. And it seems like everyone's okay with it.
Here, animal abuse is on another level. You walk on the streets and find skinned, burnt and injured dogs. And this has been normalized so much that I as a vegan cannot even pat these street dogs because they are too afraid of humans.
 

silva

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1. You hear someone's vegan and get really excited, only to hear that they support leather/honey/wool/eggs etc. You then feel let down and angry that they call themselves vegan when they're not; and if you have the audacity to call them on it, they lecture you on being judgemental and how everyone should be able to say what's vegan for them.
Yeah, I don’t like the term “perfect vegan.” You’re either vegan or you’re not. As a vegan I make mistakes. I learn from them, I try to do better. I went to have my nails done (at a non-vegan salon) and remembered to bring my own polish, but totally forgot about the moisturiser, sanitiser, polish remover, and cuticle oil (it had been awhile). They were probably tested on animals. They may have contained animal fat, honey, etc. Next time I don’t go to a vegan salon, I’ll be bringing my own products. Too often though, I hear people using that as an excuse to knowingly support animal abuse. I find that disappointing.

No one likes to admit it, but when it comes down it, supporting animal abuse almost always amounts to choosing personal pleasure or convenience over someone else’s life. The same choice is made by rapists and child molesters. If their pleasure is not an excuse to violate someone else’s life, why is our pleasure a valid excuse to violate the animals’ lives?
People have all kinds of reasons/excuses why they still use non vegan items, it can range to simply not caring, but often a matter of economics.
Is supporting a business that survives on selling products not only of animals, but are still currently tested on animals, a need? Isn't bringing your own supplies to pay them to use on you much like buying non vegan foods and throwing out the animal products?

Be careful of judgement.
 

chickenmammalove

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Here, animal abuse is on another level. You walk on the streets and find skinned, burnt and injured dogs. And this has been normalized so much that I as a vegan cannot even pat these street dogs because they are too afraid of humans.
That is terribly sad.
 

chickenmammalove

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Never revealed to anyone that I am vegan. Not many people here know what even that means. They think that I avoid meat and the like because of health reason(s) or religious belief(s).
Definitely. I was genuinely surprised at how few people here on a vegan forum don't know what veganism means or refuse to acknowledge what it means because it threatens their personal interpretation. It seems to me that they would like to call themselves vegan to feel good about themselves, but aren't actually prepared to do the work or make the sacrifices required to actually be vegan.

I think labels and definittions are helpful. I could probably, by some peoples' standards, say I've been vegan my whole life, but I know I've really only been vegan for three years.

From birth, I was raised plant based. We only regularly consumed honey and tuna, and only had them a couple times a month. We didn't keep any other meat, dairy, or eggs in the house. Outside of the home, we were allowed to eat meat if we chose to. This ended up amounting to meat consumption once a month or so. We did, however, wear and craft with animal products. We used a lot of wool and beeswax. We used leather and fur. We went to the zoo, rode horses, and our dogs and cats were from breeders. Although we sometimes called ourselves vegan, we were not.

At age 10, I started transitioning to becoming fully vegetarian. I went from eating non-fish meat monthly, to three times a year, although I ate seafood more frequently. By age 14, I'd become vegetarian. Although I also ate little dairy or eggs (due to allergies), I still was not vegan. I had not changed my behaviour for ethical reasons. I still supported wool, leather, beeswax, etc.

As an adult, I went fully plant based for health reasons. As my dairy intolerance had reduced, I started eating a lot more of it to the point that it was causing severe eczema. I stopped consuming dairy and eggs completely (I was already vegetarian). I still did not consider myself vegan. I had no ethical connction to these choices. I still supported animal abuse and exploitation in clothing, cosmetics, and entertainment. I had no ethical quandary with others supporting meat, dairy, or eggs, even though I no longer partook in them.

It wasn't until several months after going plant based that I finally aligned with veganism. The ethical connection clicked. I finally understood why it was wrong to support industries which exploited and abused animals. I started to care about taking the time to learn where my products came from and how they were made. I started to care about what others supported. It was painful to witness loved ones supporting animal abuse and exploitation. I cared more about another animal's life than my own pleasure or convenience. That makes all the difference in the world.
 
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chickenmammalove

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Not actually cry. But it usually feels like hell. I sometimes walk past slaughterhouses. Such places stink death, the workers all bloody. Surprisingly, carnists flock these slaughterhouses for cheap, fresh meat. The last time I walked past a slaughterhouse, I witnessed a bull in panic trying to escape but with nowhere to escape through.
Hell on earth sounds anout right. It's hard to understand how we, as a species, can be so unbelievably cruel.
 

chickenmammalove

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Funny though. I used to be this way when I was a newbie "vegan". That is why the term Vegan Journey exists. It is a learning process, indeed.
This is true, to some extent. I definitely learnt a lot after going vegan. I didn't know about alcohol, horse riding, zoos, wool, bee products, or leather in the beginning. I think it's fine for there to be a learning curve and still identify as vegan. Especially if it's new. There is a lot to learn. However, I think one has to be open to learning and changing. Too many people identify as vegan, but continue to support animal abuse and exploitation and refuse to acknowledge it or change their behaviour. That's my main issue. Of course, I'm happy for anyone to reduce her participation in these things. I'm happy when someone announces he's giving up dairy or fur, or eating plant based once a day. But I think it's confusing when we have people claiming they're vegans, when they're not really vegans. I was confused before going vegan for that very reason. Because so many people had different definitions, I didn't really know what it meant and it was a barrier to my becoming vegan.
 

Tom L.

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......... When the term vegan was coined by Donald Watson, the founder of the vegan society, it was purely about diet and not specifically about ethics. The Vegan Society was taken over by animal rights extremists who spitefully removed Watsons membership of his own society and arbitrarily changed the definition of vegan. However, by that time, the original definition was so ingrained in the minds of people, many of whom were vegan before you were born, that it has stuck and continues to this day.

I'm not a vegan historian, but that surprises me. I always thought the only reason for avoiding fur, wool, leather, etc would have been to avoid exploiting animals (or in the case of leather, to avoid giving a bit of extra profit to those raising animals primarily for meat). Perhaps my source had it wrong- but I once read that Watson believed (ovo-lacto)-vegetarianism didn't go far enough if your motive was to avoid harming animals. So when he coined the term "vegan", he said this new philosophy was "the beginning and the end of vegetarianism".
 
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Lou

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This is just my opinion but ...
I don't think it does anyone any good to make the term vegan less inclusive.
Other vegans have told me that I am not vegan enough. or that so-and-so isn't a real vegan because (fill-in-the-blank). But I don't see how that does any good. it certainly doesn't benefit any animals - which is the whole point.
Lots of people find veganism more than a little difficult. (just look at some of the posts here). But shouldn't real vegans be more interested in making veganism look easier.. Maybe not so full of rules and prohibitions but just more about compassion. So in the end, (IMHO) what does it matter what someone calls himself.
I know I will be crizised for watering down the definition of vegan. but if you look carefully at the modern definition of veganism its is mostly about "intent". So in broad strokes if you want to self identify as a vegan, you can.
Its hard if not impossible to be 100% vegan. so mostly we are quibbling on details. Is 99% good enough. How about 98%? If you just calculate based on impact, even an "almost vegan" must be over 85%.
I think vegans are the only group of people who worry about these kind of details. You don't stop being a Catholic if you miss a mass. Although to contradict everything I said, you probably aren't a Catholic or at least a good Catholic if you murder a priest. :)
 

Tom L.

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.......It wasn't until several months after going plant based that I finally aligned with veganism. The ethical connection clicked. I finally understood why it was wrong to support industries which exploited and abused animals. I started to care about taking the time to learn where my products came from and how they were made. I started to care about what others supported. It was painful to witness loved ones supporting animal abuse and exploitation. I cared more about another animal's life than my own pleasure or convenience. That makes all the difference in the world.
It used to surprise me when someone wrote or said that they embraced vegan philosophy after they had started to avoid products of animal exploitation for some other reason... but it doesn't surprise me so much anymore. I'm not 100% certain, but I think that when someone is heavily exposed to meat, etc from an early age, it makes it harder for them to confront what animals must endure for that. If some non-ethical factor nudges them away from using animal-derived things, whatever suppressed feelings they had for animals are free to grow.
 
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VeganDawn

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As a vegan, I regularly have these experiences...just wondering whether I'm the only one.

Please read before commenting. Please do not comment if all you have to say is that I'm "narrow" or "judgemental" or "need therapy." Please do not comment to make a case for why your unethical behaviour is valid.

1. You hear someone's vegan and get really excited, only to hear that they support leather/honey/wool/eggs etc. You then feel let down and angry that they call themselves vegan when they're not; and if you have the audacity to call them on it, they lecture you on being judgemental and how everyone should be able to say what's vegan for them.
2. You have nightmares about animal torture. Gas chambers, electrocution...and wake up wondering how we can live in a world where this is considered normal, legal, and perfectly fine.
3. People in your life mistake veganism for a plant-based diet and it drives you crazy but you don't know what to do about it without literally alienating half the people in your life.
4. People think you're extreme for wanting to go out of your way to not contribute to animal abuse, and you wonder how we can live in a society where that's considered the extreme behaviour.
5. You feel like honest discussions about veganism are taboo, and worry about bringing up the topic for fear of losing friends, family, or even your job.
6. You cry when walking past animal corpses at the market.
7. You feel overwhelmed by the vastness of animal abuse and exploitation - in every area of your life, it's there. The numbers are beyond comprehension. And it seems like everyone's okay with it.

Can anyone here relate? I know that not everyone here is vegan. I know that there people here who call themselves vegan whilst still contributing to animal abuse and exploitation. To those groups, this isn't a personal attack; this is also not an invitation to validate or defend yourselves - this isn't about you or for you. I've posted here before looking for solidarity - hoping to hear from people who could relate to my experience, only to have people call me judgemental, overly emotional, in need of therapy, narrow minded, etc. Hence my post in bold. For those vegans who go by the vegan society definition, who can relate to what I'm talking about, who don't knowingly contribute to animal abuse or exploitation - I would love to hear from you! It would be so nice to know I'm not the only one, and to talk to others who experience these things, as well.
Of course. I create my own bubble and do my own part. Waste of energy. Can't wake people up if they aren't ready and enjoying the dream. We ere asleep once.