Ecology, biodiversity and veganism

nagev

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Hi, I have recently become fully vegan. I was almost there for a long time but now I have decided that there is no time to lose!


So far I feel healthy and calm, generally great! However, everyone is asking me endless questions about my diet, my lifestyle. Why? What about this? What about creatine etc etc...

It is getting very tiresome, I am reading lots but as this is new to me I am still learning my own position and I feel bad whenever I fail to put forward a compelling argument ( although I do do this, but people always raise new issues which would go on forever).

The most challenging query so far came from my partner and it concerned biodiversity and also the plant issue. Although I understand that eating animals harms more plants than just eating a plant based diet, I do believe that plants should be considered the equal of everything else - I know many disagree. I see the difference being that we need to eat something and therefore we should be grateful for any food we have. Therefore, my stance appears to be that my issue is with the meat industry as it is right now and that if that was different (ir if we lived in the wild/ farming didnt exist) I wouldnt inherently disagree with eating meat... because in that situtation I would need to eat and thus, due to my belief outlined above, plants and animals are equal and therefore there would be no distinction between the two in terms of nourishing my need to eat. That does feel right... but still, something about that feels wrong. I still feel that in some way, eating animals - even in the wild- would be more harmful than eating plants.......... My partner argued that if we didn't eat animals in the wild then the plants would suffer because we would be removing the natural predation of animals such as deer.

Any ideas?

Thank you!
 
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winter.frost

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Hello nagev and welcome.

If you are that concerned with plants I suppose you could consider the Jain vegan diet. Strict Jains only eat food that can be cultivated without killing the plant, therefore their vegan diet excludes all root vegetables.

But your partner's 'biodiversity' argument is quite hypocritical, yes, as eating a omnivorous diet will certainly do more harm. Obviously there are more subtle issues here (whether the food is organic or not). Barring producing your own food you have to eat something, though, as you say. Have you read about animism?

If you are truly saying that plants and animals are 'equal' then you are saying 'all life is equal'. Is this statement true to you? You draw no distinction in sentience, social ability, animal families etc..
 
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nagev

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Hello,

Thank you for your response to my thread. I will look up these diets and see what I find out. The vast majority of my food is organic and locally sourced, and where possible picked with my own hands or grown in by relatives. (I do not have a garden currently).

I am not questioning being vegan at all, it feels like the right thing to do and something that I have been, on the whole, doing in the main for most of my life. I just find that I am stuck for compelling responses, particularly to the ecological and biodiversity debate as I do not have a well rounded knowledge of these areas and thus I do not have any particular sources to draw from.

My thoughts on plants are that although they may not have the same nervous system as humans and animals, I feel that it does not necessarily mean that they do not have similar senses - but in a different way. Of course this is something that I will need to research further and that is why I asked this question, as I feel that if I am confused by this then other vegan's will have probably faced a similar confusion. I do believe that each thing has its own function and just because plants do not have the same ability to communicate (at least not in the same way as us) and the same social ability, does not mean that they are any less valuable/important than anything else. I think what I am getting at is that I want to walk lightly on the earth and limit the negative impact of my existence on ALL things, without discrimination.

Thank you!