How can I tell if my veg is vegan?

FalconHoof

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Hi,

I'm thinking about going vegan, but when I do something, I do it 100% or there's just no point.

I'm trying to find fruit/veg/grain etc. producers that don't kill what naturally eats their produce (rabbits eat carrots, slugs eat lettuce etc.), but I can't find any info.

How do I know if the carrot I've bought didn't come from a farm that kills rabbits? Or the bread I eat didn't come from a grain farm that kills insects or birds, even organically?

I'm starting to worry that no food is actually vegan, I've obviously cut out the luxury crops like tea, coffee, tobacco etc., but I'm concerned that living only on organic, hydroponically grown food is going to leave me malnourished.

Any help is much appreciated.

Thanks x
 

Lou

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You bring up some points that are not only frequently discussed by vegans but also hotly debated.

I have my own opinions on the matter.

My opinions are in a way a philosophy and they may not be right or even commonly accepted by others but they sit well with me and give me ease.

I don't believe anyone can be 100% vegan. I'm talking about the results - not the intentions. You drive down a country road and your windshield smashes millions of bugs. You turn on the lights and the coal burned in the nearby power plant contributes to the drowning of a polar bear. The grocery store you visit constantly wages a war against insects and rodents. Even the most careful organic farmers inadvertently kill animals. And their farms existence removes habitat from wildlife. Half of the produce we eat is pollinated by insects. I can go on and on.

But IMHO that is not the point. Those are inadvertent or accidental death. I am only concerned with not contributing to deaths on purpose. In fact, the definition of veganism expresses that quite clearly. This is the definition from the Vegan Society as of today.

A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.​

First off notice it doesn't use any words like kill. It specifically uses the word exploitation. Especially notice the phrase "as far as is possible and practicable". That phrase is subjective and elastic. What is practical and possible for one person may not be practical or possible for the next person. I leave it to each vegan to determine what that means for him or herself.

The way I see it - it's all about intent. Not results. I can't save every animal. but I can avoid exploiting animals as much as possible (and practical).

There is a saying that is almost a philosophy that I like to use. Perfection is the enemy of good. One way of explaining it is that perfection can never be attained. If you wait for perfection, nothing will be achieved. I'll admit that this is not a good philosophy for a bridge builder. For most of us mortals its good words to live by.

In fact, recently, in my reading, I have been exposed to a philosophy called Sufficientarianism. If they had a slogan it would be, Nothing in life is perfect - and it doesn't have to be.
 

Sax

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If you're doing your honest best not to consume ingredients derived from animals you are 100% vegan. Perfection isn't a requirement.

Considering secondary impacts is worthwhile, and inline with the spirit and goals of veganism, but doesn't have any bearing on whether or not you're vegan. Veganic farming seeks to produce food without exploiting animals and hopefully that will make up more of our food supply in the future but it just isn't reasonable to eat 100% veganic right now.
 
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FalconHoof

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Thanks for the feedback, but it just feels like if I ignore the millions of insects killed so I can have bread, then I'm just choosing which lives matter and which don't.

If I shoot a deer in the wild and feed 20 people with it, that's one twentieth of a life ended per meal consumed, whereas if I get the same amount of protein from plant based food, such as seitan (which I've only just discovered and LOVE), then that's hundreds of lives ended per meal consumed. I'm trying to reconcile this before I commit to a lifestyle, but I can't.
 

Sax

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I'm trying to reconcile this before I commit to a lifestyle, but I can't.

Well I hope you won't commit to being non-vegan until you can reconcile all the moral implications of that lifestyle.

Here are a couple discussions we've had on this forum and an academic article related to your concerns. As you'll see there are a lot of opinions and not a whole lot of reconciliation. That's okay...just do your best as you see fit.

When vegans kill

Should vegans avoid avocados and almonds?

The Moral Importance of Small Animals
 

Forest Nymph

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Thanks for the feedback, but it just feels like if I ignore the millions of insects killed so I can have bread, then I'm just choosing which lives matter and which don't.

If I shoot a deer in the wild and feed 20 people with it, that's one twentieth of a life ended per meal consumed, whereas if I get the same amount of protein from plant based food, such as seitan (which I've only just discovered and LOVE), then that's hundreds of lives ended per meal consumed. I'm trying to reconcile this before I commit to a lifestyle, but I can't.

Is it cold under your bridge in the murky bog?
 
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FalconHoof

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Is it cold under your bridge in the murky bog?
I promise I'm no troll (they eat billy goats for one thing), I just want to know where to research my food so that I know nothing has died so that I can have it.
 

Forest Nymph

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I promise I'm no troll (they eat billy goats for one thing), I just want to know where to research my food so that I know nothing has died so that I can have it.

Before I begin, I'd like to see photographs of your permaculture homestead or know your specific tribal affiliation so I can be sure YOU actually obtain all of your food personally, and know exactly where it came from.

Because otherwise you should prepare to lose this debate.
 
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FalconHoof

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Before I begin, I'd like to see photographs of your permaculture homestead or know your specific tribal affiliation so I can be sure YOU actually obtain all of your food personally, and know exactly where it came from.

Because otherwise you should prepare to lose this debate.
It's not a debate, I'm asking how you do it so that I can do the same. I came onto this forum looking for support, not to cause any issues. If I could obtain all my food personally then I would but obviously I can't, which is why I want to make sure others are doing it ethically on my behalf.
 
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FalconHoof

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How do you make it through the day, knowing how many billions of innocent bacteria you've killed by just washing your hands? (You do wash your hands, don't you?)
Never thought of that. Can germs suffer?
 

Lou

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[QUOTE="FalconHoof, post: 24448, member: 4357"
Any help is much appreciated.
Thanks x
[/QUOTE]


I'm not convinced you are a troll. So I will give you some help.

You said, "I'm thinking about going vegan, but when I do something, I do it 100% or there's just no point."

Really? Well besides that fact that is a terrible strategy, it doesn't even seem possible. What a tremendous waste of time.

I mentioned bridge builders do things at 100%, but i just realized they don't. They build their bridges way over 100% because there are lots of other factors that they don't bother factoring in. You know why? Cause it's not worth their time to try and figure out all the other factors (that 100%). Its just easier and cheaper to overbuild.

Medical research is usually done up to 95%. If they are really careful they go up to 98.5%. But never any higher. It isn't cost effective. and has no discernable benefit. Law of diminishing returns and all.

When I shop for a used car I don't look at every used car in the world. I don't even look at as many as I have time for. I just shop for a reasonable amount of time.

And when I'm trying to figure out something that I don't know about. Then i ask a couple of experts. Or I read a book.

Have you ever competed at any level? Did you say to yourself, "if I can't be the best, I won't even try?" well. hopefully/probably not. You probably said, "I'm going to try my best. "

this is the same thing. You just try to do your best. Maybe you try "100%" but you don't have to get "100% results.
"
 
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TofuRobot

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Appeal to futility fallacy:

https://yourveganfallacyis.com/en/you-cannot-be-100-percent-vegan

Veganism is the philosophical position that exploitation of and cruelty to sentient beings is ethically indefensible and should be avoided whenever it is possible and practicable to do so. Vegans themselves do not claim this position is absolute nor do they strive for perfection. Rather, the accusation that vegans fail to be vegan because they cannot be perfect is an external one imposed by people who do not understand veganism.

The term 'vegan' is defined as "a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practicable — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals." The meaning of the word 'vegan' excludes the possibility of perfection, and vegans themselves understand they cannot hold their philosophical position absolutely. However, this understanding in no way prevents them from making significant, positive changes in the world by choosing not to harm other sentient beings when and where they can. Clearly, anyone who makes this same decision is 100% perfect in their veganism.
https://yourveganfallacyis.com/en/you-cannot-be-100-percent-vegan/resources
 

Forest Nymph

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It's not a debate, I'm asking how you do it so that I can do the same. I came onto this forum looking for support, not to cause any issues. If I could obtain all my food personally then I would but obviously I can't, which is why I want to make sure others are doing it ethically on my behalf.

The best way to have others to ethically do it on your behalf is to be a vegan. Or to at bare minimum be a lacto-vegetarian who obtains their food locally.

Your proposition that you only do it if it's "100% possible to kill nothing" is so simplistic, unscientific, and childish that I naturally presumed you were either trolling, or are an omnivore trying to win a debate on the ethics of eating.

I'm entering a Masters program in Sustainable Food Systems and my background is in Environmental Science. I'm well equipped to inform you of ways you can eat sustainably, and the pros and cons and scientific facts surrounding choices you can make, but I'm also not about to take a person seriously who claims they can't be vegan (or vegetarian) unless they can guarantee that NOTHING will die for them to eat.

Even if you were anorexic and starved yourself, eating nothing but water and breathing air, insects and possibly rodents would die due to your clothing or housing.

If you're genuinely interested in ethical living my apologies, and if you're absolutely serious in killing as little as possible, including pests like cockroaches or black widows, I strongly suggest you begin to research the Jain religion, specifically the lifestyle of Jain monks.
 
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FalconHoof

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[QUOTE="FalconHoof, post: 24448, member: 4357"
Any help is much appreciated.
Thanks x


I'm not convinced you are a troll. So I will give you some help.

You said, "I'm thinking about going vegan, but when I do something, I do it 100% or there's just no point."

Really? Well besides that fact that is a terrible strategy, it doesn't even seem possible. What a tremendous waste of time.

I mentioned bridge builders do things at 100%, but i just realized they don't. They build their bridges way over 100% because there are lots of other factors that they don't bother factoring in. You know why? Cause it's not worth their time to try and figure out all the other factors (that 100%). Its just easier and cheaper to overbuild.

Medical research is usually done up to 95%. If they are really careful they go up to 98.5%. But never any higher. It isn't cost effective. and has no discernable benefit. Law of diminishing returns and all.

When I shop for a used car I don't look at every used car in the world. I don't even look at as many as I have time for. I just shop for a reasonable amount of time.

And when I'm trying to figure out something that I don't know about. Then i ask a couple of experts. Or I read a book.

Have you ever competed at any level? Did you say to yourself, "if I can't be the best, I won't even try?" well. hopefully/probably not. You probably said, "I'm going to try my best. "

this is the same thing. You just try to do your best. Maybe you try "100%" but you don't have to get "100% results.
"
[/QUOTE]
Good point, but I don't like the fact that I pick and choose what does and doesn't die.