New expanded definition of veganism

gab

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But the problem is that saying it's wrong to eat meat for ethical reasons is very true
I like to be even more accurate than 'it is wrong to eat meat for ethical reasons' ... conceptually, I'm not against meat, I am against the way it is being farmed in the modern world. So I can agree that modern agriculture is not ethical, there should not exist an animal agriculture industry, at this time, I know of no good reason for it.

Meat allowed our species to expand to places which lack in vegetation, and if it were a survival situation, I would probably eat meat rather than die.

It's a bit like with premium and regular petrol (gas) ... I use premium normally in my motorbike, but if the petrol station is out of premium, I fill with the lower grade.
 

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Surely all the statistical evidence points to plant eaters having a much lower incidence of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity?

Sell the health. If people stop eating animals this will be the single most important step towards ending exploitation. When the cattle barons see the dwindling of their profits they will turn to crop production.
 

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From the article linked in the OP:

The current definition of veganism set out by The Vegan Society says: "Veganism is a 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."

The definition created by Lee and Harris goes further, saying: "Veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude all forms of exploitation of non-human animals, which extends beyond dietary considerations to the avoidance of all forms of animal abuse, including harm to their natural habitats.
And so it came to be, this definition of Veganism dominated. And the people, they were divided.

"But we need to eat! This land has various natural habitats of animals, and in order to farm it, we have to upset that, maybe even KILL some of the animals that are getting in the way or eating our crops!"

There was a shudder in the crowd. Grumbling. Discontent. The line had been drawn. It was either superior ethics or just having land to farm and to eat from that land. Fingers were pointed. Voices became angry.

The group split in an array of angry shouts, finger pointing, accusations and indignance. The die hard animal rights people moved to their own land, but could never properly cultivate it. There was always an inevitable barrier to their superior position. Some moles that lived in the ground. Birds that picked from trees. Mice and rats. Ruminants that fed upon the grass. Ant hills. Worms in the ground. Spiders. Chipmunks. All kinds of animals that depended on the land they wanted to farm.

Eventually, they all died. Eating plants was not enough, they had to distinguish themselves from others in their superior position, and only at the end was it realized by the other group that these particular vegans actually hated humanity - as they chose the continued and uninterrupted existence of every other living thing with the exception of themselves.
 

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The new definition drops the "as far as is possible and practicable", but I don't believe that implies the opposite - taking things to the point of impossible and impracticable. Our impact on natural habitats is far beyond unsustainable, and I think without drastic action we're headed for widespread ecosystem collapse. I don't think it's a matter of purity or superiority to believe we should take responsibility in our personal lives for our contributions to the problem - IMO, possibly the biggest problem humanity will ever face.
 
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Forest Nymph

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How do you persuade people not to smoke. Do you tell them it pollutes the environment, it's not nice for other people, it lowers the value of your car?

No, you tell them "It'll kill you."
Well destroying the environment will kill you and your children. While I know "plant-based diets" for the health conscious are a powerful motivator for some people, it's not enough for others. You'll see the types who are like "it's okay if I die ten years earlier if I can eat bacon."

Smoking on a national level - and especially on a state level in California - became unacceptable not just because people are "healthy" in California (though there is an attention to fitness in Southern California there might not be in other parts of the country, and an attention to "natural" medicine in Northern California) but because we created laws. We literally told people to get the **** out. Get away from any doorway or window of any business. We bombarded them with ads on second hand smoke affecting their spouses, children and pets.

The only way to really conquer with veganism is to make it a socially normative imperative for moral reasons, and I think playing up the environmental reasons are good - because a lot of liberals in particular think people are morons if they don't care about the environment. One of my roommates is vegan but the other is not (she doesn't eat red meat but eats anything else) and because she's studying wildlife bio, she said she may become vegan now. All it takes is a little social pressure.
 

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From the article linked in the OP:



And so it came to be, this definition of Veganism dominated. And the people, they were divided.

"But we need to eat! This land has various natural habitats of animals, and in order to farm it, we have to upset that, maybe even KILL some of the animals that are getting in the way or eating our crops!"

There was a shudder in the crowd. Grumbling. Discontent. The line had been drawn. It was either superior ethics or just having land to farm and to eat from that land. Fingers were pointed. Voices became angry.

The group split in an array of angry shouts, finger pointing, accusations and indignance. The die hard animal rights people moved to their own land, but could never properly cultivate it. There was always an inevitable barrier to their superior position. Some moles that lived in the ground. Birds that picked from trees. Mice and rats. Ruminants that fed upon the grass. Ant hills. Worms in the ground. Spiders. Chipmunks. All kinds of animals that depended on the land they wanted to farm.

Eventually, they all died. Eating plants was not enough, they had to distinguish themselves from others in their superior position, and only at the end was it realized by the other group that these particular vegans actually hated humanity - as they chose the continued and uninterrupted existence of every other living thing with the exception of themselves.
Humanity is the problem. The more you downplay it, the worse these people get. Especially Westerners, Westerners have an AWFUL sense of entitlement and a really laissez-faire attitude towards anything that might get them to take personal responsibility. In 2018, the number of vegans and vegetarians stayed about the same, but the people who still ate meat, on average, ate more meat than ever before. You really underestimate the narcissism of the Western ego. Pussy-footing around Merkins isn't going to do the animals any favors.
 

Forest Nymph

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The new definition drops the "as far as is possible and practicable", but I don't believe that implies the opposite - taking things to the point of impossible and impracticable. Our impact on natural habitats is far beyond unsustainable, and I think without drastic action we're headed for widespread ecosystem collapse. I don't think it's a matter of purity or superiority to believe we should take responsibility in our personal lives for our contributions to the problem - IMO, possibly the biggest problem humanity will ever face.
YES.
 

Forest Nymph

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This is a good argument, a good comparison. I was almost tempted to concede the argument at first, but after thinking about it some more, I don't think I would change my views that much after reading this. Maybe a little shift but definately not a complete flip.

I think hearing some sexist locker talk and not saying anything doesn't make you sexist. But I think it's fair to say that not saying anything means you are probably not a feminist either. You are in a middle ground I'd argue, neither sexist nor feminist.

I mean as a general rule. It would probably be more accurate to say that not saying anything is not consistent with being a feminist. That doesn't mean you have to speak up every single time you hear something sexist to call yourself a feminist. But at least some of the time you should, and if you never do, you are probably not a feminist.

But then I am not sure that we should equate feminism with veganism here. The way I think of it, veganism equates to "not sexist". It is more the absence of a negative thing than a positive thing.

Also, the proposed definition for veganism in the article posted that started this was quite strong and says that vegans should "actively" oppose animal exploitation which comes across as stronger than just talking about it when the subject comes up which is all that's needed in my view to qualify as feminist (in addition to your own behaviours obviously).

I think that changing the definition is going to make for less simplicitly and more confusion. Perhaps we should try to mention this in longer explanations of veganism but I don't think it should be in a 1-sentence definition that someone is coming across for the first time.

If the definition of veganism includes opposing animal exploitation then when you try to sell veganism to a meat eater you are immediately demanding that they oppose themselves. That is always going to be a really really tough sell. Most people are not already vegan when they first encounter the definition. Let's introduce the debate about the moral obligation to speak out to people who have already set meat aside.
Actually a sociologist recently did a research project where she found vegans are actually being too easy on people, terms like "flexitarian" and "reducetarian" are often meaningless, and in most cases, the people claim these labels for vanity reasons alone and actually consume about the same amount of meat. Packaging things as "reducetarian" and "plant-based" is a panacea that allows people to feel good about themselves for doing absolutely nothing, and it's literally showing up in numbers. I've been saying this passive, doormat method is idiotic for several reasons, most of all because it's never worked before ever in any social movement to be "passive" about sexism, racism, classism...so why would it work in speciesism?

"Plant-based" is on par with "greenwashing." Greenwashing is a term we use in the environmental field to describe businesses, politicians, and occasionally even private consumers who do as little as possible or buy certain brands to assuage any guilt they feel about harming the environment, as they go about their merry way destroying it.

I'm really happy that even passive people who aren't activists are vegan, because everyone should be vegan (and in the event that they absolutely can't be vegan for financial or geographical reasons, vegetarian at the bare minimum) but this whole idea that we should cater to the egos of meat eaters is utter garbage.
 
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Nekodaiden

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Humanity is the problem. The more you downplay it, the worse these people get. Especially Westerners, Westerners have an AWFUL sense of entitlement and a really laissez-faire attitude towards anything that might get them to take personal responsibility. In 2018, the number of vegans and vegetarians stayed about the same, but the people who still ate meat, on average, ate more meat than ever before. You really underestimate the narcissism of the Western ego. Pussy-footing around Merkins isn't going to do the animals any favors.
Please, let's try to lower the hate and look at the proposal rationally and logically. Not only does it take out ""as far as is possible and practicable" as Sax mentioned, but also as importantly it includes "including harm to their natural habitats".

Neither the author nor you are living this:

You are using a computer. The computer was made in a factory that displaced some animals.
You are using electricity. The electricity was generated in a factory that displaced animals. Even if it's solar then the panels were.
You are living in a dwelling of some kind. Many of the materials used to make this dwelling (such as wood) would have displaced/injured or inconvenienced some animals.
You either drive a car or take public transport. The transport and all the fuel that is used comes from factories that displace animals and to some extent poison the air that hurts us and the animals. If you ride a bike, this too was made in some facility that displaced animals and like all other facilities, keeps it's premises clear of them.

Unless you grow all your own food (watch out, you may kill an ant or earthworm!)...

All those vegan treats you eat (including all the oils and isolated proteins etc) - were made in factories that displace animals and also work to keep their premises free of them (you know, like killing rodents)

If you bought a home, it may get termites because you displaced their habitat and you'd just have to suffer massive financial loss and ruin by not getting rid of them.

...The list goes on.

This proposal is just plain dumb and the author is a hypocrite for suggesting it because unless he is living in the woods somewhere, without a dwelling (will displace animals to some degree in materials and space), eating only crops he grows (and not keeping out animals (including insects) who would eat/destroy them (because of displaced land), walks everywhere (likely not, look at him), etc - then his idea is just a high minded fantasy built to appeal to and cater to people who like to think they are high minded and super moral, but cannot even approach the reality of that high mindedness.

Most importantly, this is a no win for Veganism. It makes it practically impossible so that no one will even try, but some individuals get to feel special while being hypocrites for not even adopting it.
 

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Not only does it take out ""as far as is possible and practicable" as Sax mentioned, but also as importantly it includes "including harm to their natural habitats".
You may have missed my point. Only an absurd interpretation would lead one to believe they must follow an impossible and impracticable lifestyle in order to meet the new (proposed) definition.

"Veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude..."

I've heard it said often that veganism isn't a status you achieve. Those of us who "seek to exclude..." continue to refine our lifestyle choices in animal-friendly ways, but we'll never be perfectly 100% vegan. I don't see this new definition as raising the bar required to be a vegan, but broadening the scope of our efforts.

This is reminding me of the strawmen carnists hurl at us vegans, pointing out how we aren't 100% free of animal exploitation (but pollination! and machine harvesting!), as if that failure to meet an absurd, impossible standard negates our efforts. In those cases, the carnists are making excuses for themselves.
 

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You may have missed my point. Only an absurd interpretation would lead one to believe they must follow an impossible and impracticable lifestyle in order to meet the new (proposed) definition.

"Veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude..."

I've heard it said often that veganism isn't a status you achieve. Those of us who "seek to exclude..." continue to refine our lifestyle choices in animal-friendly ways, but we'll never be perfectly 100% vegan. I don't see this new definition as raising the bar required to be a vegan, but broadening the scope of our efforts.
It is not an absurd "interpretation", it is simply the one that follows from the wording provided. "Animal habitat" is pretty broad, because well, animals live everywhere. Therefore the examples I used are not out there, they fit as a proper response to the broad wording used.

Vegan doesn't mean "animal rights" to me. That was not it's original definition nor the one I have adopted. It is simply a diet that also (as per the current definition) seeks to exclude unnecessary animal products (such as leather, wool etc). It is not a religion or a philosophy, it is simply a way of living that produces the least harm to us, the animals and the environment. No lofty requirements needed. Don't eat them. Don't wear them.

Don't feed yourself to the lion because it's hungry and you are a super compassionate person who is like Jesus for the animals that values them above humans.

Don't make it so difficult with a bunch of added requirements that makes it unappealing. The diet itself is a big enough hurdle for most people to overcome. Make it even loftier, and all those concerns about the welfare of animals, the environment and so on go down the drain. It's called trading a good cause for special status within that cause - one that few people will adopt. Not so moral...

This is reminding me of the strawmen carnists hurl at us vegans, pointing out how we aren't 100% free of animal exploitation (but pollination! and machine harvesting!), as if that failure to meet an absurd, impossible standard negates our efforts. In those cases, the carnists are making excuses for themselves.
Well, I'm not using any strawmen. The arguments I made were in answer to the very broad terms he used. If they seem ridiculous that's not my fault, it's the wording he used that prompted my response.
 

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It is not an absurd "interpretation", it is simply the one that follows from the wording provided.
Then we'll have to agree to disagree. I don't think a fair reading concludes that you can only be vegan if you avoid all harm to natural habitat. That would mean no one could ever be vegan, and I don't see how anyone could think that was the author's intention.
 

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I think the definision of veganism should stay the way it is. Some people are good at convincing others to go vegan. Some are less affective and some have so many problems of their own that they simply can't promote vegans and if they try they are more likely to repeal. I'm afraid that when I was going through a very bad patch and was all paranoid about people giving me non vegan food to eat. Being vegan has always been very good for me but I don't suppose many people were appealed by my behaviour. Now I'm better their is still a limit to what I can achieve. I only eat vegan food and sign petitions concerning Animal rights and Human rights. If we can't even care about our own species how can Animals stand a chance?
 

Forest Nymph

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Please, let's try to lower the hate and look at the proposal rationally and logically. Not only does it take out ""as far as is possible and practicable" as Sax mentioned, but also as importantly it includes "including harm to their natural habitats".

Neither the author nor you are living this:

You are using a computer. The computer was made in a factory that displaced some animals.
You are using electricity. The electricity was generated in a factory that displaced animals. Even if it's solar then the panels were.
You are living in a dwelling of some kind. Many of the materials used to make this dwelling (such as wood) would have displaced/injured or inconvenienced some animals.
You either drive a car or take public transport. The transport and all the fuel that is used comes from factories that displace animals and to some extent poison the air that hurts us and the animals. If you ride a bike, this too was made in some facility that displaced animals and like all other facilities, keeps it's premises clear of them.

Unless you grow all your own food (watch out, you may kill an ant or earthworm!)...

All those vegan treats you eat (including all the oils and isolated proteins etc) - were made in factories that displace animals and also work to keep their premises free of them (you know, like killing rodents)

If you bought a home, it may get termites because you displaced their habitat and you'd just have to suffer massive financial loss and ruin by not getting rid of them.

...The list goes on.

This proposal is just plain dumb and the author is a hypocrite for suggesting it because unless he is living in the woods somewhere, without a dwelling (will displace animals to some degree in materials and space), eating only crops he grows (and not keeping out animals (including insects) who would eat/destroy them (because of displaced land), walks everywhere (likely not, look at him), etc - then his idea is just a high minded fantasy built to appeal to and cater to people who like to think they are high minded and super moral, but cannot even approach the reality of that high mindedness.

Most importantly, this is a no win for Veganism. It makes it practically impossible so that no one will even try, but some individuals get to feel special while being hypocrites for not even adopting it.
It isn't "dumb." You simply do not understand what vegan means if you feel a need to present all of these examples about eating farmed food that kills earthworms. Veganism means doing the best that you can to avoid exploitation and harm, and your ridiculous examples are eerily close to why some meat-eaters don't even try to be vegan...they're like "oh I might kill a mouse so I won't stop participating in the systemic slaughter of agricultural animals." If there's something that's "dumb" it's that.

Your argument isn't more logical than mine, it actually in my opinion is more detached from the reality of the situation. You seem to believe this is about "superiority" or something, when in fact it's about holding people morally accountable for their actions.

Unlike you, the author from Animal Liberation Front, myself, and people like us, constantly pay attention to what is actually going on in terms of numbers of vegans and vegetarians, what actually works to not only make people eat plant-based diets but keep them there (people who don't feel a moral impetus of any kind tend to go back to eating meat or dairy just like anyone who believes they're "on a diet") ...so adding the moral/ethical component to the definition of veganism makes it more clear why animal agriculture should cease.

The disrupting habitat facet has more to do with things like deforestation that is constantly occurring to facilitate animal agriculture, and having environmental concerns about wildlife, not just farmed animals.

Aren't you the person who won't even take B12? Please, don't ever talk to me about "logic."
 

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In the event that anyone here has misunderstood my point, my language, or the rhetoric of the original article, allow me to break it down for you.

Our end goal is to free the animals. Period. Not in some childish way like "Let us run the streets without them to care for them" but "stop subjecting animals to human oppression as much as possible."

This means meat eating should be regulated to the same banishment as:

- Chain smoking

- Binge drinking

- Apartheid and/or segregation

- Sexual harassment

Are you starting to understand? We have to make meat eating socially unacceptable and get people to understand why. We cannot get them to stop eating meat nor understand why they should if we continue to treat veganism as a mere, pet hobby, or lifestyle preference.

Veganism is at its heart a social and political movement not just a way of eating or wearing clothing. The definition must reflect this.

No one ever changed the world by acting as though homicide was a whimsical personal quirk to engage in. They change the world by making it very clear that it is absolutely wrong.

As for any concerns with the footnote about not disturbing habitat, may I remind you that we are not Anthropocene extinction currently. That means humans are driving non-human animals extinct at an alarming rate. This reality must be included in the definition of veganism in order to get other people to see how absolutely dire it is we correct our dreadful speciesism before we are all ultimately extinct.
 
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Nekodaiden

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Aren't you the person who won't even take B12? Please, don't ever talk to me about "logic."

:) I take B12, in fact in my thread title I indicated that. I didn’t at first but started to when I got symptoms. I simply didn’t expect to have to this quick. The fact that you have to lie and misrepresent my thread and my position says some rather important things about you. I can’t say they are nice, honest or ethical though.


It isn't "dumb." You simply do not understand what vegan means if you feel a need to present all of these examples about eating farmed food that kills earthworms. Veganism means doing the best that you can to avoid exploitation and harm, and your ridiculous examples are eerily close to why some meat-eaters don't even TRY to be vegan...they're like "oh I might kill a mouse so I won't stop participating in the systemic slaughter of agricultural animals." If there's something that's "dumb" it's that.

So, you have extracted a single quote about earthworms and used it to represent my whole post. How intellectually honest and ethical of you.

Perhaps my examples of all the factories that displace animals to start, can only continue to run while keeping it free of animals and often pollute the air and water (killing animals and harming humans) are equally as “ridiculous” as a one liner about earthworms?

The proposed change in the definition includes protection for “animals and their natural habitats”. Define an animal’s natural habitat. You cannot do it without being speciesist against some animals and not others, and against humans. The fact is, whenever a new animal (be that a human or non-human animal) moves into a new area, changes occur. If it’s a pack of lions or wolves, then some of the other wildlife will get eaten. If it’s humans –at the very least dwellings, farmland and some industry are going to affect the wildlife.

Dwellings, Industry and farmland that you use and benefit from. ;)

So yes, the proposal is truly absurd and hypocritical. Please try not to reduce my whole response to the equivalent of a soundbite just because it’s been called for what it is and you don’t like it.

As for “what it means to be Vegan”, I’m smelling that elitism again. As long as it means more than a diet and unnecessary animal products like clothing, it raises the bar and prevents people from adopting it. I’m sure that it fits your need for special status, but it doesn’t help anyone, the animals or the environment. Congratulations for special badges of honor and distinction while you munch on Vegan products that were made in factories that displace animals, kill invaders like rodents to keep running, fuel factories that do likewise, cars and other transport industries that do likewise, paper production facilities that do likewise and also destroy rivers along with animals that live in them.

But oh. I forgot. Since you use and benefit from all these products of human ingenuity you just decided to ignore them when they are looked at through the new definition of Veganism you proposed and concentrate on one line about earthworms.

Your argument isn't more logical than mine, it actually in my opinion is more detached from the reality of the situation. You seem to believe this is about "superiority" or something, when in fact it's about holding people morally accountable for their actions.

You mean the myopic one-liner about earthworms that you used to dishonestly mis-represent my whole post? No? Perhaps you mean all the factories that produce products that you use that displace animals, kill animals that threaten production (like rodents and other invading animals), poison waters (like paper mills), or the air (like refineries) or any other number of facilities the products of which you enjoy but nevertheless have some either initial or continued negative effect on animals. That’s what is implied in “protection of habitat” used in the very general sense that the author used it. But the author uses those facilities, and so do you. So you are both being hypocrites.

Unlike you, the author from Animal Liberation Front, myself, and people like us, constantly pay attention to what is ACTUALLY GOING ON in terms of numbers of vegans and vegetarians, what actually works to not only make people eat plant-based diets but KEEP THEM THERE (people who don't feel a moral impetus of any kind tend to go back to eating meat or dairy just like anyone who believes they're "on a diet") ...so adding the moral/ethical component to the definition of veganism makes it more clear why animal agriculture should cease.

:) Telling how you make this distinction and insinuate you and your special little group of animal rights activists are better (possibly even more vegan?) than the rest of the tiny percent that adopt the basic lifestyle. A certain special snowflake arrogance is all over that last paragraph. But let’s look at how honest it is:




The definition you proposed doesn’t add a moral and ethical component. The ethics and morals are already in the original definition to begin with. Just not eating animals or wearing animal clothing makes huge huge strides for us, the animals and the environment. However , adding protection of habitat adds a regional one that is undefined and excludes humans (ie: animal (non human) habitat). It neither specifies which animals it’s supposed to protect (so the chipmunk, bear, tiger, the ant, the bird are all equally considered lest we be ‘specieist”). Last I checked, humans are part of this earth and just because you’re a misanthrope doesn’t mean we all need to adopt your special hatred of humankind.
 
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