UK Query From a New Vegan

jake1234_-

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Hi All,

I have recently made the transition from long time Vegetarian to attempting to be a Vegan and have a few questions for those who have been doing it for a long time:

1. I've recently come across some ideas that I'd never even considered previously and was wanting to know what thoughts any of you had. How do you avoid harming insects and other beings (i.e. dust mites) etc.. when being vegan. By this I mean, how is washing your clothes done, hoovering, driving a car, using flour etc... All these things may cause harm to insects. Are there alternate ways to do these things?

2. Secondly, what are peoples opinions on eating eggs that come from chickens that you own and know are being safely and lovingly looked after?

Thanks, Jake
 

silva

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1. I don't intentionally kill insects, but I don't always go out of my way not to. I mean I keep food properly stored, and things cleaned. I have scattered some bay leaves in my cabinets I have grain products (grandmother did this for grain insects). I don't anything but spiders and occasional stink bugs inside. Spiders I leave alone, stinkbugs I take outside. I feel lucky to live in Ohio Us, cause many bugs freak me out!
I go what I feel is possible and practical in my life. I avoid commercial cleaning products and try to do my best to reuse and recycle and limit purchases

2. I keep out of this. I avoid eggs, but have heard aruements from those who have chickens and the circumstances they have are far from where I'm at, same with bee keepers.

I also believe in not letting the perfect become the enemy of the good. Do your best, and always seek to discover better
 

Danielle

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I don’t avoid harming insects. I have no mercy for ants that find their way into my food, or flies, mites, lice, ticks, fleas.

I heard the argument that by getting chickens for eggs, you’re still paying for the death of chickens. They kill the males when they’re chicks. I guess depending on how you get the hens, but it seems like too much effort. If you’re a vegetarian it might be better than store bought eggs, but eggs will never be vegan. It’s easier to go vegan than try to find the right circumstances where no animal suffers for your eggs.
The correct way to phrase it is you're a vegetarian but only eat eggs from your chickens. A vegan will never eat an egg.
Asking if a vegan would eat eggs from a pet hen seems similar to asking if a vegetarian would eat roadkill. A vegetarian doesn’t eat meat, no matter how it was obtained.
 
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Lou

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If you look at the definition of vegan it has several keywords. One of them is intent. So if you unintentionally kill insects you are still vegan. The other keyword is practicable. This is up to you but if you decide its impractical to avoid killing something like the insects around you than you are still vegan.

The backyard chicken is sort of a gray area. but there are some good essays on it and I think the general consensus is that you vegans should not have backyard chickens.

Here is a good essay on it.

 

rogerjolly

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Hi Jake and welcome.

For me there is no essential difference between these two arguments.

I know that to produce laying hens there will have been chicks put to death. However, those chicks have already died so there is no extra harm in keeping my own hens for their eggs.

I know that to produce a steak an animal will have been killed. However since the animal is already dead there is no extra harm in eating the steak.

And, Lou, there really, really is no grey area here. It is not vegan.

Roger.
 
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silva

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There are instances where killing a new infestation of insects can be far better than trying to live with them, or use natural deterents.
I once moved into a house where soon after was swarming with fleas. They must have used some kind of insecticide that killed live ones but not eggs. We used flea bombs
I brought home a shirt from a garage sale and without thinking laid it on my bed. I got bedbugs and called an exterminator.
These kinds of insects don't just leave on their own and I feel the quicker they are gone the less harm is done to all
 
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silva

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Hi Jake and welcome.

For me there is no essential difference between these two arguments.

I know that to produce laying hens there will have been chicks put to death. However, those chicks have already died so there is no extra harm in keeping my own hens for their eggs.

I know that to produce a steak an animal will have been killed. However since the animal is already dead there is no extra harm in eating the steak.


And, Lou, there really, really is no grey area here. It is not vegan.

Roger.
Not understanding what you're saying here
 

Lou

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Hi Jake and welcome.

For me there is no essential difference between these two arguments.

I know that to produce laying hens there will have been chicks put to death. However, those chicks have already died so there is no extra harm in keeping my own hens for their eggs.

I know that to produce a steak an animal will have been killed. However since the animal is already dead there is no extra harm in eating the steak.

And, Lou, there really, really is no grey area here. It is not vegan.

Roger.
Well, i already don't think that it's not vegan to eat eggs. And I think BiteSize has put together one of the best essays on the subject.

But I do think it's ok for me to label it a gray area. Although it might be a semantic issue. Perhaps I should/could call it a "controversial issue". But my reasoning is simply this: There are so many "vegan arguments" or debates on the subject. I think its sometimes called the "Backyard Hen Debate". If you google it you will find dozens of essays on the subject. IMHO anything that produces that many views is a grey area. Or perhaps let's just call it controversial.

Some of the debates include hypotheticals that are at least worth considering.
What if the hens were rescued is my favorite. Or what if the chickens are serving another purpose such as eating insects off the vegetable in the garden or providing fertilizer. Or keeping you company. (I've heard they make good pets, too).

To tell the truth, I don't spend much time reading these essays or time on considering them. Eggs are not essential to good health. In fact, its easy to argue that they are not even good for you in the first place. I've spent more time on the health issues of eggs than the ethical issues.

I am a big fan of informed decision making so I do believe that when a vegan considers eating eggs he should look up some of the articles and make up his own mind.
 

Indian Summer

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  1. I don't usually deliberately hurt insects: if a fly/bee/wasp gets into our house, I just open a window and try to shoo it out rather than smack it. I always catch spiders in a cup and then promptly release them outside. I do kill mosquitoes and horseflies as there are limits to my compassion! It's either me or them, and I don't give them my blood if I can avoid it!
  2. Consuming eggs is not a vegan practice, whether they come from rescue hens or not. However, that doesn't necessarily mean it would be wrong to do so. You just wouldn't be vegan.
 
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