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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:37 am 
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nik wrote:
flanders77 wrote:
I just think that there are hardly any situations in our normal lifes where it is impossible to avoid animal derived food.


Crash wrote:
I have to agree that if you consume any animal or animal byproduct you are not a vegan.


Well, no one in the entire world is vegan then. There are no vegans if we take the technical definition only.

http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/dalbook.html#CHPTA

scroll down to Commodities and Defect Action Levels

Nik, imo being a vegan means not knowingly eating anything that has any animal or animal derived ingredients in it. IMO this is the basic meaning of being a vegan. This is not to be snobby or uppity, just what I believe -- that and nobody's perfect. The fact that most of the products listed in your link are canned or frozen, makes me want to buy more fresh fruit and vegetables, preferably from farmers' markets and avoid canned and frozen as much as possible.

Unfortunately this can not include the many products we use in our every day lives, which are not 100% vegan from cleansers and plastics down to the computers we are using to communicate right now. Animals have been shamelessly exploited and used for everything possible. :evil: ](*,)

IMHO the best anyone can do is try to find alternatives and make do with what you cannot find an alternative for -- but keep looking around until you do find an alternative for those non-vegan products.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 3:45 pm 
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Crash wrote:
Nik, imo being a vegan means not knowingly eating anything that has any animal or animal derived ingredients in it.


Well, anyone who reads that or hears about it is now "knowingly" eating things with animal ingredients in it. Doesn't mean they have a choice or can avoid it, but it is still "knowingly".


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The fact that most of the products listed in your link are canned or frozen, makes me want to buy more fresh fruit and vegetables, preferably from farmers' markets and avoid canned and frozen as much as possible.


Fresh food is always better and healthier. But this is not logical as far as trying to avoid eating the animal ingredients in the foods. There is no way to avoid it. The products listed are mostly canned or frozen because those are the products that are regulated like that and looked at. Fresh food is full of insects and has problems with mold and other things too. Esp. organic. Esp. the farmers market. I do about 60% of my shopping at the farmers market and always find lots of insects. On greens esp. A lot of them still alive. I try to search for live ones and set them free outside in the dirt. But I can't find all of them and those are just the ones I can see. They're everywhere. We're sucking them in as we breathe. They're hiding inside the organic broccolli forests and on the kale leaves. Crawling on the strawberries. The world is teaming with life. And even if you can wash them well enough, which you never can fully, you're still killing them just so you can eat the food.

Which brings me to another issue. How can any non-organic food and produce be ok for vegans? We won't knowingly eat insects and animals but it's ok to support farmers who kill them by the millions with poisons to bring us the food? That is a very abusive practice towards animals and life. I think.

But just saying that technically no one is ever free completely from consuming animals, even if they don't know it. Doesn't mean that it is always avoidable or they want to. But technically no one is 100% vegan, 100% plant matter. That's why to me the deffinition lies more in the philosophy of trying to avoid harm as much as possible and to boycott the industries that are cruel.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 3:56 pm 
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I understand what you are saying, but don't agree with the "no matter what you eat, you are eating animals and animal byproducts" statement. If in your opinion being a vegan is to reduce the cruelty to all life - that's your definition and it is a good definition, but not my definition of veganism. My definition is not eating or using animals or animal byproducts whenever humanly possible.

We'll agree to disagree - and that's ok. It doesn't mean one is right and one is wrong....we just don't agree. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:45 am 
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Crash wrote:
My definition is not eating or using animals or animal byproducts whenever humanly possible.


That's my definition as well. Unfortunately, some people argue that if you can't omit ALL animal products (ie: animal byproducts that may or may not be in tires on your car, or in a medication that you have to take to combat and infection, etc.) you might as well not even bother. That is an attitude that really bothers me.

I see veganism not necessarily as something we have attained, but as a journey. An accumulation of conscious decisions that we make on a daily basis.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 10:09 am 
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Kathryn wrote:
Unfortunately, some people argue that if you can't omit ALL animal products (ie: animal byproducts that may or may not be in tires on your car, or in a medication that you have to take to combat an infection, etc.) you might as well not even bother. That is an attitude that really bothers me.

I see veganism not necessarily as something we have attained, but as a journey. An accumulation of conscious decisions that we make on a daily basis.

Exactly ! 8) :D

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 10:13 am 
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And how many insects and other small animals were killed while the computer you are reading this on was transported from the factory to the retailer...

I probably consume about 99% less animal products than the average American, but that's not good enough for some people to meet the criteria of veganism. So I've decided I won't tell anyone I'm vegan anymore, I'm just a person that avoids meat, dairy, or eggs.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 12:53 pm 
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Veganism is a word I use as a shortcut in conversation, to give people the generalllll idea of what I am talking about, but given the way the world is and how far spread animal cruelty is, the word 'vegan' is rather ambiguous, so I rather talk about case by case of actions and what I think of them, rather than say it's a 'vegan' thing to do or whatever. To me it's all just morality.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 1:19 pm 
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Yeah, nobody is the perfect vegan, I don't even think that is possible. I wrote an article a while back, and actually don't even remember which one or where it was published; but basically I brought attention to the fact that veganism shouldn't be a set of rules that we are measured by. Veganism should be the most compassionate lifestyle we can leave for all beings, but know that we're not perfect and we're just doing our part to make the world a better place.

We do make a difference. I've read that each vegan saves an average of 93 animal lives per year and also influences human lives which in turn will save more animal lives.

I don't think vegans should ever compare themselves to other vegans; who is the more vegan. We get that enough already with everyone else thinking we have that attitude of being superior to everyone else because of our moral or ethical values.

As as I'm concerned, as a vegan, just do what you do and know you're not perfect, but strive to make a difference. Do what feels best for you and for your own ethical feelings.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 4:52 pm 
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Crash wrote:
I understand what you are saying, but don't agree with the "no matter what you eat, you are eating animals and animal byproducts" statement.


So you think that there are foods that are free from all non-plant life-forms?

I agree that we should do what we can practically to avoid harming or killing non-plant life. Esp. in avoiding animal based products. I'm not telling anyone else that their boycott means nothing because of the other complications of life, or that they shouldn't bother. I think it's very important. I just have a hard time reconciling my own conscience when it comes to actions that kill so much life. The computer example is a good one. All of it. Harvesting vegetables and how many animals and rabbits etc. who get killed in that process, and in the processes of all industrial life. Just driving on the freeway to another state I was horrified at how many moths got killed by flying into my windshield, just so I could get from one place to another. Not to mention how many animals have been killed in the building of these human cities and houses and societies etc.

I don't think it's totally necessary, because we don't "have" to live this way. We don't have to live and go along with living in the modern way, but we do it because we want to and enjoy living this way.

I don't know, it's hard to come to terms with my conscience and my own guilt, and wishing that it didn't have to be so hard to avoid. But one thing that is quite clear and obvious is that humans put a lot more value on certain animals over others. Chickens are important and important not to kill but moths and other insects are not. For instance.

In light of it though, I just don't understand the idea that someone who found an unfertilized egg on their land or in the forest for instance and ate it would no longer be vegan. An unfertilized egg is not a living thing. It never was alive and is not alive and therefore nothing died, was killed or got hurt by eating the found egg. Yet so many would consider that person now not vegan, I don't get that. At least it is vegetarian as opposed to all the living things in our plant foods that got killed in the process and that we are eating.

Again, I do still and always will advocate avoiding purchasing or consuming all animal based products, food and clothing etc. For the cruelty and even just for the environmental and energy impact alone. But I just can't feel good or reconcile my conscience with the fact that I save possibly 93 animals a year or whatever, when I know that many at least probably die each day because of normal actions and living. Does the size of the animal really define the morality?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 5:53 pm 
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nik wrote:
Crash wrote:
I understand what you are saying, but don't agree with the "no matter what you eat, you are eating animals and animal byproducts" statement.


So you think that there are foods that are free from all non-plant life-forms?

I agree that we should do what we can practically to avoid harming or killing non-plant life. Esp. in avoiding animal based products. I'm not telling anyone else that their boycott means nothing because of the other complications of life, or that they shouldn't bother. I think it's very important. I just have a hard time reconciling my own conscience when it comes to actions that kill so much life. The computer example is a good one. All of it. Harvesting vegetables and how many animals and rabbits etc. who get killed in that process, and in the processes of all industrial life. Just driving on the freeway to another state I was horrified at how many moths got killed by flying into my windshield, just so I could get from one place to another. Not to mention how many animals have been killed in the building of these human cities and houses and societies etc.

I don't think it's totally necessary, because we don't "have" to live this way. We don't have to live and go along with living in the modern way, but we do it because we want to and enjoy living this way.

I don't know, it's hard to come to terms with my conscience and my own guilt, and wishing that it didn't have to be so hard to avoid. But one thing that is quite clear and obvious is that humans put a lot more value on certain animals over others. Chickens are important and important not to kill but moths and other insects are not. For instance.

In light of it though, I just don't understand the idea that someone who found an unfertilized egg on their land or in the forest for instance and ate it would no longer be vegan. An unfertilized egg is not a living thing. It never was alive and is not alive and therefore nothing died, was killed or got hurt by eating the found egg. Yet so many would consider that person now not vegan, I don't get that. At least it is vegetarian as opposed to all the living things in our plant foods that got killed in the process and that we are eating.

Again, I do still and always will advocate avoiding purchasing or consuming all animal based products, food and clothing etc. For the cruelty and even just for the environmental and energy impact alone. But I just can't feel good or reconcile my conscience with the fact that I save possibly 93 animals a year or whatever, when I know that many at least probably die each day because of normal actions and living. Does the size of the animal really define the morality?


I feel the same way, about living everyday life, and causing death / suffering because of it. It is depressing. I try to look at it in terms of difficulty / necessity etc. Although I agree that we could in theory cause absolutely no harm to animals, it would require huge adjustments in how we live (if we're living in 'western' civilization or whatever), and it actually would be really difficult to do. Choosing to not eat animals and animal products, and avoid animal products (in general) isn't very difficult, and so it's a choice I make. I think that to stop yourself going crazy you have to draw a line, and I know that sounds cheesy and lame, but really you do. I still feel guilty for it, but I've decided (pretty much) what I am doing, and accept that things suck. Like, I am going to drive a car, I am going to use a PC, I am going to go to the cinema etc. Even though I know those things are bad, that's just kind of how the world is right now, in my society, and although it sucks, that's how it's got to be if I choose to stay in the society. On the other hand, just avoiding meat, milk, eggs, animal tested products etc, isn't difficult, and doesn't require me to remove myself from society AT ALL, so that's why I can do that easily. It is a selfish decision to stay in society, but it would be such a drastic change that I think it's understandable. Similarly, I could kill myself and that would mean I am not causing animal suffering, but that's something I am not willing to do because I am too selfish.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:06 pm 
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nik wrote:
So you think that there are foods that are free from all non-plant life-forms?

Nik you said it yourself, you wash away all the non-plant life form you find before you consume it. Everything that is out in the open (ie, plant life) will be touched by non plant life walking around or on it and sometimes getting stuck on it.
nik wrote:
I agree that we should do what we can practically to avoid harming or killing non-plant life. Esp. in avoiding animal based products. I'm not telling anyone else that their boycott means nothing because of the other complications of life, or that they shouldn't bother. I think it's very important.

At least we can agree on this. :)
nik wrote:
I just have a hard time reconciling my own conscience when it comes to actions that kill so much life. The computer example is a good one. All of it. Harvesting vegetables and how many animals and rabbits etc. who get killed in that process, and in the processes of all industrial life. Just driving on the freeway to another state I was horrified at how many moths got killed by flying into my windshield, just so I could get from one place to another. Not to mention how many animals have been killed in the building of these human cities and houses and societies etc.

I agree with the ideal Nik and wish there was an alternative to this, but there is no alternative right now. We can't just stand still because we will hurt something if we move. We also can't go back to living in caves and walking long distances in a limited amount of time (when it's possible, yes - but you can't walk to Hawaii or Rome in one day -- neither can you travel to a necessary job that might be miles each away.) I do wish that threshers would go away and hate the thought of anything getting hurt by them. It would be nice to be able to be grow my own fruits and vegetables and be certain nothing was harmed and there was no genetically engineered matter in the produce....maybe some day.
nik wrote:
I just can't feel good or reconcile my conscience with the fact that I save possibly 93 animals a year or whatever, when I know that many at least probably die each day because of normal actions and living. Does the size of the animal really define the morality?

No, the size of the animals shouldn't define the morality. And I am not saying be content with saving only 93 animals each year. My point earlier was that being vegan was a form of action. I also know being a vegan is not as quick and catalystic as being an activist, but being vegan is a great help to those 93 animals. Again, imo the best anyone can strive for is to live their life, while doing their best not to hurt, use or consume other sentient beings.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 10:10 pm 
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I think mental capacity should define the morality. For example, I would give much greater consideration to an ape than I would to a sea anemone, even though both are animals. The ape has an advanced brain. The sea anemone has a nervous system so primitive that I would give it the same moral consideration as a plant.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 4:19 am 
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offense74 wrote:
Will:
I agree with you completely!
First rule is to stay positive towards other people. If you can make 5 people eat 1/5th less meat then you have in fact created 1 vegan and 5 people that are going to feel healthier. This approach is usually more effective than banging your head against the wall trying to get your ordinary meat eating American to cut out animal products all together. Since he will feel healthier on this new diet he will go further himself when he is ready. Babysteps.
It's also better for your own ego. If you try to solve unsolvable problems all you will get out of it is frustration. If you instead take babysteps, planting seeds as you walk, you will succeed with the small goals and the big picture will be brighter.

Again, it doesn't matter what's on ones dinner plate at the end of the day if one were an a-hole all day long.



Word!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 11:15 pm 
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robert wrote:
Yeah, nobody is the perfect vegan, I don't even think that is possible. I wrote an article a while back, and actually don't even remember which one or where it was published; but basically I brought attention to the fact that veganism shouldn't be a set of rules that we are measured by. Veganism should be the most compassionate lifestyle we can leave for all beings, but know that we're not perfect and we're just doing our part to make the world a better place.

We do make a difference. I've read that each vegan saves an average of 93 animal lives per year and also influences human lives which in turn will save more animal lives.

I don't think vegans should ever compare themselves to other vegans; who is the more vegan. We get that enough already with everyone else thinking we have that attitude of being superior to everyone else because of our moral or ethical values.

As as I'm concerned, as a vegan, just do what you do and know you're not perfect, but strive to make a difference. Do what feels best for you and for your own ethical feelings.


BINGO. RESPECT.


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