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 Post subject: What does Veganism mean to you?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 10:48 pm 
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What does Veganism mean to you?

I've been reviewing some of my countless articles I've written and found some interesting segments I'll post in various areas of the forum. Here's one:

I look at being vegan in a few different ways. Even if there was not a defining word to describe the lifestyle that I choose to lead, I would still conduct myself the very same way. It just so happens that there is a title associated with the lifestyle and vegan happens to be the word. There are multiple definitions of the word and the one used on this site is, Vegan (ve-gan) 1. One who chooses a diet and a life-style free of consuming animal products, and of supporting business that exploits animals. 2. adj. Containing no ingredient derived from the animal kingdom.

I also look at veganism as a practice and we're not all perfect. What we do each day is to try to live a lifestyle that is as cruelty free as possible. Can you be perfect?.....No. If you drive a car, you hit various insects and other flying creatures. The same thing goes for walking or running outside, chances are good that you'll step on some sort of living creature, that’s just the way it is.

A set of rules is something that reminds me of confinement and restrictions, limitations and loss of freedom. There is no book that I live by or compilation of words that I refer back to. I make choices about where I prefer to eat, where I want my food coming from, what products I choose to use on my body and how those products were created, how I want to transport myself, and which companies I want to support. I don't see myself or other vegans as being limited in diet or any other facet of our lifestyle. There is a vegan option for pretty much anything out there. When it comes to food everything is covered. I've seen vegan lobster and I've eaten vegan duck and squid. Those are just the names given to a texturized vegetable protein food, shaped and flavored to look like the animal it's named after. Soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, deodorants, clothing, and pretty much anything else can be made vegan and is more and more readily available each day around the world.

I consider vegans to be very friendly people...compassionate, caring and full of emotion. Yet, for some reason I've been on the receiving end of verbal attacks from non-vegans JUST by the mere fact that I am vegan. That reaction is always something that has confused me, and I'm slowly piecing it all together. I think it's a defensive reaction people have. If someone else is not just like them they feel something's wrong with the other person. If anyone has any input on this topic I'd be very interested.

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 Post subject: Re: What does Veganism mean to you?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2005 9:53 pm 
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robert wrote:
for some reason I've been on the receiving end of verbal attacks from non-vegans JUST by the mere fact that I am vegan. That reaction is always something that has confused me, and I'm slowly piecing it all together. I think it's a defensive reaction people have. If someone else is not just like them they feel something's wrong with the other person. If anyone has any input on this topic I'd be very interested.


There was a writer named Eric Berne who wrote some books published in the 60s and 70s you might like. In his books he outlines 4 ways of thinking, which are:

I'm okay, you're okay
I'm okay, you're not okay
I'm not okay, you're okay
I'm not okay, you're not okay

In other words, people have different combinations of liking (or disliking) themselves and others. You seem like an "I'm okay, you're okay" type of person; but someone with a "..., you're not okay" disposition is likely to be the type to attack you just for doing something you believe in


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 11:09 am 
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Interesting. The practice not perfect piece makes sense to me. Especialy the piece about the insects you may kill while walking. It made me think. When you consider all animals the same, insects lives are just as valuable as chickens. And the growing of vegetables really couses a lot of insects to die, with all the pesticides and such. With the spraying of pesticides thousands of insects die. And with the harvesting with the machines a lot of insects and animals that live on the harvest ground die. Now there of course is the option of the vegetables that where grown and harvested without pesticides, but this is no beter than with pesticides. The reason it is not better is becouse the non pesticide land has to be surrounded by farms that do spray pesticide. If this is not the case, there will be al kinds of diseases amongst the vegetables on the pesticide free farm. I have all this information from a farmer, so I assume it is correct.
So if all of the above discribed is treu, one could argue that a fully carnivor diet couses less suffering for animals. But on the other hand, cows also eat vegetables. But those vegetables may just be grass that grows on the farm wich is not sprayed with vegetables. But on the other hand, the cows have to be transported wich is done by vehicles that use gas, so that is bad for the environment. And I can go on like this for a verry long time.
In conclusion: I am confused and there is a lot to think about, but thinking is good.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 3:17 pm 
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Gym hater,

there is nothing to be confused out about this:

a vegan lifestyle causes LESS suffering than a carnivorous one. Nobody would claim that veganism = no suffering whatsoever. But thats not the point. If you walk on the ground then chances are you accidentally step on ants, etc. The point is not to be perfect - that is virtually impossible. The point is to choose a lifetsyle that causes the LEAST amount of suffering. Veganism = a LOT less suffering for other living things and the environment. period. end of story. nothing to be confused about. :D 8)


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 4:49 am 
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If the point is to choose a lifetsyle that causes the LEAST amount of suffering, why be a bodybuilder? Bodybuilding requires more calorie intake, which means you have to eat more veggies. The verry same veggies that cost the lives of thousands of insects!
I am still confused:S But thanks for trying to explain.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 6:36 am 
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gym hater, i have say that you come out with some very strange ideas.

in the end, each creature will have an affect on some other creature. we have an impact on our environment. just because you chose to eat more due to bulking does not make you less ethical. the animal suffering due to a single vegan (weightlifter or not) is tiny compared to that of a meat eater, or even a vegetarian.

jonathan

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 10:11 am 
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So the animal suffering coused by a single vegan is tiny compared to that of a meat eater and a vegetarian? This does make sense, but mainly becouse the majority of the people think so black and white. In my opinion it is just fine to live a life like this and you will live ethical and such, but I also think there is a grey area with the insects dying becouse of the production of vegetables and stuff like that.
In one of the PETA magezines they compare the amount of water used for a certain amount of meat and a certain amount of vegetables. I found this interesting(even more than al the vegan celebrities :? ). Does anyone happen to have a research rapport(or something like that) which compares the amount of insects lifes that are destroyed for meat vs vegetables?
And although being a vegan couses less animals to suffer, being a vegan with a low callorie intake couses less suffering than a vegan with a high calorie intake. This being for the insects that die and such. Although I have seen some good argumentation about why to be vegen(black and white), I still have not seen any good argumentation that justifies the higher calorie intake of a bodybuilder. And I like to know a lot about subjects that interest me, and this is one of my interests:).

greetings

Gym Hater

PS. What about consuming dairy when it has almost past the expiration date, and it will be thrown away if I don't consume it?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:13 pm 
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the justification of a weightlifter for higher calorie intake is entirely irrelevant to the vegan discussion. we represent a minority of people who choose to lift weights because we like to. what are we supposed to do, sit at home on the floor (because a chair being constructed might have killed something) staring at a blank wall, using the minimum of calories whilst trying to cause the least impact.

being vegan does not mean that you give up your life. it is also not the final solution to animal rights, merely something that every person can do. not everyone can protest outside a supermarket selling veal, but every person can be vegan.

for someone posting regularly on a vegan board, you are quite anti vegan. tell me, do you go on human rights message boards and try to justify child labour?

jonathan

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 2:23 pm 
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jonathan wrote:


being vegan does not mean that you give up your life. it is also not the final solution to animal rights, merely something that every person can do.


Yes I agree.

But I dont think gym hater is anti-vegan. I think he is just curious about lots of things and likes to engage in debate and discussion, sometimes maybe playing devils advocate (which even I will do sometimes as it really helps to undertstand the other side of the argument better sometimes).

But that dairy example gym hater i dont understand the point of. First of all, i would NOT have dairy in my fridge in the first place. SO i am not sure about the point you are trying to make.

Nothing wrong with that in my opinion.
:wink:
peace :D


Last edited by compassionategirl on Mon Jul 25, 2005 1:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 3:10 pm 
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I am not anti vegan, just curious like compassionategirl said. Me myself am a near vegan, this is the reason I asked the question about the dairy with the expiration date. I defenitely don't eat meat, and consume close to no other animal products. But when someone in my family cooks some thai or chinese food(dont know what the english name for that particulair dish is) there is also a big bowl of peanutsauce(which contains dairy). This peanutsauce is about the only dairy I consume, and if I wouldn't have there would be left over which would have been thrown away. This is what the question about the dairy was about. So is it better to let dairy get thrown away, or might I just aswel consume it?
And the reason I post so many messages lately is becouse I am trying to improve my english. And the reason I am trying to improve my english is becouse I am considering to attend college in the USA or Canada. And the reason I am considering to go to the USA or Canada is becouse here in the Netherlands it takes a very lot of time and defenitely a lot of money to live completely vegan. There is no vegan store near where I live, and the ones on the internet import everything from the USA and that is incredibly expensive:(
So I am not anti vegan. I am not anti anything unless I am against it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 4:12 pm 
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Gym hater wrote:
And the reason I am considering to go to the USA or Canada is becouse here in the Netherlands it takes a very lot of time and defenitely a lot of money to live completely vegan. There is no vegan store near where I live, and the ones on the internet import everything from the USA and that is incredibly expensive:(


I'm a firm believer that you have to do what is right to the best of your ability within your current circumstances. It seems like you are doing just that so I applaud you.

As far as wasting food that might contain some animal byproducts, there is something called freeganism (free+veganism). It's very hazily defined, but basically says that if something is non-vegan and would otherwise go to waste, you are justified in eating it. I personally don't abide by that as I think it opens a Pandora's box to justifying all sorts of other non-vegan consumption as well as sending a mixed message to potential vegetarians and vegans.

As far as vegan bodybuilders who consume a lot of calories, I don't see anything wrong there. As Jonathan pointed out, we have lives to lead, just the same as anyone else; we're simply trying to reduce suffering in a very practicable and reasonable manner. But beyond that, I would say that vegan bodybuilding is a GREAT way to help animals because it challenges the widely held stereotype of the scrawny vegan (like me 8) ). By being big and healthy, we can send a positive message that veganism is healthy and fun, and not at all a self-deprived and tortured existence as others would have you believe. I think that's a very appealing message to send to people.

By the way, your English is excellent.

Hope that helped.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 1:08 am 
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hey Gym hater,

Well if you come to Canada the two vegan friendliest cities I think are Toronto (ONtario) or Vancouver (British Columbia). From what Rob says, Oregon in the States is very vegan friendly too.

if you have any questions about Canada, let me know and I will do my best to answer them. :D

I know it must be very difficult to be vegan in your country, so thanks for all your efforts. :D

BUt I agree with Brendan on the "freeganism" stuff. 8)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 7:35 am 
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Did not know about the freeganism, but it is true that it might send a mixed message towards other people.
But conserning the high calorie intake becouse of bodybuilding, it is a choice(which I made to). And it sure sets an good example for other people and shows you don't need animal products, but you can always make a choice that couses even less animal suffering. A nice example of this are the monks in tibet. When these monks want to build a temple, they first remove al the insects from the ground there and release them elsewere. And if they do use an animal for something, they worship it and make sure it has a nice life.
And of course there are the hard core freeganists whom eat out of dumpsters:)

I also have a question about Canada for compassionategirl. Do you have any links to colleges and universitys in Canada which have an international exchange program? And do you happen to know a website with information about getting a traineeship in Canada of the USA?

greetings


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 1:11 pm 
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gym hater,

Your first question:


Try the York University Website at www.yorku.ca.

I will look into your second question.

:D


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 4:17 pm 
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Thanks for the link. I checked it out, but I can never afford to go there. It would cost me about $14,000 a year :shock: That is quite a lot compared to the the $1,500 it costs in the Netherlands.
I guess i'll just have to get all my degrees in the Netherlands and emigrate afterwards:) I am not giving up the search, but those high costs are not encouraging. Anyway, thanks for the link.


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