11 August 2015

Top 15 Vegan Dont's: Explained The Way I Understand Veganism

There is only one reason for going vegan -the animals. They, in any way, should not be deliberately harmed. Their freedom to live a fulfilling life should not be taken from them. The rest of the reasons people speak about: for health, for world hunger, for the planet, are just the expected results of veganism.

This post talks about vegans and veganism the way I understand them.

1. Vegans don't consume meat, honey, eggs, milk, and dairy. They see to it that they ask for the ingredients of a dish when they eat out in a non-vegan or vegetarian restaurants. As much as possible, though, they find and dine in vegan restaurants only. Also, they don't allow any non-vegan cooking in their kitchen nor any non-vegan foods to be served in their own house. 

2. Vegans don't buy packed or wrapped or canned foods without reading food labels. Many food items in grocery stores contain animal products such as milk solids. They educate themselves about unfamiliar terms in product labels. Although many vegans are fond of "veganized" foods, many are also avoiding such stuff and trying to follow a lifestyle that is nearest to nature.

~even chipmunk reads label~
(image via iquitsugar.com)
3. Vegans don't ride horses, elephants, buffaloes, mules, or horse-drawn carriages, etc. for whatever purpose. Using their own two feet is better for health and best for the animals. Animals are not beings to carry human goods or belongings. Cement and bricks on a mule's back are just an example of human exploitation. Poor animals, they have no use of those things and yet they are burdened with such heavy loads. 

Vegans treat animals as friends. And friends are not used.

~just because we can, we should?~

4. Vegans don't support circuses, zoos, and other forms of entertainment that enslave or cage animals. They are rather involved in campaigning against these types of abuses and trying to liberate captive animals. In other words, they entertain themselves in other ways like playing/listening to music, chatting with fellow vegans, writing, etc. Instead of "enjoying" at the expense of animals, they rather view it as sad and pathetic for obviously there are other means of enjoyment without the need for animal abuse.

5. Vegans don't wear leather, fur, silk, or wool. They make sure that the goods they're buying have no history of torture and death. If they own one or two of these products before they went vegan, some give them away to homeless people, some continue to use them until they wear out and choose to never buy them again.

6. Vegans don't eat honey. Honey is food for bees who work very hard for it and not for some humans who purposely destroy bee hives for food and money.

7. Vegans don't drink animal milk. Cow's milk is for its calf, cat's milk is for its kittens, goat's milk is for its kid. What this means is that vegans don't take milk whether it's in their tea or coffee, bread or pastry. No butter, no ghee, no cheese, no paneer, no curd or yogurt. Well, you got it, right? Zero animal content in any food.

No animal milk means vegans use coconut milk, soy milk, almond or cashew milk, instead. Ice creams, cakes, and other products are made nowadays with plant-based milk, and they are delicious.

8. Vegans don't litter around. Veganism and protecting/conserving the environment is highly synonymous with each other that if one is an environmentalist and not vegan, he or she is a subject for a huge joke...a joke with empty humor. So vegans segregate wastes, recycle, reuse, and reduce consumption of unnecessary things that are a bane to the planet. They reduce their carbon emission, too. Instead of driving their own car, they choose public transport or instead of motorcycling often, they do it when in needed basis.

9. Vegans don't breed. Unless they already have a child before going vegan. If they have, they make sure that they don't contribute anymore to the human population. They rather adopt another human being or a non-human person like a dog or a cat or a pig or a calf. Vegans have a wider concept of family. Their concept of a family no longer stays in the four corners of their home where their biological connection starts. It is extended towards non-human beings as well -the animals.

Veganism and not breeding are interconnected. Vegans realize that the root cause of all our problems, especially hunger, poverty, and climate change goes all back to people -too many people emptying every inch of our natural resources. 

10. Vegans don't have a religion. Religion, throughout history, has abused, exploited and treated animals so viciously that anyone who opposes violence and exploitation, in any form, towards the innocent has to ponder deeply and try to understand once more the brutal role of religion, not only to human beings but more to animals. When a religion adheres cruelty, it is time to reject that religion. Goodness, kindness, or compassion knows no religion. It is intrinsic in each of us. 

If the one thing that prevents you from doing a heinous crime is because it is not allowed in your religion, then we have to analyze your character immediately, for whether you agree or not, you don't wrong others purposely because you know well yourself that rape, robbery, or murder is wrong! And to realize that doesn't need any religion.

11.Vegans don't support capitalism. Meat consumption is just one of the symptoms of a larger evil that pervades our society, which is capitalism. 

The disease of capitalism erodes compassion and makes humans see, not only other creatures, but also other humans, as commodities which only have value for the profit that they may fetch in the market, regardless of all other considerations. A capitalist mind-set, not only prioritizes profit, but also terminates everything else that it sees as not marketable. Since values are arbitrarily set by the market, in a capitalist system, a large proportion of the planet’s beings, both living and non-living, are arbitrarily discarded, as the market sees no value in their existence. And the ones that are seen as valuable are most often seen as valuable only for their final value of profit, thereby leading to horrific holocaust-like conditions for all their existence until their ruthless extermination in the name of generating profit.

This is why, as what I have understood about veganism, vegans don't support capitalism.

By the way, the first two paragraphs are excerpts from my entry to "I Am a Vegan" contest, which will be included in a book by Ms. Butterfly Katz.

12. Vegans don't exploit other human beings. Vegans don't exploit animals, hence the word vegan. But just because they don't exploit animals, they can be allowed to exploit other human beings. No! They can't and they shouldn't! Some vegan businesses are owned and managed by vegans. Their products are highly priced, as high as the Himalayas. 

To price a small layer of strawberry cake for Rs. 800 is ridiculous. A liter of soy milk costs Rs. 95 is, obviously, overpriced. That's exploitation and it is contemptible! And it must not be empowered!

13. Vegans don't have non-vegan partners. Vegan for animals is a core value. It is something that cannot be sold nor bought. It is one of the many moral values that people in a relationship should hold on to for a great relationship to blossom. Otherwise, that reason for being vegan is very weak, it can break anytime or the vegan partner has not really understood what veganism is and is not.

14. Vegans don't use the term "vegan diet" when referring to a "plant-based diet". Veganism isn't a diet. It's a philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals. 

When a man follows a diet without animal products for health reason, he is into a plant-based diet and not a vegan diet. 

When you say, vegan diet almost killed you because you found out that you were not getting enough nutrition, do not blame it on "vegan" diet. Blame it on your lack of interest to know proper nutrition. A diet with meat and animal products can also kill you, without even a warning!

A plant-based diet can kill you, too. You can consume all the pasta in the world, add plant-based noodles or bread or ice cream or burgers or pizzas with it. It's a plant-based diet but a very unhealthy plant-based diet. It is the kind of diet that you should take if you are in a hurry to join with your worm friends 6-feet underground. 

15. Vegans don't feel alone. Veganism is still unknown to, and if known, is ignored and resisted by the majority of the world's population. If you are a vegan and you feel alone because none of your family members or friends understands your awakening or enlightenment, don't be. You have to change that mentality. Don't focus on yourself. Think about a homeless cat or a dog who may not have had food today. Think about the animals in zoos. Even though they are in numbers, they are caged, no escape! Remember that your family just got extended. You have fellow vegans all over the world. Proximity doesn't matter anymore these days. And of course, you have the animals with you, literally or figuratively speaking.

It's okay to feel sad, but not alone. The cause of your sadness is based on reality, the state of affair when you want to do something for the animals but you couldn't. When the reason for going vegan is so clear for you but seems so dark for others to see. It's okay. It is a reality that you have to overcome. Our present world is like that. Instead,  be strong. The animals need your strength and valor. 

"The world is vegan if we choose it".

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