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"as far as possible and practicable" and vegetarianism

flyingsnail

Well Known Member
By that logic people who are against water and air polution should stop drinking and breathing.
Sorry, I don't follow, breathing and drinking water don't cause water/air pollution. On the other hand avoiding vaccines that require animal exploitation for their formulation is a consequence of the vegan societies definition. There is no caveat in that definition for allowing animal exploitation if it benefits you or humanity.

In one sense, yes, and that's actually a good thing. It allows people to keep identifying with the vegan philosophy despite some of the factors that make it virtually impossible for everyone to use only vegan products throughout their lifetime.
You seem to agree that the definition is vague, yet you go on to say "vegan products" as if it has a concrete meaning. If the definition of veganism is vague, then so too is the definition of "vegan product". I'm still not sure what criteria is used to determine whether a product is "vegan" or not, due to the intimate connection between plants and animals I'm just not sure how you separate the two. The definition given by the vegan society has a lot of consequences that vegans don't seem to care about.
 

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
Sorry, I don't follow, breathing and drinking water don't cause water/air pollution. On the other hand avoiding vaccines that require animal exploitation for their formulation is a consequence of the vegan societies definition. There is no caveat in that definition for allowing animal exploitation if it benefits you or humanity.
Taking a medicine or vaccine can be a matter of life and death. I would argue death is rather impracticable. Also, the definition itself is only one source of authority. On some questions you have to go by authoritative interpretations, such as those given by The Vegan Society. From their web site:
Currently all medicine in the UK must be tested on animals before it is deemed safe for human use, but please note: The Vegan Society DOES NOT recommend you avoid medication prescribed to you by your doctor - a dead vegan is no good to anyone! What you can do is ask your GP or pharmacist to provide you, if possible, with medication that does not contain animal products such as gelatine or lactose.
Source: Definition of veganism | The Vegan Society
You seem to agree that the definition is vague, yet you go on to say "vegan products" as if it has a concrete meaning. If the definition of veganism is vague, then so too is the definition of "vegan product". I'm still not sure what criteria is used to determine whether a product is "vegan" or not, due to the intimate connection between plants and animals I'm just not sure how you separate the two. The definition given by the vegan society has a lot of consequences that vegans don't seem to care about.
I find it helpful to clearly distinguish between the definition of "vegan person" (veganism / vegan philosophy) and the definition of "vegan product". The former is more forgiving whereas the latter is more strict. A person who identifies as vegan, and is recognized as such, may at times, due to lack of available alternatives, have to use non-vegan products. I agree with you that there can be doubt as to the veganicity of certain products for the reason you mention. The guiding principle, I suppose, is whether or not the product depends on definitive exploitation of animals.
 

Scorpius

The Lizard Queen
You seem to agree that the definition is vague, yet you go on to say "vegan products" as if it has a concrete meaning. If the definition of veganism is vague, then so too is the definition of "vegan product". I'm still not sure what criteria is used to determine whether a product is "vegan" or not, due to the intimate connection between plants and animals I'm just not sure how you separate the two. The definition given by the vegan society has a lot of consequences that vegans don't seem to care about.
I would say a vegan product is a good/food item that is devoid of meat/animal by-products.
I am not a vegan product (I am a vegan human), so I cannot be defined as cut-and-dry as that.
 

flyingsnail

Well Known Member
Taking a medicine or vaccine can be a matter of life and death. I would argue death is rather impracticable. Also, the definition itself is only one source of authority.
But we aren't talking about death per se, but rather the probability of death. If you consider any action that results in a non-zero probability of death impracticable than nearly everything we do is impracticable. Getting the flu vaccine lowers your probability of death...but that doesn't mean avoiding the flu vaccine is impracticable. Avoiding the flu vaccine is both possible and practicable......its just that this is a case of animal exploitation that results in a benefit to humans. But there is no caveat in the vegan societies definition for such things and doing so would be tricky....you'd have to separate benefits like pleasure from a benefit like a lowered probability of death. Such a caveat would also lead to meat-eating the minute someone demonstrated that eating some meat product had a tangible benefit to ones health.

The guiding principle, I suppose, is whether or not the product depends on definitive exploitation of animals.
But nearly everything people eat depends on the definitive exploitation of animals. Farmers of plant crops,for example, routinely exploit bees and other insects to pollinate and kill pest insects.

For the notion of a "vegan product", I'm looking for a defining criteria and I've yet to find one that makes much sense. If one wants to define "vegan product" by a long list of what can and cannot be consumed that would work....but it would also be arbitrary.

I would say a vegan product is a good/food item that is devoid of meat/animal by-products.
.
One would have to define "meat" and "animal by product", these terms can mean a variety of things depending on the context.
 
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PinkUK

Well Known Member
Hello,

I am curious why you ask the question? I do what allows me to feel peaceful and for me that means I'm really quite strict but only you know what feels right for you and no one should make you (or more precisely you should not allow) anyone to make you feel bad about what you decide is how you feel comfortable. We all do our best, which may change over time but will always be dictated by our own heart.

Good luck.
 

AeryFairy

Anachronism
Location
Manchester, UK
Modly reminder that this is the vegetarian forum, and it is for support, not criticism. Please keep vegetarian-critical posts out of this section of the board.
 

prioritarian

Well Known Member
Location
PDX
But nearly everything people eat depends on the definitive exploitation of animals. Farmers of plant crops,for example, routinely exploit bees and other insects to pollinate and kill pest insects.
I agree that there is a distinct lack of logic in the way "possible and practicable" is interpreted. However, many vegans aren't interested in a rational approach to "avoiding" exploitation or cruelty; rather, they are more concerned with symbolic purity. Then there are vegans like me who don't give a flying fart about my personal/symbolic purity but care about indirect and direct exploitation/cruelty equally. For example, I find consumption of south east asian palm oil to be far, far more ethically problematic than eating a bit of whey or honey.


Perhaps you can convert to vague-anism.
A rational ethical system without perfect knowledge is by definition vague. I'm a proud vague-atarian. And, frankly, I find black and white veg*nism to be somewhat disturbing.
 

Danielle

forever seeking fire
Location
Illinois
If you're against palm oil, you can avoid that and be vegan or vegetarian. :shrug:
I was wondering if a vegan and a vegetarian were stuck on the moon in a Nazi moon base, with only a meat sausages to eat, if they both eat the sausages, the vegan could still be considered a vegan, but the vegetarian would lose his veggie status.?
I hate it when that happens :(
 
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