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Branch from the "do you cheat on your lifestyle" thread.

Continuing discussion from: http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=19076.0 (do you cheat on your lifestyle?)

I will copy my post.

I had an idea last night that I think goes with this thread:
OK, assume that the world gives up living on an animal-based diet and everyone is vegetarian/vegan. The global economy completely changes; places that were once used to rear animals for slaughter become cornfields. My question is, in your mind, what happens to the animals? (This is ideally, not necessarily realistically.) Since our economy gives these animals their short, brutish lives ... what happens if we decide to do without them? Do the thousands of beef cows get moved to an animal sanctuary? Do we put them in zoos? Keep them as pets?

I am trying to picture it in my mind I can't really think of anything. (Probably because many of these species have been domesticated by man for centuries ... it would be weird to release them into the wild.)
Ideas?

In my mind, a lot/most of these animals (realistically) will die. No, they most probably can't survive anywhere but their horrid environments in which they came from. I guess everyone would try to save as many as possible, and give them a wonderful remaining life, but that could only be a select few. Our society has created them, and they would die without us. Thankfully, in this hypothetical situation, no more would be created for such a purpose! I guess they could just live on these cornfields. Could we keep big pastures for them? They could live there until they die. Also, why all corn? I want big...avocado fields, or something.

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Anyway, I honestly think there is a whole lot being blown out of proportion/misunderstood here. (and I'm not meaning that in a way to minimize or devalue anyone's feelings) We are all people communicating. I said over and over that I'm not saying that I'm any better than anyone else, or "I hate you", or whatever. I'm "speaking" my opinion, as everyone else is. Obviously, I'm going to hold the same opinion as some, and not as others. Period. I mean, if we were all sitting around in a room talking, it would play out the same (without as much time to think of what to say..and hopefully without as much misunderstanding).

Also, I want to clear something up. I won't speak for her, but I don't purposely conspire with KMK (or anyone else) against anyone, or to say certain things. We agree 98% of the time, and THAT'S why we are good friends (in part, of course). It's not that we are good friends, so we must agree all the time. Just because we hold the same opinion, it doesn't mean that we are banding together to overthrow anyone.

Re: this favorite business-Isn't it obvious that we're all going to like certain people more than others. Maybe it's just me, but I don't like every single person I meet, and I definitely like some people more than others. IRL ( ::)), I don't pretend to like certain people, and play like we're good friends, but I also don't personally attack others, or say hateful things to them. I guess I don't understand why it's so surprising, and such a horrible thing, that we might not ALL like each other. I don't really have a problem with someone not liking me (online at least...In life, I'd be like, WHAT is wrong with you?!) I also know that on other forums, they have threads talking about how much they love certain members, and so forth. We don't do that, and we don't personally attack each other.

eta before posting in reference to CW's post: I understand that those situations arise, and must be extremely difficult for those that encounter them, but that's not at all what I was talking about in my original posts, and regarding the big picture of it all. Those are extreme situations that arise, and I assume can't be avoided. That's not the same as choosing to eat/do something not vegan, but wanting to be vegan, and justifying it (or not).

I mean, I pretty much agree with everything you said, Cali, though I know we might be on opposite sides of the issue in some ways.  I wasn't referring to accidents in this post, or binge eating, or non-vegan medicine.  I was referring to things like, "I'm vegan, but I eat cheese once a month when I pass by this really nice cheese store on the way home from work because it tastes so good."  That's a pretty striking, direct break with veganism on a regular basis.  It would just be more accurate, more productive, (and that person should still be proud) to say, "I am aspiring to be vegan," or some such.  

Again, I stand by what I said in that the term "vegan" is neither positive nor negative, and it's not a badge of honor--it's neutral but for your own personal judgment.  People with whom veganism doesn't really resonate don't care if something is "vegan"--and as we know, some people are put off by food which is labeled "vegan."  The judgment is a projection of your own values.  Most of us here think vegan is something positive, and we want to apply the term to ourselves because it resonates with our values.  That's good, but again, if we are regularly opposing those values (and again, here I do not refer to binging, or poverty, etc--just regular nonvegan choices) then we need to ask ourselves (a) what can we do to fix this, and (b) are those values really important to us anymore?

I mean, if you say, "You know what, I really value honesty.  I consider myself an honest person" but then you continue to lie on a regular basis, there is some disconnect between your values and your actions that needs to be fixed--or maybe you don't really value honesty as much as you thought, and you probably shouldn't go around saying you are an honest person.  I mean, you could still call yourself an honest person, and far be it from me to say, "You're not honest!" to your face (that's not my problem), but we can all agree that lying is not an honest action.  Eating cheese on a regular basis is not a vegan action (as an example).

We all just need to keep asking ourselves whether we are being vegan to the best of our ability.  I couldn't say that in good conscience if I were still eating cheese.  And I know there are lots of other things I can do better--for example, I still use a pot of Clinique makeup that I bought pregan, and I still use tylenol, which of course was tested on animals.  I recently gave more thought to the razors I use.  As long as we are constantly reevaluating our decisions and trying to do better, I think we're fine.  What bothers me is when people use the "no one is a perfect vegan" philosophy as a free pass to eat their favorite brie or buy that really cute leather bag.  I mean, come on, that's kind of lame--and not vegan.

Another thing that bothers me in this thread is that the question of "is it ok to call yourself vegan if you are " was specifically raised in this thread for debate.  That is different than going around and saying to people in person, or in casual conversation here on vegweb, "You know, you're not vegan!"  None of us do that.  Like, Cali said, we're not going to go into church and say "You're not Christian."  Honestly, I don't really care--call yourself vegan if you want.  But if we are going to debate, let's debate.  Remember the context of the discussion.  

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I think that some people might feel like just saying "that's not vegan" (etc) is a judgment. I mean, in a way, it is a judgment - you're judging as some food/behavior/whatnot as not vegan - but people might read it as a moral judgment because of the nature of veganism. I think most people go vegan and stay vegan for primarily ethical reasons (moral judgments about whether it's ok to eat animals, products of animal agriculture, byproducts of animal agriculture, and so on), and so for one vegan to call another one out on doing something/eating something not vegan (that was debatably optional) seems like saying "hey! we agreed this is wrong! why are you still doing it?!". It's sort of like how just saying "I'm vegan" to some omnivores gets them all defensive - we don't mean to say "what you eat is immoral" but that's how people take it. Should we tip toe around that issue as to not offend anyone? Or should we be like "yeah, I think it's wrong, but it's your choice". (Ok, I stated that in a very biased way, so I agree with the latter).
So yeah, I think there's general agreement of what foods and such are not vegan, there's some gray area too (you know, like using catgut in surgery. Obviously not a vegan product, but what are you gonna do?). But as far as people saying they're vegan when they slip up (on purpose or accidental), I think anyone who feels like they've slipped up will take the defensive, because they know those actions can be seen as unethical.
That being said, I have slipped up too in some ways - first year I was vegan I ate Halloween candy (I was 12... the whole bandwagon thing), and then realized it was a hell of a lot crappier than I remembered it. I also tried cream cheese because I was suspicious that my mom was using regular cream cheese and not tofutti in my sandwiches for school (I was right! grr). I ate bread that had whey in it (I didn't want to go return it). I didn't read the ingredients on ginger Cats Cookies from TJ's (they have egg, unlike the other flavors), and still ate a few after realizing it before giving it to my brother. And I've mistakenly eaten animal products many times (one time it made me really ill! who the hell makes curry sauce with cream??). But I move on. One of the ways I help prevent these "slip ups" is trying to recreate whatever cool nonvegan thing I saw (maybe a nice barbecue sauce with honey or something, or whole wheat bread that doesn't friggin have honey in it, a cool looking wool scarf) at home. Other times I just pass things by and go "meh. I still have dark chocolate."
One of the non-vegan things I regularly do is eat refined cane sugar (the whole bone char thing). Since I've learned of how beet sugar is labeled, I've bought that stuff instead when available, but I haven't made any real effort to eliminate refined cane sugar from pre-made stuff I buy (namely oreos, cereal, etc). Hell, I don't even know if these use cane or beet sugar - beet is cheaper, but cane is apparently more of the standard in the States. Sometimes I feel bad about this, sometimes I don't think about it at all. And I still call myself vegan.
Oh, and the one time I bought beer (for bakin'), I didn't check into vegan brands or anything.

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As is often the case, I'd like to say, "Hear, Hear!" for Cali's post.
Everything she said was spot-on. ...for instance, the casein-tainted veg. cheeze: My sister bought some of this a few years back for a special pizza night just for Us, and I figured it was vegan because she said she checked the label. I found said label on top of the trash later that night, after eating 3 slices.   :P So I just didn't eat any more after that.

Intention is quite different from misinformation and innocent ignorance.

I think that some people might feel like just saying "that's not vegan" (etc) is a judgment. I mean, in a way, it is a judgment - you're judging as some food/behavior/whatnot as not vegan - but people might read it as a moral judgment because of the nature of veganism. ...

Yup. That's what I meant when I said that We should all be careful in selecting Our words. What might not sound like a judgment or insult to You can be interpreted differently to someone who has been given a different impression of "good," "acceptable," etc.

I have slipped up too in some ways ... But I move on. ...
One of the non-vegan things I regularly do is eat refined cane sugar (the whole bone char thing). Since I've learned of how beet sugar is labeled, I've bought that stuff instead when available, but I haven't made any real effort to eliminate refined cane sugar from pre-made stuff I buy (namely oreos, cereal, etc). Hell, I don't even know if these use cane or beet sugar - beet is cheaper, but cane is apparently more of the standard in the States. Sometimes I feel bad about this, sometimes I don't think about it at all. And I still call myself vegan.
...

This, too, is something I can speak for. Peta2's list of "accidentally vegan" candies rarely specify what kind of sugar they use...maybe their sugars are refined with bone char, and thus, falsely labeled as vegan?
Sometimes there is only so much we actually CAN do..... it's a question of preventable harm. If I could avoid hitting bugs with my windshield, I wouldl; but when those bugs fly across the line of fire of my big boat of a conversion van, there's not much I can do. Heck, even bicycling usually results in a few swallowed gnats, and it's not like I do that on purpose.

...Most of us here think vegan is something positive, and we want to apply the term to ourselves because it resonates with our values.  That's good, but again, if we are regularly opposing those values (and again, here I do not refer to binging, or poverty, etc--just regular nonvegan choices) then we need to ask ourselves (a) what can we do to fix this, and (b) are those values really important to us anymore?

...We all just need to keep asking ourselves whether we are being vegan to the best of our ability. ...As long as we are constantly reevaluating our decisions and trying to do better, I think we're fine.  What bothers me is when people use the "no one is a perfect vegan" philosophy as a free pass to eat their favorite brie or buy that really cute leather bag.  I mean, come on, that's kind of lame--and not vegan. ...

I agree for the most part with what You've said here, KMK. ...like my example:
if a Christian personally believes in the morals and values taught by her/his church, and does her/his best to follow but s/he slips up sometimes, s/he will likely not renounce that belief system entirely just because mistakes were made. That person will continue to aspire toward the "Christian ideal" (whatever that is), still stumble along the way, but will identify as a Christian nonetheless.
.....But in other cases, like when I finally decided that I rejected the Christianity I grew up with, one can realize that multiple, consistent "mistakes" actually fall in line with that person's individual value system. ....I finally realized that sex is a natural and wonderful part of human nature, that questioning one's beliefs is not blasphemous or "dangerous," and that I used occasional prayer just for personal comfort...I honestly doubted the existence of the Christian idea of "God," so I gave up claiming that system of belief.

I do not buy or request any non-vegan items. But if I try to ask Sanvean's mom if the bread she serves has an egg wash, she might not even know, and assure me that there are no animal products in it...So I accept whatever quantity of that bread that I think will show my appreciation.

When my friend bought me a pair of boots from Wal-Mart, she checked to make sure they were all man-made.  :)>>> This was incredibly sweet of her, though I'd have preferred that she not support that disgusting corporation and the sweatshop labour that went into making my boots......but of course I wasn't going to refuse or return them. I wore them regularly, and they're now barely holding together. :)

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I agree that there is a moral judgment implied in saying something is "vegan" or not. However, I think that it goes beyond saying "what is vegan is good."

I noticed in more than one instance (particularly in the "honey: yes or no?" discussion) that it wasn't a person's dedication to a vegan lifestyle that was called into question. It was the person's preferences for particular tastes.
I'll paraphrase an example: "you don't eat honey because it's non-vegan ... you eat it because you like the taste." This argument has appeared more than once.*

It is unfair to condemn a person's appetite, in my opinion, and that kind of argument (the "you'd be more vegan if you had better self-control, a different palate, etc.") is very negative and judgmental. I think we all crave the same things, in terms of taste and texture. I think that craving a butter-and-egg cookie isn't a crime, and being unsatisfied with the vegan version isn't a crime either.

The person who can point a finger and imply that appetite is at fault has been able to be satisfied with the vegan substitutes for meat, cheese, eggs, and milk. Unfortunately, I feel like there's a very serious moral judgment involved in that accusation -- one that really shows the "more vegan than thou" attitude.

*I say this as a person who does eat local, organic, cruelty-free, non-commercial, raw honey and doesn't feel like that's a betrayal of my veganism.

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I think we're beating a dead horse, (not vegan, I know)
it will never be resolved, and we will all never agree....so can we move on????

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I think we're beating a dead horse, (not vegan, I know)
it will never be resolved, and we will all never agree....so can we move on????

*AC NOT VEGAN SIREN*

You meant to say, we are beating the mashed tofu.

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go ahead and handcuff me officer..... ;)b

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Hee hee!
I feel the same way when I say "bitching" or "nagging." Feminist police!

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"Bitching" is a double whammy since it refers to women and female doggies.  :P
Vegan feminist police!

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GOD HOW IT BURNS!!

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I dare say this thread has taken a turn for the best.

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Seconded.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EYAUazLI9k

Cooperation is a beautiful thing.

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I don't know if I remember the honey thing correctly, but I think someone said that "you eat honey because you like the taste" because that person had previously stated just that, and then the same person started arguing for honey being ok to eat (philosophical reasons or something). The "you eat honey because you like the taste" was like saying "you're only arguing that it's ok to eat honey because you like the taste, not because you actually believe it. we know this because you already said your reason for eating honey is because you like the taste." Yeah, it comes off as judgmental, but it might have been accurate. Accuracy vs. politeness? I dunno. I wind up just inserting "kinda" and "sorta" in a lame attempt to take the edge off :/
And yeah, I'm definitely part of this Vegan Feminist Police.

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I would like to clarify that I was the one who said that, and the quote was taken out of context.  The "I like honey" was the last (and therefore least) of three reasons for continuing to eat honey, the first two being related to the ecological interdependence of bees and the U.S. agricultural system.  (Did you know that the current bee famine is causing almond prices to skyrocket?)  Since then, I have thought more about the implications of potential beekeeper carelessness resulting in the bees' deaths, and I have decided to forgo the honey.  I guess it's kind of a catch-22:  how can we maintain our agriculture without harming animals?

Anyway, the reason I actually wanted to post on this is because recently on a family vacation, my dad bought morningstar (nonvegan) veggie burgers.  He then proceeded to get mad at me when I pointed out that I couldn't eat them.  How do you guys deal with that kind of a situation?  I felt like I was walking a very thin tightrope between commitment to my lifestyle and family harmony.

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Anyway, the reason I actually wanted to post on this is because recently on a family vacation, my dad bought morningstar (nonvegan) veggie burgers.  He then proceeded to get mad at me when I pointed out that I couldn't eat them.  How do you guys deal with that kind of a situation?  I felt like I was walking a very thin tightrope between commitment to my lifestyle and family harmony.

I'd probably coo about how thoughtful it was, declare that I can't eat them, and then get excited about how everybody now gets to enjoy veggie burgers.  Veggie burgers for all!  Vive la veggie burger!  And all of that.

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Thanks hh.  I definitely try not to inconvenience my friends and family, but it seems so hard to avoid hard feelings sometimes... :(

Unfortunately, I feel like there's a very serious moral judgment involved in that accusation -- one that really shows the "more vegan than thou" attitude.

*I say this as a person who does eat local, organic, cruelty-free, non-commercial, raw honey and doesn't feel like that's a betrayal of my veganism.

I agree with you completely... I consider veganism my own form of activism, and just as I wouldn't want someone preaching to me about religion or politics, I try to avoid exhorting my values to my unappreciative friends and family.  I think that vegans who militantly berate omnis do themselves a disservice, and can actually turn people off more than interest them in the vegan lifestyle.

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I agree with HH on the veggie burgers - "ooh! how lovely! ... but oh, I can't eat them!" hehe. This happened a lot with my mom at first (and still occasionally). I think someone might get pissed about this because (a) they don't take kindly to veganism anyway and (b) they made all that effort to get something vegan, and it wasn't vegan anyway. If it were just (b), it's not really a reason to be pissed at you, just at the universe (/manufacturers of non-vegan veggie burgers). I've done similar before with an LDS friend, when I got her something that I thought didn't have tea... and then did.  :( (oh well! more chai for moi!)

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Check that out! That's why I said corn (though I could as easily have said soy, barley and/or cotton). Those crops have come to dominate the landscape in this country. It sure would be nice to live in a sea of avocado trees, though. But for that you'd have to move to Southern California.

I met this kid at a show once that basically boycotted corn. he was not vegan (he drank milk and ate cheese from his goats and slaughtered them for meat once a year) but he did not eat anything with corn in it because he thought it was that unethical. Just like many vegans he resorts to making a lot of his own food and stuff because corn is in so much stuff. just though it was cool though, a different type of "ethical diet"

the only question i have though is isnt the corn that is mass produced (for feedlots and ethanol) and takes up most the land different than the corn we eat?

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the only question i have though is isnt the corn that is mass produced (for feedlots and ethanol) and takes up most the land different than the corn we eat?

yes

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