Friday, August 27, 2010


Veganism as defined in Wikipedia

Veganism is a philosophy and lifestyle whose adherents seek to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.Vegans endeavor not to use or consume animal products of any kind. The most common reasons for becoming a vegan are human health, ethical commitment or moral conviction concerning animal rights or welfare, the environment, and spiritual or religious concerns. Of particular concern to many vegans are the practices involved in factory farming and animal testing, and the intensive use of land and other resources for animal farming.

A Vegan diet excludes all animal products such as milk, dairy, eggs, any meat and so on. It is definitely a difficult lifestyle to choose. Because you definitely can find ethical alternatives, like certified local farms who will provide you with organic and ethical milk and meat. And in most discussions with aggressive vegans, the question of humane slaughter for meat always comes up. In my opinion, there is probably no way to kill an animal humanely. But if you look around other carnivores around you, you will see that the way a carnivore lion or a tiger kills a deer is not pleasant either. What I support about these ethical farms is that they try to give their flock a happy life before they are eventually killed for food like the life they would have had in the wild before eventually getting hunted by a carnivore. Most ethical dairy farms infact have a really low kill rate because they are not necessarily in the meat industry.

This knowledge however does not necessarily give me any prolonged solace about continuing to use these products ! Who really ensures that the farms and suppliers stick to the requirements for them to be certified ethical, humane, organic and cruelty free. How frequently are the requirements checked? There are several believable organizations who do take up the charge, but I find it difficult to keep believing that the model will be sustainable. Eventually, if the demand for ethical and organic food increases, these farms will end up becoming industrialized to meet the demand. It is like an endless cycle.

Like every person in the process of converting to Vegan-ism, I am going through a transition phase, trying out new things, substitutions, being confused some days and so on. Even though it is such passionate cause, it is always difficult to convince everyone around you to just give up and change their entire food and living habits. So I am trying to figure out a process of change. A small change in every aspect, a change to find other options for people who cannot completely give up yet, options which are ethical, options that make sense to someone who cannot grasp your passion about the cause, options that will eventually help them understand and slowly move towards a better, a right, direction. The mantra..Just be as kind as you can be.. be it what you eat, what you use, what you see and what you do..

If you have some time, please do read up some great write ups about why Veganism and how being Vegan is just an extension to being human, here

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