The reason this blog post is written is to raise awareness on the specific definition of the word veganism, which comes with great responsibility, passion, and compassion to fight against the unnecessary killing of animals, and cannot be changed due to personal convenience and interpretation.
When The Vegan Society became a registered charity in 1979, the Memorandum and Articles of Association updated the definition of the term veganism as:
‘A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms, it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.’
I often see, speak, write with and experience people naming themselves vegan, but some peoples actions and habits, unfortunately, show differently and are morally inconsistent, due to consciously allowing themselves a few exceptions in certain situations (food, clothing, makeup), when they’re actually able to choose differently, because them surviving doesn’t depend on those products. And that’s a dangerous action taken by people in connection with the vegan movement. I want to talk about the reason for that today.
ADAPTING A PLANT-BASED DIET & A VEGAN LIFESTYLE
I know that transitioning to a vegan lifestyle (a plant-based diet) can be hard at first and it takes a lot of new information to suck in, to take in and it needs altercation, improvisation and often creativity adapting to new habits. It sometimes can be frustrating finding out the only non-vegan ingredient a product contains is milk powder (we’ve all been there), but ask yourself ‘Do I want to be part of this ongoing animal holocaust, by choosing my convenience over the life of another being?’.
Adapting to a vegan lifestyle out of strong ethical, health and/or environmental beliefs (they all go hand in hand) takes a lot of strength to be aware of what is happening each and every day to those animals and to learn more and more about the animal agriculture and its practices and the business on behalf of these innocent earthlings and their dead bodies. BUT it is actually necessary to know.
I, Kerstin, lived off a vegetarian diet for 8 years (out of lack of knowledge and not putting things together) before I adapted a vegan diet basically overnight when reality hit me, that a vegetarian diet does absolutely nothing for the animals, but causing even more pain and suffering. That I was thinking I’m saving lives, but in reality, I was a puppet of societies beliefs, and the capitalist animal agriculture industry was pulling the strings. It hit me – and it hit me hard – it hit me for good.
95 % VEGAN OR VEGAN AT ALL?
I also use to say, that I was a living a 95 % vegan diet, which is a wrong terminology in itself. First of all, there is no ‘vegan diet’, but a ‘plant-based diet’, because vegan is the overall term concerning all aspects of life by leaving out animal products – such as food, beauty products, clothing, and entertainment (definition above).
Looking back to that vegetarian time of my life, when I said I was a ‘95 % vegan’, it was definitely not right to say. The fact was, that the only thing which kept me from a plant-based diet over the past year was actually only the milk chocolate at home, and the connection of facts and its reaction to my actions, I practiced at that time. But it took way more – especially makeup (which was only cruelty-free) – to a live vegan lifestyle.
I figured out it was important to me to know that I was almost there and it didn’t take much longer until I would realize that I could easily live off animals products for good – and that was before I was even consciously aware of the fact how much suffering and pain a vegetarian and meat consuming diet causes the animals. The industry and government do a great job to hide facts. Fact was though, that I was not 95 % vegan, but a 100 % vegetarian.
WHY THERE IS NO ‘BEING 95 % VEGAN’? AND WHY THERE IS NO 100 % VEGAN EITHER?
And why it’s important to use correct terminology.
You either are vegan and are consciously living by the vegan definition (shown above) for food, clothes, entertainment, beauty, etc. without any excuses and exceptions – or you’re simply NOT vegan (probably vegetarian if dairy is the issue). Consciously consuming and/or using animal products someone cannot leave out of their diet – because of lack of knowledge of the industry or connection to what history this product has and what affect it has on the animal and the environment and also on someone’s health and of convenience – is never to be called vegan.
The reason why nobody on the whole planet can be a so-called ‘100 % Vegan’ (flesh eaters love to hold that against vegans), is because there will always be animals killed in the process of food production. The use of pesticides or simply harvesting the crops, BUT that’s obviously not what veganism is about because this is such a small part of accidental deaths caused by simply being alive and using resources.
So what are we vegans then? Either vegan or not.
WHY YOU’RE NOT VEGAN IF YOU CONSCIOUSLY MAKE ‘ONLY A FEW’ EXCEPTIONS
Stating you’re vegan, but making exceptions does only great harm to the vegan society and movement. It’s trying to change the original definition of the word vegan (stated above) and someone can’t change a definition of something just by their own convenience and choices. It leads to thinking it is ok to here and there consuming animal products even though you could choose differently (in not being a survival kind of life situation, which is concerning life or death). As yourself: Can you make an animal suffer just a little bit? Like: is it ok to hit a dog just once every other day and kill it if I feel like it? Does this make it morally ok? No, it is never justified.
By using the term vegan to state your opinion and view on life, but consciously making exceptions by consuming animal products on a regular or exceptional basis, by buying and wearing animal products as well as for paying for entertainment including animals (like zoos, waterparks, etc.), is indirectly telling others (and yourself) it’s ok to make exceptions while being vegan, which is not in the interest of the vegan movement who take veganism very seriously and fight for a cruelty free, harm free, exploitation-free vegan world each and every day, by educating others.
VEGAN ON WEEKENDS
You can’t be vegan for weekends. Vegans don’t support any kind of cruelty and death ever again in their life, therefore it’s a life-changing lifestyle with strong beliefs in stopping cruelty and killing and fight for animal liberation – and not just something you do for a day or a week or any limited amount of time.
Please be self-reflective, honest and fair to yourself and to the vegan society in order to transport the only message Veganism is transporting to society: no living sentient feeling being needs to and should be killed for humans. Thank you!
Please note: All definitions of words and/or stated facts are based on the correct terminology and are carefully research and the sources taken are linked here or directly in the blog post. This blog post is also stating a personal opinion and views on certain topics.
All shown illustrations and graphics are our own and are highly restricted to be copied and used freely, without any permission.
Definition of Veganism / The Vegan Society – Definition of Veganism