Are vegans extinct?

Taken from: Quarrygirl forums

Saw this on ye olde Twitter today, and I figured it was an interesting point to touch on.

For me, being vegan is about trying to reduce the number of products I purchase, consume, use, etc… that involve animals. I have not lost sleep over the idea that somewhere in the run of my day something might slip in that involved an animal, but I do try to filter it all out.

So, does this graphic mean a true vegan can not exist in today’s modern world? In a society where industry has discovered ways to use every part of an animal that most of us would never even dream of, can we be a strict vegan?

This leads me to wonder where everyone else draws the line? In the past, T.O.F.U. has subtlety poked fun at those who identify as vegetarian while still eating fish, a little chicken, etc… Is it any different when we identify as vegan and still eat things involving refined sugar? Or what about those who still wear animal products? Or who still drink non-vegan beer?

If we had the Vegan Police like in the movie Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World it would be easier. Of course, if we had super powers like the movie also suggests, maybe we wouldn’t need a police force?

Super heroes or not, does a true vegan stand a chance in today’s world? Are vegans extinct? Did one ever really exist?



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  1. CE wrote: Oct. 22, 2010

    I think the essence of veganism is not so much whether or not the glue you use was made of the byproducts of the meat industry, or what the source of rubber is on the tire of your bicycle, but rather the belief in the possibility of an absolute veganism in the future. It is a process. You do the best that you can, and sadly some people draw the line sooner than they should… the easiest and most obvious part is the food that you eat. The ethical questions you make in the grocery store or at a restaurant. Is there a less harmful alternative? Right in the next aisle? Can I get my protein and iron and omegas in another source, just as easily, at a similar price? Can my shampoo just as easily not be tested on animals? My toothpaste? There are some things that just plain simply are not available right now… medicines not tested on animals for instance, the wheels on the bus you ride on. But the more vegans there are, who believe that you don’t have to settle for the traditional cruel habits of our ancestors (who had far fewer options of course), the more progress is made, more products and alternatives become available. Look at how far we’ve come so far… ten years ago the tofu aisle at your local grocery store either didn’t exist or was super tiny and tucked behind a crate. Now there are about a dozen different soy icecream flavours in the freezers, egg replacers, soy mayo, puddings ! A vegan exists. It’s an evolution though. Unfortunately for the time being there are some things that are unavoidable or not as easily accessible YET… but it is actually the vegans of today who will make that happen tomorrow!

  2. CE wrote: Oct. 22, 2010

    I also question a few things on that drawing… which pasta is derived from cattle blood, which egg replacer? And obviously not all shampoos, conditioners, cosmetics, toothpastes, detergents, deodorants, candies, gums, shaving cream, and perfumes are unvegan.

  3. admin wrote: Oct. 22, 2010

    I think you make some great points! It really is a process, and we’re all a part of it. Some of us are able to reap the rewards of a bigger vegan presence in stores easier than others, so the degree to which our decisions are animal-friendly can vary.
    I’m sure the drawing is a little exaggerated, but it certainly does illustrate a good point. Depending on how deep you want to go, someone could probably always argue that you’re not a true vegan. Sometimes that is all they are looking to do. It’s just good to be comfortable with the decisions you make, and to be aware that there are always ways to make better decisions.
    On a more specific note, the pasta and egg replacer one really threw me off. Perhaps it’s in the process of making such things?

  4. CE wrote: Oct. 22, 2010

    It’s that ”true vegan” thing that might be the real problem. Of course no one is a ”true vegan”… just like no one is a ”true feminist” or a ”true socialist” or a ”true Christian” or a true anything-ist. You can still consider yourself any of these if your ideals fall mostly under the category and if the absolute ”true” label is what you AIM toward and truly believe in.

    In my opinion, a vegan is still a vegan even if we might accidentally step on thousands of ants inadvertantly in our lifetime, or if we might eat sugar in a seemingly vegan pie without being able to know if any of the grains were filtered in a char-bone process, or we might break a leg and need xrays on unvegan film provided by the hospital, or we might use a bandaid whose adhesive comes from a company whose representatives don’t even know they use animal byproducts in the production, or we get a terribly life-altering disease like cancer or Parkinsons which requires medication for the rest of our life which is unfortunately for the time being only available because it has been tested on animals.

    If you believe you are a vegan and you do everything in your power to be a vegan, you are a vegan. I accidentally ate salmon a few years ago when it was hidden in a salad, and someone terrible tricked me once into eating a vegetable soup that had bacon pieces sunken at the bottom of the bowl… it doesn’t erase the fact that I have been a vegetarian since I was six years old, and have considered myself to be a ‘true” vegan for at least eight of those years now.

    You were right though, someone could always argue that you’re not a true vegan, but those people just don’t get it and usually just want to point out what you’re not doing so the fact that they are doing a whooooole lot less seems somewhat less awful.

    I think the popular definition of a vegan is: ”someone who abstains from the use of animal products.” It might be clearer if the word ”abstain” would be changed to ”avoid”. Veganism should not be about the few things that you can not avoid (and no, eating fish and chocolate is NOT unavoidable ;P)– rather it’s about the very simple every day choices you put a conscious effort into changing that CAN be changed. Of course it’s also about spreading the word, about making a difference step by step, so that in the future, yes, even the big mean corporations and the medical world will wisen up to unnecessary cruelty!

    Anyway, I totally don’t believe the blood pasta thing, but I’m planning to research that more tonight. I’m really curious to see how wheat and water would be processed by cattle blood. If it’s right, we might have to start only making our own home-made noodles.

  5. Amandaspiano wrote: Oct. 22, 2010

    I agree with CE’s statements, “If you believe you are a Vegan and you do everything in your power to be a Vegan, you are a Vegan.” If the choices are there, and you make the conscious decision to avoid products that have animal ingredients or testing, you have made the best choice you can as a Vegan. If you still have guilt for those few products that have not been clear about their products development or ingredients, you should be proactive and write them a letter. Always questioning the process and keeping companies in check is a good thing to do in general. I am Vegan… my heart is true. True Vegan? Yep.

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