ecoethicalvegan

People first veganism, Because the Revolutions here and you know that it's right.

The Slippery Slope

Is it a bird, is it a plane, no! it’s SuperBi Valve!!!!!! I’m not sure if you see the analogy but I’m going to explain what it is about bivalves that should set your ve-dar going off at an earthquake richter shaking scale of non human animal shaking proportions.

Is it a plant, is it an animal, is it a what?.. What is it about the bivalve that makes it or should I say him/& or her a gastronomic conundrum for food ethicists. Bivalvia are taxonomically classed as Kingdom Animalia, however there is much debate as to whether they feel pain or exhibit sentience sufficient to exclude them from the plate of a conscientious consumer.

You may choose to simplify non consumption by arguing I err on the side of the ‘I give them the benefit of the doubt’ therefore I don’t consume them. That is a personal choice that I don’t have a problem with. On the other hand I personally don’t believe bivalvia (generally speaking and not including all taxa) are sentient enough (and here we go with another sliding scale/slippery slope argument, think ‘if a human were in a coma and considered ‘a vegetable would you eat it?) for me to exclude them from your ethically considerate dining fare.

What I don’t allow myself to get caught up in is the ‘well, what about the slippery slope’ fallacy, it goes something like this…

Being vegan 99% of the time means you are still vegan but then you get this response:

Dunno about you guys, but I rape children and beat women too, but only 1% of the time…because I deserve it.

The above response is trying to say you’re either vegan all the time or if you choose to eat a cake your 99 year old grandma made, that included an egg then NO YOU’RE NOT VEGAN ever again.

Here’s how I see it.

An ecoethicalvegan cannot exist and will one day return to omnivorism because once she (yeah let’s go with she, matter of fact her name is vegana) makes the conscious decision to eat a rescue hens egg then what’s next!, here we go slippery slope territory.

It starts with a boiled egg, next is a glass of milk from an ethically and lovingly raised cow, then before a ‘vegan’ can say boo to a dickie bird (which they wouldn’t do because the dickie bird might have a heart attack) Vegana figures what the hey! I think I’ll have a little honey in mah pancakes!…… sliding sliding…… next she says porky the pig only had a coupla days to live anyway so she digs into a sixpack of crispy bacon, well porky would’ve wanted it that way because Vegana and porky were good friends for a lifetime (well at least porky’s lifetime which was cut short because a mans) Vegana’s gots to eat (times are tough you know and porky’s glad to help out)….more slippin an slidin goin on.

Finally it comes down to this Vegana contemplates by saying if I eat eggs-honey-milk & bacon I might as well just be a regular joe Jane and eat EVERYTHING!!! and she strips off and dives into a huge meal that her friends prepared and rolls around in all the non vegan angel cake-sausages-pork fat dripping gravy with mashed potatoes-venison-twinkies-KFC-Big Macs and of course you have to have pepporoni pizza with three kinds of cheese and after eating it all she drops dead because her arteries got clogged which shows to go the (say this with a very slow and low echo’y voice) she succumbed to the sliiiperrry slo o ppppe.

ok if you believe that one then maybe you need a shrink, if on the other hand you think that whole situation is ridiculous and maybe funny then I think we’re on the same track (great minds think alike)

Just because Vegana ate an egg doesn’t in any way shape or form mean she’s going to slide into some kind of self fulfilling deadly Karma, she just wanted an egg, that’s it, nothing else, she’s still an ethically grounded conscientious consumer that has the ability to draw the line at a level she is comfortable with and still be an ecoethical vegan.

Maybe you connect with her, maybe not, either way talk to me, tell me what you think.

Skin a Cat

So the rhetoric goes something like this.

Veganproper: I only wear canvas shoes and my wallet is made of duct tape.

Vegankool: My shoes are made of pleather and my belt is fake animal print.

Veganproper: You are just making omni’s think that you wear animal skins because your shoes and belt look so real!

Vegankool: But but but I look kool and anyways I’m not supporting the leather industry and I’m not responsible for the nasty toxins that are polluting the environment.

Veganproper: It’s very unvegan to wear attire that looks so much like the real thing. As a good kool vegan you should stop it at once before you stumble other aspiring vegans, plus you make us look like hypocrites, you’re muddying the very name of veganism.

Vegankool: Well if someone really cared they would ask me what my shoes are made of and I could tell them it’s pleather and that they could look kool like me and save the planet too, it’s a win win VP!!

Veganproper: But most people will just assume you’re wearing animal skin and go buy real leather, THAT’S NOT KOOL!!

Vegankool: I’m just one in a million that they see every day so it isn’t going to have any impact on their thoughts about buying leather, they’re gonna do it anyways, alls I’m saying is I want to look kool. Anyway don’t you work in a zoo you you, you hypocrite!!!!!!!!

And so it goes, around and around and around, fingers pointing, tongues lashing, I’m more vegan than you, blah blah blah.

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The point of the above exercise is to highlight the redundant discourse between two vegans that are supposedly on the same side yet have disdain for each other and ultimately stifles progress, they’d rather argue semantics instead of looking for ways to promote veganism to people ‘open’ to it’s message.

Let’s try another little tête-à-tête, this time with an ecoethicalvegan…

ecoethicalvegan: Hi veganproper! nice to meet you! we have something in common, I’m vegan too!

Veganproper: uh I don’t think sooo!! you’re wearing (dun da dun dun) LEATHER!!!!!!

ecoethicalvegan: That’s because I’m an ecoethicalvegan, I wear thriftstore leather or if my grandma left me an old woolen cap I can wear it and still be vegan.

Veganproper: hahahahahah there’s no such thing as an ecoethicalvegan, stop trying to bastardize its meaning you apostate!

ecoethicalvegan: No problem there VP, welcome to the new world vegan, I am an ecoethicalvegan, you are the ‘traditional’ vegan and we can coexist 🙂

Veganproper: uh okaaaay?!?

ecoethicalvegan: By the way I heard you work in a zoo! but that’s ok too, because after all the zoo you’re working in is renowned the world over for its animal advocacy work it does and it’s also ok as far as an ecoethicalvegan is concerned so maybe just maybe we can be friends!

Veganproper: Hey how about them yankees!!

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Ok that was fun right! unless you’re an uptight vegan fundamentalist fanatic with a penchant for wanting to hang on to your ‘vegan’ title and don’t want to allow for any other group to flourish with goals that are ultimately also looking to lay the groundwork for non human animal personhood to the extent that they are not viewed willy nilly (another term that’s funny) as commodities for humans.

It’s time for a protest/separation against the the vegan religion much like the time when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the church door of the university town of Wittenberg. In so doing a new religion was born.

I have started to draft a charter of ecoethicalveganism and will continue to nail it to the door of every vegan forum/blog as I can and will challenge veganism to work with me if it wants to.

It’s time for a paradigm shift within the vegan community, not one where ‘it’ is being asked to fundamentally change but one where ‘it’ is willing to accept there is more than one way to ‘skin a cat’

Talk to me….

Reinventing Vegan

The cat is out of the bag or the horse has already bolted or as Donald Watson the founding father of veganism put it, “the genie is out of the bottle” What exactly is it that I am talking about? DW was talking about the birth of veganism & I’m going to be talking a little bit about it’s evolution.

The term vegan was formed as a contraction of the term vegetarian., by making the change DW was able to distinguish his ethic from that of vegetarianism. DW didn’t have to get permission or a seal of approval from a governing body of etymologists in order to proclaim ‘vegan’ as a new word. However what he did have to wait for is ‘pop culture’ to take it up and transform it into what it is today.

Today ‘vegan’ is synonymous with people that practice a lifestyle of either not eating animal products or people that not only abstain from eating animals but also abstain from using the skin, feathers, or any of the the other countless byproducts from animals.

Having trawled around gazillions of forums, blogs, weblogs, and magazine articles I have encountered many a time when you’ll hear a vegan say ‘there are all kinds of vegetarians but only one kind of vegan’ they go on to describe a situation whereby if you call yourself a ‘dietary’ vegan then you’re not really a vegan but that you eat a vegan diet. I could call that  a case of semantics but to be fair I think a better more fitting term for what’s actually going on is ‘suppression’ The idea is to conserve the ‘purity’ of the term vegan as though if it became sullied by becoming synonymous with just a diet, that veganism might become a watered down version of just another fad and not something more meaningful like respecting the lives of all non human animals.

Unfortunately for vegans, even if they stood on all the mountain tops and yelled at the top of their collective voices or the technologically more advanced way of blogging by the boatload to get the message out that there is only one kind of vegan, well frankly it’s just not going to ‘cut the mustard’

There are vegetarians, ovo vegetarians, ovo/lacto vegetarians, semi vegetarians, and the list just endlesly goes on. However just by using the term vegetarian most people would assume that you have made and adhere to some form of dietary choice and that if necessary you’ll bring them up to speed if called for. The same has become true of  ‘vegan’, people refer to themselves as vegan, dietary vegan, ethical vegan, eco vegan all in an effort to depict themselves as someone that goes beyond dietary preference i.e. vegetarian, and includes animal and/or the environmental welfare of the planet and it’s inhabitants including non human animals.

I’m going to add a new term to the mix and that is ‘ecoethicalvegan’. DW excluded honey eggs cheese and milk as food products, and leather, fur, etc as byproducts from animals all in an attempt to alleviate the exploitation of animals by humans. Exploitaion with a view to not harming non human animals is a worthy and noble choice for us to make, however for me there is more to the story, there is more that needs to be addressed, namely that of the preservation and cultivation of our planet and the human species Homo Sapien.

Unlike the teachings of nihilism by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche I believe we, all humans and non humans alike have existential worth and also include in that belief that the preservation of ‘mother nature’ the environment, and also at some level the spirituality of Gaia all worthy of protection. Unfortunately it is extremely complex and difficult to do so while at the same time being ‘just’ to all entities without harming anyone or anything at every step of the way. No we are not perfect, we will screw up, but giving a hoot isn’t a choice, it’s an imperative, one that if not exercised will one day see the demise of every living thing on this planet we call home.

This philosophy or ethic was my segue to coin the term ecoethicalvegan and just as DW chose and didn’t need to have permission to exclude animal products from his life and call his life choices vegan, I am not asking for approval of my choice to include ethically obtained animal products into my life and  to include the welfare of the environment which is key to the survival of all life on earth.

You can read the tenets of my ethical choices placing humans at the forefront of my belief system instead of the traditional vegan view that all non humans and humans are equal in my “Because the revolutions here and you know that it’s right’ blog because after all we hominids will be the only architects of either the destruction or the preservation of everything that we hold dear on this planet.

Why I became vegan & why I am now an ecoethicalvegan

I became vegan after reading ‘Skinny Bitch’  For a couple of years prior to reading the first three chapters at Borders Book Store I had slowly but surely been thinking about my ethical food choices.

Way back when I was eighteen years old I became vegetarian because I felt ‘sorry’ for animals for around eighteen months but slowly drifted back to being a full blown meat eater again. Later in life, sometime before walking out of Borders & vowing never to eat meat again I had started eliminating some food animals from my diet.

I stopped eating meats that contained all the nasty stuff like sausages, pork roll, & organ meats like liver, kidney, heart etc ( I know, I know I don’t even want to think about it any more)

The reason I’m talking about this now is because I see another change in myself,  in my spirituality, in my reason for becoming vegan in the first place. Why ‘really’ did I become vegan. What was I driven by, what did I seek to accomplish by choosing to eschew all animal products from my life.

Becoming vegan met all my expectations, I could save the animals, and as a bonus I would be healthy and a little different from mainstream humans, I loved it! it fit the rebel in me. I went online and like a vacuum cleaner I sucked up page after page of forums, blogs, & opinions, but most of all as time went by I found a voice that I didn’t realise was being veganically suppressed deep inside of me.

What was that voice or voices saying to me that niggled away like an annoying drip from your kitchen faucet that never gets fixed, drip, drip, drip.

As I became confident in my veganism I found myself responding to vegan dogma (yes dogma) by questioning it’s unbending ethic. For example I was at a supermarket and the family in front of me,  mum, dad, & two kids clearly didn’t have the means to pay for all their shopping. The shopping included eggs. I felt their embarrassment at not being able to pay (I’ve been there too, it’s not a good feeling) I told them I had a couple’a extra bucks and that they shouldn’t leave the eggs behind and they took me up on my offer. It felt good to help humans! it was in my opnion right to break the ‘rules’ after all humans are animals too.

So the voice that spoke loudest to me wasn’t the vegan ‘save the chickens voice’ it was the ‘help your fellow species’ voice. It’s this fundamental perspective that was speaking the loudest to me, like one of those movies where you see a woman flailing under water trying to find her way back up and finally she breaks the surface and breathes the succulent fresh air of life.

Does that sound a little over the top to you, well it’s meant to evoke exactly that and how important it is that I feel about my respect, not just for non human animals, but for men, women, and children too and for where I draw my moral and ethical line. I believe there are several circumstances where human needs and sometimes ‘wants’ are ethically justifiable.

Because the Revolutions here and you know that it’s right.

I’m no longer the ‘traditional’ vegan. I have decided that it’s time for a revolution, a protest of sorts.

I am going to draft a set of requirements that will qualify you, someone, as an ‘Ecoethicalvegan’.

It’s going to be radical so sit your vegan ethics on your non human animal couch and hold on to your Barnivore approved cocktail. Give me a couple of days and an early draft will appear here and will also be subject to change after review. See ya in a few 🙂

Here we go hang on to your guinness!

1) Bi-valves can be consumed.

2) Rescue eggs can be consumed.

3) Use of non commercial ethically sourced honey can be consumed.

4) Using Only recycled Wool-Leather-Fur-Down-Silk etc is acceptable.
Recycled meaning from a thrift store, handed down from a family member or friend etc.

5) Use of found animal parts or recycled animal parts can if you so wish be used to decorate your home, e.g. antlers, skin, skulls etc.

6) Use of humanely treated service animals are considered ethical.

7) Products that are processed using animal parts that are no longer in the final product are permissable, e.g. bone char filtered products, isinglass filtered products.

8) Acceptance of hunting season for local jurisdictions is justifiable because human safety is paramount.

9) The use of research on animals for human/non human life saving procedures & medications is permissable insofar as it is ethically called for & conducted. The phasing out of all animal testing is ultimately the goal for everyone and by supporting an organization such as PCRM we will help expedite the time when all animal testing will end.

10) The ecoethicalvegan is admonished to conduct themselves in such a manner as to honour the lives of humans first, then non human animals and in conjunction with this, the ennvironment. ecoethicalvegans do not consume, abuse, nor do they exploit any animal, human or non human.

11) ecoethicalveganism is a groundbreaking set of ideals that
will always strive to be current, as such we will continually examine our ethical and moral obligations to best serve humans and nonhumans. In keeping with this mindset we will stay abreast of the latest scientific, biological, and ecological findings and in light of new information will adapt and change with it as is deemed beneficial to the members of our society.

ok there it is, I’m ready to hear critisism, admonition, & questions. I’m sure there are changes that can/need to be made but I wanted to get this set of tenets published.

Talk to me….