What is Veganism? 2017-01-09T15:49:08+00:00

What is Veganism?

The greatest problem on earth today is the notion that some lives matter less than others. We imagine that non-human lives hardly matter at all. We live as though our difference from other species entitles us to use them and that they exist for our benefit. This view is not only inaccurate, it is unethical.

Non human animals are sentient and aware. When we hurt them, they feel it. There is hardly an exception to animal use that does not harm them.

The only hope for other animals is complete cessation of our use of them.  This defines veganism. The term ‘vegan’ came into being when the word was coined by Donald Watson and others, using the first and last letters of the word vegetarian. Veganism came to be defined 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.”

Being vegan entails becoming aware of all the ways in which we use others, and the harm that our use inflicts on them. Humans are also other animals; part of veganism is the acknowledgement of the connection between the exploitation and oppression of non-humans and that of humans.

Veganism is about equality, fairness and justice for everyone. However, the focus is on other animals because in terms of both numbers and degree of suffering, the greatest harm of non vegan living is inflicted on non humans.

When you choose to live vegan you tackle the issue of animal use at its core. The issue is not how we treat other animals while they are alive; it is that we breed them into this life for our use at all.

At its heart, veganism is about how we relate to others, ensuring that we live in ways that accord them the things we wish for ourselves, regardless of any perception of difference to them, or distance from them.