At Go Vegan World we define veganism to mean: living in recognition of the fact that other animals are unique, individual sentient beings, with physical and psychological feelings, who are consciously aware of themselves and their world, and who have interests including an interest in their own lives. They have, therefore, the fundamental rights not to be used, owned or killed by humans. Vegans, therefore, avoid participating in the exploitation of non-human animals for food, clothing, research, entertainment, labour or any other use, in so far as is possible and practicable.
The growing demand for animal free products has made it very convenient to live vegan. However, as veganism becomes increasingly associated with a frivolous lifestyle choice, we thought this was an opportune time to use this new ad in our Vegan Billboard Campaign, to remind people about what it means to live vegan.
Purchasing or consuming goods that are vegan friendly does not make one vegan. Being vegan means that we think and feel in a different manner to the speciesist notions with which we were raised. Living vegan only occurs after we have realised the injustice of using other sentient animals for our ends as if they were unfeeling objects that exist for us. Because we realise that they share the same fundamental rights that we demand for ourselves, we stop participating in their exploitation. The reason we buy vegan friendly products is not because they are thought to be healthy or because they are deemed to be trendy. It is because by avoiding animal use, we respect their rights.
The focus on veganism as a way of living that avoids certain products, without situating it in the context of animal rights, can easily give rise to the notion that veganism is about consumerism or trends rather than justice.
Veganism means much more than avoiding products and practices that are inherently exploitative because they use other animals. It is a radical revision in how we think about feel about the lives of those we share this planet with. It means that we recognise them for who they are and stop excluding them from our moral consideration simply because they are members of other species.
Living vegan is a radical political act that every individual member of the public can and should take, that respects everyone’s right not to be owned, bred, used, harmed or killed, regardless of species.