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Advocating Vegetarianism Like You Mean It

February 04, 2006 | Vegetarianism &Veganism

We at Friends of Animals see an obvious and important connection between animal habitat, a secure future for humanity, and vegetarianism. We envision a holistic view that weaves these ideas together.

Sometimes, Vegetarian Societies expressly make allowances for animal products at their events. In the year 2006, there is no realistic argument that dairy and eggs can fit into ethical activism.

Moreover, the founders of the original Vegetarian Societies in the 1840s were motivated by ethical principles. They were inspired to reach forward and offer humanity sound ideas for personal growth and the betterment of humanity. We have resolved to inspire the leadership of Vegetarian Societies to take their founders' principles and ideals seriously.

We acknowledge, of course, that many members of Vegetarian Societies do not make it a priority to think about and define vegetarianism in its most consistent way, and we know they will make decisions for themselves. But rather than tailoring its policies to an illusory view in which vegetarianism and animal agriculture are compatible, Vegetarian Society leadership does have a responsibility to think ethically about animals, the environment, and fair trade, and to provide the best model.

Nonhuman animals cannot hold people accountable for treating them as articles of trade, or taking up their habitat with our ever-expanding dairy and egg production sites. But we can.

To see why vegetarianism means a vegetable-based diet, and what that means to Vegetarian Societies, please see a recent position paper that was dedicated and delivered to the Vegetarian Society of D.C. We like to call it the Guacamole Declaration.

Friends of Animals - 4 February 2006

Comments

Janet, Unfortunately, the public has been lead to believe that organic animal products are somehow less cruel, though the reality of animal agriculture, organic or not, is a different story---and 'less cruelty' is not the foundation of animal rights. And just what IS animal rights? I think Lee Hall says it best in the book, "Capers in the Churchyard: Animal Rights Advocacy in the Age of Terror": "Animal rights is the development of respect for the interests of conscious beings in living on their own terms rather than under human dominion...an attitude of respect." By choosing vegan---an entirely plant-based diet and animal product-free lifestyle---one is making a commitment to non-human and human animals alike; a vegan diet respects animals, the environment and human health. Veganism is a simple and transformative choice that impacts the lives of animals in an immediate way. There are many articles on this website that I think you will find both educational and inspiring. A Vegan Starter Guide is available for free download, and Friends of Animals published a wonderful vegan cookbook, Dining With Friends: The Art of North American Vegan Cuisine, which is superb---not to mention a wonderful introduction to the delicious possibilities of vegan cuisine. I urge you to spend some time reading the website, and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Dustin Dustin@friendsofanimals.org

If the world changed to being vegan, where would the animals go?

This raises the question of whether we know of the existence of any animals except those we make into commodities. Of course, other animals existed on the planet before humans were here at all; we did not bring them into being.

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