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