Guide to Veganism

What is Veganism?

Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products and a philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals.

Veganism vs Plant-Based Diet

A plant-based diet is just that, a diet purely plant-based and devoid of any animal products.

Veganism is deeply rooted in animal rights and is a lifestyle choice that involves both politics and ethics. Vegans not only eschew animal products from their diet but also from their entire life. Leather, fur, wool and silk are not worn. Products that are tested on animals, such as cosmetics, are not used. Businesses that use animal slave labor, such as zoo’s, aquariums and horse-drawn carriage rides, are avoided.

Veganism vs Vegetarianism

Vegetarianism is a diet, similar to a plant-based diet, with the exception that only meat is eschewed. Eggs, dairy, honey etc. are all still consumed.

Vegetarians generally avoid meat for ethical and health reasons, ignoring the fact that eggs and dairy are equally unethical and unhealthy. Vegetarians also use products made from, or tested upon, animals.

Vegetarianism is generally seen as a stepping stone between carnism and veganism. Vegans consider long-term vegetarians as just as unethical as carnists, sometimes even more so as they claim a moral high-ground to carnists.

What is Veganarchism?

Veganarchism, or vegan anarchism, is the political philosophy of veganism (more specifically animal rights and earth liberation) and anarchism, creating a combined praxis that is designed to be a means for social revolution.

The Animal Rights movement

Animal rights is the idea that all non-human animals are entitled to the possession of their own lives and that their most basic interests, such as the need to avoid suffering, should be afforded the same consideration as similar interests of human beings.

Environmentalism

Environmentalism advocates the lawful preservation, restoration and/or improvement of the natural environment, and may be referred to as a movement to control pollution or protect plant and animal diversity.

Straight-Edge

Straight edge (sometimes abbreviated sXe or signified XXX or X) is a subculture of hardcore punk whose adherents refrain from using alcohol, tobacco and other recreational drugs, in reaction to the excesses of punk subculture. For some, this extends to refraining from engaging in promiscuous sex, following a vegetarian or vegan diet, and/or not using caffeine or prescription drugs. Vegan Straight-Edge is abbreviated as XVX.

Connections

As you may have noticed, Veganism is interconnected to a number of other ideologies and social movements. In this context, Veganism is often seen as the diet aspect of the group.

What Veganism is not

Veganism is not a competition. You are not timing how long you can avoid animal products and the timer does not restart if you accidentally consume a tiny amount of animal product. The whole point of veganism is that you want to avoid animal products and reduce suffering. This mentality may take time to develop. As long as you try your best and keep educating yourself, you will get there.

Good luck!