Categorical veganism; veganism or die. This unconvincing approach can only be described as the dogma of the lifestyle. Many buy into the idea that by mere association with non-vegan products, they’re committing the same ethical crime – for example, touching meat and dairy, wearing leather etc. being the same as killing. Untold numbers of people are convinced that eating anything pre-bought is wrong and meticulously ingredients are necessary. If one thinks with much length and depth (sly emoji) perhaps they may find that the notion, seemingly presented by the vegan community, is illogical.
Throughout the whole year, I recall eating meat only once (but dairy a few times – mainly when eating out with friends and family and the occasional poor will – which is somewhat excusable, I’ll explain why in a bit). If we put it into context, this is a feat I’m proud of, changing my lifestyle so abruptly. Think about it, how hard is it to change even one section of your diet, let alone the whole thing. Anyway, back to the premise: Economical Veganism.
If you’re like me, you believe that the objective of veganism is to reduce animal and environmental suffering, while at the same time, you’re optimising your health. Surely this is what’s important; as vegans, not buying meat and dairy products directly affects sales. Annual reports would show a decrease in such products, but an increase in alternatives – this is basic supply and demand. Corporations would hopefully respond to this and thereby reduce the suffering and environmental detriment. In short, this utilitarian/economical approach to veganism is (in my opinion) passable. Recommended, actually.
From this, eating dairy that has already been bought, is subject to one’s discretion. Wearing leather that has already been bought, is subject to one’s discretion. Handling the new fiver, as well as any meat products – you guessed it – is subject to one’s discretion. It might be worth mentioning that supporting alternatives is also a great idea. Eating animals that have already been killed? Yep, also subject to one’s discretion. Essentially, if it has been bought, killed or made already, consuming it won’t undermine this particular objective of veganism.
I would suggest being careful with which of your nearest and dearest you share this with. I can imagine people (whilst attempting to be hilarious) offering you loads of non-vegan food and justifying it with, “well you did say if it had already been bought, it’s fine” – it could lead to a slippery slope. But, as ever, it is subject to one’s discretion.
In this article, the justification of exploitation doesn’t exist; in the same way that wearing leather shoes one purchased as a pre-vegan is justified (because the shoes have already been purchased, the capital has already been distributed, thus the animal has already been killed. No harm, no fowl – excuse the pun). It is also worth mentioning that the debate here isn’t, “whether one should be vegan”, but rather how to be a vegan that does all that is necessary to progressively elevate exploited animals, nothing more, nothing less; utilitarianism, if you like.
In summary, (and in the nicest way possible) the association, eating, touching of pre-bought non-vegan products has to be fine. This cult of veganism, primarily presented by the UPSU Vegan society is unattractive to potential converts, and it forgets the primary goal – to reduce the suffering of animals and the environment. Further, intellectual discussions are prohibited because the society’s constitution is that of: ask any questions, just as long as they are about honey. So, all in all, being a utilitarian/economic vegan is a smarter, easier move to traditional veganism/vegetarianism.
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