Okay this got asked by someone within Friendly and pragmatic vegans and vegetarians (one of my fave FB groups)… it’s quite lengthy however here are my answers as they stand “today” …
1) How long have you been veg*an?
I’m not. I’m closer to vegetarian than vegan. I prefer the label vegan-inspired flexitarian. I’ve always had animal welfare ‘on my mind’ since I was quite young. Started with my pets of course.
2) Do you feel closer to vegans than vegetarians?
Nope. Feel closer to vegetarians than vegans. Still feel like an outsider with vegans.
3) Do you automatically like vegans? (Explain)
No. I judge them on how they treat other people (their actions) as compassion for the animals needs to extend to compassion for humans. If they’re rabid vegans then they’re no better than religious fundamentalists (imo) whom I’m against. Hate/violence is not the answer.
4) Do you believe that non veg*ns are unenlightened? (Explain)
No. I just believe they’re just not aware. Has nothing to do with being unenlightened. This is not a black and white answer as anyone who deals with psychology will tell you… the “mind” is both a simple and complex organism.
Recently watched a TEDx talk by Melanie Joy “Carnism” – would recommend this for more insight on my stance.
5) Do you believe it is possible to be a mindful non-vegan? (Explain)
Yes. I’d say I’m closer to this .. and to me being a mindful non-vegan is about harm reduction. Opting for vegan options and endeavouring to eat vegan as much as possible.
6) Do you believe that freeganism is ethical? (Explain)
Had to google 😉 based on the definition I found – yes I believe in freeganism. Wish I had the confidence to dumpster dive. It’s absolutely shocking how much GOOD FOOD AND ITEMS are considered waste (by supermarkets AND charities!!).
Basically google: The Story of Stuff video. That video made me more mindful and I’d rather ask someone if they have an item they’re willing to donate to me. I’m more mindful of what I actually purchase (mindful consumerism instead of mindless).
For example, not too long ago I “needed” a new kettle. Lots of people told me to go to Kmart to spend like $10 or whatever to buy a new one. I refused to do so and instead asked around in various FB community groups and got one from someone else that was “like brand new” (as it had just been sitting around gathering dust).
I did the same a year ago when I needed heaters – got two small ones for ‘free’ (just had to pick up so cost me fuel).
I also specifically shop at my local “green grocer” and always opt for the discounted food section where there’s fruit and veg that is reduced.. i.e. bananas a little brown, tomatoes going a little off, etc. I would dumpster dive if I had the confidence because it shits me how much good food goes to waste and expiration labels are all BS.
7) Are you a welfareist or abolitionist? (Explain)
Not sure what the differences are and why this matters. Please give me some links so as I can figure out where I stand and what the arguments are for and against each ?
8) Do you enjoy having the vegan label / title? (Explain)
Considering I already stated I’m not vegan this doesn’t apply to me. N/A
9) Do you want the world to be vegan (100% plant based, zero animal involvement) or do you support a future where people can eat animal products without inflicting harm (lab grown meat, freeganism, road kill, backyard eggs, etc)?
Considering I am someone who will always have companion animals (and am not against companion animals) – mostly dogs and cats – who require meat and other such non-vegan foods: I guess I support a world where the harm is reduced as much as possible. I would prefer a world where if an animal is killed NONE of it goes to waste and the spirit of the animal is respected (akin to what indigenous native cultures have done for eons). I also prefer a world where we are using ONLY WHAT WE NEED no more. We can share resources. I also prefer a world where we actually know where our meat comes from – we know the cow/chicken/etc – we know when it was born, its history, etc. Then when it is killed, we use every part of it as much as possible and minimise wastage as this is respectful.
10) Do you believe in having pets / companion animals? Do you believe that breeding animals is ever acceptable?
Already answered the first half. In regards to the second half, I believe in ethical breeding. Strongly against puppy farms and backyard breeders. I would love it if people were breeding to better breeds for health NOT just ‘looks’. “Designer” dog breeds are bullshit (they’re mutts – it’s just clever marketing!). Unfortunately, the majority of breeders breed for looks and don’t give a fuck about the health of the breed. I also support adoption first where/when possible.
I’m also moving into a space where I’ll be pushing people to consider fospice and adoption of senior pets (moving away from just puppies and kittens!).
11) Do you believe that zoos are necessary for saving endangered species?
If they’re similar to Australia Zoo – yes. Not all Zoos are evil.
12) Do you believe that horse riding is harmful or are you okay with veg*ans riding horses?
WTF ?! (lol!!) This is just yet another thing where if you look after the animal I don’t see the harm??? Lots of ways to take care of your horse now – plenty of holistic/alternative/complimentary therapies for equines to ensure their health just like dogs and cats. At the same time, I also have absolutely no issue with people keeping horses purely as pets and never riding them ever (whereas there are lots of people who don’t “get it” when people have horses as pets and never ride them).
I believe in animal communication and that there are people who can interpret what our animals are saying to us. They’re beings of energy just like us.
We just need to respect if the individual horse actually wants to be ridden. Seek their permission first. They’ll say yes or no.
13) What are your thoughts on eating backyard eggs, wearing second hand leather, etc?
Still making my mind up on all of this.. on the one hand, I detest waste. If it is ‘there’ and ‘going to go to waste’ – why not use it ? On the other hand, sometimes allowing these items to “die” (as such – be recycled back into the earth as such) is more respectful instead of perpetuating the cycle of harm.