Credits: Maria Sbytova/ Shutterstock

Is There A Limit To Veganism? How Vegan Can You Be?

by | January 17, 2019

Cruelty free living advocates often come across a dilemma when they are asked really tricky questions, implying subtly, the extent of being a vegan. But is there a limit to veganism?

Is There A Limit To Veganism? How Vegan Can You Be?



Is There A Limit To Veganism? How Vegan Can You Be?

Being vegan, you tend to get asked a lot of questions. Protein, teeth-shape, cavemen and “missing cheese” are frequent themes. Occasionally though, our non-vegan quiz-masters will pitch a curve-ball that’s, well, very curved. Such as: “If gasoline comes from fossilized, prehistoric animals, should you be driving a car?”

It’s a question that is a close cousin of the “why do you walk down the street if you might accidentally tread on insects?” line of inquiry. It’s also just a family get-together away from the “plants have feelings” battle-cry of those who seem to think that there is some sort of moral equivalency between pruning the conifers and battery farmed chickens.

Credits: oneinchpunch/ Shutterstock
Is there a limit to veganism?

Putting aside an analysis of what actually constitutes the fossilized goo that miraculously gets transformed into gasoline (spoiler alert – a LOT of prehistoric vegetation is in that goo), let’s keep in mind what one of the key principles of veganism is: “Do the least unnecessary harm as possible.”

Yes, ideally, I kind of guess, we wouldn’t need to eat anything at all. We would simply be mysterious Area 51 type creatures lacking mouths that get nutrients day-to-day by absorbing the cosmic rays of the universe and scuttle around on gravity propelled floating discs. But we do need food to live and, in our twenty-first-century world, transport to get around and do
what we do. So, when I vacuum around the house, sucking up numerous dust-mites is arguably unfortunate but it doesn’t warrant my then saying “well, it’s the circle of life – what are we going to do?” with a view to immediately jettisoning my veganism so as to sign up for the local
hunting club. Again, this is about doing the least unnecessary harm as possible. Quite why some non-vegans seem to zone in on this line of argument both baffles and amuses me. Broken down, it amounts to a morally dubious binary equation that is the equivalent of “because we can’t ever be rid of all crime in the world, what’s the point of having police?” sort of thing. So how vegan can I be? Is there a limit to veganism? The answer is, as much as I can without pondering too much about the biological composition of gasoline.

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Dave Hewitt

An Ohio-based British Masters post-graduate, and ever since I was a little kid growing up in 70s England, I’ve always hated animal cruelty and injustice, and vegan for six years. The sense of sticking up for the voiceless, the persecuted and the powerless remains as strong as ever. Married to Monica, my vegan life partner who works for NASA, we’ve been in Ohio since 2015, and have managed to drive on the other side of the road without incident thus far.


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One Response to “Is There A Limit To Veganism? How Vegan Can You Be?”

  1. david wishengrad
    January 18th, 2019 @ 5:48 am

    Hey, I am with you on most of this…the truth of the importance of life and all… but this here is a serious issues:

    “Is There A Limit To Veganism? How Vegan Can You Be?”

    Life is Most Important in Life is The Most Important Truth in Life.
    This highest truth we have and share in common, specifically states we ARE Most Important. As such, we are not our actions.

    To attempt to define people as their actions is to lie.

    “The fastest and surest way to turn someone away from real veganism is to call anyone a vegan and impart the lie of inequality”.

    It’s pretty sad no one had told you this truthful fact and that you must read your mistake publicly, but now you know better and can do better.

    Never attempt to place yourself above the highest truth we have to attempt to redefine others.

    Of course people do get stuff wrong. So if there is a higher truth than the one I stated that you go by, you may present it. (of course you can’t do that because we have equality because we are both most important)

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