Dissident Voice : Veganism 101 While looking for the connection between veganism and pancreatic cancer (I know two vegans who ended up with pancreatic cancer — seems like a longshot) I ran into this backgrounder I found interesting. It implies that insects are animals and should be protected. Here this girl says not to eat honey or use silk.

Vegans (pronounced VEE-guns) are people who choose not to eat any animal products, including meat, eggs, dairy, honey, and gelatin. Vegans do not wear fur, leather, wool, down, or silk, or use cosmetics or household products that were tested on animals or contain ingredients that were derived from animals. Most vegans also do not support industries that feature captive and/or performing animals, including circuses, zoos, and aquariums.

The American Vegan Society defines veganism as “an advanced way of living in accordance with Reverence for Life, recognizing the rights of all living creatures, and extending to them the compassion, kindness, and justice exemplified in the Golden Rule.”

The word “vegan” was derived from “vegetarian” in 1944 by Elsie Shrigley and Donald Watson, the founders of the UK Vegan Society. Shirgley and Watson were disillusioned that vegetarianism included dairy products and eggs. They saw “vegan” as “the beginning and end of vegetarian,” and used the first three and last two letters of vegetarian to coin the new term.

related links:
Urban Vegan Blog

Vegan strippers

Interesting lies on this blog.
This site claims that Mark Twain, among others, were “Vegans” despite the fact that there was no such thing before 1944.

A site concerned with “Vegan” tattoos

  1. William T. Riker says:

    #46 – Paddy-O:

    Assuming you actually understand the quoted sentence, then please share your list of medical pros that believe that animal products give us something that’s impossible to get otherwise, nutritionally speaking.

    Links otherwise I call troll BS.

    #50 – Calin:

    The past is the past. What “Mother Nature” actually intended for us to do is purely conjecture on your part (as it would be on mine).

    The present is as follows: I can be perfectly fit and healthy without causing the direct death of any animal. Therefore, I do not eat animals.

    #51 – Ben:

    This has already been addressed, but short of having my own garden and raising my own vegetables I am unable to control animal deaths resulting from the farmed production of my food. Therefore to me at least it’s not a major concern.

    #53 – TD:

    Insect sentience is debatable. If, as some would have it, sentience is the ability to feel and react to pain, then surely they would qualify.

    #54 – Paddy-O:

    Cage-free and free-range animals are still often horribly confined and all eventually slaughtered. Regulations surrounding what constitutes these “humane” standards are a joke at best.

    #57 – KarmaBaby:

    Having a car for transportation is essential for a lot of vegans, myself included. Should a tire manufacturer comes along with animal-free tires then I’d be the first in line, but until then this falls into the category of things-with-no-readily-available-alternative. It doesn’t exactly keep me up at night.

    #58 – Smartalix:

    If there’s an animal-free alternative and/or one that doesn’t involve animal testing, then the choice is clear. If, on the other hand, the treatment or medication is required but neither of those are available then of course it’s justifiable to go with the non-vegan option.

    I’m fascinated why all of these highly specific edge cases are of such interest to non-vegans.

    Do you think that by proving that vegans can’t avoid some situations that somehow invalidates the whole pursuit?

    The reality for pragmatic vegans is that yes, there are situations all the time where we can’t avoid it, but at least whenever possible we simply take the path of less harm to any animal life.

    William T. Riker

  2. bobbo says:

    So where does this leave me? I like fresh human brains still thinking within the skull, fava beans, and of course a little chianti. Hmmm.

    Being an extreme vegan doesn’t hurt anyone else. I say, let him live.

  3. Sea Lawyer says:

    #64, “I’m fascinated why all of these highly specific edge cases are of such interest to non-vegans.”

    It doesn’t matter until the notion of morality gets worked into the discussion. If using animal derived products is declared “immoral,” then it is no less so to use them just because there is no convenient substitute.

  4. Calin says:

    Why is it when Christians deem themselves more “moral” than everyone else they are jumped all over. However, when a Vegan says the exact same thing, we get told, “Being an extreme vegan doesn’t hurt anyone else. I say, let him live.”

  5. slowth says:


    Taxonomy is not difficult, since it’s basic biology. You are too intelligent to make such ridiculous comments.

    Dead or Alive
    Dead: well, not alive
    Alive: Eubacteria, Archaebacteria, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, and Animalia.

    Bacteria are not animals, but insects are animals.

  6. bobbo says:

    #67–Calin==I can tell you are a good christian because either you don’t understand the argument(s) or you have such an overpowering need to be the victim that you can’t tell the difference.

    You want to be religious? That alone? Fine, you aren’t hurting anyone so you should be allowed to live.

    Now–you want to use tax dollars to support spreading your lunacy to other folks who just want to be left alone? Thats not right and you should be prevented from doing so==just like a vegan, or just like any other zealot.

    The line is not what you believe but when you start bothering other people.

  7. Calin says:

    /buzz try again.

    I’m not a good christian…whatever that means exactly. I love the study of religion, but the work Christian would translate as “Christ Like”, which I’m far from. Christ was (more or less) a pacifist with groovy ideas about loving your neighbor, turning the other cheek…and some semi-communistic dogma.

    I’m neither pacifist, nor communistic, hell I don’t even turn the other cheek. But assume all you want to. I just noticed the interesting dichotomy between how Christian “morality” and it’s attackers on this blog…vs the vegan “food morality” (which makes little to no sense), and people are more than willing to turn the other cheek.

    When a christian comes on this blog and makes a statement on “morality”, he’s not using tax dollars. He’s making no more, or less statements than the Vegan community online. How is it different?

    The line is not what you believe but when you start bothering other people. Really? How does this not apply to vegans?

  8. #70 – Calin

    >>I’m not a good christian…whatever that means exactly.

    That’s Bobbos biggest punch. To call someone a “Christian”. In his lexicon, that means you’re lower than a snake’s belly. Too despicable to be afforded the time of day.

    You see, Bobbo is a hatemonger, along with many other worshipers at the altar of Atheism here on dvorak dot org slash blog.

  9. meateat says:

    If I sould not eat animals, why did God build
    pigs , cows and chickins out of delisous meat?

  10. bobbo says:

    #70–Calin==thats a good comeback, so either you really don’t understand the distinction/commonalities or you’ve over focused on one part of the issue to the exclusion of others.

    Rather than review the thread for where the train went off the track, let me just restate the baseline again:

    There is nothing “wrong” per se with anyone’s personal set of values==be it religion, politics, or diet. Only forcing one’s values on others is wrong. If one person thinks eating animals is wrong, or killing zygotes is wrong, or taking drugs, or prostituting your body, or making logo’s for free, then thats fine and dandy. Its when you force one side or the other of these issues on the rest of the people that censure is warranted.

    Now, that doesn’t mean there can’t be a robust discussion pro and con on any of these values but such should stop short of censure. Calling someone an idiot for the opinions they hold for themselves is, like everything else, sometimes valid but most often not helpful.

    Re veganism==I tried it as a pure dietary system and not as a respect for animals belief system. Riker wants to respect animals. Thats ok and the position can be evaluated for consistency, practicability, and so forth. As a “value” system, its hard to argue with other than simply having a different set of values.

    Now, religion. On first blush, its exactly the same as veganism. But when tested for consistency and practicability, it always falls apart and is idiotic because it is not just about values, it is about how the world operates and about controlling how other people should act. If you find a religious person saying otherwise, they are usually lying. If you find one who is not, he is very lonely.

    Mustard==you are wrong. Lots of terms are worse than christian. Evangelical comes to mind.

  11. #73 – Bobo

    >>Now, religion. On first blush, its exactly the same
    >>as veganism. But when tested for consistency and
    >>practicability, it always falls apart and is idiotic
    >>because it is not just about values, it is about how
    >>the world operates and about controlling how other
    >>people should act.

    Bobo, are you a frat boy or something? I can’t believe you actuallyl made it to the status of “grown-up” and could utter an idiocy like this.

    Have you talked to a spiritual person in the last 50 years?

    Where on earth do you get this drivel from? Is this from some 1930’s b&w movie, or what???

    You stun me with your ignorance.

  12. #73 – Bobo

    >>Mustard==you are wrong. Lots of terms are worse
    >>than christian. Evangelical comes to mind.

    Would that include evangelical Atheists?


    Or are they exempt?

  13. bobbo says:

    #74–Mustard==having followed your posts here awhile, you may indeed be lonely.

    #75–Mustard==of course.

  14. Montanaguy says:

    Riker –
    I’m wondering if you’d be here to discuss these thoughts today if all of your ancestors had been vegans. Not bloody likely. I see nothing wrong with your choice of veganism for yourself, but it’s a bloodbath out there in mother nature’s world. If animals are as sentient as you believe, then why don’t the wolves crowding us here in Montana have any regard for the cattle and elk and deer that they rip, gut, dismember and maul to death for pleasure? (they rarely eat the majority of their kills) Surely, you’re not telling me that they feel shame for killing another ‘sentient’ animal? At the moment of the kill, those hunted animals would gladly run for the cover of the ‘confining pen’ you despise. Animals are programmed by biology/genetics and we are animals. The plains indians would have scoffed at your noble ideas as they hunted for buffalo during the lean months of winter. And so would your distant ancestors.

  15. bobbo says:

    #77–Montanaguy==so what? How we got here has little to do with right and wrong. By your argument, the psychopaths that rip wings of flies are a-OK?

    If food were a shortage today, there would be a superior moral position to take about eating meat, but that isn’t the case.

    In an existential universe, it doesn’t matter if one species is meat eating and another is herbivore and a third can choose which to be. It all simply doesn’t matter except for recognizing what floats your boat and enjoying your choice, and leaving other people alone.

    Usually, it all comes downs to who knows where they come from “feelings.” You can’t fight feelings.

  16. #76 – Bobbo

    >>#74–Mustard==having followed your posts
    >>here awhile, you may indeed be lonely.

    Bobbo, your posts frequently don’t make sense, but this one makes less sense than most.

    What the heck are you talking about?

  17. smartalix says:

    If there’s an animal-free alternative and/or one that doesn’t involve animal testing, then the choice is clear. If, on the other hand, the treatment or medication is required but neither of those are available then of course it’s justifiable to go with the non-vegan option.

    That’s simple hypocrisy. To do something (like taking chemo) when it is the most expedient solution (your ass will die), yet decry how that thing was created (the animal research that engendered it) and those that developed (like kill rersearchers) it when it is convenient to ignore them (when they are not dying of cancer) is being a hypocrite.

    Eat however the hell you like, I don’t care. Encourage me to increase the amount of vegetables, fruits, and grains in my diet and I would appreciate that advice. Advocate humane animal husbandry and I will support you wholeheartedly.

    But pretend that we can and wish to abandon using animals and their products (Do those that eschew animal products wear only plant-based materials?) is being ignorant of reality.

    I’m fascinated why all of these highly specific edge cases are of such interest to non-vegans.

    Animal research and medical treatments are not highly specific. Everybody wants and needs medical care, and many life-saving procedures come from animal research. I could understand advocating a panel to vet research grants and ensure that research animals aren’t mistreated beyond the impact of the thing being researched, but I can’t understand trying to ban them completely.

    As much as I like my pets, we need animals to test new medicines and medical procedures on, and those who say computer simulations are sufficient for development purposes are free to take that first injection when that new drug is released on the market.

  18. William T. Riker says:

    #77 – Montanaguy:

    As a suggestion you might want to be a little more cautious in your proclamations. In your paragraph you apparently have direct insight into the minds of my ancestors, Plains Indians and grazing animals. But, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you are indeed an Ethologist of Native American descent who also happens to enjoy tracing the lineage of complete strangers. 🙂

    My position is simple: all sentient beings have the implicit right not to be unnecessarily exploited, confined or harmed.

    It’s irrelevant to me whether other animals follow this principle. Indeed, nature is vast and full of all kinds of varied behaviors. If you want to cherry-pick species that justify your behavior (i.e. a carnivore like a wolf) then I could easily retort with gorillas and elephants, both herbivores. Other species commit rape, murder, infanticide and slavery – are these justified because of that fact?

    Finally, although I still disagree with indigenous hunters unless the hunting of wild game is truly their only way to feed themselves, there’s still a huge difference between your ancestral buffalo hunter and the modern industrialized nightmare that is the meat industry.

    William T. Riker

  19. bobbo says:

    #81–Riker==right you are. That old Buffalo hunter was your arch enemy. Shot the Buffalos to near extinction for the sport of it or to deny the Plains Indians their way of life==forcing them to become vegetarians by way of governmental handouts.

    Compare that to modern meat packing plants==providing needed protein to the masses too dumb or uncaring to spend their lives adding up the components of B-vitamins in their soy/spam cardboard alternative diets.

    Yes, world of difference.

  20. William T. Riker says:

    #80 – Smartalix:

    Hypocrisy to you perhaps… again, in a situation of absolute necessity such as where I will die if I don’t take an animal-derived medicine then of course I’m taking the medicine. To me veganism is about taking the path of least animal harm, not dogmatic martyrdom.

    You ask “Do those that eschew animal products wear only plant-based materials?” Yes – plant-based or man-made synthetics. It’s remarkably easy for most clothes and accessories with the possible exception of shoes and belts, but if you’re anywhere near an urban center then even those are easily obtainable.

    Finally, your knowledge of animal-testing and research is outdated and naive. Read around a bit in science/medical journals, or even on Wikipedia and you’ll realize that the value of animals in medical research is highly contested.

    There are plenty of cases where a process or drug tested fine during animal trials and then turned out to have serious problems on humans (e.g. Vioxx). The reverse is also true, where something harmful to animals has been beneficial to humans.

    The reality is that only human-testing provides true data on human applicability.

    You’re also neglecting to mention that the vivisection industry is by now a multi-billion dollar juggernaut with of course highly vested interests in promoting and justifying animal-testing despite any evidence to the contrary.

    #82 – Bobbo:

    For protein I eat a nuts, beans, tofu, seitan, avocados, etc as I see fit. I do as little nutritional planning as I did when I was an omnivore, with the exception of taking a B-12 supplement once every few days.

    Your view that vegans “spend their lives adding up the components of B-vitamins” is about as accurate as many of your other comments.

    Keep trying amigo!

    William T. Riker

  21. bobbo says:

    #83–Riker–hah, hah. Yea, you take B-12 supplement once every few days. That is what I said: you spend your life adding up the components of B-Vitamins.

    Woot! Woot!!

  22. Jägermeister says:

    #83 – William T. Riker

    Why aren’t you just giving up on modern living, because a lot of things we do (such as computers, cars, buses…) hurt/kills animals. I’m sure you could learn some things from the Amish… but then again, they’re eating meat… like the rest of us.

  23. Montanaguy says:

    Sorry, riker, I made the grand assumption that your ancestors were at one time primitive people… didn’t mean for you to make the concrete assumption that I was implying that they were specifically indians … that was an example. And, therefore, your present life is dependent on the obvious fact that your ancestors not only survived by eating meat but enjoyed it. Thus, you exist in your current exalted state as a vegan, due to that fact.I wonder what your definiton of sentient is. It’s obviously not the same as mine. But it’s a very subjective definition, regardless. If wolves are sentient, what is their sentient reaction to ripping elk to pieces? ( and then abandoning the carcasses to be eaten by other varmints.) The animal rights movement wants to imply that these animals have ‘rights’ – well, then, they have responsibilities also, like seeing your vegan point of view and changing their nasty wasys, eh? They are ‘sentient’ after all, right?

  24. bobbo says:

    Actually, a nice little read here:


    didn’t really get into an appreciation of “morality” which is the segue that seems relevant.

  25. William T. Riker says:

    #85 – Jägermeister:

    “Why aren’t you just giving up on modern living”

    And miss all of this? Nah, my 3+ years and counting as a vegan have been overall quite easy. What makes you think retreating into the past is necessary?

    #86 – Montanaguy:

    The behavior and dietary habits of my ancestors does not force me to repeat their mistakes. I don’t “owe” them to be a meat-eater. I’m curious – do you eat insects or nestle up to a big bowl of grubs once in a while since surely they were included in the diet of our far-flung predecessors.

    Regarding what exactly comprises sentience, the standard modern definition is simply “the ability to feel or perceive subjectively”. Some definitions are more explicit: “the ability to experience suffering”.

    While this leaves a lot of wiggle room, I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone in the biology/ethology world that would dispute that anything above at least insects is NOT sentient.

    If I’m reading you correctly and you’re implying that wolves aren’t sentient then I think you’re completely wrong. Wolves are very high-order mammals with extremely advanced social structures, communications, conflict resolution, etc.

    Note that sentience has nothing to do with “civilized”, as I think you’re confusing it with.

    Finally, yes you’re correct: the animal rights movement believes, as I’ve stated, that all sentient beings have the implicit right not to be exploited, confined or harmed. This needs to be understood in terms of human behavior towards animals, not as what we can expect from animals.

    Yes, this means that wolves are going to continue to kill deer. We can’t expect nor feel compelled to change wolf behavior. Animal rights does not mean that we become the policemen of the natural world, nor does it mean that they will vote, pay taxes, marry, etc. Rather, it simply applies a higher standard of behavior to our relations with the animal world.

    If humans are alone in realizing the beauty of life – all life – and in isolation from the rest of the animal kingdom decide to forgo the exploitation of others, doesn’t that make a powerful statement on what we’ve evolved to and the respect we place on life?

    William T. Riker

  26. bobbo says:

    “If humans are alone in realizing the beauty of life – all life – and in isolation from the rest of the animal kingdom decide to forgo the exploitation of others, doesn’t that make a powerful statement on what we’ve evolved to and the respect we place on life?” //// Yes it would===but no different in impact than any other decision made anywhere else on that continuum. Pick any place on the continuum and surround yourself with those of similar opinion, and call it morality.

    We should respect animals. That means raising and killing them humanely when we want to eat them.

  27. Jägermeister says:

    #88 – William T. Riker – What makes you think retreating into the past is necessary?

    Because you’re supporting the killing of animals and insects. How many dolphins died in the process of you having a computer with Internet access?

  28. Audra141 says:

    what kind of animal is a worm? Is it an insect?
    My sister has to do a project, and her teacher said she can only use insects.


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