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Any Vegans? At the risk of starting a whole thing...
Some questions please


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#1 Sir Dinosaurus

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:21 AM

My sons Nanny is vegan and I love her LOVE her. So I have been looking for an appropriate vegan gift for Christmas.

In the course of this I stumbled onto some questions (including what the hell are in my current tampons and condoms if I have to buy special vegan ones!) So I asked the internet because the internet knows everything.

The internet told me there were lots of vegans hoping the whole world would go vegan.

Fine, so I asked the internet "what would happen if the whole world went vegan"

Among the replies (some of them well backed up with references although an awful lot of opinion too) I got the impression that rather than "save" the animals as i had thought, vegans want to save the planet by not having so many animals.

So they would happily let domesticated animals extinguish for the good of the planet.

Also some said we need to get rid of about 80% of the people, but not by killing them obviously, just by not making new ones roll2.gif

So, vegans - is this true? Are you actually wanting to kill off the animals rather than save them and hence save the planet from their (and our meat eaters) wasteful gases?

Thank you in advance for your help.

BTW I got the Nanny a vegan gift basket and cook book.

#2 la di dah

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:28 AM

Saying that beef cattle (for example) are unsustainable and should not be bred is not an argument for fewer animals in the planetary total, quite the contrary, as cattle grazing is a huge cause of habitat destruction and is pretty inefficient in terms of feeding people per acre.

And it's pretty easy to make the argument that, for example, that the never-having-been-born of some breeds of chicken are far preferable to life as a battery hen or unwanted male chick. It's not about hating domestic animals per se?

I don't think of myself as anti-dog when I wish dog-fighting was not an industry and that those puppies were never born in miserable litters to face a life of torment. It IS about saving animals.

Note: I am not a vegan. I just have hopes of finally making it as a real vegetarian.  closedeyes.gif

I don't understand the surprise/confusion. You thought they were in favour of continuing to pasture cattle as, what, something to look at? Wouldn't preserved park land do that just as well?

#3 Ally'smum

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:28 AM

I am not vegan because I am too lazy to be that organised with food preparation, but I think the whole world would be a better place if more people or everyone was vegan.

All the vegans I know are so healthy and look amazing. We wouldn't have half the cancers/obesity/high medical costs of looking after fatties if we were all vegan! And environmentally it would be better to have less animals and people so win/win.

I am not vegan because I am too lazy to be that organised with food preparation, but I think the whole world would be a better place if more people or everyone was vegan.

All the vegans I know are so healthy and look amazing. We wouldn't have half the cancers/obesity/high medical costs of looking after fatties if we were all vegan! And environmentally it would be better to have less animals and people so win/win.

#4 CupOfCoffee

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:29 AM

I am a ex vegetarian now meat eater.  For myself, I didn't support the existence of animals for the purpose of human consumption.  That would mean, at the time, my preference was for there not to be cattle/ship/pig/chicken etc farming.

This was especially relevant in the Australian context where hooved animals cause so much environmental damage.  

So that would mean I wouldn't want cows running free over the Australian country side to breed freely.





#5 Sir Dinosaurus

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:32 AM

No, I knew they weren't in favour of continued farming but I always thought of a kind of hippy 'animals return to the wild' type scenario. I didn't expect to see the domesticated animals killed off completely.

Yes i know beef farming is very inefficient.

So if we all stopped eating meat what would happen to the current domesticated farm animals? Kill them to stop further strain on resources in keeping them alive? Turn them out into the wild knowing they wont make it but letting some other element of nature kill them? What, in actual fact, would happen to these animals?

#6 la di dah

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:41 AM

QUOTE (Dinosaurus @ 15/11/2012, 12:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No, I knew they weren't in favour of continued farming but I always thought of a kind of hippy 'animals return to the wild' type scenario. I didn't expect to see the domesticated animals killed off completely.

Yes i know beef farming is very inefficient.

So if we all stopped eating meat what would happen to the current domesticated farm animals? Kill them to stop further strain on resources in keeping them alive? Turn them out into the wild knowing they wont make it but letting some other element of nature kill them? What, in actual fact, would happen to these animals?

They're domesticated. The whole point is they've been changed from what they were. They aren't built the same way as the wild species. Most of them are farmed in areas very far from where they originated (for instance cows/sheep are not Australian...) and would either displace native animals or promptly die due to anti-survival traits bred into them. Too much wool, or too fat, or just plain too big.

If we all stopped eating meat I suspect that many would be killed as soon as they don't turn a profit. Not about animal welfare, that, just agricultural profit margin. Plenty of people don't even keep their companion pet animals after they start to get old and un-cute or cost too much in vet bills.

From an ethical/anti-cruelty/environmental perspective, though, I'm not sure that's even worse.

#7 Apageintime

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:42 AM

QUOTE (Dinosaurus @ 15/11/2012, 12:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So if we all stopped eating meat what would happen to the current domesticated farm animals? Kill them to stop further strain on resources in keeping them alive? Turn them out into the wild knowing they wont make it but letting some other element of nature kill them? What, in actual fact, would happen to these animals?



Well I'm sure everyone wouldn't turn around tomorrow and decide to be vegan. It would be a gradual process that would lead to less and less cows being bred (for example) until eventually there were only a couple left (possibly in a zoo?). Much like what happens with current wild animals facing exitinction. Its a gradual thing.

#8 JaneLane

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:45 AM

Hmmm seems a bit strange....

I am a vegetarian, have been been I was a young child and always will be.  I was a vegan for several years but then went back to just being a lacto ovo vegetarian - I do eat eggs and dairy but no meat from any type of animal whatsoever.

During my vegan years I never thought this what you have described with having very few animals including domesticated and same with people.  I would say that this is an extremist vegan view of the world but I don't think that most would think that way. As a vegetarian, I would like to see the breeding and killing of animals for human consumption drop but realistically I don't think it will happen, too many people love their meat eating including my DH!

I also love that we can have wonderful domesticated animals to be part of our families.  I love my beautiful rescue dog like one of my kids, I couldn't imagine not wanting to help out and save these animals and give them a good life.  It does make me extremely upset to hear about any form of animal abuse and often wonder why on earth some people would have them if they hate them do much.

What is in the condoms and tampons vegans can't use? I wasn't aware of that one!



#9 pyramidsong

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:46 AM

I am vegan and have many vegan friends, and first and foremost I will say there is no consensus on such matters. It's not even really a movement, as there are so many diverse and disparate positions and opinions. You have your palm oil free vegans, your abolitionists, your welfarists, your "I'm vegan but I'm not fussed what anyone else does"vegans, your militants...

As for the original question, it's a tricky one, and not easily reconcilable. I would like to keep a certain percentage of farm animals about (even if the world went vegan) for their *own* sakes. No-one ever thinks of that- the world is still wrapped up in, "what can the animals do for humans?" I would like to have as many of them as can be sustained in sanctuaries so they can live happily and cared-for, without us asking anything of them. And we can enjoy interacting with them, too. Pigs, cows, sheep and chickens are, if given the chance, as responsive and affectionate as domestic pets.

Domestic animals I feel much the same. Care for the extant ones and keep a sustainable percentage going.

#10 amabanana

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:47 AM

Wouldn't it just be a natural cessesation if we stopped breeding cattle/pigs/chickens for human consumption?  Just like if we don't have more than 2 babies per couple population will not increase.   If we don't replace existing domesticated animals with new ones they will all either be eaten or die of old age.  Either way they would become extinct.

#11 steppy

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:47 AM

I never understand the fat thing - you don't get fat just from eating meat or dairy. Corn, potatoes, wheat, oats, barley etc etc etc - all contribute to fat. Maybe more than meat.

Domestic pets would be a thing of the past. If we aren't eating meat for our own sakes, we sure as hell won't keep herds alive just to feed dogs and cats.

Edited by steppy, 15 November 2012 - 11:48 AM.


#12 Sir Dinosaurus

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:48 AM

Is a zoo a good thing though?

I thought being vegan was an ethical choice about animals and cruelty (I may just be rephrasing PETA jargon though!) and whilst zoos may do a lot of good work in preserving almost-extinct species - I think a lot of non-vegans would agree it's not a fabulous place to live and die?

Sorry I'm in and out, I'm wrapping presents while the baby sleeps too original.gif

#13 miriams

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:54 AM

So what would be a good present for a vegan? Anything that is not made with animal products presumably. I am not quite sure what the point of your question was.

#14 pyramidsong

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:55 AM

I don't like zoos. Most vegans don't.

Farm sanctuaries are different, imho. For one thing it's a more natural habitat, the animals aren't imported/exotic etc...

#15 miriams

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:58 AM

QUOTE (steppy @ 15/11/2012, 12:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I never understand the fat thing - you don't get fat just from eating meat or dairy. Corn, potatoes, wheat, oats, barley etc etc etc - all contribute to fat. Maybe more than meat.

Domestic pets would be a thing of the past. If we aren't eating meat for our own sakes, we sure as hell won't keep herds alive just to feed dogs and cats.


This is true. I've seen plenty of podgy vegetarians, even bordering on obese. Presumably being vegan would cut out a lot of those animal fats like butter, icecream etc though.

#16 pyramidsong

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:59 AM

QUOTE (miriams @ 15/11/2012, 12:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So what would be a good present for a vegan? Anything that is not made with animal products presumably. I am not quite sure what the point of your question was.


I don't think there was a problem with her question- I read it as she was initially thinking about vegan gifts, did a bit of research and is pondering on a tangential question.

Oh, in general with vegan gifts, be aware of a) palm oil (sustainable may not cut it- the sustainable palm oil thing is generally considered greenwashing lip service) and b) subsidiaries of animal testing companies, for example Body Shop being owned by L'Oreal.

It's a bit confusing if it's not your area of awareness so I'm happy to answer any questions. original.gif

And yes, there are heaps of fat vegans. We tend to have lower rates of heart disease but we're not all healthy- google "junk food vegan". The vegans who are unhealthy usually aren't that focused on nutrition, so eat a lot of baked goods and processed stuff.

Oh, and to address another common misconception- not all vegans support PETA. I friggin' loathe them and their methods. They make us all look like hysterical, stunt-pulling extremists.

Edited by pyramidsong, 15 November 2012 - 12:03 PM.


#17 Great Dame

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:03 PM

I'm vegetarian and would be happy to see the end of most domestic animals if it meant the end of cruelty.  I'm not against companion animals if it can be done humanely, although I doubt it can ever happen.  

I don't like zoos at all.  I have refused to visit one for probably 20 years.  I've swallowed my convictions when I had kids.  I think the majority are awful though.  Some animals seem to get a better deal than others, and although conditions have improved drastically from years ago, I still consider them cruel to the animal.  I think there is little benefit to the animals, so once again we use animals for our enjoyment (I realize that makes me a hypocrite).

#18 la di dah

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:03 PM

I've known some fat vegans. If your issue is animal cruelty and not health, its perfectly reasonable and easy to get fat because you love sugary things.

For many people its an ethical stance, not a diet.

#19 pyramidsong

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:05 PM

QUOTE (la di dah @ 15/11/2012, 01:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've known some fat vegans. If your issue is animal cruelty and not health, its perfectly reasonable and easy to get fat because you love sugary things.

For many people its an ethical stance, not a diet.


Exactly this.


#20 Great Dame

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:08 PM

On the overweight thingy - I think it's much harder to be a very overweight vegetarian/vegan (especially vegan).  Although I don't doubt it happens.  For one, your junk food/takeaway is severely limited and you really have to eat healthy at least occasionally if for no other reason than limited food choices.  Eating out, the vegetarian option is usually always healthy.   Recent example - on a flight our vegetarian meal had a piece of fruit for dessert; meat eaters got some yummy looking cake *sob*

#21 Sir Dinosaurus

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:08 PM

Yes pyramid song that is exactly how i came to think about it, my own experiences with vegetarians have been very focused on the eating animals is cruel and unnecessary line. i was just surprised to learn that (for some at least) this didn't also mean "saving" them and that some would like to see domesticated animals extinct.

I bought from the cruelty free shop, i got a chocolate hamper and a cookbook, i didn't even think about how the book was made - as soon as I started thinking about what to buy her I began to realise what a minefield it is trying to live vegan in our culture.

I may (may!) be nicer to my SIL now!

#22 pyramidsong

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:22 PM

I would like to thank you sincerely, Dinosaurus, for being so considerate and also for allowing yourself to try to see things from our point of view. I'm not a person who demands others go vegan, or even thinks it's realistic to hope that, but a bit of understanding goes a long way.

If you imagine a world where everywhere you go you're accosted by ads for veganism, vegan food, told you're abnormal, images you find deeply distressing are shoved in your face, people who make jokes about the way you live as if it's extreme or a wacky fad, stereotyped unfairly because of a handful of people your lifestyle is associated with...you get the picture. Being vegan isn't hard because of the food. It's hard because of other people's attitudes towards it. Yes, there are preachy, aggressive vegans. but most of us aren't, and we're expected to smile graciously through the hundredth effing bacon joke.

Oh, and you're pretty safe with the Cruelty Free Shop. Good choice. original.gif

#23 Sir Dinosaurus

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:26 PM

Thank you for understanding too pyramid song (what a love in this is turning into!) I am hopeless at asking questions and often cause offense unintentionally (yes, even when I read it for the sixth time before posting!)

I did find it very interesting and I didn't want to ask my Nanny herself because I don't want her to feel uncomfortable where she works and I knew I would have a million questions once I started!

The cruelty free shop seemed a good way to go, they had a lot of info so I thought they would be fairly safe as far as 'down the line' goes.

As for condoms and tampons (who asked?) I did not google that but decided to assume the companies or products are tested on animals. I am still not googling it - you google it and let us know laughing2.gif

#24 bluedragon

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:40 PM

I'm a lacto ovo vegetarian and have been since birth, I toyed with the idea of going vegan for a while in my late teens and had quite a few vegan friends. In the end though I found it a bit too restrictive. My friends opinions were that the use of any animal was exploitation, so eating the honey the bees had been busy making was exploiting them, wearing wool was exploiting the sheep etc... While I understand their argument and can see merit in it at times I don't believe that the use of animal products (where the animal continues to live) in all situations is always detrimental to the animals wellbeing.

If animals are cared for by loving, attentive people who treat them well and only take what the animal can comfortably give then I don't see a problem. Some animals do also benefit from the domestication process too, it's not always a taking relationship from the humans perspective. Domesticated animals (generally when well looked after) have a constant supply of good food, protection from predators, medical treatment and depending on the animal protection from the weather.

I would love to see everyone stop eating meat, especially in countries like Australia where there is a good supply of alternatives. But I know it's never going to happen. So my next best option is for people to cut down on the amount of meat, fish and poultry they eat and for the amount they do eat to come from ethically raised animals.

I would see either a complete stop or a significant reduction would certainly not happen overnight resulting in a glut of animals but rather a gradual reduction that would take many years.

I would much rather animals not be born than to be born solely to be killed for consumption but if people do want to eat meat then I would prefer a smaller scale industry with very strict ethical controls. I would also prefer for Australia to eat more environmentally suitable animals such as more Kangaroo over hoofed animals to minimise the environmental damage.

The fact is most of the domesticated breeds have been changed so much from the original wild animals that they cannot survive without human intervention and care so we have a duty of care to these animals to do the right thing by them. I would be happy for some breeds, say of beef cattle, to gradually die out as heard sizes got smaller and smaller from lower demand. I have some issues with zoos too so wouldn't want to keep a few alive just to have specimens in a zoo.

#25 la di dah

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:44 PM

QUOTE (Madame Catty @ 15/11/2012, 01:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
On the overweight thingy - I think it's much harder to be a very overweight vegetarian/vegan (especially vegan).  Although I don't doubt it happens.  For one, your junk food/takeaway is severely limited and you really have to eat healthy at least occasionally if for no other reason than limited food choices.  Eating out, the vegetarian option is usually always healthy.   Recent example - on a flight our vegetarian meal had a piece of fruit for dessert; meat eaters got some yummy looking cake *sob*

True for takeaway. Prepared-food wise its easier to be healthy, though sometimes insipid. The big ones I knew were big into baking.

I even knew one (quite cool) vegan guy who always said he only had takeaway once a week, to keep up with friends... and that was his salad for the week. "I always tell people you don't have to live on salad... I prefer to live on cupcakes..."




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