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From 30 January 2005 Issue

The Seven Levels of Veganism
By Greg Lawson - ParkStRanger@aol.com

It is hard to be totally vegan. Many of us fall a little short of that goal. Therefore, I offer this guide for determining just how vegan we are.

Vegan Level One - Doesn't ask if there is chicken stock in the rice, doesn't ask if there is lard in the beans.

Vegan Level Two - Occasionally buys milk chocolate products. Doesn't worry about how the wine they drink is clarified.

Vegan Level Three - Only eats milk chocolate if someone else bought it. Eats doughnuts at work if someone else brought them in. Eats their roommate's ice cream. Also known as a Freegan.

Vegan Level Four - Still wears the old leather and wool products they had before they went vegan, but feels guilty about it.

Vegan Level Five - Stopped using their car because of the animal products in tires, the animal testing of vehicles, the animal products in the pavement.

Vegan Level Five point one - Stopped riding with friends to the movie theater because of the above and the fact that film is processed with animal gelatin.

Vegan Level Six - Has given up all products that involve animals in any way. Hires someone to sweep the path ahead of them as they walk so they don't tread on insects.

Vegan Level Seven - Similar to a Jain. Wears a mask to keep from breathing in small critters. Uses a mild vegan soap that doesn't kill microbes, it just floats them away. Washes their raw organic produce outside with bottled water so that any little beasts will return to the earth rather than going down the sink. Realizes that having someone sweep ahead of them hurts the insects and so doesn't move around much anymore.

(Actually, the above list is just a fanciful fabrication. We shouldn't feel guilty if we have a weakness for an occasional non-vegan chocolate or whatever. Animal ingredients are so pervasive in our society that it is nearly impossible to avoid them all. More important than being a "pure" vegan is to keep compassion for all animals as an important goal and to live our lives so as to be examples for others.)

Go on to The Flesh Factory of the Future
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