Articles Reflecting a Vegan Lifestyle From

Thoughts on avoidable harm and being veganish

From There's an Elephant in the Room blog
September 2022

Our audience deserves the truth no less than our victims. Yet when someone who harms other animals or promotes harm to other animals, says ĎIím vegan and this is what veganism is all about,í their listeners are being DENIED the information that they need to live true to the values that they hold.

four week old Hens
Image by Andrew Skowron of 4-week-old hens destined for an existence as egg machines.

I canít count how often Iíve seen declarations from people who claim to be vegan despite indulging in some form of avoidable use of members of other animal species. However before I go any further I must stress the word ĎAVOIDABLEí.

Living in a nonvegan world, completely surrounded by a regime of oppression that runs almost entirely on the exploitation of other individuals, I sincerely canít imagine how anyone can claim that they have absolutely no involvement in exploitation either directly or indirectly. For the avoidance of doubt, this is not some controversial claim that veganism is impossible Ė far from it. Iím only mentioning this because Iíve seen so many vegans attacking or sniping at others as if they, themselves, were completely free of the taint of corruption that nonveganism brings. Examples of this sniping are when people are condemned for shopping in supermarkets, or taking life-supporting medication, or any one of a number of other activities that personal circumstances mean they are unable to avoid.

Even if every actual vegan had been born and raised vegan Ė which only a miniscule percentage were Ė letís take as an example, buying goods in a vegan shop. I refuse to believe that every single human involved in the growing, harvesting, production, importing, package design, manufacture etc of the stock goods was vegan. The premises to sell these items Ė designed, built, owned, maintained by, leased from vegans? The transport of goods, including vehicle design, manufacture, maintenance, oil extraction/fuel refinement, petrol station employment etc? The creation of adverts? The ownership of the media where the adverts appear? No way Ė not even close. Examine all the associations in ANY situation and we will ALWAYS find nonvegan connections, and hence links to exploitation. We are ALL tainted to some degree.


The word ĎavoidableĎ is the critical one. Defined more precisely, itís even covered in the actual definition of veganism.


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