Is Veganism Cruelty Free?

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Veganism is essentially about not having anything to do with animal products because it, for the most part, includes cruelty. But what about everything else you consume? The fruits and vegetables you eat are not being picked by well-paid millionaires. Most of the fruits and vegetables we consume are being picked by illegal immigrants. Now, because they are illegal, their employers can get away with paying them less, this being because they have the upper hand.

If you ask me, that certainly is not cruelty free. That being said, why does cruelty free food only matter when it has something to do with animals? Why turn the other way when the cruelty is being done to our own species? “Days often begin in the middle of the night — say, 3 a.m. — to leave enough time to get to a pickup point (a parking lot or vacant lot), be picked up (or not — the labor contractors who collect workers and deliver them to farms generally don’t take all of them), and get trucked to the worksite.

Each crop is different; you’re stooping to pick (fruits like strawberries) or cut (vegetables like broccoli) essentially nonstop, usually with pressure to keep up with a truck that’s collecting the harvested produce. If you fall behind, you could get kicked out and lose both a day’s wages and a ride home. Conditions vary, of course, but there are often very limited breaks.”

There are many thoughts that come to ones head when the word “vegan” pops up. Most of the time people do not associate positive things with the word “vegan”. In today’s society, when most people here the word “vegan”, they roll their eyes. It mainly has something to do with the fact that, if someone vegan, catches wind of you not being vegan, you will never hear the end of it. Vegans make it known that they are vegan, and they make it known that they want you to be vegan as well.

Now, there is nothing wrong with being vegan. Vegan culture, however can be a bit problematic. Vegan culture has turned into more of a meat shaming cult, instead of an animal loving one. However, that is not what being vegan, or veganism is about. Veganism, essentially is a way of living. A way of living which does not involve any form of cruelty and exploitation to animals. This of course, includes harming animals for food, clothing, entertainment, or any other purpose.

There are two main types of non-meat eating culture. There is veganism, and there is vegetarianism. Most people seem to think it is the same thing. Both words start with a “V” and end in an “ism”, but do not be fooled, they mean two completely different things. Veganism is different from just your average vegetarian diet type of lifestyle. Vegetarianism is a less extreme form of veganism. Vegetarianism is basically living on a diet of grains, and non animal based foods. Vegetarian diets are not just a recent LA fade. Vegetarian diets have been around for longer than your favorite hollywood actress.

Reports show that this diet has existed as early as 700 There are many different reasons why one would turn to a vegetarian lifestyle. Some of the main reasons for this lifestyle change include ethics, religion, and health. The first vegetarian society was formed in England around 1847. However, vegetarianism had not begun to move into mainstream American life up until the 1960s. “graduate student named Frances Moore Lappe wrote a book called Diet for a Small Planet. In it, she advocated a meatless diet not for ethical or moral reasons, but because plant-based foods have much less impact on the environment than meat does. Today, many vegetarians refuse meat because of animal rights issues, or concerns over animal treatment, a principle first espoused in Peter Singer’s 1975 work “Animal Liberation.”

Veganism, however is a way of living that completely excludes any and all forms of animal exploitation. A typical vegan diet excludes things such as animal flesh, diary, eggs and any other ingredients involving animals. “These include gelatin, honey, carmine, pepsin, shellac, albumin, whey, casein and some forms of vitamin D3. In terms of ethics, vegetarians are opposed to killing animals for food, but consider it acceptable to consume animal by-products such as milk and eggs, as long as the animals are kept in adequate conditions.”

Though the term “veganism” was not coined until around 1944, the main concept has been around for ages. Avoiding consuming animal flesh was a concept that can be traced back to Eastern Mediterranean as well as Indian societies. “Vegetarianism is first mentioned by the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras of Samos around 500 BCE. In addition to his theorem about right triangles, Pythagoras promoted benevolence among all species, including humans. Followers of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism also advocated vegetarianism, believing that humans should not inflict pain on other animals.”

I gathered my information on vegan culture by simply researching vegan culture. The internet is a vast cesspool for knowledge, and it was my go to source. I went on forums, social media, and other platforms in order to get information. I also went on educational websites in order to find the exact dates for important points in time for veganism. This research for me also included many online polls. A difficult part for in within my research was just finding the right way to word my questions.

In order to ask the questions I needed to know I needed to do so in a way that did not trigger the person I was interview. A lot of people can get defensive especially when you are essentially grilling them on something they are so passionate about. I just simply explained that this is not what I thought of them, or vegans but just information I needed. It also helped that I spoke in a very soft, non threatening voice. During this research I found that most people claimed they were vegan because they didn’t eat red meat, but they were still using makeup products that is being tested on by animals. It’s not to say that these people are hypocrites or liars, but simply was not aware of the true meaning of what being vegan is.

Finding someone who was vegan was a little difficult for me. My grandmother has never eaten meat, but it wasn’t for cruelty purposes, she just thought meat was disgusting and bad for your skin. She also grew up in Vietnam, so meat wasn’t the cleanest. However, I asked around and found someone who purposely led a vegan lifestyle. I met a woman named Maura Burns through my mother and asked if she would be willing to help me with my project. She said she’d be thrilled to answer some questions, so I asked some!

  1. What made you choose to become vegan? “Meat is just simply disgusting. You are literally eating the tissue of a decomposing animal.There are also harsh preservatives like nitrites.”
  2. Was it difficult for you to adopt such a relatively drastic diet? “No not at all. When you see the suffering that goes behind what you consume, you start to feel differently.”
  3. What was the transitional experience like (socially, intra‐personally, and
  4. physically)? “My perception changed so much and within such a short amount of time. I also felt extremely isolated because my husband and family would look at me as if I were crazy!”
  5. What is it like to be vegan? “It makes you more aware of what you are putting in your body.”
  6. How do vegans explain why most people continue to eat animal products? “I think it’s just easy to not put in the work and time the time to learn why you shouldn’t.”
  7. What do you think about people who do chose to eat meat? “I think it is just disgusting, and sad. I do not think poorly of them. My son eats meat, basically everyone I know. I just think we should all do better.”
  8. Did you become vegan specifically because of the cruelty? “Cruelty was definitely part of it, but it wasn’t exactly why I started. I think I wanted to start for healthy reasons. The brutally awful documentaries came shortly after.”
  9. Do you only care about cruelty when it comes to animals? “Of course not!”
  10. You say you do not consume meat because of the cruelty done to animals, but what about the workers that are harvesting the plants, and other things you eat? “The workers have a choice in their job. They choose to be farmers. Animals to not have a voice, or a choice!”
  11. Did you know that most of the workers are actually illegal immigrants and are working under extremely unfair conditions, just because they do not have the proper documentation to defend themselves? “I do not think that it is fair but we can’t avoid it.”

In conclusion, no vegan is not completely cruelty free. Though animals may not be harmed in your decision, someone else certainly is. There is nothing wrong with being vegan. There are many benefits to being vegan. Health benefits that can be preventative, and lifesaving. Being conscious about what you’re feeding and putting into your body is extremely important. However, thinking that, by not consuming meat means you are not contributing to any cruelty is false. No matter what you do, if you consume something, chances are it is not ethical in one way or another. It is important to just do what is best for you, and not judge, especially if you are not looking at all sides of the story

Cite this paper

Is Veganism Cruelty Free?. (2021, Nov 19). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/is-veganism-cruelty-free/

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