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Thinking about what exact is veganism.

Can you be a vegan and yet kill an animal on purpose, as opposed to accidentally?

Responses (18)

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 06/02/14 05:15:44

    The basis of vegan philosophy is found in the concept of "ahimsa" or non-violence, as is encouraged by the Jain religion and others who respect all living things.

    There is an incredible amount of suffering being experienced by sentient beings at this moment, and the vast majority of it is caused by the lack of compassion for others on the part of the human species. Our human ego and self-adoration has made us an unnatural enemy of all living things...and in this manner unique among all creatures.

    Belief in human "superiority" allows us to rationalize the poisoning, imprisoning, torturing and killing of our neighbors and kin, and quite naturally led to the same mindset in human relations...resulting in sexism, racism, colonialism and war.

    If the other animals believed in gods and other magical beings, they would certainly see humans as the devil.

    Being a vegan is all about practicing the Golden Rule, and killing does not pass the test.

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    Posted by KukoVegan at 06/02/14 10:59:24

    couldn´t have been said better, nothing more to say ;)

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    Posted by happycowgirl at 06/02/14 13:03:51

    I couldn't agree more.

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    Posted by AndyT at 06/02/14 20:17:08

    I guess there are different views to this, as to every question.

    I, personally, do not see so much of an issue with killing animals that threaten me or my family. I am not so much referring to wild lions leaping out of the jungle, but rather to disease-carrying animals like mosquitos, ticks, roaches, mites or similar.

    Best regards,

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    Posted by The Hammer at 06/02/14 22:56:03

    Thanks for the responses.

    I am only a little bit familiar with the Jain religion (i talked with several Jain people) but it seems the Jain religion is not about compassion for animals but about avoiding Karma. Jain people also don't eat root vegetables because they believe the root is the seat of live. So eating roots would be killing life and so accumulating bad karma.

    I think many vegans out there willingly have an animal killed. I mean vegans with a sick or old dog or cat let it be euthanized. Mercy killing.

    I think anyone that is vegan for ethical reasons agrees that an animal in pain should be euthanized. But people like Jain people, could never do that, out of fear of accumulating bad karma.

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 06/03/14 07:53:01

    The Hammer-
    I corresponded with Jains a few years ago, and they published one of my articles in their newsletter. I was pleased to learn that I had an influence on their thinking about dairy products.

    I too believe in mercy killing, though the Jains do not. Still, I admire their anti-war philosophy and their respect for life.

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    Posted by The Hammer at 06/03/14 23:33:26

    One Jain person i knew was actually a vegan. :-)

    Yes, dairy, i tried that topic too, with Jain people and Indian vegetarians, to no avail though. They were unwilling to listen or agree that supermarket milk is a very cruel product.

    So that is why i have come to think that that kind of religious vegetarianism is basically different from my veganism, and is NOT shared in the Ahimsa principle.

    It seems to me that many Indian vegetarians and
    also some parts of the Chinese vegetarians are not interested in avoiding animal cruelty but only interested in avoiding bad Karma. THAT is basically different from us western vegans, and other Asian veg people like Buddhists.

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    Posted by SexyVeganDiva at 07/13/14 10:25:43

    Why be a vegan if you're going to kill animals? You might as well not be vegan.

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    Posted by The Hammer at 07/15/14 00:24:23

    But that is just my point, that being vegan for ethical reasons and being vegan for religious reasons might be two different things, and not the same.

    Of course i am not talking about being a vegan and at the same time killing animals for pleasure or something like that. I mean, as ethical vegans we are against cruelty to animals, so that means that most probably we would euthanize our pet dog if he would suffer and would be incurable.
    In this respect, e.g. Jain people would never ever do mercy killings because it would give them bad Karma.
    Also, as a vegan, i am sure that most of us kill a mosquito when it bites us. Being a vegan is not trying to be a saint or boyscout, as a vegan i simply don't want to contribute to large scale animal cruelty, but i am not sentimental or will burst into tears when i trample on ants accidentally.

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 07/14/14 05:00:24

    @The Hammer-

    I wouldn't be so quick to lump all Jains into one basket, any more than one would believe that all Christians hold the same beliefs and practices. Some people are vegetarians for health reasons, some out of concern for the environment, others because of the implications for human starvation, and many because they have compassion for "farmed" animals.

    I mentioned my contacts with the Jain community, and my encouraging them to look at the dairy product issue. They were very receptive and admitted not looking closely enough at what happens to cows in the dairy industry, both in India and the US.

    And to SexyVeganDiva-

    It's been said here before, but let me be's impossible to live a 100% pure vegan diet, just as it's impossible to have a world with zero violence. But every effort in that direction alleviates suffering and is therefore commendable.

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    Posted by ellie4animals4ever at 07/09/15 14:53:12

    Why are you a Vegan if you like to kill animals?

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    Posted by eyeofasoul at 08/21/15 14:45:57

    What is you intention are you forced due to a bear attack and nature causes an automatic survial response. Perhaps the answer to whether there is any justification of killing would lye in finding out what it is that we are , why it is that we are, and how it is that we are. Humans have so many different beliefs they tend to become separate from one another in practicing particular beliefs. Instead of thinking of ourselves as vegans perhaps we should see ourselves as people who are evolving or changing into something different. Nature is nature and it is obvious that it works in a particular way where certain animals kill others, but perhaps the human being has the opportunity to become something different other than just another animal. Vegans can show as an example a great benefit towards this process especially when they are capable of demonstrating the love and compassion they show towards other life and its environment. It seems as where they stall in getting their message out is when they get caught up in the anger and hatred within them. So I say to you because that it is possable that the human can change for the betterment of all things. If one is more concerend about being classifide as a vegan oposed to having the realizing there are better ways the human can exist. Then one might not understand the full potential that this word (vegan) we chose to practice is all about.

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    Posted by Vegan Mark at 08/25/15 12:06:34

    Although I live my life not bringing harm to any living thing I don`t think that it`s a bad thing to kill an animal that is a direct threat to myself or my loved ones. But it has too be directly threatening. My sister hates spiders but I would not kill one because she sees it as a threat when in reality it is not.

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    Posted by anahidscv at 08/25/15 14:57:36

    I am referring to what Vegan Mark has written. I am struggling with the same situation. I am petrified of insects, not all but grasshoppers and crickets. I am so afraid that I end up killing them if I am face to face with them. This year I planted mint and sunflowers, and they completely destroyed them, with a huge infestation of grasshoppers. I could not go near my plants and it discouraged me so much that I don't want to plant again. Sometimes I do end up killing crickets when they are in the house, but I feel so bad afterwards. I get goosebumps when I see them, and sometimes after seeing them, I feel that they are all over me, and I start screaming. My husband laughs and gets upset when I kill them, but I don't know what to do. I know they are harmless, but they are so scary to me.

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    Posted by Thalassa4 at 11/02/15 00:15:20

    Some people are vegan for health reasons or environmental reasons only, so would likely still kill an animal if they felt it was necessary. I honestly think people who presume veganism is only about animal rights are being extremely simplistic,and likely damaging the movement. ..because it's important to note how vegan diets help prevent cancer, heart disease and obesity, as well as providing more sustainable agriculture, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing more nutritious food for the world's poor, and conservation of water.

    Plus even animal rights activists might consume dairy if they raised their own goats for example, humanely, or consume animal products if placed in a compromising survival situation.

    So yes, a vegan could kill animals, though they would probably be more mindful about it, I doubt many vegans are sport hunters.

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 11/02/15 04:10:15

    What you're describing is the difference between a vegan diet and a vegan philosophy of life.

    The vegan diet is based on what is healthy to eat. The vegan philosophy takes into account how our lifestyle choices affect the world around us.

    Because vegan philosophy is concerned with the environment, solving world starvation and the experience of non-human animals, it goes far beyond what best serves our individual dietary needs. The choice of a vegan lifestyle is based on reducing the human footprint and the suffering caused by human activity.

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    Posted by Thalassa4 at 11/02/15 16:06:38

    Yes I understand all that but there are people who call themselves vegan who do so primarily for health reasons, and even people who have an ethical vegan life philosophy might use an animal product if it would save a human life, or would kill a bear who was attacking them. ..most people would spray for bedbugs or lay down diatomaceous earth to get rid of roaches.

    A vegan who would not ever use animal products or kill an animal to save a life, say in starvation conditions, is similar to a religious person who denies medical care. There's nothing wrong with that, but not all vegans are that extreme.

    Personally I am not a humanist, I think humans need to be a lot less concerned with themselves if ironically they'd like to preserve mankind, so my beliefs are somewhere in the middle.

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    Posted by Star the magic vegan at 01/10/16 20:25:47

    The Hammer-


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