Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Veganism is not a diet..

You know how some people say that they are vegan for health reasons? or vegan for environmental reasons? or even vegan for social reasons??

..Well..they're all wrong!!..

Wrong, that is, unless they have redefined the term veganism from that which it was originally intended.. Which of course, is what has colloquially happened to many words becoming misused and abused as is the plight of the daily spoken english language.. So.. on 2nd thoughts.. that makes them right in a sense.. but not if one takes the literal meaning of the word as it was first coined back in the 40s..

I believe the original definition went something like this:

VEGANISM may be defined as a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practical, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.

A very unusual pineapple.

That's pretty simple, yet pretty profound too.. Nowhere is it defined as a diet.. rather it is a lifestyle that attempts to minimise suffering toward animals..

Thus Veganism not being a diet as such, offers no real guidelines as to how the diet of a follower should or shouldn't be.. There is no concern if the diet is raw or cooked, condimented or plain, mixed or mono, toxic or palatable, rotten or ripe or unripe, deep fried, roasted, boiled, sautéed
, smoked, alcohol fortified, preserved, MSG flavour enhanced, coloured, fermented, pasteurised, curried, sugared, spiced or just plain natural..- Provided of course, no animal was exploited during it's production..

Actually, as a philosophy, there is no clear definitive rule forbidding even the eating of animal flesh.. Yes, you read me orrectly..- Read the definition again, and you will see what I mean.. It just says "seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practical, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose" .. Which doesn't mean that if you were to find a naturally dead animal, that there would be any fundamental moral vegan prohibition, denying you from eating it..

Clearly, veganism per s
é, has little regard or concern for the health of those that practise it..

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that vegans aren't concerned for their own health.. of course they are, who isn't?! Who doesn't want to live a long and happy healthy life?? All I am saying is that their concern stems not from the philosophy of veganism or any of it's original guidelines, but
from their own will to live happily and healthily..

Adopting fruitarianism to an already existing vegan enhanced lifestyle, is a good sound choice and complimenting companion.. Together the 2 philosophies can say no to both animal and personal health exploitations.. instead saying yes(!) to healthy long lives for all concerned..

Similarly, also, don't misunderstand me that I am in any way opposed to veganism, I am all for its guidelines and enthusing others to follow them, thus I would heartily encourage, also, those that may have already embraced fruitarianism as a diet only, to adopt the vegan philosophy into their lives too.. Remember - harm to a part, is harm to the whole..

Me with my trusty old bike.. we must have biked about 7000 kms together all up..

Actually, the English language is really missing a word to describe someone that purely eats a diet free of animal products.. The French for example, in addition to the word veganisme, have the word végétalisme, which describes the philosophy of just eating from the vegetable kingdom.. So they have végétarisme, végétalisme and véganisme.. Similarly, the Spaniards do the same, with the words vegetarismo, vegetalismo and veganismo.. I guess the english equivalent to vegetalismo would be dietary veganism..

ps the 1st picture is of kveta holding a very unusual pineapple with a crown at both ends..
the 2nd picture is me with my trusty bike..i biked across much of europe with it, and was on the road for a year..later i flew to australia with it and used it along the east coast.. Finally ended up leaving it in Northern NSW with a friend, and she still had it in her shed even after 7 years..

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Anonymous said...

Hi Mango...glad to see you again!
Say hi to Kveta for me please (that way I will only write here this time).
I had this interesting experience in a Buddhist Monastery. Fasting and eating just fruit is really great to meditate. You can really start to hear your inner voice...
I created a blog but only posted for 2 times. If you want to check it out:

Keep posting you and Kveta. You inspire me!