January 23, 2017 by Virginia James
If you’re new to my blog -Welcome! January is often referred to as VEGANuary to those who have made it their new year’s resolution. How are you doing so far?
As many newcomers know there’s a lot of contradiction in opinions of veganism. You’re going to hear often that you’ll die without meat -you’ll be deficient in protein – you won’t be getting enough calcium, etc.
I’m here to tell you… I’ve been newly vegan for over a year, and look at me …all alive and stuff… with no deficiencies!
In regards to some contradictions you’ll hear online and from others, people will tell you or ask you about the ‘gray areas’ in your vegan lifestyle.
But what are the gray areas?
Let’s look at what actual vegans consider a gray area in veganism. Here’s a list of 3 gray areas (in no particular order) that I conjured up with the help of dozens of vegans via quora, reddit, facebook, and twitter:
#1: Killing Bugs
This is something that has been a bit of a question mark within the vegan community. If I see a cockroach or mosquito in my house -Should I be able to kill it? Veganism is all about compassion towards animals -are bugs not animals?
What I think: The first and foremost thing I try to do when I see a bug in my home is try to get it outside safely. If I can’t, I leave a window open and see if it will leave on its own. If I still am unable to get it outside, depending on the bug, I may just let it sit. For example, lady bugs, crickets, non-venomous spiders I really don’t mind. But if it’s a bug or insect that can easily carry a disease (such as mosquitoes, cockroaches, etc) or that someone in my home happens to be allergic to …my last resort is to kill it. I (as well as many other vegans) feel that it should be okay to kill insects/bugs, if we feel it is a threat in our home. Other vegans don’t feel this way, but won’t blame you for doing it considering the danger.
Companies that take honey from bees don’t necessarily hurt the bees, so why would it be so bad to buy or eat honey?
What I think: Lately a vast number of vegans are beginning to take the honey route. I don’t feel that I’ll be heading that way anytime soon. Honey was made by the bees for the bees. By consuming what they work so hard to create for themselves we are essentially exploiting them -which is against all aspects of veganism. Also, we’re doing more harm than good here:
When farmers remove honey from a hive, they replace it with a sugar substitute which is significantly worse for the bees’ health since it lacks the essential nutrients, fats and vitamins of honey. The bees then exhaust themselves by working to replace the missing honey. During the removal of honey, the bees can die after stinging the farmers. -VeganSociety.com
Honeybees are already endangered, and we all know of the consequences should bees go instinct, right?
#3: Lab-grown meat products
Here’s how lab grown meat works: cells tissue is taken from a cow, stem cells are extracted, and from those cells, more tissue is grown…
Science is really advancing rather quickly, and the argument here is that this is a step towards taking slaughter out of the equation within factory farms.
What I think: Regardless of how advanced this is -an animal is still getting exploited. They’re going to be tearing tissue off a living animal. When it’s so much easier to just have mock meats, this is the answer the meat industry has. It doesn’t keep you from getting heart disease or high cholesterol -it’s still animal meat. Although I appreciate the scientific advancement, I feel that this is not the answer.
You’re going to come across all sorts of what other people may consider gray areas of veganism. Some people may purposely try to confuse you. Others may be unknowingly misinforming you. Just make sure to ask -how is this affecting my health, the animals, and the environment. If all three subjects are in a safe zone, you’re pretty much good to go. Just remember to do your research first :).