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Talking About What Vegan Means

June 18, 2008 | Veganism

Friends of Animals' New Website Blends Values & Verve

Darien, Conn. and Victoria, BC - Friends of Animals staffers in the U.S. and Canada are ready to announce their lively new online venue, bringing together the vegan community and people everywhere who wish to explore vegan living and ideas.

Vegan Means respects animals, values habitats, and works to promote a stable climate and a way to feed the world. Powered by an animal-rights advocacy group that's five-decades strong, Vegan Means will help cultivate a human culture that outgrows its reliance on animal products and grows as quickly as possible. To this end, Vegan Means has distilled some of the very best information, and brought carefully considered new commentary, to provide an attractive base of knowledge about the decision to opt out of animal-based businesses.

Vegan Means explores the whys and the hows of the matter, providing material about the freedom of animals, and how that freedom is abridged for food, clothing, research and entertainment of one species alone. The impact of animal agribusiness on our environment, and how we as individuals can address this, is introduced, and kept updated. Also included are vegan history, the vegan's role in peace and social justice, and approaches to activism and education.

The site includes nutritional guidance to illuminate some realities that are as important to human well-being as they are to fairness for other animals. New vegans will find useful tips to navigate social situations, such as helping friends and family understand what a vegan commitment is all about.

The "Ask a Vegan" section will be an Internet café for vegans who are curious about what long-time vegans think about their commitment, and how they deal with the trickiest situations and questions.

Vegan Means also features recipes from Friends of Animals' acclaimed cookbook, Dining with Friends: The Art of North American Vegan Cuisine. These delectable and nutritious recipes, along with useful culinary tips like how to convert traditional recipes into winning vegan dishes better than their original counterparts!

FoA president Priscilla Feral said, "We're talking about a revolution: challenging centuries of domination and starting with our next meal." Vegan Means will be a valuable part of the movement begun by Donald Watson and friends, to change for the better our whole cultural view of animals' lives and human moral progress.

Feral adds, "By becoming vegan we work at the roots to refresh our world, ensuring respect - and indeed a future - for our planet and all of its inhabitants."

And that's what being vegan means.



To the leadership of Freinds of Animals.Hello to you!Your mission to free Animals from cruelty and instititutionalized explotation is without a doubt a noble cause.Certainly practices such as dog fighting,cock fighting,trophy hunting,and in my opinion ,unnessacary animal racing, and a host of other barbaric practices are activities that should be stamped out and eliminated from our modern culture.Unnessacary cruelty towards animals should not be tolerated by cival scociety.Having said this,I must insist that scociety not too broadly define animal cruelty and exploitation.With all due respect,your orginization seems to be guilty of doing just that.For example,I have noticed that you are opposed to hunting;even for food,as you are endorsing a book that claims hunting is somehow or another unnatural?! Please correct me if I am wrong,but is it not the case that many animals hunt for food,even animals that are capable of surviving on a vegetarian diet,cats for example?If hunting for meat is unatural than even the animals are in protest against nature!Some how,I just do not think that this is the case!You could argue that we humans are capable of feeding ourselves without the killing of animals,that a vegitarian diet is the more moral decision for the human animal who is by nature able to choose between killing and not killing.The conclusion of this logic would be the implication that immorality exsists as a function of nature,that killing for food,is a built in evil of nature.Indeed it is this logic that has led millions of humans to look upon animals as brutes,to be used,abused ,tortured and for many species pushed to near extinction.Another legacy of this logic ,''which has only recently begun to change''is the assesment of nature or that which is wild, as being inferior,evil,untamed,useless or evil.Only recenty has our culture begun to appreciaete nature and wilderness as both desirable assets to maintain,but also as concepts compatible with goodness and even purity.I argue that the hunting of plentyfull animals for food is both good,moral, natural. While pure sport hunting or trophy hunting is both wastefull and cruel,subsistance hunting actualy can encourage respect for animals,nature in general,and makes conservation of many species more likly.I will point out to you that the majority of native American cultures exibited a great deal of respect for animals,even to the point of considering the animals as being spiritualy akin.It is highly unlikly that this would have been the case if the first Americans would have been vegetarian.Speaking of vegitation,there are those who study the plants who believe that even members of the green kingdom,feel pain,think and even have some form of communication ability.If this is the case,and no one can say for certain that it is not,would it mean that it was also cruel and immoral to eat plants? An activity can not be judged cruel simply because that activity leads to pain and or death.Is it cruel for the lion to kill and eat an antelope?Can it be counted as immorality when the mother bear defends her cubs? Cruelty is much better defined as wastefullness,or as the destruction of nature that results from greed and pride.Indeed immorality can only result from the seperation of lifeforms from nature and the balancing cycles of nature.The food chain is one of those cycles.It is not an accident that as man has become less dependent on hunting ,that numourous animal species have become extinct or nearly so.It is also worth noting that in many cases large game animals,or animals considered particularly hunt worthy,deer,elk,moose just to name a few,are in some areas more plentyfull than even a century ago.While vegetarians who choose not to eat animal flesh certainly can not be condemed,the vegetarian who condems meat consumption as immoral,simply has not considered all of the facts.The desire for the consumption of meat via hunting is rooted in natural instinct.Such instinct is shared by many animal species,including our own .Even if you reject the idea of man being a highly evolved animal,you can not reasonably reject the certainty that man shares many of the same natural drives as the animals.It is foolish to entertain any ilogical philosophy based upon the idea that evil or immorality stems from natural drive.Nature and instinct in pure form is never the source of evil.If you conclude that hunting and the consumption of meat is evil,then you must also conclude that the carnivours are evil.Those carnivours including the cannines,felines,birds,bears and many more.Certainly such evil creatures deserve no protection or are owed any ethicle or humane treatment by anyone!

Are we saying eating animals is bad because I'm sure other animals do it to survive and most carnivores will NEVER survive on a vegan or vegetarian diet. And I'm gonna go out on a limb here, Aren't plants living? Plants have feelings and awareness too. I am completely against dog fighting, cock fighting, and illegal hunting but going on about how all cows are treated inhumanly, because not all are, is not factual. I work on a farm and these cows are treated with care everyday. They were meant to be milked. If they weren't milked twice a day then they would have so many problems and would contract disease. FoA comments: Not sure what "you" are saying, but "we" are saying that humans are not carnivores and have a choice as to what they eat and don't eat. And it is an important choice as it not only affects human health, but the environment and the lives of other sentient beings. You say cows are "meant to be milked." We say cow's milk is meant for their offspring and that their offspring are not meant for the exploitation of humans. You say, "Plants have feelings and awareness too." We say, "Show us reasonable proof." You say, "cows are treated with care everyday," but we doubt that especially on the day they are killed.

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