[The Guardian - opinion - comments at full story link]
I have been a vegan for seven years. I prefer chocolate cakes to
lentils, I don't spend my evenings sifting through layers of moss in
search of nutrients, I won't eat it just because you made it and I
value sea kittens above humans. Although I had already been
for four years, I waited until I was about to leave home to
parents I was going vegan. Mum looked at me across the dinner
"You're not going to be awkward about it though, are you?"
I went vegan for ethical, not dietary reasons. I do not think humans
have the right to oppress or abuse other species simply because they
intellectually weaker. Toddlers are intellectually weak, but
unlikely to find one in a casserole. To me, human rights and
rights go together. Humans have a responsibility to care for
other humans because both have the ability to suffer. Both
are capable of
experiencing pleasure, fear and pain. I find
discrimination on the
grounds of species as distasteful as
discrimination on the grounds of
race or sex.
There is not a clear divide between ethical and
dietary vegans, and
dietary vegans have certainly increased the
availability of vegan
options. When I went vegan, most soya milk curdled
in instant coffee,
and the one commonly available brand of vegan "cheese"
tasted like plasticine. Vegan cupcakes are now impossible to
the more self-consciously fashionable parts of town, and for
thank the dietary vegans.