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So, what is an ethical vegan?

[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
don't value sea kittens above humans. Although I had already been
vegetarian for four years, I waited until I was about to leave home to
tell my parents I was going vegan. Mum looked at me across the dinner
table. "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
are intellectually weaker. Toddlers are intellectually weak, but
you're unlikely to find one in a casserole. To me, human rights and
animal rights go together. Humans have a responsibility to care for
animals and 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" looked and
tasted like plasticine. Vegan cupcakes are now impossible to avoid in
the more self-consciously fashionable parts of town, and for this I
thank the dietary vegans.

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full story:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/01/what-is-an-ethical-vegan

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