Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism
Are you an Ideal Vegan Buddy?
An Ideal Vegan Buddy will want to help people become and remain vegan in a world that is often not particularly vegan-friendly.
What does it mean to stick to a vegan diet? What is a “vegan diet” in the first place? Some vegans eat mostly raw foods. Other vegans refuse to support large supermarket chains. Some vegans will not use sugar (or certain brands of sugar) or certain kinds of salt. Still other vegans try to embrace wide-reaching principles of “ethical consumerism” and only purchase fair trade products, or only buy locally. So, different vegans have different standards when it comes to what a vegan diet means to them, even amongst vegans who all agree with the same philosophy of veganism.
Vegans also have differing ideas about how easy or how hard it is to live as a vegan. Some find it easy and expect it will be the same for everyone else. Others struggle at first, perhaps even for a long time, but finally “get there.” Many vegans have family and friends who have always been helpful and supportive; others have not been so fortunate.
What about you? Are you a “straight-edge” vegan, or do you consider yourself an orthodox, “mainstream” vegan? Are you always consistently strict about what you will eat or wear - or can you be “flexible” when you think that’s appropriate? Maybe you are a fruititarian, maybe you eat only food you grow “veganically.” And what about toothpastes, cleaners, products that have been tested on other animals, and what is your stance on the use of pharmaceuticals and accepting medical treatments that have been developed using other animals? How do you feel about vegans who ride horses, or who own “pets”?
What is your psychology about your veganism? Do you believe being vegan has deprived you of nice things in your life but live vegan anyway because your morals demand it? Or do you, instead, revel in the fact that you live well without deliberately harming others, and find veganism no imposition at all?.
Vegans may disagree on all these issues - and more!
So, how can an Ideal Vegan Buddy help a new vegan? How can a Mentor help others navigate through what might seem at first to be an ethical minefield?
We believe that one positive way for an Ideal Vegan Buddy to proceed, and to answer all these questions (and more!) from any new vegan, is by talking with them about the full range of views that exist on these “vegan questions” and by always remembering where the new vegan is on their new journey. New vegans are likely to ask you “So, what do YOU do?”, and while it’s vital that we are honest in our answers, what really matters is what THEY do next!
We know that no one lives in an Ideal World, but we’re confident that there are Ideal Vegan Buddies. We hope you are one!