What Is Extreme About Veganism?

Claiming what you choose to eat and drink
has nothing to do with your spiritual betterment,
is like claiming what you choose to eat and drink
has nothing to do with your physical health.

Stonepeace | Get Books

If, however, you have decided that you are going to put your morality where your mouth is and adopt a vegan diet, we want to offer some advice: In a society in which most people consume animal products and where conformity is valued, and in which non-conforming behavior is often dismissed as “extreme”, you will inevitably find others labeling you as “extreme”. Don’t let that bother you. Consider:

What is extreme is eating decomposing flesh, milk produced for the young of another species, and the unfertilized eggs of birds. What is extreme is that we regard some animals as members of our family while, at the same time, we stick forks into corpses of other animals. What is extreme is thinking that it is morally acceptable to inflict suffering and death on other sentient creatures simply because we enjoy the taste of animal products. What is extreme is that we say that we recognize that “unnecessary” suffering and death cannot be morally justified and then we proceed to engage in exploitation on a daily basis that is completely unnecessary.

What is extreme is that we excoriate people like Michael Vick [who abused and killed dogs] while we continue to eat animal products. What is extreme is pretending to embrace peace while we make violence, suffering, torture and death a daily part of our lives. What is extreme is that we say we care about animals and we believe that they are members of the moral community, but we sponsor, support, encourage and promote “happy” meat/dairy labeling schemes. What is extreme is not eating flesh but continuing to consume dairy when there is absolutely no rational distinction between meat and dairy (or other animal products). There is as much suffering and death in dairy, eggs, etc., as there is in meat [as the animals live brief, imprisoned and tortured lives before slaughter].

What is extreme is that we are consuming a diet that is causing disease and resulting in ecological disaster. What is extreme is that we encourage our children to love animals at the same time that we teach them those whom they love can also be those whom they harm. We teach our children that loving others is consistent with hurting them. That is truly extreme–and very sad. What is extreme is the fantasy that we will ever find our moral compass with respect to animals as long as they are on our tables. What is extreme is that we say we care about animals but we continue to eat animals and animal products.

Eat Like You Care: An Examination of the Morality of Eating Animals (Buy It)
Gary L. Francione & Anna Charlton

Related Review:
Do You ‘Eat Like You Care’?

Related Article:
Why Veganism Is Not An Extreme Way Of Life


  • I am really more convinced about how it is more ethical to be vegan rather than just vegetarian, though being vegetarian is already quite remarkable:) Just one sentence ‘under what is extreme’ changes me.

  • [Question by the named, with answer by other commenters]

    Q: Is cordyceps 冬虫夏草 considered vegetarian? It is found in medicinal tonics which has a vegetarian logo. But there are some people who say it is an animal product?

    A: As in the namesake, 冬虫夏草 in 冬 is 虫, and in 夏 is 草. The end product might be vegetarian, but if the 虫 are purposely bred to die, it could be a form of exploitation. In case of uncertainty, it is best to avoid such ‘foods’.

  • Comment: Is doing Fish Spa vegan? No fish are harmed when they eat our dead skin cells on our feet. We are feeding them food?

    Reply: No. Any form of exploitation of animals is not vegan, including enslaving, breeding, forcing them to perform a task and killing them after they are deemed useless.

    (And yes, Vincent, please take a look at this. You have not been reading the long email: https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2010/11/what-if-plants-feel-pain-too Do learn about feed conversion ratio. Meat-eating consumes more plants: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/foodfeatures/aquaculture/images/graphic_calories.png

    Please do NOT send another rude or ill informed message via any medium under other names or anonymously, or the yellow text in the email will be followed. Only polite and sensible comments and/or questions are appreciated. This is the last warning.)

Please Be Mindful Of Your Speech, Namo Amituofo!

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