(The Differences & Similarities Between Veg*ns)
As compassion ought to be universal,
compassion is ultimately non-religious,
and the ultimate spiritual virtue for all.
‘VEGANISM’ is NOT an abbreviation of ‘vegETARIanism’, though it does do away with the letters ‘ETARI’ between. Veganism is the non-consumption (or use) of ALL animal-based (by-)products (including meat, animal milk, cheese, cream, butter, egg, honey, gelatine, leather, wool, silk… and not paying to support imprisoned animal entertainment, experimentation…), while vegetarianism is ONLY non-consumption of meat. Vegans choose to be so upon realisation that animal products and ‘services’, especially these days, are from lifetimes of imprisonment, torture and exploitation before premature killing.
That said, VEGanism can be said to be the BEGINNING of VEGetarianism, in spelling and principle. How is this so, since veganism seems to be an extension from vegetarianism in practice? It is the beginning in the sense that when people BEGIN to be vegetarians, it is with the wish to not harm animals through their choices. This is their INITIAL intention, which is not different from vegans’.
That said, vegANISM can also be said to be the END of vegetariANISM, in spelling and principle. How is this so? When vegetarians realise mere abstention from meat is not enough for significantly lessening suffering of animals, they eventually END up becoming vegans, still with the wish to not harm animals through their choices, but more conscientiously. This is their FINAL intention, which is also not different from vegans’. If you do not wish to harm animals at all, why not consider swiftly becoming vegan?
Naysayers will claim that we cannot really become vegans as our very existence jeopardises the lives of others. For instance, even harvesting and transporting of organic crops might have some accidental killing of insects in the way. However, the point of veganism has always been to do our best to minimalise in/direct harm of sentient beings. Just because we cannot save all lives does not mean we should not save any at all. No vegans claim to be perfect vegans, while all good vegans strive to be better ones. Join us!
You may say I’m a dreamer.
But I’m not the only one.
I hope someday you’ll join us.
And the world will be as one.
– John Lennon (Imagine)