What is veganism? (your opinion)

because @miked invited me to. i will.

i like this topic.

to me veganism is the food and drink you consume and what you do to animals yourself,.

i have a leather wallet, i have a leather couch. i did not physically kill the cows that made them.

becausr i dont eat them the animals work in harmony with me, they work on my behalf. i love them.

animals kill each other, but when you dont eat them they work for you, they love you for it.

i went vegan for health reasons. its my opinion that veganism is all to do with not consuming them, including their milk etc.

my bodily system works brilliantly healthily because of this veganism. i am extremely healthy.

accidentally i have consumed something non vegan, it was vitamin d3 from sheeps wool (cholecalciferol) and it does matter. it felt bad, i had digestive problems.

now i was suffering for eight years with reflux, and initially was prescribrd omeprazole by the doctor. it worked as a temporary fix. i learned online it blocks some kind of chemical being produced by you gut. and that isnt healthy. it means you dont absorb so much nutrition. then i tried baking soda, worked better, same problem that its a temporary fix but doesnt block, it made me gassy. then i tried rose quartz elixir, a healing crystal it worked to quell the reflux after each time occurred, again temporary fix. Then i tried DE (diatomaceous earth food grade) and oregano oil. and today after three days of both ive excreted solid and runny, and this morning the reflux is gone.

so the birds are singing and nature is on my side. clever ally to have i am telling you.

but the issue is , is DE vegan ?

interesting question. fossilized alga means it was a long time ago and that was before i was born. but what is alga?

i am going to research this more…

it worked and i may never need it again.

but it didnt feel unvegan, it was good not bad.

to me veganism is good food not bad food.

what is alga ?



Many would say this is not vegan. I would say veganism is more than just diet it’s a lifestyle.

The Vegan Society’s definition of veganism is “veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”

So, leather is not vegan because it’s possible and practical to avoid it and you could easily argue it’s exploiting the animal. Something like petrol wouldn’t be though because if you need to drive to go to work or visit your family how else could you do that? This is where vegans can start to disagree and it’s up to you what sits right with your ethics.

Algae is really complex. They’re not a plant or an animal. In respect to whether they feel pain they are more similar to plants than animals. If you look for a vegan EPA/DHA (omega-3) oil it will be from algae and personally I would say consuming algae adheres to a vegan lifestyle.


interesting @Dan_Huel

regarding algae i suppose deduceably the next thing down is bacteria and the like… thats alive and living within us already.

my diet is vegan, by popular definition then i am not completely vegan.

animals love me though, so i think its mostly to do with what your intentions are for the planet as a whole.


I don’t think the definition of veganism is a matter of debate. The definition seems pretty clear. If you look at vegan.com they define veganism as:

[…] a diet free of animal-based foods (such as meat, dairy products, eggs, and honey.) Nowadays, the word’s meaning is commonly extended to refer to non-food products—such as clothing, cosmetics, and medicine—that are made without [animal-derived substances]. Vegans also typically object to exploitative uses of animals, from animal testing to rodeos to zoos and dolphin shows.

You will find similar definitions on merriam-webster and on Wikipedia. So it is pretty well established and I don’t think there is any confusion possible about it.

The only possible grey zone that could arise comes from the classification of some particular organisms. In the case of Diatoms they have been classified as algae so technically they are not animals. But there are some organisms that fall right in the grey zone and belong to the Protist group. The unicellulars from genus Euglena, for instance, behave sometimes like a plant (autotroph) and sometimes like what we could define as an animal (heterotroph). But even the definition of animals, for what veganism matters, is not really clear. If it’s heterotrophy then bacteria should be a no-no. If it’s feelings and self-consciousness then I think there could be a lot to debate about it and then it may be more subjective. So it’s not about what veganism itself is but more about what you would consider an animal.

But in the end… I think it all comes back to how you feel about it. Even if you don’t really check all the boxes of veganism and don’t stick to the definition provided above, as long as you feel good about what you’re doing and are true to yourself that’s all that matters at the end. You shouldn’t care about the tag.


That sounds like a plant based to me. Huge difference between veganism and being on a plant based diet.


As I said - I wasn’t thinking when I said that DE isn’t vegan - I would consider unicellular organisms to be vegan, though not Jain vegan. Not all single cells are vegan though - as eggs aren’t vegan. So I apologize for causing issues on that, as DE is by consensus vegan. I confused it with plankton that aren’t (as some aren’t), but this one is.

I would say if you have gotten the leather (or any other material) before going vegan, then it’s vegan in that regard. The only issue is that if you wear leather, then you’re promoting something that’s not vegan. However, if you use the leather to prevent buying something that might harm animals unintentionally (even though it’s vegan), then that’s vegan. So it’s 50/50. If you buy leather after - then it’s not vegan.

There are actually a lot of foods that are labeled vegan when I don’t consider them to be. One of them are foods that get pollinated by bees instead of mechanically, hand-pollinated, or are self-pollinating. I would say some farmers use commercial bees to pollinate tomatoes, but that’s not needed for basil.

And I always think about unicellular organisms and whether they’re vegan or not. If a single cell like eggs are not vegan, then where do we really draw the line? I keep mulling it over - no answer yet. I would like to err on the Jain side - to avoid cyanobacteria, yeast, bacteria, diatoms, etc., but right now those would be called ‘vegan’ - as they’re not animals (although some really do act like them!).

I mean, I don’t consider carnivorous mushrooms to be vegan, not carnivorous plants (as they ate an animal). So plant-based =/= vegan for me all the time.

I still question DE - as it’s cell + shell, so I’m still on the fence for it. However, that would be akin to saying fungal spores are not vegan. It’s hard to define veganism at a cellular level - but I do go by taxonomy to figure it out: anything in the animal kingdom isn’t vegan.

My biology teacher said that plants carry nematodes, and so wouldn’t eating plants that are outdoors (as I bet it wouldn’t be with indoor plants) not vegan either?

I go back and forth with myself on these thoughts! Maybe I could get help on it.

I will say, diatoms do clump together as multicellular structures, which make biologists wonder if it’s an animal then, or just acting like one. It’s good to question taxonomy (as that’s just created by humans, and changed all the time) to progress science.

Thanks for starting this discussion! I like it.

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cool post

i agree with you

what matters most to anyone IMO is their intentions for the planet as a whole, that starts with vegetarianism -> vegan diet-> total veganism… then also pollution etc.

but interestingly every cell in our body is alive, not an animal, but a living thing… so its really about animals… but hey plants are alive too!

imagine if one day there was another fuel to give you energy and health!


I like your answer. I have heard about people making biodiesel from plants and oil from algae (oh no, not this debate again lol), so I believe there are vegan methods of transportation. One could walk or use a computer (although I heard some computer components aren’t vegan). Walking should be vegan (unless one steps on a bug).

I really try to be vegan (like really vegan by eating self-pollinating, indoor grown plants sometimes), but I wouldn’t say I’m able to really know if I’m vegan based on my own definitions (plastic comes from oil, so I wouldn’t be vegan there). We could just all try I guess.


great post

very interesting!


Like one that doesn’t use life? I mean, we do eat non-living foods that do provide nutrients, like salt. I bet there’ll be a day when someone creates a non-living food source of synthetic chemicals from sunlight and water (it’s the other chemicals that I worry about).


i am thinking more on the lines of a spiritual life energy.

surpassing even the idea of breathing in energy

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I have a question - if there are unicellular organisms that feed off of us as parasites, would they be vegan? Wouldn’t viruses be non-vegan, if they use animals to grow - so they’re exploiting animals?

I mean, the unicellular level is the hardest place to draw the line between what’s vegan or not.

If you want to follow a conventional method of veganism - it’s everything that’s not an animal.

For me, I draw the line at exploiting animals. That’s why I would say the fuel to run a car (if it’s not biodiesel) wouldn’t really be vegan, not all non-animal organisms are vegan, and I really question which unicellular organisms are vegan and not - that’s my main focus right now!

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Like breatharian? I see what you mean. Idk how far breatharian goes, but sometimes when I’m exercising in the Sun I don’t get as hungry as just being at home doing nothing. Idk why exactly.

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i think you are right its about animals.

i think its possible yeah…

True but this is where I’d say veganism is actually negative and in some cases needs to look at the bigger picture. Biodiesel, on the whole, is worse for the environment because the land could be better used to grow food and we can get fuel from other sources such as solar, hydrogen and wind. Biodiesel is really inefficient, there’s a great article on it here.

Solar Foods are getting there!

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I like the idea of finding a food that doesn’t require the intervention of any living thing. But I don’t think it’s within our reach now. That would require eating minerals/inorganic stuff and this generates the huge issue of where would we get our proteins from? Now it’s true that our body can make its own proteins if it’s given the appropriate elements he needs. To make proteins you need amino acids and there are some amino acids that our body cannot produce on his own: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. They are the so-called essentials amino acids. Therefore, they must come from foods and are biologically incorporated in protein by other living organisms.

I’m not aware of artificial synthesis of those amino-acids. But even so, someone mentioned all the use of fuel and energy that would be required if we were to synthesize our own food from scratch. The best source of energy so far is the Sun and plants stay the most sustainable way to harvest this energy and produce those essentials life blocks. Even though there has been some recent breakthrough in the mimic of photosynthesis, we are still not there. And this is without mentioning the potential issues related to the bio-availability of that artificial inorganic food.


speaking about solar, hydrogen, and wind - it’s possible to run a car on those (like EV - electric vehicles). I do see some companies trying to make solar cars. I was just making an example about how it’s possible to be vegan when driving was all - but you’re right - some vegan choices are much worse than the non-vegan option. However, if you compare the best vegan option to the best non-vegan option, I usually see the vegan option win out (I could be wrong, if anyone wants to point that out).

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Wow! I like that link to Solar Foods! I was also reading about how to combat climate change, scientists are working on pulling CO2 from air and using electricity to form proteins. That’s pretty cool too!

As @Dan_Huel and I said - there are methods to create proteins from air.

I mean, I feel that some parts might require genetic engineering - like to give us the ability to create our own vitamin C or I even heard about biohackers with injecting chloroplasts to photosynthesize (i.e. ‘be the plant’). I mean, those are very fringe ideas, but I’m just trying to show that there are people thinking about it. I’m just vegan, but I like thinking about Jain vegan (although they’re wrong about not eating roots, as you could eat roots of a plant and it can still grow - as long as its core is still intact), raw, local, indoor, etc. to be a lot more ethical than just veganism is (as it’s better than an omnivore diet, but not 100% there).

This isn’t aimed at Dan, but I wanted to piggyback on the subject of leather.

I’ve come to the round-about conclusion that for me I will use/buy leather products for the time being, especially clothing, if there is no reasonable alternative. Not because I believe this is right. But

  1. I have not found decent leather alternatives for most shoes. Yeah, a few exist, but they are not easy to obtain. I would gladly purchase feux leather shoes, even at a higher price than real leather, should they become available. Similar with furniture and epolstry for cars.

  2. IMO, the real driver behind the cow industry is meat and dairy. The hides from the cows that were killed from the slaughterhouse are just secondary in the overall process. I am morally against the way that cows are treated in factory farms. And I do my part by not purchasing beef or dairy anymore. IMO, I have a bigger impact doing this than buying feux leather.

Again, if manufacturers begin offering leather alternatives more widespread, I’ll vote with my dollars. It’s an imperfect solution to a complex problem. And I’m not judging, since I was responsible for the unnecessary deaths and imprisonment of xx number of cows during the first 43 years of my life when I did eat those products. And I hid my head in the sand, ignoring the unethical treatment of cows while patting myself on the back for being such a good dog owner. The realization of my own contradiction is partly what has convinced me to change. I went into this whole thing being whole food plant based, but I have since learned of the ethical and environmental benefits of veganism. So although I originally started the journey for pure selfish reasons (health), I now see the other aspects of veganism as important.

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