An employment tribunal in the United Kingdom has ruled that “ethical veganism” is a philosophical belief protected by British law against discrimination.
What is meant by Veganism?
A vegan person does not consume meat products and also products that are derived from animals (such as milk, eggs, etc.) Thus, veganism is a lifestyle choice to refrain from eating meat as well as products made from or by animals.
Meaning of ethical veganism
An ethical vegan is someone whose lifestyle and choices are shaped by the desire to avoid cruelty and suffering to animals at all practical costs.
Ethical veganism goes far beyond a plant-based diet. It considers it wrong to use any product made from animals, e.g. leather products.
Ethical veganism is different from ethical vegetarianism which makes a distinction between products made from animals, such as meat, and products made by animals, such as milk. Ethical vegetarianism is opposed to products made from animals in particular.
Ethical omnivorism permits the use of some animal products and may restrict the use of others based on some ethical criterion.
Benefits of veganism
• For the animals: All sentient creatures have a right to life and freedom. Avoiding animal products is one of the most obvious ways to take a stand against animal cruelty and animal exploitation.
• For your health: Well-planned vegan diets follow healthy eating guidelines and contain all the nutrients that our bodies need. Research has linked vegan diets with lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.
• For the environment: One of the most effective things an individual can do to lower their carbon footprint is to avoid all animal products.
• For people: Plant-based living is a more sustainable way of feeding the human family. A plant-based diet requires only one third of the land needed to support a meat and dairy diet. This becomes significant amid rising global food and water insecurity.
Analytica: Veganism in India
Mahatma Gandhi, one of the foundational proponents of ahimsa, shied away from dairy consumption as some of the practices such as ‘khalbachha’ or ‘phooka’ involved in dairy production were violent in nature.
Two different movements are taking root in India at the moment. On the one hand, as the economy grows and people’s disposable incomes increase, there’s more consumption of meat and dairy products. On the other, as people are exposed to social media and as the world becomes smaller due to globalisation, veganism is increasingly being embraced.
There’s also a massive increase in young people talking more about issues like animal rights and sustainability and this has led to restaurants and supermarkets catering to this demand, offering more vegan options.
While currently non-vegetarian (including egg) products are labelled with a red dot and vegetarian products labelled with a green dot there has been a greater demand to label vegetarian products with a brown dot and vegan products with the green dot symbol to distinguish them further by indicating that they don’t contain any animal ingredients or cruelty.
From Greta Thunberg talking about going vegan to information on how the meat and dairy industries are wreaking havoc in a country already facing water scarcity, hunger, pollution and climate change, people in India are slowly realising the impact individual food choices have on the planet.
Origin of the term “VEGANISM”
The term “vegan” was coined in 1944 by a small group of vegetarians who broke away from the Leicester Vegetarian Society in England to form the Vegan Society.
They chose not to consume dairy, eggs, or any other products of animal origin, in addition to refraining from meat, as do vegetarians.
The term “vegan” was chosen by combining the first and last letters of “vegetarian.”
Veganism is currently defined as a way of living that attempts to exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, be it from food, clothing, or any other purpose.
PEPPER IT WITH
Deontology, Utilitarianism, Consequentialism, Virtue ethics