The word “vegan” was coined in 1943 by Donald Watson: he simply abbreviated the word “vegetarian”. At the time, the prevailing trend in England was to move away from strict vegetarianism towards a more liberal diet that included eggs and dairy products. Therefore, an association of vegans was formed with the aim of reviving the values of the original vegetarianism. Along with the principle of a purely plant-based diet, vegans sought to respect the right of animals to a free and natural life in all other areas of their lives: in clothing, transport, sports, etc.
About fifteen thousand years ago, hunting was gradually replaced by agriculture and manual labor. This change made it possible for the human race to survive and lead a settled way of life. However, the civilization that has arisen in this way is thoroughly saturated with species chauvinism, quite often the interests of some species are given preference to the detriment of the interests of other species. Moreover, this civilization justifies the exploitation and destruction of the “lower species”.
Species chauvinism in relation to animals is the same as sexism and racism in relation to people, that is, the situation when the interests of representatives of one group are neglected in favor of the interests of representatives of another group under the pretext that there are differences between them.
In the modern world, large-scale exploitation of animals on farms is carried out. For health reasons, as a rule, most vegetarians follow modified versions of a plant-based diet (“lacto-ovo vegetarianism”), forgetting about the suffering of animals and nature.
Many lacto-ovo vegetarians do not care that newborn calves are immediately taken from their mothers. If the calf is male, then after a few weeks or months his life ends in the slaughterhouse; if it is a heifer, then it will be raised into a cash cow, and the vicious circle of suffering will close.
In order to fully achieve authenticity as human beings, species chauvinism must be recognized as taboo as cannibalism. We must stop treating animals and nature in general as our victims. We must respect the lives of other living beings and internalize the ethics of non-special chauvinism.
Veganism implies the rejection of the use of any products of animal origin, not only food, but also products used for the production of clothing, medicines, and hygiene products. Vegans deliberately avoid the exploitation of animals for scientific purposes, religious ceremonies, sports, etc.
An integral part of veganism is also vegan agriculture, developed within the framework of modern organic farming. Such farming implies a rejection of the use of animal products, as well as a willingness to share the land with other living beings.
The new relationship between man and animals living on the same planet as us should be based on respect and total non-interference. The only exception is when the animals threaten our health, hygiene and well-being in our own territory (threat to the place of residence, organically cultivated lands, etc.). In this case, it is our responsibility to ensure that we ourselves do not become victims and remove the animals from the area in the most merciful way possible. Moreover, we must refrain from causing suffering to our pets. The danger of pet ownership is that it leads to the development of species chauvinism and the rapist-victim behavioral model.
Domesticated animals have played the role of pets for many centuries, so their mere presence is enough to make us feel comfortable. It is this sense of comfort that is the reason for the exploitation of these animals.
The same is true for plants. The ancient habit of decorating homes with flower pots and bouquets feeds our emotions at the cost of depriving these plants of their natural habitat. In addition, we have to take care of these plants, and this, again, leads to the formation of the “rapist-victim” complex.
The organic gardener strives to reproduce the plant by saving the best seeds of his crop for next year and selling or consuming the rest of the seeds. He works to improve the soil of cultivated land, protecting rivers, lakes and groundwater. The plants grown by him have excellent taste, do not contain chemical fertilizers, and are good for health.
The principle of complete non-interference in the life of the animal world and the absence of plants in our homes may seem like a radical measure, but it fits perfectly into the doctrine of non-species chauvinism. For this reason, a strict vegan who takes into account the interests of not only the animal kingdom, but also the plant kingdom, nature in general, is also called an eco-vegan, in order to distinguish him from that vegan who, for example, believes that he should be involved in saving street of cats and dogs.
Following the eco-vegan lifestyle, although we are no longer directly involved in the exploitation of the animal kingdom, we are still dependent on the mineral and plant kingdoms. This means that we should pay our debts to nature in order to enjoy its fruits with a clear conscience.
In conclusion, eco-veganism, in which we strive to minimize environmental damage, includes ethical consumption, simplicity of life, birth control, a fair economy, and real democracy. Based on these values, we hope to put an end to the madness that humanity has been cultivating for the past fifteen thousand years.