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Is ‘vegan’ a diet?

September 5, 2019

The phrase ‘vegan diet’ is widely accepted but not accurate. The more accurate phrase would be ‘plant based diet’. Here is why:

Veganism is animal advocacy in the same way someone advocates for dogs. The only difference is that, here instead of advocating only for dogs, someone who is vegan advocates for all animals.

Someone who advocates for dogs does not eat dogs, or dog products. They do not wear things made out of dogs. They avoid products that were tested on dogs to the best of their ability. Many dog advocates publicly spread awareness of some of the issues with respect to dogs and how they are treated.

Is a dog advocate on a diet? A dog-free diet because they don’t eat dogs?

A diet has to do with food. To a dog advocate, a dog is not a food.

A dog advocate is not on a dog-free diet anymore than you or I are on a kitten-free diet or a horse free diet. Most people don’t eat those animals. But no one considers that to be a type of diet. It is because we do not consider those animals as food. So why then do people consider vegans to be on a diet when they are doing the same thing a dog advocate does? Indeed the same thing you and I are doing? Not eating what we don’t consider food.

Perhaps it is because a vegan does eat plant based. But it is not a ‘diet’ in that a vegan is not ‘on’ a diet. A vegan is not resisting eating the flesh of a cow anymore than a dog advocate goes to bed at night resisting snacking on a golden retriever.

There are some people who are on plant based diets but are not vegan. They might go to bed at night craving foods made from animals. They are restricting themselves from something they still see as a food.  They may eventually go off of their plant based diet once they have achieved a result or because they did not achieve a certain result. 

For a vegan, the thought of consuming animals is psychologically disturbing just the same as it would be for a dog advocate to think about drinking dog’s breast milk, eating dog’s eggs, or cooking a dead dog in an oven to serve for dinner.  A vegan does not wake up one day with a reason to eat animals just the same as a dog advocate does not wake up one day and decide to eat dogs.  An advocate does not one day decide to take part in the victimization of those they advocated for.  

Veganism is advocacy, not a diet. Remove the word ‘dog’ from dog advocate and replace it with the word ‘animal’. Then switch it back again and it’s easy to understand that veganism has nothing to do with diet. A diet has to do with food. Advocates do not consider those they advocate for ‘a food’. Therefore being an advocate does not mean you are on a diet.

Is animal advocacy a diet?

 

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