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From: Qualera (
Subject: Re: Posting this a second time to be sure it's seen. Sorry.
Date: April 2, 2002 at 6:25 am PST

In Reply to: Posting this a second time to be sure it's seen. Sorry. posted by Matt on March 31, 2002 at 11:41 am:

Veganism isn't about personal perfection. At least for most vegans it isn't. Its about doing the least harm and the most good. I will eat bread without knowing if the mono and di-glycerides are of vegetable or animal origin. Often the manufacturer doesn't even know. If its an ingredient that can be either from vegetables or animals, I don't always worry about it. I've memorized many ingredients that are always of animal origin and avoid those. Will I buy bread that contains whey or honey? Absolutely not!

You have to find a balance between perfection and livability. Does it help any animals if I spend my time obsessing over glycerides? I don't think that it does. But it does help to avoid obvious animal products. If people quit using the obvious animal products and those go away, then the trace ones and hard to figure out ones will go too.

Am I a vegan? Yes. Am I perfect at it? Nope. The goal for me isn't perfection, its compassion. Perfection is impossible. There are animal products in tires and in some plastics. Even if you bought vegan clothes and organic vegan grown produce, they would still be trucked to market in a truck that had tires that had animal products in them.

I'm not saying that it doesn't matter, but you do need to decide how to best maximize your time and your enjoyment of life. If you are really concerned with eliminating every trace of animal ingredients from your diet, do it slowly. Pick one or two products every week and analyze every ingredient that you don't recognize. If any are iffy, call the manufacturer. It will take time, but its managable. But also think if your time would be better spent elsewhere. You could go to a protest or put up vegan information leaflets on public bulletin boards. Just some ideas. - Q

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