Maybe it’s just because I have never had this explained to me properly, but where is the line drawn between what can and what cannot be eaten by vegans, and what is the reasoning behind the placement of said line?
As far as I understand, vegans do not consume any animal products (meat, eggs, milk, etc.). Ethical vegans are a subset that practice veganism for (obviously) ethical reasons. Among those are the fact that humans are in no way superior to non-human animals as, as such, are not subject to our whim. Ethical vegans see veganism as a philosophy, lifestyle, and set of principles, and not simply a diet.
If life is important to vegans, then why are plants not subject to the overall ban? Why is it OK to consume plants, which are also a form of life? Do vegans not believe plants to be a form of life at all?
I ask because I just don’t understand why animals are off-limits, but plants are. The distinction seems pretty arbitrary to me. Non-vegans (and non-vegetarians) eat meats and dairy product, often because they don’t consider animals to be on the same level as we are. They are not humans — they are sources of food, among other things. But for vegans, it is OK to eat plant life. Why is that? Is it because they are not animals? Is it because they are sources of food, among other things? How is that any different?
The difference between humans and non-human animals is just as arbitrary as that between animals and plants. All that separates humans and non-human animals are an unspecified level of advancement, measured only by human understanding and intellect. I understand that humans are no more advanced than animals except in such a manner that is measurable only by humans. But, on the other hand, all that separates animals and plant life are the ability to process thought and physically move around. Why should that be the defining characteristic that makes it OK to eat plant life, but not OK to eat animal products? What is the reasoning behind such a definition?
Please, I would honestly appreciate any vegans to chime in on this. I find it hard to understand why a group of people would deem it wrong to consume animal products, while not extending the same “rights” to plant life.