Friday, June 6, 2008
Seven Levels of Veganism
I recently purchased a vegan cookbook, was flipping through it and saw a recipe that stated once I prepared and ate it I could classify myself as a 'Level 7 Vegan'. What the f*ck?! There are levels?? I've already given up all the animal products I've ever eaten. What the hell else do I have to do?
So I googled it and this is what I found. Apparently there was a reference to a 'Level 5 Vegan' on a Simpson's episode so it's kind of a joke. Ha Ha. Those funny, self-righteous vegetarians. Just kidding, of course.
This is just one random person's very non-official description of the levels.
Vegan Level One:
Doesn't ask if there is chicken stock in the rice, doesn't ask if there is lard in the beans.
Vegan Level Two:
Occasionally buys milk chocolate products. Doesn't worry about how the wine they drink is clarified.
Vegan Level Three:
Only eats milk chocolate if someone else bought it. Eats doughnuts at work if someone else brought them in. Eats their roommate's ice cream. Also known as a Freegan.
Vegan Level Four:
Still wears the old leather and wool products they had before they went vegan, but feels guilty about it.
Vegan Level Five:
Stopped using their car because of the animal products in tires, the animal testing of vehicles, the animal products in the pavement.
Vegan Level Five point one:
Stopped riding with friends to the movie theater because of the above and the fact that film is processed with animal gelatin.
Vegan Level Six :
Has given up all products that involve animals in any way. Hires someone to sweep the path ahead of them as they walk so they don't tread on insects.
Vegan Level Seven:
Similar to a Jain. Wears a mask to keep from breathing in small critters. Uses a mild vegan soap that doesn't kill microbes, it just floats them away. Washes their raw organic produce outside with bottled water so that any little beasts will return to the earth rather than going down the sink. Realizes that having someone sweep ahead of them hurts the insects and so doesn't move around much anymore.
This was this person's disclaimer:
(Actually, the above list is just a fanciful fabrication. We shouldn't feel guilty if we have a weakness for an occasional non-vegan chocolate or whatever. Animal ingredients are so pervasive in our society that it is nearly impossible to avoid them all. More important than being a "pure" vegan is to keep compassion for all animals as an important goal and to live our lives so as to be examples for others.)
I agree with the above statement (not necessarily with the levels) and without knowing about any 'levels' I have read every label and put down or thrown out anything that contained milk or eggs, milk chocolate or otherwise.
I've been wondering how long I have to eat this way before I can call myself a 'vegan'? I have to admit there is a part of my Ego that will enjoy telling people that "I am a Vegan". Oooohhhhhh. You're a what?! That being said, I feel very committed to this lifestyle and from a much different place than I have ever been before. It's not just all about my ego this time. Some, but not all.