Other Vegan Views articles
How Vegan are We? by Gina Madison, Vegan Views 78 (Winter 97/98)

I always hoped I could go "All the way" and thought it should be possible to live without animal products. It, might be, but certainly not in a society where the very tar I set my feet on contains animal derivatives, where every match and rubber and piece of dyed clothing has seen a whole assortment of slaughterhouse by-products before it ends up in my household. And as long as I might still get into a taxi or use the plane to visit other countries (both of which might not only directly kill small insects and harm the environment, but also contain more animal substances than I unknowingly consume in a whole year). How relevant IS the microscopic amount of milk casein in my dinner?

The bottom line seems to be that as long as there are people out there who eat meat, there will always be some sort of non-vegan substance in the products I use. And thus it seems that the only way out of this vegan maze is to work with all our might towards the abolition of meat-eating. If we can concentrate all our energy on making the facts known to the public, the dilemma might one day be over, because without meat there would be no milk, and without both of those the manufacturers would have to use the already existing (plant based) alternatives to the ingredients utilised today.

This is especially hard for me to conclude, since I always thought I would rather starve to death than touch an animal product ever again. But reality is catching up with me now.

I don't want to destroy or put down anyone's effort to be perfect - on the contrary... if anyone has found a way, I want to be the first to hear of it.

In the meantime, I will keep asking myself; how vegan am I really???