People in Suburbia

Aussie Vegan

Posted on: December 22, 2009

Several years, I encountered an Aussie woman who happened to be an animal rights activist and a vegan.

Off-hand, she commented that she raised hens and occasionally used their eggs to make breakfast. I was surprised, because at the time, I had only a vague picture of animal rights philosophy, but I was quite sure that people wearing the vegan label don’t eat eggs.

I asked her about it, how she reconciles eating animal products with her veganism. She explained that AR activists like her don’t avoid animal products because of their origin, but rather the way animal products are obtained. Factory farms and even “free range” farms are not nice places for chickens.

Her hens, on the other hand, are as happy as can be and are not raised for slaughter. They run around on her property, make chicken noises, scratch and peck at the dirt, build their own nests, eat seeds,  etc. Every once in a while, the hens lay eggs; they don’t seem to mind people collecting their eggs.

Her veganism compels her to avoid products which intentionally causes harm to animals, not necessarily to avoid animal products in and of itself. I asked her if she had an objection to animals which die natural deaths in the wild, or even roadkill. She gave me a look that, without the words needed to say it out loud, indicated that my question might be too sardonic to merit a serious answer.

In any case, she hesitantly answers no, there’s nothing obviously objectionable about eating dead things squashed on the road — “except its unsanitary, and just really really GROSS!” Touché, Aussie Vegan.

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