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Thread: Vegan Exception Clauses

  1. #1
    Anti-anti-vacccine Dandelion's Avatar
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    Vegan Exception Clauses

    Ok this is a dedicated thread to products that have minute amounts of animal ingredients or were processed using animal ingredients.

    Mahk recently made some interesting points in the What Kind of Contraception Do You Use? thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by Mahk View Post
    OK, I'm back from Googling around. You (all) are right, it is indeed the latex part of a condom and not the lubes or spermicides as I had initially thought, which is typically not vegan. However, if we are expected to scrutinize whether animal products, casein is just one of them, are used in the production of latex condoms, the list of other similar uses in the production of other rubber and latex products is huge:

    - Rubber tires used on not some but all cars, trucks, buses, bicycles, airplanes etc. routinely have animal compounds in their production. By a strict definition of vegan not only could we no longer use these ourselves but also all goods transported by these means.

    - Rubber soled shoes, even if the rest of it is "vegan".

    - [Cut and pasted from one site]: "rubber gloves, condoms, balloons, rubber bands, urinal bags, glue for reclosable envelopes (to name a few)."

    - [Cut and paste from another site]:

    "Table 1: Commonly used products containing natural rubber latex or dry rubber latex:

    Anesthesia
    Rubber stoppers on medication
    Breathing circuits Syringe stopper
    Endotrachael tubes Tourniquet
    Epidural catheter injection adapter Ultrasound cover
    Induction masks Warming blanket
    Nasal-pharyngeal airways Wheelchair tire
    Oral-pharyngeal airways Obstetrical/Gynecological
    Reservoir breathing circuits Cervical cap
    Teeth protectors Cervical dilator
    Ventilator tubing Condom
    Dental Diaphragm
    Bite block Douche bulb
    Dental dam Surgical/Urological
    Orthodontic elastic Arterial and venous catheter
    Prophy cup Implants
    General Medicine Instrument mat
    Bandages for burn Intra-aortic balloon
    Blood pressure cuff Surgical glove
    Colostomy pouch Surgical mask
    Elastic bandage Texas catheter
    Electrode pad Urine bag and strap
    Enema retention cuff Wound drain
    Esophageal dilator Other
    Esophageal protective cover Adhesives
    Examination glove Baby bottles nipples, pacifiers
    Eye dropper bulb Carpet backing
    Face mask with elastic band Elastic in underwear
    Finger cot Household gloves
    Foley catheter Motor vehicle tires
    Hemodialyzer Paints
    Hot water bottle Raincoats
    Latex injection parts Rubber bands
    Rubber sheet, pillow Rubber toys

    Shoes "


    Basically anything that is rubber or latex.

    If you ask me, this falls under the "as far as is possible and practical" exception clause of our definition of vegan.

    I for one will continue to use cars, buses, bicycles etc. and consume goods transported by them. Scrutinizing the production methods of condoms alone, and not all the many other uses of rubber and latex, I personally think is being hypocritical.

    Peace all.
    We also touched upon Vegan Outreach's stance against "personal purity" in this thread: How Vegan? Ingredients vs. Activism where they advocate ignoring the modicum of non-vegan ingredients to otherwise make veganism look too difficult. I myself recently got the Vegan Riot Act handed to me when i poked fun at people who strive for vegan sugar.
    Natalie's Dad take a critical animal rights view of the whole boycott stance of veganism in his article "Why I gave up veganism, and why you should too"

    This comes up time and again and it's contentious issue. My own stance on this has shifted and migrates back n forth all the time.
    Let's explore the fine line of what it means to buy a vegan product, examples of such conundrums and how that affects our movement and our goals.

  2. #2
    Plant-Based Person tin can's Avatar
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    I can never quite decide about soap when out of the house - for example, the liquid soap in the toilets at work. I did get a little tiny bottle of vegan liquid soap to carry around with me, but only actually carry it around intermittently.

  3. #3
    Anti-anti-vacccine Dandelion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tin can View Post
    I can never quite decide about soap when out of the house - for example, the liquid soap in the toilets at work. I did get a little tiny bottle of vegan liquid soap to carry around with me, but only actually carry it around intermittently.
    But wouldn't NOT using liquid soap just encourage places to keep using it since it wouldn't deplete as quickly? I know we already have a liquid soap thread (thanks for bringing this one up here) so what difference do you think it makes if you carry around your own soap? If it makes no real difference is your veganism some sort of personal preference issue or something? Or is it just something that's in a grey area but you opted to make the effort to carry around your own soap? Just wondering where vegans are coming from on such things and trying to see past my own personal biases.

  4. #4
    she melts! mishka's Avatar
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    I use the soap in public places because to carry around my own soap (and other similar products in similar situations) would be exhausting, possibly causing me to feel like a prisoner of my own ethics. When I first became vegan, I really stuck true to my beliefs for two years, but faltered when I felt like my beliefs were creating an exceptionally difficult way of life. I'd rather now falter from time to time on certain things than cause myself to throw my hands up and give up veganism entirely.

    This means I also use standard condoms. I also don't check the origins of sugar, or if the vegetables I eat caused the death of bunnies in the vegetable fields during harvest. I feel that what I do is tremendous in comparison to the average person and I feel proud of calling myself vegan despite using the dish soap or hand soap at work and in public washrooms, or using condoms with casein.
    again! sig-free!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Dandelion View Post
    But wouldn't NOT using liquid soap just encourage places to keep using it since it wouldn't deplete as quickly? I know we already have a liquid soap thread (thanks for bringing this one up here) so what difference do you think it makes if you carry around your own soap? If it makes no real difference is your veganism some sort of personal preference issue or something? Or is it just something that's in a grey area but you opted to make the effort to carry around your own soap? Just wondering where vegans are coming from on such things and trying to see past my own personal biases.
    I think liquid soap in public restrooms is here to stay. I'm much more inclined to believe that if using one's own soap is to have any effect on soap purchasing, it will save a small amount of potentially nonvegan liquid soap and (if enough people do such) perhaps delay the purchase of new soap.

    With that said, a lot of busy places run out of soap before they shut down for the night. In that case, we'd just be helping one more person wash his or her hands with soap.

    I don't carry around my own soap. The reason is primarily because I don't want to advertise myself as different. I don't want to give the impression that veganism makes life difficult and inconvenient. Also, a lot of cheap stuff isn't tested on animals. I'm not sure why that is, but I've found it to be the case. So... I think there's greater risk of a negative result of my carrying my own hand soap (like coworkers thinkin' I'm weird) than a positive one.

    eta: Wow, that was goofy.
    Last edited by downwithapathy; 01-26-2008 at 09:58 PM.
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  6. #6
    smoo + hat Chijou_no_seiza's Avatar
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    Sonja, I see what you are saying, but I have to disagree. Perhaps for men carrying around their own soap would do less good by showing that being vegan is difficult and inconvenient. But most women frequently carry purses everywhere with them.

    When I bring my own soap I simply take my purse into the bathroom with me (like a woman would do if she was on her period and needed "supplies"), finish my business in the stall and then pour out my own soap before I leave the stall. Nobody views me as weird or different, and it's not inconvenient to me but something I prefer to do. Granted if I forget my soap I will wash my hands with what is there. I like the fact that I can use less animal products even if it's simply a tiny amount.

    Honestly it seems to be something that is "do-able" for women. I would argue that your point would more likely be an appropriate "vegan exception clause" for men.

    Obliviously being vegan is about doing what you feel is the most correct action. But to me it's something that takes so little time that it's worth the "extra effort" of unscrewing the bottle and zipping up my purse.

    ETA: Also back in junior high and highschool there was NEVER any soap in the bathrooms, so it turned out to come in handy that I always had my little bottle to save the day.
    Last edited by Chijou_no_seiza; 01-26-2008 at 10:08 PM.
    "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." -- Albert Einstein

  7. #7
    i can with all certainty say that most of the hospital grade stuff listed on that list originally posted by mahk no longer contains latex. (but are all tested on animals)

    most hospitals are phasing out nearly all latex products

    i have a latex sensitivity, and work in the operating room... so i pay allot of attention to what is and is not latex containing.

    but no doubt that regular condoms (durex, trojan... ect) are animal tested... or so ive always assumed...???? anyone know?
    the aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, dunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
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  8. #8
    and i also carry my own vegan soap. i dig it out of my purse and pour some on my hands right there at the sink. i dont think anyone thinks im wierd for it... or i guess i just never noticed if anyone noticed...im quite oblivious, really
    the aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, dunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
    -henry miller

  9. #9
    half a block from Normal Emiloid's Avatar
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    As a woman who never carries a purse, it would be very strange and inconvenient to carry extra stuff like soap around. Even if I did carry a purse, I'm not sure I would carry my own soap. It just doesn't seem worth it. Maybe I would. By the way, if I saw someone else using their own soap in a public restroom, I wouldn't think twice about it. Of course, I'm speaking for myself.

    I realize I'm probably less strict than some people. I don't worry about refined sugar (though I prefer it unprocessed)... I use non-vegan condoms if I can't easily find vegan ones... I have no qualms about using medicines that are non-vegan (unless there's an effective natural remedy or vegan version), and... here's the kicker: I generally don't ask about bread ingredients if I'm in a restaurant or someone's house. Shocker!

    To me, being vegan is partly about setting a good example. There's a fine line between being as vegan as possible and making it seem completely bizarre and inconvenient--for yourself or others. Each of us will define that fine line differently. For me, it's more important to be "pure" in my own home, where I can control things. When I'm out in public, I am more lenient because I already have less control over the things I consume (whether soap or soup), and I am more conscious of setting an example to others. I try to make it look somewhat easy, or at least not like it's an insane inconvenience to be vegan. Of course it involves sacrifice, and you're naturally going to stand out in certain situations, but it doesn't have to seem obsessive.

    BTW, I'm not saying that if you bring your own soap, or don't take medicines when you could really use them that you're being obsessive! (Unless you're risking your life, maybe.) We're all different, and if anything I applaud your decision.
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  10. #10
    Android typo queen vegankitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emiloid View Post
    As a woman who never carries a purse, it would be very strange and inconvenient to carry extra stuff like soap around. Even if I did carry a purse, I'm not sure I would carry my own soap. It just doesn't seem worth it. Maybe I would. By the way, if I saw someone else using their own soap in a public restroom, I wouldn't think twice about it. Of course, I'm speaking for myself.

    I realize I'm probably less strict than some people. I don't worry about refined sugar (though I prefer it unprocessed)... I use non-vegan condoms if I can't easily find vegan ones... I have no qualms about using medicines that are non-vegan (unless there's an effective natural remedy or vegan version), and... here's the kicker: I generally don't ask about bread ingredients if I'm in a restaurant or someone's house. Shocker!

    To me, being vegan is partly about setting a good example. There's a fine line between being as vegan as possible and making it seem completely bizarre and inconvenient--for yourself or others. Each of us will define that fine line differently. For me, it's more important to be "pure" in my own home, where I can control things. When I'm out in public, I am more lenient because I already have less control over the things I consume (whether soap or soup), and I am more conscious of setting an example to others. I try to make it look somewhat easy, or at least not like it's an insane inconvenience to be vegan. Of course it involves sacrifice, and you're naturally going to stand out in certain situations, but it doesn't have to seem obsessive.

    BTW, I'm not saying that if you bring your own soap, or don't take medicines when you could really use them that you're being obsessive! (Unless you're risking your life, maybe.) We're all different, and if anything I applaud your decision.
    I already carry so much stuff in my bag.Like Emiloid , I use soap that is in restrooms , in my home , its vegan-though since i've been getting skin infections-my doctor told me to wash with anti-bacterial soap every day for a week , then once a week after.I haven't been able to find vegan anti-bac soap-so i'm going to use regular (unless someone knows of a vegan alternative. I don;t always ask about bread either (usually because it doesn't occur to me.)I also take stuff like anti-biotics and my anti-addiction drug , which is definitely not vegan , but until i'm done with it , there is no alternative.Not only am i sure it was animal tested , it has an animal ingredient in it. I also am strictest in my own home where i can control things more.

  11. #11
    vegankitty: There might well be antibacterial soap that is accidentally vegan. Just look for one that isn't tested on animals and go from there.

    eta: Have you tried places like Bath and Body Works?

    Are any of their products more specific than "finished product not tested on animals?" I haven't bought from them in years.
    Last edited by downwithapathy; 01-26-2008 at 10:59 PM.
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  12. #12
    someday maybe KaliMama's Avatar
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    I'm really looking forward to following this thread. At 15 months, I still feel like a n00b to veganism. Honestly, sometimes I compromise on ingredients because I can't afford not to. Mr. KM is much more hard-line than I am, and he has a harder time advocating because of it. I'm just saying.

    Thanks for the links in the OP, dandelion.

  13. #13
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    Wow. Thanks for the thread Dandelion. I'm glad my post generated some thought. I too have a flexible view that changes over time. For what it's worth here is my current stand:

    I have complete control of what I put in and on my body when at home, but when I step out the door into the big, bad, omni world I have to deal with the fact that not everything is in my control. I'm a guy, I don't carry a "man purse", and I do use public restrooms including their soap. I also eat vegan foods from omni companies and restaurants knowing that the utensils/cookware used to prepare my food were washed with animal tested and/or animal ingredient soap (even at my "vegan" restaurants, I bet). Do some vegans actually bring a small supply of vegan dish soap to there favorite restaurants and ask that their dishware/cookware/utensils be washed with their special soap? To me the soap used for my hands and my plate/fork/cookware in a restaurant amount to the same thing; out of my control.

    In restaurants/bars/taxis I also will sit in a leather chair/stool if there are no other ones.

    The "vegan sugar" now being sold at WFM is a good example, IMO, of us vegans being taken advantage of by clever marketers preying on our guilt. My research shows that depending on where you live (in the US, that is) 75% of sugar is accidentally vegan anyways (no bone char filtration). For all I know WFM is just re-packaging normal garden variety sugar that they've verified is not bone char filtered (and fair trade) and charging us a hefty mark up.

    I only buy "Florida Crystals" (vegan) for home use but don't panic over the source of the sugar in my Grey Poupon mustard I put on my Tofu Pops "hotdogs". Sushi rice as prepared in restaurants often has a very small amount of sugar added as well, and I don't worry about that either. Hidden sugar is found everywhere, even for a guy like me who doesn't have much of a sweet tooth and only has sweets on rare occasions; pretzels, breads, crackers, salad dressings, ketchups, mustards (e.g. Grey Poupon Dijon), salsas, tomato pasta sauces, pizza doughs, bagels, canned vegetables (e.g. almost all peas), soups, champagnes, “typical” peanut butters, etc., none of which are considered “sweets”. I don't scrutinize the filtration method of the sugar found in these foods just as I don't scrutinize the filtration of an even more ubiquitous ingredient: water! Yes, water too is sometimes filtered through bone char (and bone chips) at all levels from the municipal water supply company all the way down to the individual, home use Brita-style carafe. (Brita was for example, they actually state coconut husks, not bone char, but Aqua Science brand, for example, and others make some with bone char).
    Last edited by Mahk; 01-27-2008 at 01:24 AM.

  14. #14
    Anti-anti-vacccine Dandelion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mahk View Post
    The "vegan sugar" now being sold at WFM is a good example, IMO, of us vegans being taken advantage of by clever marketers preying on our guilt. My research shows that depending on where you live (in the US, that is) 75% of sugar is accidentally vegan anyways (no bone char filtration). For all I know WFM is just re-packaging normal garden variety sugar that they've verified is not bone char filtered (and fair trade) and charging us a hefty mark up.
    Yeah ya know, i thought alotta sugar was produced without bone char anyways. Why Whole Foods would suddenly put out a "VEGAN CANE SUGAR" which is probably the same as their regular "CANE SUGAR" is weird to me.
    I would have to conclude that there is a big enough of a demand to warrant such a product which is even weirder!

    I think if we did look at the processing practices of alotta vegan food products we'd find animal byproducts coming in contact with them. Just look at the "processed on shared equipment" notices they put on for allergies. Imagine all the ones they don't tell vegans. I mean there is the "i do what i can with what i know" thang but that means to me we don't know enough and it would behoove us to find out. To me that is a colossal waste of time and energy that could be better spent at the root cause instead of the side effect. Then again who am i to judge who should do what with their time.

    The last time i was at Chicago Diner i ordered my usual St. Peters beer and the server said they no longer carry it because it aint vegan. First of all i aint worried about no isinglass and second why should they when on their menu they offer dairy and eggs! What a weird product to take a stance on. Now i know alotta vegans want their "vegan booze" and work hard to find such things out and that's all well and good but where is the line?! If we are to expect people to understand our rational argument shouldn't we have one? Then again the mass audience aint one to appreciate such an argument. Heck i'm forgetting why i'm vegan in the first place. Someone remind me?

  15. #15
    we are borg grog's Avatar
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    if I did have a purse, I would carry some soap around. not only for veganishness, but since all I use at home is vegan naturally soaps, I find commercial soaps to be both gross in scent, and in feel.

    i guess I could carry a purse...
    Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? - Gandalf the Grey

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