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being vegan in India

I'm watching "Andrew Zimmer in Delhi" and they're showing how .. much of the milk in India is dervied from local farmers that have maybe 1 cow, and they milk the cow and then sell the milk to various locals.  Traditionally in India, the cow is revered and considered sacred.

So, i have to wonder out loud (not necessarily thinking there's any one "right" answer - just thinking this is an interesting situation to post for others)... if i was ever to travel to India (by the blessing of Kali) and was offered any type of "dairy" based dish - while at the same time knowing the dairy was purchased from a local farmer - would i still be inclined to refuse based on my perceptions/attempts at following a vegan lifestyle.

There's a separate issue worth mentioning,which I'd like to mention and then put aside, if at least for the sake of conversation only. If I was in a different country and culture - it could perhaps be seen as very offensive if i was not to accept whatever was offered.  That is something that would need to be taken into consideration in it's own right but ...i'm going to put that aside for the sake of this thread, because i want to focus more on the content of the dairy source and how it would relate to consuming dairy that was derived in a manner that is compassionate of the animal - and less of the social customs.

OK, the original question was along the lines of "If I were in India, would I still be inclined to accept the milk given my beliefs in a vegan lifestyle?"

Whether or not a person would be inclined is a personal experience and not really a debatable topic.  That's like debating whether or not my favorite color is pink. 

So, we should rephrase.  Most of us took it in this direction: "Would drinking milk from a cow in India be in line with a vegan lifestyle?"  Agreed?  I think that is the question, but please advise.

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it would be difficult for me to equate the act of consuming dairy product (from that cow) as one opposed to vegan principles.

^ This is where you stated your opinion, as hh is referencing.  That was the biggest point of contention.

Also, could you clarify this?

Views of "Veganism" can tend to be taken very literally and "by the letter" (as evidenced by the many posts on this thread) - which i personally consider poisonous (as again, evidenced by the behavior of a few individuals on this thread)......

To speak for myself, I don't follow veganism "by the letter" just for the heck of it.  I don't drink milk from any cow for concrete reasons which I have already stated.  I would like to know which of us here follows veganism "by the letter," whatever that means.  

I also think your distinction between "veganism" and "vegan principles" is contrived.  They are the same thing.  Vegan principles (choosing the path of least harm to others) direct vegan practices.  If they don't match, then they both can't fall under the heading of "vegan."  In no way is the practice of drinking milk in line with the vegan principle of causing the least harm to animals, for reasons we have already discussed.

Again, I don't think "vegan principles" are the ones you are looking for.  You are referring to animal welfare principles.  Those two things are not the same.

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Sirdidy, I meant that no one really could argue that drinking milk is vegan, not that someone was making that argument. The argument is probably more about whether it's ethical given the circumstances.

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Sirdidy, I meant that no one really could argue that drinking milk is vegan, not that someone was making that argument. The argument is probably more about whether it's ethical given the circumstances.

hey Fauna,

sorry about then - i misinterpreted what you had written.  My apologies.  Thanks for the clarification though.

I agree with your second statement.

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So what exactly is it that we should be discussing in this thread Sirdiddy?  What would we do if we were in India and cows milk was presented to us?

Just trying to clarify what is the original question is because at this point im a bit confused with what it is we are all suppose to be speaking about.

Thank you for the question.  While not specifically "if we were in India and offered milk" but add to that "if we were in India, and offered milk by someone that we knew had a cow as a pet and offered milk from that cow".  Just for clarification, while i do have friends in India - i don't know of anyone that has a cow - per'se, nor do i plan to visit India anytime soon - if ever (although i'd love to - if given the chance).  My initial post was meant to be just a totally random musing to throw out there for casual discussion to gather opinions on the same - i honestly never imagined it would snowball/sidetrack into what it has, regrettable but ...i've certainly played my part on the same and at this point i suppose it is what it is.

Hope that helps...

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and you never answered who you were calling names, who is the guard and brethren sisters?  I just want to clarify who is doing name calling and getting personal here.

i'm not sure why you were asking - which left me wondering .. why - i had to reply.

you know, this thread got more then a bit silly and it's safe to say that many parties were players in that - i had to wonder to myself why through all the statements and all the comments - why you choose to single out mine.  I don't really care, it's more of an observation then a question.  

Nice day now!

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someone that we knew had a cow as a pet

I'm sure you meant companion animal.

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You continue to state that the original post was devoid of position or opinion.  It wasn't; position and opinion were built into it and that's what people were responding to.

no - it wasn't, and you're wrong. plain and simple.  you know, no matter how much you keep stomping your feet to insist you have a valid point - it doesn't change the fact that, you don't!

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someone that we knew had a cow as a pet

I'm sure you meant companion animal.

well umm, why don't you try, i dunno "asking" - instead of being so sure of what *I* meant.

that aside - everyone has different methods of communicating.  if what i call "a pet" you want to refer to "companion animal" - that's your perrogative (sp.?) and i respect that - even if i have no respect for your snide method of being so "sure" of what i'm trying to say...

omgosh - i'm sorry, there i go talking about "feelings" again - *gasp* - shame on me...

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OK, the original question was along the lines of "If I were in India, would I still be inclined to accept the milk given my beliefs in a vegan lifestyle?"

Whether or not a person would be inclined is a personal experience and not really a debatable topic.  That's like debating whether or not my favorite color is pink. 

So, we should rephrase.  Most of us took it in this direction: "Would drinking milk from a cow in India be in line with a vegan lifestyle?"  Agreed?  I think that is the question, but please advise.

Ok, i see civility in this conversation now - thank you (this, being said sincerely!)

I agree, this is not - nor was it ever intended to be a debate topic - i had started this in the "discussion" forum where had the thread run it's originally intended course, ii stand by my choice - that's where it should have remained.

eta: I think this belongs in the N&D section.

No sooner said then *poof* - it was moved (not by I, i'm not an admin here...) to the Debate forum....

In regards to your last question - close but i'd like to make one correction.  I'm not asking if it's in line with "a vegan lifestyle" because each person may have their own definition of what "a vegan lifestyle" means to them.  So more specifically - i was asking/contemplating "would it be in line with "your" ("your" said, in a general sense) personal view of a vegan lifestyle"

The question was posed in a more personal sense of "what would your thought process be, given this situation" and not meant to be "what do you think of this in regards to it being vegan"

i hope that makes sense.  Please let me know if not and i'll be happy to try and say in another way perhaps...

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You were upset that people weren't responding to the original post in the way you intended.  I was pointing out how the people who responded to it in a different way than you intended were reading it.

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it would be difficult for me to equate the act of consuming dairy product (from that cow) as one opposed to vegan principles.

^ This is where you stated your opinion, as hh is referencing.  That was the biggest point of contention.

Awesome!  thank you!  that actually makes sense and i can see where you're coming from - although to me, that's not an excuse for the the direction this thread took - i appreciate you searching for and presenting that statement.

While I don't see the quote that you provided as an out and out opinion - it was more of a leaning in one direction as opposed to a hard opinion - that being said, i can understand that it's a thin line and human nature dictates that we often times read fast and reply faster (i know, i do it all the time myself) - so i can understand people seeing the statement in the manner that you're expressing it.

Views of "Veganism" can tend to be taken very literally and "by the letter" (as evidenced by the many posts on this thread) - which i personally consider poisonous (as again, evidenced by the behavior of a few individuals on this thread)......

To speak for myself, I don't follow veganism "by the letter" just for the heck of it.  I don't drink milk from any cow for concrete reasons which I have already stated.  I would like to know which of us here follows veganism "by the letter," whatever that means.

The answer is convoluted because from my perspective - many replies were offered on something that .. I had not said.  In one of the replies you provided to me earlier in this thread - it was a series of quotes from people generally stating that consuming *any* dairy isn't vegan.  While I had acknowledged that there was a few "in depth" opinions offered, for many that replied with "consuming dairy isn't vegan" isn't an answer - at least it wasn't an answer to the question that i started this thread with.  It's not for me to say "who here" follows veganism to which degree - but at the same time, i'm replying based on my observation of the replies that were given on this thread.

I also think your distinction between "veganism" and "vegan principles" is contrived.  They are the same thing.  Vegan principles (choosing the path of least harm to others) direct vegan practices.  If they don't match, then they both can't fall under the heading of "vegan."  In no way is the practice of drinking milk in line with the vegan principle of causing the least harm to animals, for reasons we have already discussed.

I don't see them as the same thing.  I think "veganims" denotes "black and white" whereas "vegan principles" denotes varying shades of grey - which i personally view as a more realistic way to view the world.  You don't have to agree w/that - that's fine - everyone see's and relates to the world in their own way.

i don't agree that what has been discussed on this forum is the be all, end all discussion of cows/dairy/ethics.  

Again, I don't think "vegan principles" are the ones you are looking for.  You are referring to animal welfare principles.  Those two things are not the same.

You're right, "vegan principles" and "animal welfare principles" are not the same.  It is "vegan principles" however that I am referring to.  Again though, it's not a black/white "vegan principles" - it's a varied shade of grey "what does vegan principles mean to "you"" type of thing...

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You were upset that people weren't responding to the original post in the way you intended.  I was pointing out how the people who responded to it in a different way than you intended were reading it.

i appreciate your attempt at providing that.  However, the example you provided was not a good or valid example.  You continued to push the same invalid example.  Not sure what else to say about that really.

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I would drink the milk, if it were a Hindu family. I would bow my personal choices to their religious beliefs.

P.S. - Just ignore the trolls. This isn't their forum, and you have a right to believe and post anything you wish. They're just unhappy and like to take it out on others.

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You can make up your own interpretation of veganism, the way you can make up your own interpretation of any religion, philosophy, social movement, etc.  

However, the interpretation you are making up doesn't have any significance in the context of the larger vegan community.  You are adapting the name of veganism because it appeals to you for some reason.  Then you are appending a bunch of your own beliefs which don't jive with the original or current way veganism is practiced.  (Evidence of this is found in interaction with other vegans).

"Interpret" implies that you are taking some original document/text/manifesto--something CONCRETE--and making your own reading of it.  That is not happening here.  My question for you is, what are you interpreting, and how does it differ from simply making things up or appending your own ideas to an existing concept?

I maintain that your "interpretation" of veganism is not that at all, but a type of animal rights activism.  Not all animal rights activists are vegan.  If you read vegan literature and animal welfare  literature, you would find that your "vegan principles" are actually more in line with an animal welfare perspective and not in line with veganism.

I could interpret the Bible as telling me that God is a large, invisible gorilla who moves us around the Earth like little dolls in his doll house and only wants us to eat bananas.  I could do that, but it doesn't mean that my interpretation has any significance within the context of the larger Christian community, and it doesn't mean that it's valid by any stretch of the imagination.  And if I went around encouraging people to eat bananas and saying it was in the name of Christ, I might confuse/piss off a lot of Christians and non-Christians alike.  

What makes this difficult is that you actually haven't articulated your "vegan principles."  What are they?  And what statements did you interpret to get them?  I'm talking sentences, not vague references to the fact they exist.  You all want us to share our thought processes, but you didn't share yours.  Please be clear.  

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I would drink the milk, if it were a Hindu family. I would bow my personal choices to their religious beliefs.

P.S. - Just ignore the trolls. This isn't their forum, and you have a right to believe and post anything you wish. They're just unhappy and like to take it out on others.

are trolls people that have discussions?  that's interesting coming from someone that has never posted on this site before, or at least not under the same name.

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SirDid, it doesn't matter for this thread anymore, but you've been strong worded in your reaction, so it's worth going through for subsequent conversations.  You're going to be frustrated every time if you're looking for specific feedback and the point of discussion is obtusely defined.

So, i have to wonder out loud (not necessarily thinking there's any one "right" answer - just thinking this is an interesting situation to post for others)... if i was ever to travel to India (by the blessing of Kali) and was offered any type of "dairy" based dish - while at the same time knowing the dairy was purchased from a local farmer - would i still be inclined to refuse based on my perceptions/attempts at following a vegan lifestyle.

After people responded, you clarified what you wanted to discuss and partially gave your position. 

My original question was this though:

if i was ever to travel to India (by the blessing of Kali) and was offered any type of "dairy" based dish - while at the same time knowing the dairy was purchased from a local farmer - would i still be inclined to refuse based on my perceptions/attempts at following a vegan lifestyle.

So, while all of the points given had absolute merit and validity - i don't feel those points addressed my specific question posed above.

Ok, i don't want to attempt to lead the witness so instead, i'll provide my take.  If i know the milk came from the cow in the backyard, and let's say i know these people and i trust that they treat this cow like family/pet.  Then in my mind, i would think how the vegan principles i try to live by are (hopefully) not merely blanket principles just for the sake of standing on ceremony - but instead reflective of the notion that i would prefer not to take pleasure of something that was derived from pain.  Given that logic, if i know the cow not only never suffered any pain, but further - derived a source of comfort and love from her adopted human family - it would be difficult for me to equate the act of consuming dairy product (from that cow) as one opposed to vegan principles.

A discussion is the consideration of a question.  The question, as defined by you, was if dairy were obtained from a local farmer who treated his cow well, would it fall outside vegan principles to consume it.  Once people understood what you were looking for and responded, you have your first long post targeting ac & kmk as people, instead of responding to their points - and the thread reliably goes to hell from there.

This:

SirDid:  if i was ever to travel to India (by the blessing of Kali) and was offered any type of "dairy" based dish - while at the same time knowing the dairy was purchased from a local farmer - would i still be inclined to refuse based on my perceptions/attempts at following a vegan lifestyle.
kmk:  Drinking milk from ANY cow isn't vegan.  You might choose to abstain from milk because large scale milk production is cruel, but if you are OK with taking milk from a cow, period, you are not following vegan principles.  You are blatantly contradicting them.  Sorry, that's not veganism at all.  It might be environmentalism, or (screwy) animal rights activism--not veganism.
SirDidDrinking milk from ANY cow isn't vegan. - this is not a discussion - it's a statement.  I understand it's your statement and i accept that.  But when you project a statement in such a manner - unless looking for an argument - such statements will shut down a conversation quicker then sh*t.

could have gone like this:

Person 1:  Is there ever an instance when consuming dairy is vegan?
Person 2:  No.
Person 1:  I disagree.  There are instances where a cow might produce milk and there was no calf to drink it.  For example, a calf might have died during delivery or was killed by another animal.  In such an instance, the cow would be producing milk anyway.  If she were milked to relieve the pressure, something would have to happen to that milk.  There is equal validity for pouring it on the ground, leaving it in a bowl for wildlife, or a person drinking it.  In context to my question, this means….

kmk still would have disagreed with you, but discussing how a discussion point was constructed, rather than the discussion point itself, is going to redirect the discussion to people rather than the issue.

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Ugh, I'm so not interested in discussing the discussion tactics anymore.  Sirdid asked if drinking milk was a vegan thing to do.  I said no it isn't.  Implicit in that statement is "I THINK it isn't."  Meanwhile, five other people said "No it isn't."  

I'd just like a response to the questions I posed above because I think they would create some accountability.  If you disagree, I'd like to know why, rather than what you think of my word choices.  

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I would drink the milk, if it were a Hindu family. I would bow my personal choices to their religious beliefs.

P.S. - Just ignore the trolls. This isn't their forum, and you have a right to believe and post anything you wish. They're just unhappy and like to take it out on others.

are trolls people that have discussions?   that's interesting coming from someone that has never posted on this site before, or at least not under the same name.

Not a troll - a god!  Milk is used as a sacred offering to Hindu gods.  It's a miracle!

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Ugh, I'm so not interested in discussing the discussion tactics anymore.

We're all with you.  Pages ago.

Like I wrote, it's not about this thread.  It's about trying not to do this again on another thread.  Although I'm sure we will. 

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