Do the little things matter?

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probablybirdie
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Do the little things matter?

Post by probablybirdie » Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:29 pm

So I have a question about the smaller animal ingredients in packaged foods. Like, gelatin in vitamin capsules and stuff like that. Does avoiding these ingredients really help animals? (I'm genuinely asking. The question sounds like a challenge, but it's not meant that way). I'm not looking for an excuse to keep taking gelatin, but rather am looking for a solid reason why not to. I don't want to avoid certain ingredients just for the sake of calling myself a vegan (of course, I'm not one), but I want to think through these things. I don't know where to look for this information, so if anyone could point me in the right direction, that would be wonderful.

Thank you!
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Jamie in Chile
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Post by Jamie in Chile » Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:53 pm

It matters, but a larger amount matters more...

The animal products industry presumably receives some money for gelatin. The way I say it, if they get say 90% of their money from the meat, 5% from gelatin (or bones or other remains used to make it) and 5% from other, than gelatin is responsible for 5% of the animal suffering. and death.

I reccomend to avoid sweets made out of gelatin, but don't be too concerned about tiny trace amounts.

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brimstoneSalad
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Post by brimstoneSalad » Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:40 am

And also worth noting: medicine is medicine, so it's exempt. Even if it's something very overt like a pig heart valve.

You can get 100% vegan vitamins, but they might be a little more expensive and if you can't afford it then you shouldn't be expected to break the bank to avoid a trace of gelatin or D3 or something like that. We are talking essentially about a health medicine there in a way. These aren't hedonistic indulgences like gummy bears or a steak/burger.

I think you can call yourself vegan even if you aren't perfect (nobody is) as long as you're mostly there and trying. :)

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Amarillyde
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Post by Amarillyde » Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:54 am

I don't want to avoid certain ingredients just for the sake of calling myself a vegan (of course, I'm not one),
I think there is a good outcome deriving from avoiding calling yourself a vegan due to little things (I've explained how elsewhere cf. viewtopic.php?f=7&t=5202 spoiler: avoiding "vegan moral superiority"). I think your post reinforces my idea that it is a real concern (rather than just my problem, ugh) for prospective vegans. On the other hand, there is a practical benefit coming from calling yourself vegan anyway (even if you are not trying to avoid the little things), *especially* if you are a decent person rather than the aggressive/off-putting vegan type, namely showing others that vegans can be normal people, or that you do not need to be a maniac about food to make a difference in society.
Overall, I think we are definitely in need of more "vegans who don't care about the little things". It is perhaps not very practical, or a little too idealistic, because when you allow people absolute freedom, most of them will go all the way out (see: America), but it's a face that the vegan community needs to be able to incorporate somehow, if it wants to grow.

Minos
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Post by Minos » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:45 am

I agree with Amarillyde, that caring about little things can be excruciating. For me it's on verge of analysis paralysis. Like not eating sugar, because bone char could be used to whiten it...

If there is some alternative to gelatin capsule then it's great to avoid it. If not, then there is nothing to do about it. Amount of gelatin used to make that capsule can be considered a trace amount comparing for example to one gummy bear.

gandrew
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Post by gandrew » Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:43 am

Jamie in Chile wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:53 pm
It matters, but a larger amount matters more...

The animal products industry presumably receives some money for gelatin. The way I say it, if they get say 90% of their money from the meat, 5% from gelatin (or bones or other remains used to make it) and 5% from other, than gelatin is responsible for 5% of the animal suffering. and death.

I reccomend to avoid sweets made out of gelatin, but don't be too concerned about tiny trace amounts.
I seriously didn't know about it :(

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