Veganism & drugs

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Postby xJimx » Wed Feb 18, 2004 11:52 am

The straightedge philosophy is very simple really; it means no alcohol, no smoking and no promiscuous sex. Anything above and beyond this (e.g. celibacy, caffeine, food supplements, prescription drugs, meat) is a personal choice.

Personally, I'm married so the promiscuity issue is irrelevant and I don't have a problem with caffeine; I don't tend to go for caffeinated beverages as they make my eyes sore, but I don't say no to chocolate cake! I don't see how prescription drugs could be considered not to be OK, though having said that, as a vegan, I avoid them unless absolutely necessary.
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Postby Myrddin » Sat Feb 21, 2004 1:26 pm

I agree with Jo's post. Its simplistic to say smokers are selfish when they will inevitably use the public health care system. Its simplistic to put the blame on victims of corporate greed and public apathy. I feel sorry for sufferers of lung cancer, I don't blame them for their own tragic demise.

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Postby Myrddin » Sat Feb 21, 2004 1:33 pm

[quote="H"]"They also test water, foods & even air on animals! "

Yes but those are all pretty essential! We can, to a certain extent, live without certain medicinal drugs and can certainly live without cigarettes and recreational drugs.

I think vegans do have a responsibility to keep themselves healthy as all these drugs and operations for heart disease, transplants etc. involve hideous animal experiments.

What does 'straight edge' mean by the way? I've never heard that before.


:lol: Thats great! You don't need to know the definition to live the definition. You're basically doing the straightedge thing without even knowing. Basically taking responsibility for your actions and being in control - not a slave to addictions. I just thought it was so wonderful that you didn't know what "straight edge" was and you already had the gist of the philosophy.

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Postby BtownBikeBunny » Mon Feb 23, 2004 4:08 am

hey, new guy here. I used to call myself straight edge, but I really dont now (I still be definition am, I just dont think I really need that label). I never so much as tried a sip of beer. I consider my diet in regards to not harming animals seperate of my not taking drugs because I do them for different reasons. I dont eat animals becauase I think it is morally wrong. I don't do drugs because I don't want to mess with my body and also don't think I really have the mental capacity to keep myself straight with that kind of thing in my life. I can see how things like smoking wouldnt be vegan though since they test the products on animals. I guess the relationship between the two is like being sXe in the first place, it means something different to everyone. do the sXe people on here have any thoughts on caffeine? I try not to drink it as much as possible, but I find myself reaching for a drink with caffeine now and then. thoughts?
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Postby prefab » Mon Feb 23, 2004 11:49 am

You always gotta ask yourself is this gonna cleanse or clog me? Most mood-altering substances do so through some form of acidic effect on the body-aka the destruction of cells. So the truth is cell destruction happens all the time whether you want to or not-depends whether you feel like putting yourself through cellular destruction to get intoxicated. I can't lie I still have a few beers or some champagne at the party but this is like once maybe twice a year at that and I normally have 1-3 drinks at most. I feel somewhat guilty from it but then again sometimes I just gotta stop those voices inside my head, right?!!! Best thing to realize is that you are imbibing an acidic liquid that is gonna rip some of your cells open-spewing cell contents inside your body creating free radicals which are the predecessor to cancer taking hold in some nidus of your body.
As far as habitual usage and abuse, those are just symptoms of underlying issues-personality, financial, acceptance, whatever... The truth is be careful-you only achieve what your peer group expects of you. Either your standards will drop and you will use or you will continue to strike fear in their hearts because your standard has gone up and they fear losing you. Either they will come up to your level or I would suggest finding a peer group that challenges you to become more. Get stronger by forcing yourself to struggle to stay in the game of life with those that challenge you. It is difficult but I've been through this fight on a number of levels as a recovering heroin/cocaine/DRUG addict!!! I encourage you to have the strength to step up to that challenge. Truth is I lost some friends over this issue but at the same time some of them have stepped up with me in embracing fitness and health and our lives are so much richer and we look back and laugh!!!
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Postby RobBob » Fri Feb 27, 2004 1:39 pm

I dont understand why ppl have to define themself as belonging to this or that. Ok, I am a 'vegetarian' (oh god, I did it too..) but moore than that, I try to do the RightThing@, to live without causing 'unnecessary' suffering and disharmony around me. Having said that, I am pretty selfish (and as it seems(by this post) egocentric), and use what is called 'drugs'. I stay clear of mind-altering drugs (mostly.. my friends smoke pot), bur use roids. To be honest, I havent really thought that through... am I causing animals to suffer (supporting some medic-company)? That sure would go against what I belive is 'the RightThing'. Give me some releif....tell me it's ok. Is there a roid-alternative (I know of yohimbe..but...)??
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Postby Malcolms Billy » Fri Feb 27, 2004 2:47 pm

Respect prefab! You've not only knocked your addiction on the head, but have turned yourself round 180! Glad you can look back and laugh at it now :) Well done! :D

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What straightedge meant to me

Postby Daniel » Sat Feb 28, 2004 12:50 am

I was "straightedge" at one point in my life. My reasons for giving myself the label was because I watched a lot of my friends, who I respected and looked up to, start to abuse drugs and alcohol. For me the fact that straight edge was a label and about "belonging" was exactly the point.

I could see the degradation drugs and alcohol had on my friends, and I was constantly being tempted to join in, and to a point I did. But I had a consciousness they didn't, or at least one they submerged. So by calling myself straight edge when a friend asked, "Do you want to come get high with us?" Or, "Do you want a beer?" I could say, "No thank you, I'm straightedge." It was a convenient label able that my friends could easily recognize and respect. Since we all enjoyed punk and hardcore music this label fit into our subculture.

Other friends of mine also started calling themselves straightedge and so while other friends got high we did our own thing and that belonging was a great feeling. As time went on I listen to more straightedge bands and my drug using friends got into the hippie music, but for the most part this label did not cause division. Many of my friends would come up to me and tell me how they respect me for going straightedge and how they were trying desperately to quit and clean up their lives.

However, I realize that my community was special in that straightedge was always about personal choice. This was not the case for straightedge in the larger city about an hour and a half away. There straightedge was more of a gang thing, and in that case "belonging" had a very negative affect.

Anyway, to make a long story short, when I turned 21 years old straightedge was no longer a label I need to hold on to, and so I dropped it. I rarely drink now, but I do drink a little from time to time, but never to excess, and when old friends find out they may be surprised to see it. Those that were straightedge in the larger city would call that "selling out", and say things like "If your not straightedge now you never were." But that is irrelevant, because for me it was always a personal choice.

Straightedge served a function in my life and was influential in helping motivate me to go vegan, though I do not think the two are dependent on each other.
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Postby Strix » Sun Feb 29, 2004 12:56 am

I've never tried a drug :). The worst thing I've consumed is coffee. I have taken sips of friends' drinks to taste them; but never had a drink of my own. Never wanted any of it really.
I don't think having a drink occasionally is any worse than eating a "bad" dessert every once in a while. As long as it is vegan alcohol.

_prefab, congratulations. Those are some admiral accomplishments. :) You're definitely a strong man.

eta: Actually, I take it back: I have taken creatine...I suppose that's considered a drug in this context? Other than that, though, that's it. :)
"The hand that signed the paper felled a city;
Five sovereign fingers taxed the breath,
Doubled the globe of dead and halved a country;
These five kings did a king to death."
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Postby Kaz » Thu Mar 04, 2004 1:35 pm

I don't drink because I don't like the taste and I don't like the sensation of tipsiness. I only take medicines when it is the most sensible course of action, and look for natural remedies first (herbs, acupressure, etc.). I don't like the sick jitters I get from coffee. I don't smoke tobacco - well aside from the obvious, cancer seems to run in my family.

When I was about 26, I tried weed. I took it 3 times that year and I liked it. I especially liked it when taken sacramentally (as past of private devotions). I found also that when I had dreadful menstrual pain, nausea and migraine (this happens very rarely since I turned vegan, but this was before that) it helped enormously. I took it 2 or 3 times a year and never took more than 2 or 3 hits of it. After about half an hour, I would fall into a deep sleep and wake up 12-14 hours later feeling wonderful (I suffer from insomnia, so this was fantastic). I haven't had any in over 18 months because I haven't felt that it was what I actually wanted. For me, weed has been a positive experience, but used rarely and very moderately. I think this falls into "not being addicted".

I haven't taken any other form of illegal drug. I am suspicious of what may be in e and I have no interest in coke, heroin, etc. A friend of mine took acid a couple of years ago for the very first time. He told me he had a truly religious experience, that it affirmed his connection to the Earth and all living things, and that he was profoundly grateful for the experience. When asked if he would do it again, he said "I don't think so. It was enough for me. It was what I needed at that time, but I don't see myself doing it again, not for many years if ever."

I would consider mushrooms in a sacred context, but only if I was absolutely certain that this was what I truly wanted/needed, and only if there were responsible people around who had guaranteed to take care of me if I needed it.

So I see a place for some illegal drugs at some points in life, but I believe that the context in which they're taken, the individual's emotional/mental state and motivations, and the individual's tendency to addictive behaviour are all factors that make drug (legal or illegal) use and abuse a deeply complex issue. I hate to see anyone who is addicted to anything put down as stupid or weak - I was a compulsive overeater at one point, and the self-loathing is enough to be going on with without other people's contempt; it was acceptance and the constant reinforcement of a more positive self-image by those around me that gave me the strength to deal with it. I know that addicts of drugs such as alcohol can create hell for those around them, and I believe that some people simply cannot be helped; but compassion for the people being hurt doesn't preclude compassion for the addict, no matter how frustrating their behaviour is.

I'm sorry, this was not meant to be such a long post. I hope it's relatively coherent.
"An unexamined life is not worth living." - Socrates
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WARNING: DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES; USE EXTREME CAUTION!!!

Postby Daniel » Wed Mar 10, 2004 11:46 am

Kaz, all the drugs you mentioned (LSD, mushrooms, and marijuana) are hallucinogens, and are therefor non-addictive. People do not get addicted to hallucinogens like they do to stimulants (caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, etc.) or depressants (alcohol, heroin, etc.). Of course a person can be psychologically addicted to anything; many people on this broad talk about being addicted to going to the gym and experience a type of withdrawal if they miss a workout, but that is not same as being an "addict". Addicts have a physical dependency where they need a drug just to function normally.

You cannot overdose on a hallucinogen like you can on stimulants and depressants. However, while addiction and death-by-overdose are not issues with hallucinogens there are serious draw backs to there use that make me concerned for anyone who would consider using them to achieve a "religious experience" or any other recreational purpose. Marijuana, like opioids, may have medical applications, but, as with all drugs, it should be used responsibly.

Hallucinogenic drugs can have a devastating affect on a users psychological health. I have worked in the mental health industry for over six years and I have seen first hand the destruction brought on by these drugs. Residents I work with often wake up in the middle of the night terrified do to flash backs. Your friend was lucky he had a good trip, because he could have just as easily had had bad one. LSD is an awful drug that was developed on non-consenting human and nonhuman test subjects. It gets into your system and can cause hallucinations several years after it was first taken.

There are thousands of ways to achieve a "truly religious experience" without the use of dangerous substances. Go on a fast, meditate, or whatever, but please don't f*ck around with drugs. Why use something that distorts perception anyway? Shouldn't a religious experience be a search for truth, not a hallucination? I don't mean to sound preachy, but spending your time around 12 and 13 year-old psychotics kind of biases a person.
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Postby Kaz » Thu Mar 11, 2004 2:51 am

[quote]There are thousands of ways to achieve a "truly religious experience" without the use of dangerous substances. Go on a fast, meditate, or whatever, but please don't f*ck around with drugs. Why use something that distorts perception anyway? Shouldn't a religious experience be a search for truth, not a hallucination? I don't mean to sound preachy, but spending your time around 12 and 13 year-old psychotics kind of biases a person.


I appreciate your point, and you don't sound preachy :D

There are many routes to religious ecstacy, and I believe that any of them can be valid in context. I wouldn't do LSD because it scares me. My friend tried it once and got what he needed from it and doesn't need any more than that. I know people who have, in a religious context, found a certain level of drunkeness conducive to spiritual experience. For hundreds of thousands of years, humans have used dance, alcohol, music, chant, drumming, pain, and hallucenogens to trigger ecstatic religious experiences. Personally, I find breathing, music, dance, and chant can all work very well for me, and that the ecstatic trances I have had have varied in quality according to context and trigger. I would argue that ecstatic trance states can be seen as "true" or as "distorted" versions of reality according to the person observing or being observed, and according to culture - indeed, the whole experience of an ecstatic state is a (usually induced) altered state of perception, a "distortion" of the normal state of mind and experience. I have a suspicion that most people who try hallucenogens are doing so in a non-religious context and are starting out from a very different emotional and mental "space" than people who are; whether or not that has a bearing on their susceptibility to psychosis, I do not know - I have heard that the earlier and more heavily you do those drugs, the likelier you are to be whammied by awful problems, though that doesn't mean that occasional and careful mature users are guaranteed not to have problems too. I'd be interested in any studies done on that, but I'm not sure how many there are comparing user groups. I also suspect that the people who do use rarely and responsibly and are not having mental problems are not showing up anywhere in any research because of the illegality of the substances they're using, and therefore making it impossible to see what proportion of users they are and what their experience is. The most intelligent discussions I've seen on the mature and sane use of hallucenogens has been in academic journals on ethnobotanicals and the anthropology of shamanistic practitioners, where hallucenogen use is discussed within a very specific context. Some mature and responsible users may not be part of that crowd, and are so "invisible". Then you have the highly visible casualties of drug use, such as those you've been working with. These people's experience is very important and shouldn't be dismissed or belittled in any way; that said, if we don't know how many people are using what, when, and how often, and whether their use triggered mental or emotional instability or was a way of self-medicating (and that can often be very hard to determine with the best will in the world - that what you're doing may be self-medicating with whatever substance, be it alcohol or food, isn't always obvious and requires a certain level of self-understanding), I honestly don't know whether we can know what the overall situation is. I'm interested in this, though I'm not by any means involved in the professional analysis of this or have the training for it, so if you do have information on that, I would genuinely welcome it.

Which doesn't provide a clear-cut black-and-white answer, but I don't have a clear-cut black-and-white attitude or answer to provide, only some kick-aroundable ideas and more questions than you can shake a stick at.
"An unexamined life is not worth living." - Socrates
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Re: WARNING: DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES; USE EXTREME CAUTION!!!

Postby Mary » Fri Mar 12, 2004 9:53 pm

[quote="Daniel"].

LSD is an awful drug that was developed on non-consenting human and nonhuman test subjects. It gets into your system and can cause hallucinations several years after it was first taken.



When I was twenty somebody slipped LSD in a drink of mine, and the first I knew about it was when little insects started creeping out of my skin. I got completely panicked and horrified, and tried to scratch them off, and I still have scars on my chest because of it. The experience became worse and worse, and it took me weeks to recover from the fear. It was basically the same as having had a schizophrenic attack.

I am now thirty three, and twice since then I have had a recurrence of that particular hallucination. Once when I had been working physically extremely hard, and broken into a sweat, and once about four months ago when I had a high temperature. The most recent one might just have been because I was poorly, but the first time must have been a result of the original drug - one minute I was chopping wood, the next minute I was clawing at my arms and screaming my head off.

Yes, some people may say that my bad experience was because I didn't know I was on drugs, and wasn't prepared. Whatever. The point is that when you are on a drug you are not in control of your experience, and you can't stop it. When you meditate you can control your mental experience, and are not going to suffer from a psychotic break. Many people have parts of their lives that they find hard to deal with, or want to hide from, and drugs, far from helping you hide from these demons, turn them into bigger monsters than they were to begin with. I have drunk in the past, and may do again - though I would prefer not to, since I only seem to want a drink when I am miserable, and it doesn't really help. I have taken dope in the past, and will not again (it clouds my brain to an extent I just don't like.) I am not an ascetic, not trying to vanish into nothing. I am not joyless because I think drugs are bad for you. I take great pleasure in my life, the work that I do, and the people and animals I live with. I hope to make the most of my life and in some way to make the world a better place. I can't raise a child and protect my family (human and animal) if I take mind altering drugs! (Coffee occasionally excepted. Helps with period pains, don't you know. :roll: )
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Postby V VII Hero » Wed Mar 24, 2004 4:27 pm

[quote="Pete"]Dragging things a wee bit more into reality (nice snail pic NK, I never knew where a snails anus was until now :lol: ).
How do straight edgers stand on supplements, does the XXX philosophy cover sports enhancing supplements like creatine etc (they don't have caffeine I know). I'm not an edger by any means (ciggies I can do without, no drink fine, narcotics not vital, but sex will let me down every time :lol: ). I'm just having a bit of trouble pinning down exactly where they draw the line. So, any knowledgable person want to set me straight :roll: (sorry about that one). I need to know as the odd edger contacts me at VBB & I don't want to offend by offering them advance that goes against their philosophy.


I dont beleive in sport enhancing supplements.
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Postby V VII Hero » Wed Mar 24, 2004 4:30 pm

[quote="BtownBikeBunny"]hey, new guy here. I used to call myself straight edge, but I really dont now (I still be definition am, I just dont think I really need that label). I never so much as tried a sip of beer. I consider my diet in regards to not harming animals seperate of my not taking drugs because I do them for different reasons. I dont eat animals becauase I think it is morally wrong. I don't do drugs because I don't want to mess with my body and also don't think I really have the mental capacity to keep myself straight with that kind of thing in my life. I can see how things like smoking wouldnt be vegan though since they test the products on animals. I guess the relationship between the two is like being sXe in the first place, it means something different to everyone. do the sXe people on here have any thoughts on caffeine? I try not to drink it as much as possible, but I find myself reaching for a drink with caffeine now and then. thoughts?


unless caffeine is naturally occuring such as in chocolate or bananas, I try not to consume it.
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