Veganism & drugs

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Postby Hazrat » Sun Mar 28, 2004 4:41 pm

Howdy...

I was straight edge... correction, technically I am straight edge... but, seeing as the straight edge scene has died away... and I've rather grown away from hardcore and all that (I still like the music, I just don't like the kids :) ) I just don't really see the need to put that label on myself. Though, if I do go to the rare HC/metal show... I have a pin on my jacket that reads "drug XXX free" just to maybe try to bring that kind of vitality back into the scene. Anyways...

I've always been drug free... at 18 when I found out about the whole straight edge thing I was stoked cuz I didn't know anyone else like that... however, it wasn't long that I found out that most of those kids were back-stabbing jerks that I could live with out... and the solid 3 buds I had from my band were all I needed. Now all the kids from my town that were "sxe" have "sold out" and they aren't vegan anymore... one of my solid pals from my band is a hippy who stinks but is still cool... and another is still drug free, and the other one I'm not sure what happened to him... but he's doing something I'm sure. Anyways, that aside... those solid pals... I'm still down with them even if they weren't drug free... but I wouldn't place myself in the drinking/drug atmosphere.

As far as meds go... I never saw that as part of straight edge... now I'm not into conventional meds (except the odd advil for my monthly tension headaches) and I prefer TCM and herbs. Caffiene I don't mind, I'm a huge fan of tea. Straight edge is a personal decision... no one can make that for you. However, with all the irresponsibility that goes with drugs and alcohol it's probably best to just abstain esp in the early 20's. College kids are JACKED UP!

It's cool to still see that there are kids who are super into straight edge... x's on your names an all! High five!

Peace.
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Drugs are not vegan, I say

Postby Blaz » Thu Apr 01, 2004 12:00 pm

Hi everyone,

I personally think that "vegan" means "not collaborate in poisoning animals" too. It is known that tobacco planting uses a lot of chemicals, more than usual planting for food (that's one reason why "light" cigarettes are poisonous too). I believe that eating non-organic food is not as vegan as eating organic food. But food is essential; tobacco isn't. So keep away from tobacco if you like animals (fish and birds, who suffer from aggressive farming). :!: I even think drinking organic goat milk or eating organic eggs is actually more animal-friedly than smoking (I expect a lot of reprimand now)...

Alcohol beverages aften contain animal products, but the industry usually hides the fact about the traces.

Along with already stated ideas about testing on animals etc., I'm positive that drugs like alcohol, tobacco are not vegan. What concerns medical drugs... it is hard to say :?: - I have to think about it some more (I am doing it for years now, and I didn't come to a conclusion yet).

I myself used to drink some wine, but I stopped completely- before going vegan. I never smoked or anything.

I hope we've convinced anybody... for his/her good, too :wink:
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Postby Mary » Thu Apr 01, 2004 3:17 pm

Cigarettes are certainly not vegan. They contain hundreds of different ingredients, including milk by-products, bone by products, bits of lanolin, insects, and all sorts of horrible nasties. There is a tobacco out there that is vegan, but the process of growing it isn't vegan, as they blanket spray the bugs and insects, and end up poisoning millions of animals for the crop. Also tobacco producers crucify the workers, paying them a pittance, if at all. They have these people over a barrel - work for us, or starve. It isn't vegan to support either sort of cruelty - that to animals or humans. Then of course tobacco causes ill health, which causes vivisection - in the screwed up world we live in. It just aint good enough to say "it's vegan." Maybe technically - but it is still wrong.

As for medical drugs, I would say that unless they are as necessary to you as food then you shouldn't take them. Neil would die within a matter of months if he didn't take certain drugs. He would reject his kidney, go back into renal failure, suffer horrendously and pointlessly, and through his death help no animals at all. Unfortunately modern medical science abuses animals - but the drugs that Neil is on work despite vivisection, not because of it, and the results on humans show that they work. To refuse to take them when there is absolutely nothing else available would be very noble - but he would die. Since Neil spends hours every single day working to help people go vegan, to end animal testing, to educate the public, his comitting suicide for a principle would actually hurt the animals. That is how I see it anyway.

Some might say that Neil could cure himself through holistic means - friends of his who have tried are dead now. Sometimes, for all its sins, science works. Vivisection has hampered medical progress horrendously, but it is not vivisection which caused kidney transplants to work. It was doctors watching the progress of human patients. (Same with heart transplants, diabetes, loads of different cancers, etc.) Neil has proved to the doctors that a vegan patient can do very well on dialysis, and afterwards as a transplantee, despite his cluster of other problems which he was born with. He has no sign of diabetes, or heart disease, both things they would expect in an average male patient of his age with his medical history. They have been forced to reassess their advice to him, as he proved to them that they are wrong - it is quite possible in fact that a vegan diet has helped to save his life. However, there is no getting away from the fact that so has Cyclosporin.

Neil does however take the foul tasting liquid form, rather than the one in a capsule, for reasons which every vegan here will understand.
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Postby Blaz » Thu Apr 01, 2004 3:51 pm

Mary,

I agree with you completely. With medicine drugs, I always believed that if it is for preserving someone's life or really vital organs or something, hesitation or doubt is not justified. We can't be completely (including indirectly) unharmful to any being - we wouldn't live in houses, wouldn't travel, use anything... veganism should be about something that is noncruel in principle. We should strive for ethic procedures that are involved in producing something, fight against abuse (which is ususally completely unneccessary from the medical point of view too), not necessarily rejecting the drug. Letting someone die because there are no ethic drugs, THAT would be cruel. Mary, you wrote a fantastic post, you really made a point.

I thought about other drugs (which, actually, are in majority) like drugs that "cure" wrinkles on your skin, acnae, decrease the risk of heart attack and so on. I am not sure whether it is all right to use drugs that are non-ethically produced to look better, live over 100 years, allow yourself to live less healthy (I am protected, there is a drug that can cure me)... For example, I'm thinking about viagra; I really don't know much about medicine, so I can't give good examples now... sorry. I am afraid I didn't quite made a point like Mary and others did; if someone can answer this, I would be grateful.

Mary, I hope Neil will be allright soon. If I would be in life danger, I wouldn't feel guilty for taking drugs at all. I feel guilty for taking Pyritiasis (skin problem, that passes anyway, but slowly if not cured) cure that I'm unsure if animal abuse was avoided.

Good luck to Neil, Blaz
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Postby Pete » Thu Apr 01, 2004 6:35 pm

Like Mary, I've got a partner that needs life saving medication (asthma). She has tried cutting it out (caused bad attacks that got me really worried), now we are looking into alternatives like supplements that may reduce or remove the need for an inhaler, as just giving it up seems likely to be fatal for her.
I agree with Mary that medicine isn't a problem, I'm all for it, like most sensible people. It's just the way they are "tested" - I use the term in "" because animal testing is more of a money saving, insurance con, than validating safety, more "in spite of" rather than "because of".
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Postby Daniel » Thu Apr 01, 2004 8:05 pm

[quote="Blaz"]I thought about other drugs (which, actually, are in majority) like drugs that "cure" wrinkles on your skin, acnae, decrease the risk of heart attack and so on. I am not sure whether it is all right to use drugs that are non-ethically produced to look better, live over 100 years, allow yourself to live less healthy (I am protected, there is a drug that can cure me)... For example, I'm thinking about viagra; I really don't know much about medicine, so I can't give good examples now... sorry. I am afraid I didn't quite made a point like Mary and others did; if someone can answer this, I would be grateful.


I don't want to take away from what Mary and Pete have said, but I think Blaz makes a good point about some drugs. For instance, my stepmother has diabetes. When she was first diagnosed she went 100% vegetarian (not vegan, as she still used nonfood animal products). Then her doctor gave her a prescription and she decided it would be okay to eat animal products again. Even though the vegan diet was better for her and didn't have any negative side effects she chose to use the drug instead. In these cases where there is a natural and sensible solution, like cuting out animal products instead of taking cholesterol lowering drugs, I think the use of drugs is wrong.
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Postby Pete » Thu Apr 01, 2004 10:06 pm

I think the whole culture of a pill for every ill is bad. Sure there are needs for some medicines etc, but it seems no one wants to bother finding solutions, they just want a quick fix.
I remember when I was a veggie (long, long ago!) & I used to take head ache pills etc. I used to have a head ache everyday, so did just about everyone I knew (I seem to remember). Anyway, I gave up pills & had headaches for a bit, but then they went away. I often wonder if the pills just temporarily halt some form of healing that needed to be done & everyday my body was trying to complete the healing process & every day I'd take another pill (stupid!).
Since becoming vegan (18 or so years ago) I've had one dose of medicine, that was a painkiller in hospital, the day I broke my toe, apart from that I've managed to steer clear of all prescribed medicines & save those sort of powerful medications for real emergencies (as I think everyone should). I also almost never get a headache.
As for wrinkle cream etc, you certainly don't need them, but a lot of people want them (& they need not be animal tested). If I need to moisturise my face I'll bung on some olive oil, if you read what's in most of those creams they sell, hell some might be vegan, but it sure ain't natural :). But, I suppose cosmetics, as such, do no harm unless they've been animal tested or contain animal products (just don't get me onto those awful looking anorexic stick models they use to sell that stuff :!: )
Anyway, I'm tired & waffling a bit now, so I think that's me off to get a bit of kip (that's sleep to those who've not heard the term). Night, night everyone :D
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Pig's organs

Postby Blaz » Fri Apr 02, 2004 7:03 am

Thanks everybody for really good posts!

What about body organs from genetically-modified pigs? I would never allow to put me a pig's heart in - I certainly rather cease to live, without hesitation. :!: But that is my personal opinion. I reject everything animal-grown that is to replace something in us. They (in "my" research institute) tried to convince me to do research in DNA from animals (it was about terahertz spectroscopy) and I abruptly refused. I find those DNA - modified and such stuff non-ethic and disgusting. :x

What do you think about it? :?: I'm really curious - and I don't mean to accuse any of you for thinking differently.

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Postby Malcolms Billy » Fri Apr 02, 2004 7:17 am

I'm with you Blaz, using animals for genetically modified organs is disgusting and as unvegan as eating them. I mean, at the end of the day the pig really doesn't care why they are being held captive, imprisoned and subjected to all sorts of horrors, only to be killed in the end because people want to eat their flesh or use their heart to carry on living. I always tell people to put themselves in the animal's position: would they really care whether they'd be killed to be eaten, or so that their heart can be used to keep another being alive? It really is a silly argument, because off course no one would want to give up their heart to enable a pig to carry on living!
Nice one for refusing to use animals DNA in your research! Conscientious scientists is what this world needs!

See ya,
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DNA

Postby Blaz » Fri Apr 02, 2004 7:48 am

I knew you would agree with me. Growing animals for using them coudn't not be ethical in principle in any way, so vegans reject it. Most of the animal-product or animal-testing products could be ethically produced (see PETA); however, research would often take longer time. So I really accuse the scientists to behave non-ethically: they want to get to the result as fast as possible (they hypocrates want to save "our" (homo destroyus) lives now, so they have an excuse). It's all a sad hypocracy we are all aware of, but produces a lot of dilemmas. I joined science because I wanted to to take part in making it more ethical.

Yes, I reject working with everything connected with DNA. However, at the institute they used the spectrometer I made (I was meant for non-invasive non-poisonous semiconductor research) for researching (animal) DNA - it is the sad story of science that i am afraid noone can avoid... However, they didn't get any result :twisted: .

Happy you agree with me, Blaz
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Postby Pete » Fri Apr 02, 2004 10:03 pm

I think all ethical vegans would have to be against the idea of exploiting animals for their organs. Using them for this purpose would be no different than using them for food, clothing etc. There is no need for xenotransplantation as if there is a need for transplantation, the safest option (& the most ethical) is to use human organs (this would lessen the chances of transgenic disease that could well be transmitted too).
The idea of transgenic animals is, in my view, just a way for pharmaceutical companies to make yet more cash, & they don't care how dangerous it is, or how horrifically the animals suffer, or indeed the other victims...I mean patients.
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Another pathetic essay you can skip

Postby Blaz » Wed Apr 07, 2004 11:19 am

[quote="Pete"]I think all ethical vegans would have to be against the idea of exploiting animals for their organs.


Exactly. This is what I hoped to hear. You see, I know vegetarians who refuse to eat animals but have not much against using them for "other" purposes. :x For example, a vegetarian sportsman who actually put animal-dissection into practise himself - medicine related. He said to me, "you just put them alive in a poisonous basin and they die. Nothing special about that." And he is a man who meditates a lot, has a guru, and eats organic food. And he thinks he is "pure". :evil: This should probably go under "fauxtarians" section, but I want to stress that many exist who consider using animals for food, clothing etc. as not-necessary and wrong, but doing a research on them for drug companies as somehow un-avoidable and "long-term" worthily. This is sad. :cry:

On the other hand, I know vegans who are not vegans for ethic reasons, but for "energetic" reasons (I don't know what it means actually) and they are against the animal abuse and don't use animal-derived or -tested drugs.

I found vegans - you people occupying this forum - as consistent :) people, who are not just "purifying" own bodies but taking a complete ethical-related action. I like it and I am happy here.

I mean, it would be really disgusting to see a "vegan" killing, tormenting and dissecting an animal for medicine, drug related purposes. It wouldn't be vegan! We cannot reject or avoid everything non-ethical that is already made, but we can fight against it's happening again! And drugs are especially critical theme because it is so difficult to draw a boundary line. People are so much used to use them (beautifying, cleaning, ...) that it often escapes the judgement.

For example, some think that eating nonvegan-derived but chemically-dissimilated food, as animal-derived amino-acids for bodybuilders, should be treated as vegan, because the chemistry is "the same" as it would be for plant-derived molecules. "Molecules are molecules, you know. " I couldn't believe it when I heard it!

However, I am relieved that it is as downright clearly to others here as is to me, that animals should be treated ethically and as equal, not us being tutelary to them and using them "only when it is unavoidable". I see that you all know that - and excuse me for pushing the theme so far, I'm new in veganism - , but I actually wasn't sure, because I know people that think differently and at the same time have themselves for "pure" vegetarians. :( I first rejected nonvegan drugs (started years ago), including wine, and then I stopped eating nonvegan food.

Sorry for preying on everybody's mind, Blaz
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Postby Pete » Sat Apr 10, 2004 10:02 pm

Blaz wrote:

[quote]Sorry for preying on everybody's mind,


That one of the main reasons for the board, I'd say, mutual support & letting others know that , as vegans, we're not alone out there :D
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Postby Blaz » Wed Apr 14, 2004 11:50 am

Thanks Pete :D
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Postby Mary » Sun Apr 18, 2004 9:25 pm

[quote="Daniel"]I don't want to take away from what Mary and Pete have said, but I think Blaz makes a good point about some drugs. For instance, my stepmother has diabetes. When she was first diagnosed she went 100% vegetarian (not vegan, as she still used nonfood animal products). Then her doctor gave her a prescription and she decided it would be okay to eat animal products again. Even though the vegan diet was better for her and didn't have any negative side effects she chose to use the drug instead. In these cases where there is a natural and sensible solution, like cuting out animal products instead of taking cholesterol lowering drugs, I think the use of drugs is wrong.


My Dad is the same. A vegan diet reduces your cholesterol by about the same amount as cholesterol pills. Guess which my Dad chooses? This is why though I argue from a health point of view to a lot of people I try to get the holistic message across too. It "does my head in" (as the saying goes) that people use a pill to mask the symptoms of their own behaviour - like somebody taking a drug to speed up their metabolism and help them burn of weight, rather than just eating less or excercising more.

Because Neil is an ethical vegan the health benefits of the diet are the least important thing to him. He is more interested in the health of the animals! However, so many people are utterly selfish when it comes to their relation to the rest of the world, and pass responsibility for everything about their lives onto the doctors. I completely agree that we shouldn't use drugs when there are alternatives. I have seen people destroy their lives due to over reliance on prescribed medicines, let alone non prescription drugs.
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