Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Veganism & Animal rights


Veganism is a diet and lifestyle that seeks to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose. Vegans endeavor not to use or consume animal products of any kind.[3] The most common reasons for becoming a vegan are ethical commitment or moral conviction concerning animal rights or welfare, the environment, human health, and spiritual or religious concerns.Of particular concern to many vegans are the practices involved in factory farming and animal testing, and the intensive use of land and other resources for animal farming.

Vegan diets (sometimes called strict or pure vegetarian diets) are a form of vegetarian diets. Properly planned vegan diets are healthful and have been found to satisfy nutritional needs.Poorly planned vegan diets can be low in levels of calcium, iodine, vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Vegans are therefore encouraged to plan their diet and take dietary supplements as appropriate. Various polls have reported vegans to be between 0.2% and 1.3%of the U.S. population, and between 0.25%and 0.4% of the UK population.

Animal rights

Animal rights, also referred to as animal liberation, is the idea that the most basic interests of animals should be afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of humans. Advocates approach the issue from different philosophical positions but agree that animals should be viewed as legal persons and members of the moral community, not property, and that they should not be used as food, clothing, research subjects, or entertainment.The idea of awarding rights to animals has the support of legal scholars such as Alan Dershowitz and Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law School,while Toronto lawyer Clayton Ruby argues that the movement has reached the stage the gay rights movement was at 25 years ago. Animal law is taught in 113 out of 180 law schools in the United States, in eight law schools in Canada, and is routinely covered in universities in philosophy or applied ethics courses. In June 2008, Spain became the first country to introduce an animal rights resolution, when a parliamentary committee voted in favor of limited rights for non-human primates, inspired by Peter Singer's Great Ape Project.Critics argue that animals are unable to enter into a social contract or make moral choices, and therefore cannot be regarded as possessors of rights, a position summed up by the philosopher Roger Scruton, who writes that only humans have duties, and that, "[the] corollary is inescapable: we alone have rights."A parallel argument is that there is nothing inherently wrong with using animals as resources if there is no unnecessary suffering, a view known as the animal welfare position. There has also been criticism, including from within the animal rights movement itself, of certain forms of animal rights activism, in particular the destruction of fur farms and animal laboratories by the AnimaLiberation Front.

visit: wikipedia (veganism, animal rights)

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