Well ideally we would all be vegan tomorrow and the Simon Amstell’s prophecy would come true early. However, while desirable, this is unlikely to happen because currently so much of the population is still addicted to consuming animal products. And while the number of vegans are growing, they still only make up a small proportion of the population.
Perhaps the best we can hope for right now is to somehow reverse the global trend of ever increasing animal product consumption, especially in emerging economies like India and Brazil, where animal products are becoming more affordable and hence more widely eaten by a greater and greater number of people.
For some people, they enjoy their meat soooo much that to even reduce it slightly seems like a massive hurdle to get over. The idea here, at Mostly Vegan, is to make those fist steps as easy as possible by giving you some tips that helped myself and other people.
One of the key things here, and the background premise, is that we are wanna be vegans. That is the ultimate goal is to give up edible animal product (EAP) consumption totally, eventually. So crucially we identify as mostly vegans to indicate we are “VEGAN ALLIES”. That is, we accept the overall rationality of being a vegan and we are actively working towards it. This works for all 3 main reasons that I think there are for rationally accepting we should shift to a plant based diet (which I have outlined here). In terms of the environment any reduction is beneficial and there are even arguments that a global population that is 95% MoVegan would be sustainable. In terms of health the benefits are also obvious in terms of at least reducing your risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes etc.
In terms of animal ethics thing may seem more black and white on the surface: “either you care for ALL animal or you don’t”. However this can also be seen in terms of a gradient along two axis I think. The first axis is that for every exclusively plant based meal you choose to have, you are not causing animal suffering. The other axis is to ascertain the level of sentient pain you are causing if you do choose to consume EAP.
This could be unpacked in perhaps at least 2 ways: you can eat animal products where you are certain they have led a good life and been killed as humanely as possible (although that may be a contradiction in terms really), or you can look at the sentient beings capacity for feeling pain and perhaps reason that larger mammals have a higher level of sentience and emotion, but things like mussels and scallops do not, and adapt your meals accordingly.
Now I am not defending this method of MoVeganism, but only presenting it here for discussion and outlining it as one way of rationalising a MoVegan approach to animal ethics. Obviously this is all caveated with the over all stance of this website, that being vegan is the best option, but if you can’t then think about the best ways of approaching it that fit with your life and your motivations for wanting to be at the very least a vegan ally.
Apart from anything else, it is far better to reduce your EAP use as much as is sustainable for you, then to give up on the whole thing because it just seems too hard. At the same time as appreciating any reduction is good, ultimately we are always striving to reduce it even more every month that passes.