I got two rather interesting questions related to veganism which i thought i would answer! I have been meaning to write a post about both these topics, but i thought why not answer them both in this one post as i got asked about them!
Are cigarettes and smoking vegan?
No, cigarettes and smoking are not considered vegan, and this is because tobacco has been (and is?) tested on animals. Not to mention that certain parts of the cigarette can contain animal products such as beeswax and apparently pigs blood can be in cigarettes (source)
Then there is of course the fact that cigarettes and tobacco are awful for your health and the environment – but if we are looking at just a vegan and animal rights perspective that isn’t as huge a role (however, health and environment should still matter!).
However, some vegans began smoking before they went vegan and it is an awful addiction and not as easy to stop or cut out of your life as maybe animal products in beauty/hair/makeup/household products and in your diet.
The recommendation is of course to not smoke from all aspects because it has no benefits at all, however it is also an addiction and if you are a vegan who smokes and are trying to actively stop it doesn’t make you less of a vegan.
Both medicines and tobacco are tested on animals, however medicines unlike tabacco can be lifesaving and a necessity, i.e choosing to not take medicine because it is animal tested can be detrimental, but choosing to not consume tabacco is just a smart choice. So for the sake of your health, environment and the animals you shouldn’t smoke, but like mentioned… it is an addiction and not so easy to break – but it is possible to quit!!
Is eating bugs/insects considered vegan?
One of the latest trends i have noticed is consuming insects… this may sound gross and i personally don’t find it so appetizing, but it is supposed to be a good source of protein, not to mention an environmentally friendly source of protein.
In some countries they already eat insects and it isn’t something strange… it can be eaten in many different ways and some places even covered in chocolate, however in many countries it is considered taboo and strange to eat insects. Not to mention that it isn’t deemed safe to eat insects and not allowed to be sold. However, i believe you can buy foods with insect and eat yourself but not allowed to be sold.
So… is eating insects vegan? This is rather tricky, because if i was forced to either eat a chicken burger or a burger made from insects i would rather eat the insect burger because i believe that chickens have more consciousness and awareness compared to bugs. However, insects are still “beings” and not something we should eat. Also the problem is that if it becomes trendy and something that begins being produced in larger amounts it would lead to insect farming (from what i understand.) I don’t know how ethical that would be.
But also…. how can we know that insects don’t feel or think or aren’t aware? Not to mention, i can’t quite shake the fact that insects are rather disgusting according to me and not something i want to eat… just because i find it disgusting.
However using insects in food doesn’t mean eating insects just as they are, instead it is often a flour or powder, i.e they crush up the insects to form powder/flour and that is then used in bars or bread or whatever other production which might make it less disgusting….. because the truth is, many flours actually have insects or crushed up insects in them and we don’t even know!
Is it vegan though? This is up to each vegan to decide where they draw the line. According to me it isnt, because i believe insects still have the will to live and killing insects is killing a “being” that still wants to live….. not to mention what effect would it have on the eco-system. Of course, i believe it is more environmentally friendly and a source of protein to eat insects instead of meat. So if a person is vegan for the environment and not so much for the ethical belief that all animals and beings have the right to live, then they might consider eating insects as it is deemed better for the environment.
I personally wouldn’t eat products with insects, instead i will stick to my plants and food that doesn’t involve the death of other animals or beings. (OF COURSE… there are so many more aspects to this, such as palm oil and coconut oil and their effect on the rainforest and animals that live there. Also i can’t buy all my product organic meaning that buying non organic food can have an effect on the workers who produce those foods and then of course that growing different vegetables and fruits can kill different insects in the process…. but there is only so much one person can do and take action against. I.e i would have to grow my own organic vegetables without any chemicals to avoid killing bugs and never buy anything in the store if i wanted to make sure i wasn’t contributing to any animal suffering or death.)
Another note, i have heard some researchers talk about making insect burgers and that insects will or should replace meat… but i doubt that will happen. Considering that many meat eaters don’t even want to eat realistic fake meat i doubt that they would switch their meat and cheese burger for an insect burger…. but who knows!