Do vegans swallow?

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jun 21, 2010
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Apparently, Vegans do Swallow. #nottaboo

Ethically, it’s actually an interesting question. Of course vegans can swallow, my friends tell me, when I brought this up the other day, seeing it joked about on twitter.

Why? Because, of course, it’s consensual.

But if then it’s not about avoiding the eating of all products derived from any sentient being, but rather about whether you have loving permission to do so, or not, then is this wrong?


“I imagine that it is a place where tall trees grow and the deep green rolling pastures are dotted with flowers. Fat sleek calves frisk on the sunny hills and draw sustenance from between the massive hind legs of their mothers, their bags laden with rich milk.”

“He’s a country boy. No one had any conversation with him about sustainability or hormones — he just all of a sudden announced he was going to do it grass-fed and old-fashioned…

…If you’ve been to the farm — and they encourage visits, like the busload of overexcited kindergartners who were there when I was, fewer than half of whom raised their hands when asked if they knew where milk came from — you’ll recognize the scents of field and beast as you raise the old-fashioned glass bottle to your mouth….for the rest, click over to The New York Times.

Look, I’m not spoiling for a fight with my vegan brothers and sisters. I just have a serious, open question here. Is it really not possible to have a loving relationship with ones farm animals? If you’re inclined to answer no, righteously, is your answer based on PETA videos (which are, admittedly, horrrrrrrrible) or an actual visit to a “mindful” dairy farm?

Is the solution, then, no farm animals? Wouldn’t that mean, with the exception of goldfish and cats and dogs…no more animals?


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


22 Responses to “Do vegans swallow?”

  1. YogiOne says:

    What makes it OK to imprison dogs, cats and goldfish? Animals should be left in their natrual environment, and we also need to stop destroying the environment. If you want to see some real animals, try getting out of the city every now and then. I hear there is a nice park somewhere to the north west of Boulder. 🙂

  2. blake says:

    A few things that one has to take into consideration is that hundreds and perhaps thousands of years of domestication has left most farm animals incapable of surviving off the farm. Their "natural state" has been bread out of them. Whether or not man should have done this is irrelevant. The fact remains that it was done. So what do we do? Release cows into the wild? Free the chihuahua? We have bound ourselves to these animals through our ancestors' actions. Isn't it possible that the kindest thing we can do is give them good lives on the farm? I believe so.

  3. Amen! Does it have wifi?

  4. Oh. And, can I bike there?

  5. Oh, and, do you really regard cats and dogs as imprisoned, if they're in loving, active homes?

  6. Kathy says:

    There is no way to take the milk that should be going to feed the calf from the mother cow without removing her baby from her. It is not feasible to share the milk. On large dairy farms the males and about half of the smaller female calves are either loaded and sent to slaughter within the first few days of life( see Bushway video from the Humane Society of the United States, HSUS)this is called Bob Veal, and because they are infants and just skin and bones they are used in dog food,or other livestock feed.They used to be fed back to the dairy cows because it has been discovered that forcing cows to eat colesterol in meat by-products(their own offspring) causes dairy cows to produce more milk, but mad cow disease has stopped that practice, so now they are force fed chicken and pig by-products. About a quarter of those calves are confined in veal crates and slaughtered in three months. Small family farms take the calves away and feed them with a bottle using a formula made by Con-Agra or Monsanto containing bonemeal and plasma from the slaughter industry. We are the only animal that drinks the milk from another species. Dairy farms are highly subsidized with our tax monies, and the Dairy Farmers of America have a large and powerful lobby to make sure that continues. Please don’t fool yourself, there is no way little sweet family farms could feed the mass of humanity their meat and eggs and cheese three meals a day, seven days a week. This is reality, this is why Mercy for Animals, HSUS, PETA and others can release video after undercover video. Because these wicked atrocities are happening everyday, 10 billion animals in the U.S. per year. Try milk alternatives, the lack of mesery and suffering tastes delicious! Animal based foods make your body fluids acidic. I always swallow when with another vegan. Vegans do taste better! Namaste.

  7. mary says:

    Link to reducing pre-eclampsia
    It has been suggested that fellatio may, through "immune modulation",[19] have a beneficial role in preventing dangerous complications during pregnancy. Specifically, several research groups[20] have reported that pre-eclampsia, a life threatening complication that sometimes arises in pregnancy, is much less frequent in couples who have practiced oral sex, and even more rare in couples where fellatio regularly ended with a woman's swallowing of her partner's semen.
    The results were statistically significant and are consistent with the fact that semen contains several agents that have important roles in the prevention of pre-eclampsia, which may arise out of an immunological condition.[19][21][22] According to that view, preeclampsia is caused by a failure of the mother to accept the fetus and placenta, which both contain "foreign" proteins from the father's genes.
    Regular exposure to the father's semen helps cause her immune system to gradually "grow accustomed" to their proteins. Other studies also found that, while any exposure to the partner's sperm during sex appears to decrease the chances of various disorders, women in couples who have practiced "sex acts other than intercourse" are less than half as likely to suffer preeclampsia.
    The studies noted that it would be impossible to assume conclusively the likely protective effect of the "other sex acts" including oral sex, or that the correlation between these sexual practices was due to the presence of collinearity induced by some other protective factor not noted in the studies: for example, greater overall frequency of sex.[19] The standard way to resolve such confounding questions in medical science would be through a randomized trial, but there are unique challenges to research in sexual health.[23]

  8. mariann says:

    You cannot have dairy without regular impregnation and birth (they are mammals, after all) and without killing the male babies either at birth or after they have been allowed to grow for a while (there is no use for them other than meat and sperm, which you can get from just one animal, or order online) and without taking the babies away from their mothers before they are naturally weaned (usually a day or two after birth, but you could probably delay that if you wanted to make less money) and without killing the mothers after they have stopped "giving" milk, unless you can afford to keep them as pets for the rest of their lives. All of this causes what certainly appears to be grief and suffering, which, no matter how much humans would like to pretend otherwise, is, no doubt, not assuaged by the "love" they get from their "owners" (on the type of farm described here). And the answer isn't to release them into the wild, where they could not, indeed survive, but to just stop breeding them and, instead, eat the enormous, staggering abundance of other types of food.

  9. Jax says:

    Why do we use cows and goats for our dairy wants… Why not use human milk? I have often wondered why we don't see more breast milk products.
    here's a few recipes using human milk. Vegan Friendly!!!

  10. ARCreated says:

    all the other stuff too "loaded" to go into…but this vegan swallows…:) trust me no one suffers with this practice 🙂

  11. Kara Noel says:

    Because nobody would be able to swallow.

  12. Kara Noel says:

    "That you are causing the animal pain and suffering and a violent death, and ending its life early *only* for pleasure and profit."

    And that some people require animal protein to maintain their health. Sorry, I know vegans hate to hear that, but not everyone has the same dietary needs. Food can be complica

  13. […] Bad: Standard Lubricants. Why: Because they contain glycerin and paraben—two products not good for a woman’s body. Glycerin is known to cause intimate irritations such as yeast infections while paraben has been connected to an increase in estrogen—a major element linked to breast cancer. Many lubes are chemically created in laboratories with an ingredient impossible to even pronounce let alone know where they’re from or what they can do to one’s body. Also some standard lubricants still test on animals. […]

  14. Jennifer Paige says:

    I dunno…my cats get to leave whenever they want. I think if they felt imprisoned they would just leave and not return. And oh yeah.. i rescued our cat from being eaten by owls as a kitten.

  15. melissa rae says:

    i think using "do vegans swallow?" as a basis for this theory just cheapens it. if anyone every seriously came over to me and said, "if you swallow during oral sex, you cannot call yourself a vegan!" i would dismiss them as total idiots. there is more than one type of love in the world, and you cannot always compare them.

  16. Eblue says:

    I am so stoked no matter what is going on in the world, there is always a fiery passionate argument to be had with vegans!

  17. Samuel says:

    If milk is supposed to be a foreign agent in the human body, not meant for human consumption, how does semen, which is meant for reproduction make it suitable to be consumed?? Vegans who swallow are not being coherent with their logic.

  18. jbeav713 says:

    this is sort of silly. if you ask a cow if you can drink its milk and it says yes, then its consensual. ditto man and sperm. the thing is not knowing whether a cow is giving you loving permission to consume its secretions. you can certainly assume that its loving and consensual, because that's what you want to believe, but seeing as how we have yet to master telepathic or verbal communication with bovines, its impossible to know for sure. does that sound crazy? i mean, if you have a mindful dairy farm and you love your cows and one gives birth to a calf, is it really a respectful request to consume its baby's milk? would you ask a nursing mother to give some of her baby's food to you when you don't need it to survive?

  19. Giovanna says:

    Even if the animals were treated as sweetly as can be and weren't sent off to slaughterhouses after their time as a dairy cow, their babies must be taken from them for us to drink their milk. We just can't feasibly share the milk with her baby. And what about the male cows? To get milk from a mama there needs to be regular impregnation. There is no need for a male cow on a dairy farm, so he would either be killed or the farm would have to have plenty of money to keep all these cows as pets. I understand that it is just not realistic to just set all these cows free into the wild, since they are somewhat domesticated, but we can stop purposefully breeding cows for dairy and meat and just how we slowly domesticated them farms can keep them as pets as they slowly introduce cows to being wild again. Also, cows produce a lot of methane gas which is not good for our environment. Of course this doesn't mean we should cause the cow to go extinct but we really should let them procreate without interference from us. Lastly, I do not believe dairy to be healthy. In rare circumstances if a human baby has no access to human milk, a cow's milk should be just fine (just as a dog may sometimes foster say a fox, a cat a squirrel etc…) but as adults I think if we aren't drinking our own mother's milk we shouldn't be drinking another mothers (be it a cow or person).
    I do appreciate, though, that whilst cows are still domesticated that there are farms like the one mentioned, that take care of their animals as best as they can.
    As far as factory-dairy farms those need to be gone asap and are utterly unnecessary, cruel and horrible for the animals, our health, and the environment.
    And thank you for your honest inquiry… I wish more people were more open to hearing what we think rather than immediately thinking they know what's what and if you think otherwise you're just crazy.

  20. WTF says:

    Since research has proven that veganism is the healthiest lifestyle out there, the most sustainable, the most rejuvenating, environmentally friendly, cost effective, and could potentially end world hunger -what makes everyone think that only animals lovers can be vegan & should be shunned & criticized? Please read The China Study and Dr. Douglas Graham’s 80/10/10 book for the best way to obtain optimal health. The truly ignorant are those that believe animal products contain more ‘protein’ than FAT & those that believe animal ‘protein’ (aka fat) contain more protein than nuts or seeds -such as Hemp. Has anyone ever noticed how Palio diet promoters are FATT (that’s right-with 2 T’s!)? There’s no coincidence. They just restrict calories and lose weight for book signings & interviews. Vegan body builders are coming out of the woodwork and some of the most beautiful & healthiest actresses are vegan. Check it! And I don’t want to hear anymore protein, iron or calcium deficiency crap! No one would be alive or vegan if that was the case-idiots.

  21. Elien says:

    I agree! (Except on the – idiots, let's keep it kind, shall we? No need to blurt out every thought crossing our minds…) I had someone actually telling me 'to better be prepared to not live a long and healthy life'…Uhm, really? Since I no longer eat dairy, my skin conditions (no more irritations) and asthma have improved with great leaps! And not eating meat makes me feel so much lighter and energetic…Same goes for the use of eco-friendly cleaning products and laundry detergents! I can't speak about the long term effects, because I just about started a few months ago…or stopped, for that matter.