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Towards a Vegan-Based Ethic

Dismantling Neo-Colonial Hierarchy Through an Ethic of Lovingkindness

Micol Kates

The book draws links between colonial and neo-colonial power structures which have sought to maintain hierarchies of dominance, resulting in cruel practices towards people at the bottom of the hierarchy and animals, who, in a colonial mindset, only exist for human gain. To counter these harm-based ideologies, and practices, veganism, as an ethical movement, is seeking to give voice to all those who support animals, and the rights of animals, while also seeking to give a voice to animals themselves. Additionally, veganism seeks to challenge the old-guard power structures and cruel practices perpetuated by colonial and neo-colonial systems associated with the dominant Ego power structure. Vegan ethics represent a shift from the dominant Ego model of human relations represented by a pyramid of power towards an Eco model of human relationships in which all Beings have equal worth and agency.

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6. Why Veganism? How Veganism Can Topple Neo-colonialism in Theory and Practice


6 Why Veganism? How Veganism Can Topple Neo-colonialism in Theory and Practice

Human-centred ethics provides a sense of direction with respect to people’s welfare. Vegan-based ethics gives animals a voice and shifts the paradigm from the Ego to the Eco model by fostering a philosophy of kindness, rooted in respectful relationships with all beings. In the Ego model, animals used in science, entertainment and on agri-farms for food are not regarded as beings, but as things. Vegan-based ethics challenges and dismantles outdated ideas, and is essential in creating respect for animals, which includes their living and dying. In this way, an interconnectivity of respect is fostered. Vegan-based ethics are ethical standards that have been established by conscious people in order to respect all beings. Vegan ethics place equal importance on both the words used to describe animals as well as actions taken to live in a vegan-minded way. The primary aim of veganism is to not contribute to anyone’s suffering.

A vegan diet, which might preclude buying products—(not only food items)—from companies that are not certified-vegan, changes the balance of power away from the traditional forms of dominance over someone else’s life. Veganism’s Eco model does not wish to replicate ←19 | 20→the Ego power structure. Vegan-based ethical thinking considers that animal by-products such as eggs, milk and the animals do not exist for people’s benefit or consumption, but for themselves. Veganism is shifting the paradigm so that people are changing the ways in...

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