In the Vegan Society's definition, what does practicable mean?

Veganism & Vegetarianism Asked on August 22, 2021

Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is
possible and practicable
, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty
to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.

The Vegan Society seems to leave this up to a bit of interpretation. For me and the people I talk with, the idea of veganism is viable after a little explaining. We usually agree it’s possible and practicable to avoid buying meat, eggs, dairy, leather, wool, etc.

However, there are a few stragglers who can’t get past marginal cases (e.g., monks at high altitudes). I try to draw it back to themselves. Ask yourself. Try not to worry about particular cases.

I could argue it is not practicable to expect people never to drive. It’s possible but not possible and practicable. Although, how is "practicable" defined? What is your understanding of "practicable"?

One Answer

How does the Vegan Society define "practicable"?

(You know, from the definition: "Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.")

Hello Adam,

Thank you for getting in touch.

Our meaning of practicable is demonstrated when referring to medication.

Imagine, for instance, that a committed vegan has a condition that can be managed via medication but without the medication they would be very ill or die. All medication will have been tested on animals at some point in history so is not vegan and this particular medication contains an animal ingredient. The Vegan’s GP and pharmacist have been contacted and they are unable to suggest an alternative medication that is vegan. We would say that there is no practicable alternative and that the vegan should take the medication even though it is not vegan. This inconsistency does not mean that they cease to be vegan as they have explored alternatives and there are none.

For more on this you can see here:

We hope this is useful to you.

Kind Regards,

The Vegan Society

practicable insinuations/implications - not too demanding or putting someone at too much at a disadvantage monetarily, if in dire straits or physically:

  • Monetarily

    • This may seem to insinuate a vegan diet is more expensive. I do not necessarily mean that. Instead, any restrictive diet may be more expensive merely because sale items. Excluding sale items is the true apples to apples calculation. What I mean more practically, is that certain people own nothing, not even the clothes on their back. If they do not have access to fortified foods, and obviously can't buy supplements, they can't really be vegan.
  • If in dire straits

    • Basically in an unplanned survival situation... [this is the weakest of the three]
  • Physically

    • Example1, treatment such as anti-venom. Example2, having Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and being fed though an IV, where the liquid has some animal product in it.

In another sense, practicable refers to "within ones ability". It is not practicable for me to fly over LA traffic in a helicopter. While it is possible for me to blow all my savings on a helicopter ride to skip rush hour traffic it is not practicable. However, it could be practicable for a very wealthy person to do so.

Answered by adamaero on August 22, 2021

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