AUT University Animal Rights Club


FAQs               For FAQs about nutrition please see this link                                                                  

Welcome to the FAQs section! Here you can find short and simple answers to commonly asked you may have. If you wish to ask us something please don't hesitate to get in touch, we are here to help. Contact us here.

How can I help animals? What is the best way to help animals?

  • The first thing to do is reject violence.  The problem is violence, the solution is non-violence.  When you choose to reject violence you immediately begin to make decisions and engage in actions that avoid causing harm to other beings, human and non-human.
  • Listen to your sense of justice.  All prejudice is unjust.  Do not engage in prejudice.  Racism, sexism, heterosexism and SPECIESISM are all forms of prejudice.  Reject them.
  • In order to behave according to this rejection of violence and prejudice against all animals, you must not exploit them.  When you go vegan you no longer take part in the exploitation. 

What does Vegan mean?

  • An ethical vegan has a vegan diet and rejects consuming animal products but also does not wear or use any animal products. An ethical vegan rejects the commodification of nonhumans as property. An ethical vegan is committed to the abolition of animal exploitation. Moreover, ethical vegans recognize that an animal-based agriculture harms other humans as well as non-humans and sees the connection between human rights and animal rights. Ethical veganism is the moral baseline of the animal rights movement. [excerpt taken from this article]

Is it being "difficult" and "fundamentalist" to avoid animal exploitation and be vegan?

  • Some advocates claim you shouldn't "make a fuss" about ingredients in food and the like, because that is being "too radical".  They say it's OK to eat something or use something that may have trace amounts of animal products because we don't want "vegans to seem difficult" etc.  Wrong.  When you are vegan for the above reasons, it is as much of a moral issue as are human rights issues.   If the exploitation can be practically avoided (such as trace amounts of animal products in  food for example) then if you are an ethical vegan you don't consume it.  And be clear why.  The animals need us to stand up for their rights.  It is not about being "fundamentalist" or "difficult".  As Professor Francione said "If you think that being vegan is difficult, imagine how difficult it is for animals that you are not vegan."

So, are vegans "pure" and "cruelty free"?

  • No.  No one is perfect and nobody should ever claim to be "cruelty free".  But we need to be clear on what that means. For example, there are animal products in concrete.   To name another example, there are animal products in tyres.  So unless you can levitate and teleport yourself, you are most probably using products and services that contain the results of exploitation.  However the thing to understand is that those things are out of our control as individuals.  Manure from exploited animals is used to grow organic vegetables (in NZ, for example, there are hardly any, if at all, veganically grown vegetables available commercially...yet).  Wild animals are being hurt and killed in crop production.  All of these kinds of things occur because the producers of almost everything on the planet are not vegan, therefore they do not take the interests of animals into account, even when making our vegan products. But we need to eat vegetables to live, that is a necessity for continued life.
  • Right now we can't completely avoid certain exploitation that is occurring because unfortunately we are participating in those things by buying the products, such as vegetables, or by using the services, such as roads and buses—but things you need to do are very very different from things you prefer.   So no, we are not "pure and perfect" and "cruelty free" and should never claim to be,  however anything that can be avoided should be avoided, if you take animal rights seriously.  And we should be clear when talking to our  friends and families, and be unafraid to state, politely and respectfully and educationally, why we are avoiding whatever it is.  When we politely refuse to eat/drink/use whatever product is being offered, or go to the entertainment event or film that is using exploited animals, etc, we musn't be afraid to say why.  If you are willing to learn how, this can easily be done in a respectful and educational way.   It is easy to do and we have an obligation to stand up for the animals every time, if we take their interests seriously and are serious about ending what is happening to them.  Don't listen to those who say we must be quiet.  It is time to speak out.