Is veganism an ideology and a worldview? If you are looking for an answer to this question, you are in the right place. As a vegan, I hear again and again that veganism is just an "ideology". The word is nowadays often used in a pejorative way and is meant to suggest in this context that I simply blindly and uncritically follow an irrational conviction and try to force it on others. But is that really the case?
In this article, I would like to briefly and concisely examine whether veganism is really just an ideology that I and many other people simply follow without reason. Let's go!
Here you can find a short overview in advance:
Definitions: What is meant by veganism, ideology and worldview?
Before we move on to the evaluation together, I would first like to give you the essential definitions for them.
Under the Veganism is understood by definition to mean "a way of life that seeks to avoid, as far as practical, all forms of exploitation and cruelty to animals capable of suffering."
In our everyday life, it mainly influences the areas of nutrition, entertainment and fashion.
A worldview is the personal order and value system of an individual personbased on experiences, sensations, knowledge and traditions. It describes the views of how a person understands the world and explains what he/she believes to be right and wrong. A particular worldview can also have a more specific background and be, for example, science-based, religiously oriented, individual-centered, or even socially oriented.
An ideology (often also called a doctrine of ideas) is understood to be a bound system of world views. Whoever represents a certain ideology shows that he/she agrees with the values of the respective idea. An ideology is usually tied to a social group or cultural behavior, is quite inflexible, and cannot be considered fundamentally "wrong" or "right.
It can, for example rationally and logically explainable and be a consolidated doctrine. However, there also exist innumerable irrational, fundamentalist and dangerous ideologieswho consciously oppose different views of other people and only allow their own worldview to be considered "right".
Minimize the risk of ideological blindness
If one no longer allows other opinions and information and only stubbornly considers one's own conviction to be correct, one speaks of ideological blindness. This is dangerous because personal Convictions actually flexible and adaptable should be. After all, there can always be new factual, explainable and demonstrable findings that could counter one's own beliefs.
That's why it's important, Always being open to new information and to regularly questioning one's own worldview or way of life. Beliefs can be changed - and the realization of the possible need is a good thing.
Is veganism an ideology, or not?
Ethical vegans are convinced that it is unethical to torture and kill animals for unnecessary and selfish motives. Seen in this way, veganism is actually something like a world view and Ideology that serves the rights and protection of animals. However, this conviction does not sound exactly unreflective, egoistic or irrational - and can hardly be meant pejoratively.
Conversely, the belief that it is okay to exploit animals for personal gain is definitely an irrational ideology. A Ideology that causes suffering, oppression, discrimination and exploitation. No matter whether you are just talking about Factory farmingThe adherence to a belief with the above-mentioned consequences is much more difficult to justify from a moral point of view.
An ideology becomes threatening when it threatens one's own ideology
In the embedded video, YouTuber "Der Artgenosse" (aka Patrick Schönfeld) impressively explains that one often only recognizes one's own ideologies when they are challenged by opposing and perhaps more modern points of view.
Eating animals is a belief that many people (like me) were and are born into. One considers the consumption of animal flesh as normality and does not question it. It takes a few "extreme vegan:inside"come around the corner with an opposing opinion. They confront meat eaters with an unpleasant, but scientifically confirmed fact. Namely, that it is absolutely not necessary to kill animals in order to survive. A point of view that reveals that as a meat eater you yourself follow an ideology - namely the ideology of the Carnism.
Confronted with this, one now has the chance to adjust old beliefs to no longer deal with the stressful, cognitive dissonance to live that yes Loves animals but eats them anyway. Many meat eaters, however, reflexively decide to vehemently defend their ideology, i.e. their habitual convictions. If necessary also with the illogical argument that veganism is an ideology.
Veganism and carnism are opposite beliefs with different consequences
Theoretically, everyone can follow an ideology stubbornly, blindly and uncritically. There are also certainly some vegans who do that. However Veganer:innen became as a rule straight therefore vegan, because they reflected themselves and their past convictions. adapted for moral, ecological or health motives have. They have not stubbornly held on to old beliefs. Rather, they have realized that Animals sentient beings like you and me, to rethink. They don't want to continue spending money on animals being oppressed, tortured and exploited for their own pleasure.
I am sure that most meat eaters also share this realization and are against Cruelty to animals and violence against animals. However, the Adherence to one's own scientifically-refuted ideologyThe idea that one must eat animals in order to survive leads people not to act in accordance with their actual values.
Veganism is a lifestyle rather than an ideology
We can state that both veganism and carnism are ideologies in a sense. However, most vegans have also once eaten animals and acted carnistically, only at some point they have adapted their personal beliefs for logical reasons. This doesn't sound like stubbornly and blindly following any ideology, but rather following one's own values. Veganism is, in my view, a way of life - and a conscious decision to act in an animal-friendly way.
The "ideology argument" can actually only be meant pejoratively towards the conviction to continue to exploit animals, since this view and the actions according to it Suffering, oppression, discrimination and exploitation causes. Veganism counteracts these despicable injustices and in this respect is guaranteed to be a conviction and worldview that most people should actually share.
I really hope that I could help you with this article. Do you have questions, tips or your own experiences with veganism as an ideology that you would like to share? Then I look forward to your comment.
Keep an open mind and be kind to animals,
PS.: Conspiracy Theories are irrational and unfounded ideologies. In the linked blog post you can now learn everything about it - from the definition to examples!