Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Vegan Credo

Please click here for a condensed, updated, and printable version of this credo.

A credo (Latin, "I believe") is a simple yet powerful statement of belief. It's everything in just a few words. Veganism is simple, too. Is our credo no meat? Is it do no harm? Or, does it go something like this?
I believe that all animals—wild animals, farm animals, and our beloved companion animals—feel pain, make decisions, and are inclined to protect themselves and their families from harm.
I believe that, as beings with a higher intelligence, it is humans' moral, social, and political responsibility to protect the health and well-being of all wild, farm, and companion animals, and not to use or consume anything derived from them for the sake of beauty, flavor, or convenience.
I believe that proposed legislation, laws, policies, procedures, and actions should uniformly and unfailingly address our responsibility to protect animals, ensuring they are never unnecessarily or knowingly confined, tortured, or killed.
I believe that a safe, well-protected, well-cared-for animal population improves and strengthens communities and the lives of the people who live there. 
I believe that an individual’s impact on the environment can be minimized by consuming and using plant-based food and products, and that a vegan diet frees up land to grow food for people that would otherwise be used to house animals and grow the food that is required to feed them.
An inspiring, more comprehensive, and much-better codified universal declaration has already been adopted by World Society for the Protection of Animals. How would you strengthen and further simplify this proposed five-paragraph Vegan Credo?

July 10, 2011 UPDATE: Thanks to those of you who have directly (and in other forums) shared thought-provoking, inspiring, challenging questions and feedback. As you've very helpfully pointed out, we must and will consider certain fundamental questions (and tweak some of its words for accuracy). To some people, there is only one credo, and it is it the Christian statement of beliefs. (This was drafted only to propose a clear statement of vegans' beliefs, and not to replace or update any other accepted credo.) Further, can any succinct statement fully and universally address the beliefs of all vegans? I agree with those of you who have pointed out that it can not. I'll await any other comments and questions that may trickle in, then propose an updated version in a month. Thanks again.