You don’t need a theory of animal rights to get you to veganism. You don’t even need to believe in human and nonhuman equality to get to veganism.
If you believe–as most people believe–that: (1) animals matter morally; (2) because animals matter morally, we cannot justify imposing “unnecessary” suffering on them; and (3) pleasure, amusement, or convenience cannot suffice as “necessity,” then you are already committed to stop eating, wearing, or using animals in any situation in which there is not compulsion or real necessity, such as being on the desert island or the lifeboat with no access to plant foods.
Veganism is not in any way “extreme.” What is “extreme” is saying that you believe that animals matter morally but acting in your life as though they were merely things.
So what are you waiting for? Follow through in your conduct with what you say you believe. Go vegan.
If you are not vegan, please go vegan. Veganism is about nonviolence. First and foremost, it’s about nonviolence to other sentient beings. But it’s also about nonviolence to the earth and nonviolence to yourself.
Gary L. Francione
Board of Governors Distinguished Professor, Rutgers University
©2014 Gary L. Francione