are oysters vegan

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11 Comments

  1. I have been vegan since June 13, 2021 and flesh-free since January 2020. I’m also an animal rights activist and antinatalist. I have researched for more than 120 hours – through reading scholarly articles, books and literature, watching documentaries – the ethics of procreation, carnism, harm reduction, climate change, speciesism, overpopulation, environmental racism, ocean dead zones, endangered and extinct animal species, factory farms, sentience, the abuse and exploitation of humans in the animal agriculture industry, the many health benefits of a whole food plant based diet, the diseases caused by the consumption of animal flesh and their products…and much more.
    I’ve also graduated from the Vegan Activist Academy by PAN as a certified vegan activist and have participated as a mentee through AAM and Surge.
    Prior to becoming Veg/AN, I purchased several pearls. More than 15. All individual, from The Pearl Factory. Watched every oyster get torn open and scraped out. I kept most of them loose to put in a necklace “cage” but I have a few rings and a beautiful octopus pendant.
    Since, I’ve spent a lot of time reading about pearls, the pearl industry and its impact on the oysters/mollusks, the workers who farm them and the environment.

    The definition of veganism – per the Vegan Society – is: “a philosophy and 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; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”

    1. Mollusks belong to the kingdom Animalia – they are animals.
    2. They are exploited to be consumed as food and their products worn as clothing (jewelry).
    By definition, pearls are not vegan.
    However, this may change as we learn more about mollusks. The 17th century philosopher René Descartes alleged assertion that animals are without feelings, physical or emotional. Obviously, we know how that this is abysmally incorrect.
    As a vegan, I will never purchase a pearl or consume a mollusk for as long as I live and I will always speak out for the animals. They are not voiceless. We just don’t speak the same language. Thank you for reading.

  2. If they filter water, wouldn’t they be all full of e.coli and microplastics, etc? Who wants to eat that?

    But more to the point, up until the 1960’s it was believed that human babies didn’t feel pain, and they would perform surgeries on babies without anesthesia. So I find it arrogant for someone to look at something “less developed” than they are and decide that they don’t feel pain. I think ostrovegans should stop the mental gymnastics and just say that whether an animal feels pain or not is only important to them if they can personally emphasize with it. It’s easy to empathize with the pain of something that has eyes or looks cute, and easy to theorize away the pain of something that looks like a rock.

  3. I personally think pearls are gaudy, but I eat oysters. Trying to simplify it into animal and non-animal is just lazy. In this immense universe of ours, how can there possibly be nothing in between? We, humans, are simply calling them animals, despite a MAJOR biological difference. The same silly humans who also called the Earth flat! This is not a simple classification, and like everything else in life, it is not black and white. An even more intelligent species from a different corner of the universe could visit and tell us we actually have 13 different levels of life. The fact is, we can’t be sure of anything unless we can actually experience their existence ourselves. So we do our best. And while I am against suffering, I am also pro-science and advancement. Instead of googling a list of what vegans can and can’t eat, I actually learned about the creatures on our planet myself. That’s how I ended up moving forward from being pescatarian for 25 years, but why I still eat bivalves, local honey, and the eggs that fall out of my friend’s pet chickens (waste not!). I don’t have a label, and you know what? It’s a good thing. Being unwilling to see anything differently than what you’re told is why our species is in the mess it’s currently in. After thousands of years, I’ll never understand how humans have become so close minded in this day and age (both meat eaters and vegans alike!).

  4. Wow. Great article. I’ve been eating a plant-based lifestyle for the past year due to health reasons, and the more that I learn about living a harm-free/plant-based lifestyle, the more amazed I am at the things I don’t know!

    Even if I wasn’t living this lifestyle, I would for sure have considered oysters an animal – in fact, I still do. I personally could never eat them as a vegan (and I could never eat them before my lifestyle change!).

    Thank you for your knowledge. I truly appreciate it 🙂

  5. They are animals, so they’re not vegetarian. While they might not feel pain the way we do, that’s not the point. Any living being tries to avoid harm and detects it in different ways – and reacts to it. Even plants to that. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you don’t eat animals. Period.
    Having said that, I loooove oysters 😉
    But:
    – I don’t call my self vegetarian or vegan
    – I’ve had them about two times in my life. Once ages ago in Brittany on vacation in February (don’t go there in February, but there were no tourists and we got them right from the local fisherman). The other time so my husband could taste them.

    Even if you call yourself vegan, I totally get it. It’s a pain to exactly tell people what you eat and why. So vegan is just easier than .. sorry, I already forgot the name. Even if you are 100% vegan every other day – better than never!

  6. i agree with you both it just doesn’t feel right to eat them. Plus, i don’t really buy the sustainability and benefit for the environment argument. What about the gas to farm, the disruption of the land/water, the working conditions of the people in the industry etc. I just wouldn’t fee ok about eating them or wearing pearls.

  7. Even if they don’t have a nervous system and they don’t feel pain, I still find it morally wrong to take away their life.