Do vegans swallow?

Come, that is. It’s an animal product, but there’s no exploitation (usually:)). So do they?

PS: There’s an cursory treatment of the subject in this thread.

Just to assume this is a legit question:
If the vegan is one because of moral issues, swallowing should not be a problem.
If it because of health reason, I don’t know.
As an aside (and moderate hijack)
I’ve heard of vegans who ate human placenta (usually stewed)
as it is the only type of meat that nothing has to die to produce. I delivered my babies in an alternative birthing center, where stewing placenta was not uncommon.

no, I didn’t.

Well, it’s not really an animal product from a vegan standpoint. It’s a human product, and the human it’s coming from is usually all for it, so the whole question is moot. There’s no ethical problem.

If there were animals that genuinely wanted to be killed and eaten, or even just milked, then sensible vegans would probably oblige them. But no animals are capable of indicating that level of consent in a ethically meaningful way. Or if they can, they’re holding out.

Of course as a topic it might be a good way to break the ice at those vegan-devout Catholic mixers. And I can definitely see it as a fun “get out of jail free” card for vegans who don’t like to swallow.


Mmmm, placenta stew…

We need to use genetic engineering to create animals that can consent to being eaten, like the cow in ‘The Restaurant at the End of the Universe’.

Or Al Capp’s Kigmes.

Congenital masochism, harnessed for the good of mankind!

Going on a case by case basis, I’ve known two who did. Both were vegans for health reasons rather than ethical or political ones.

Call me an ignorant bastard if you must, but I honestly think “vegan for health reasons” is about the most rediculous thing I’ve ever heard. The human body can not get all the nutrients it needs from a strictly vegan diet. It’s hard enough with a vegetarian diet, but a vegan diet makes it even harder. I understand not eating animals for ethical reasons. I don’t particularly understand not drinking milk for ethical reasons, but I can at least respect that. But I don’t think that being vegan is particularly healthy. Sure, maybe if you take tons of supplements every day, but you miss a lot of basic nutrients on a vegan diet.


I heard that cows have to be milked. Something about them suffering extreme discomfort if they’re not. If milking is necessary to protect the cow from pain, isn’t it ethical from a vegan standpoint to use the milk?

It might be, if not for the fact that cows have to be pregnant to keep producing milk, and they don’t get to keep and nurse their calves.

Sorry to continue the hijack, but if they don’t get to keep their milk for the calves, what do the calves eat?

[hijack] Jman, I won’t call you an ignorant bastard. But I will suggest that you are misinformed. It is perfectly possible to eat a healthy vegan diet without taking handfulls of supplements. These two sources: How Do You Get Enough Protein? and Veganet (look on the second page and go to the article “How Do You Get Essential Nutrients?”-I couldn’t make the code get you there directly) are a good start if you are truly interested. [/hijack]

Please continue with your discussion of swallowing.

Oh, they get milk, but not from their mothers. Not by nursing, anyway. And many of them get aritifically developed formulae. Cows at factory farms are kept artificially inseminated several times a year. Their calves are immediately separated from them and fed artificially. One they’re older, they get feed made up of a combination of things, often including newspaper (for bulk) and ground-up baby chicks.

Male calves, not being milk producers, are often used for veal, being confined to veal crates and killed after about 14 weeks. They definitely don’t get mother’s milk, as that would contain too much protein and ruin the veal meat. Some are allowed to be raised to inseminate more cows.

Female calves are separated and some raised to become additional milk producers. Others are slaughtered at young ages to obtain calve’s rennet from their stomachs for use in cheesemaking.

Definitely intended to be a legitimate question. Thanks for your thoughtful response.

I believe that they are fed cow’s milk (by bottle or some other artifice).

Feh, you say, how can that be. There would be no milk for us.

Fact is that milk production is linked to consumption. The breast tissue gears up synthesis to meet demand. If the demand is one little hungry calf, then you get enough milk for one little hungry calf. If the demand is the milker machine, you get much more production.


You are thinking of Schmoos, not Kigmes. Schmoos would joyfully jump into the frying pan, and would taste like whatever you wanted them to be (usually po’k chops in the case of L’il Abner). Kigmes, which looked a little like Schmoos with a bull’s eye on their butt, just enjoyed being kicked.

choosybeggar, I suppose some do & some don’t. It’s kind of a moot thing because a vegan is meat already. Political associations & other associations determine what someone eats & sperm generally is not the meat of a mammal, right?

Is there a reason for this question?

I can guarantee you that this animal has never been harmed while donating a tasty dietary supplement to a vegan. Well, except that one time, which I’m sure you don’t want to know about.

As a dietary supplement, by the way, semen really isn’t all that great. Cecil, of course, has addressed this in part. And here is a brief breakdown of what sort of goodies you can find in a teaspoon of spooge. The conclusion is quite illuminating:

“Can swallowing semen enrich a poor diet? Unless you’re gulping gallons of it each day, it’s no substitute for real nutritious cuisine.”

I thought better veal was supposed to be milk-fed. Isn’t that how it’s usually advertised? Unless you’d rather have veal that’s been fed veal Calf Milk Replacer.

*Mmmmm, replacer… *[/homer]

Wanting to know the answer. Chicken eggs are technically not the meat of a mammal either and vegans eschew these.

What’s your beef?:slight_smile:

Mmmm. I’m going to dispute this for three reasons:

  1. For the first few days of a calf’s life the dam produces something called ‘colustrum’ (also called ‘mother’s milk’), which is not…pleasant (for humans, anyway). It contains extra antibodies and other good stuff to keep a fragile newborn healthy while it adjusts to life outside the womb. As it’s not drinkable it gets fed to calves.

  2. Humans have spent the last several centuries breeding domestic cattle so they produce more. Holsteins produce 18,796 pounds of milk annually, which averages out to around 50 pounds a day. If you already know that a newborn calf weighs 75-100 pounds, that’s a lot of extra milk, n’est pas?

  3. Sometimes cows get sick and need to be given antibiotics. This milk is not allowed in the food supply and is also fed to calves; if there’s not enough calves to give the milk to it gets dumped.

And before you jump on me and say “See! gasp! Antibiotics!! I TOLD you farmers were evil!”, please note that if you take at random any 40 people (which just happens to be how many cows my father milks) chances are pretty good that one or two of them will be on some kind of antibiotic.

Kinda like how many human babies get artificially developed Enfamil? Milk replacer is used around here; mostly for older calves that are not quite weaned.

With a gestation period of 10 months? How long is your year? :wink:

Yeah, cows are kinda clutzy. It keeps the calves from getting stomped on. Don’t think it happens?

That’s why I hate factory farms :frowning: Well, that and they’re driving my father and his neighbors out of business.

Eh. Not going to bother with the rest of your post, pld, cos it’s mostly true. Just wanted to set the record straight on the first bit.

Was just informed that colustrum is used as food in Scandanavia (Iceland in particular).

To which I say:


[SUB]Here ends the major hijack. Both of them. Sorry.[/sub]