Practicing Nonviolent Direct Action

Veganism is a way of living which excludes all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, the animal kingdom, and includes a reverence for life. It applies to the practice of living on the products of the plant kingdom to the exclusion of flesh, fish, fowl, eggs, honey, animal milk and its derivatives, and encourages the use of alternatives for all commodities derived wholly or in part from animals. – The Vegan Society

We must refuse to wait for wrong to be righted till the wrong-doer has roused to the sense of his iniquity. We must not, for fear of ourselves or others having to suffer, remain participators in it. But we must combat the wrong by ceasing to assist the wrong-doer directly or indirectly. – M. K. Gandhi

Veganism is a principle that calls for the immediate rejection of the use and exploitation of all animals, as far as is humanly practical. Thus, in practice, the principle of veganism leads to nonviolent direct action.

When we practices veganism we are engaged in a real, immediate and concrete form of abolition. Each of us who sincerely embraces a vegan way of life directly respects other animals through our daily actions. We literally become the change we want to see in the world.

Practicing veganism also gives us a sense of how our daily actions relate to other animals. We not only become aware of our own power, but we respect the power of nonhumans to control their own lives. We understand that we don't need to consume what comes from other animals' bodies, nor wear their skin, fur or hair. We're aware of other animals' have live of their own, and don't exist for human entertainment or scientific exploration. As a part of our daily lives, veganism continuously proves to us that the ideal of non-exploitation is possible.

As a form of direct action, veganism puts the power is in our hands, as opposed to us relying on institutions, like industry or government, to make change. In this way, we are altering the relationship of power. We don't need to wait for the legislature or corporate executives to do the right thing, because we are using our own power to promote change directly.

Veganism also alters the relationship of power between us humans and that of nonhuman animals. As humans, we are members of the group responsible for other animals exploitation, but through the practice of veganism we are changing this relationship. Donald Watson acknowledged this when stating that vegans believe that if we're to be true emancipators of animals we must renounce absolutely our traditional and conceited attitude that we have the right to use them to serve our needs.