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In Defence of the Vegan Project


The vegan project is defined as the project that strives for radical legal reform to pass laws that would reserve the consumption of animal products to a very narrow range of situations, resulting in vegan diets being the default diets for the majority of human beings. Two objections that have been raised against such a project are described. The first is that such a project would jeopardise the nutritional adequacy of human diets. The second is that it would alienate human beings from nature. It is argued that neither undermines the vegan project.

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I would like to thank the reviewers of this article and participants in the Newcastle Animal Ethics and Sustainable Food Policy conference (December 2, 2011) for their comments on an earlier version. I am grateful to Beacon North East for funding this conference, where an earlier version of this article was presented.

Statement of Competing Interests

The author is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry but was not involved with the review of this article.

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Correspondence to Jan Deckers.

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This article is an expanded version of a paper presented at the Newcastle Animal Ethics and Sustainable Food Policy conference (held at Newcastle University on December 2, 2011), which addressed the following question: “How should the U.K. Government regulate the consumption of animal products?” Presentations of the conference were recorded and can be downloaded, together with their PowerPoint slides, from

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Deckers, J. In Defence of the Vegan Project. Bioethical Inquiry 10, 187–195 (2013).

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  • Animal ethics
  • Animal law
  • Global health
  • Veganism