Vegan Deli

Vegan Deli  by Jo Stepaniak

Click here to learn more

Order this book!

 

 

Raising Vegetarian Children
by Jo Stepaniak, M.S.Ed., & Vesanto Melina M.S., R.D.

Raising Vegetarian Children

Click here to learn more

Order this book!

 
     

Do you have questions about being vegan? Send them to Jo using this easy form. She would be happy to address your individual concerns as well as general inquiries about vegan ethics, philosophy, practical applications, and living compassionately. Jo cannot respond to questions about nutrition or answer questions that have already been addressed in the Archives

Jo will make every attempt to answer each question personally, however, due to her schedule, this may not be possible. If a reply is forthcoming, it could take up to a few weeks, so please be patient. It is also possible that your question will be answered directly in the "Ask Jo!" column rather than an individual response.

If you'd like to view previous questions Jo has answered, visit the Ask Jo! Archives.

Cruelty-Free Birth Control?

I was wondering if there is a safe, effective method of birth control that is not tested on animals. I have eliminated all animal products from my diet, purchase only cruelty-free products, and am opposed to vivisection, yet I feel like a hypocrite because I continue to take the birth control pill. I have read that there are two condom manufacturers that operate "cruelty-free," but I would like to find a more reliable method for preventing pregnancy (call me paranoid!). Are there any birth control pill companies (or any other products you've heard of) that are cruelty-free? Do you have any suggestions?

Practically all pharmaceutical products have been tested on animals, are derived from animals, or contain animal by-products. This includes most birth control drugs and devices. For instance, lactose (milk sugar) is a standard excipient (an inert substance that forms a vehicle for a drug). It is used in most pharmaceutical tablets, including birth control pills. In addition, pharmaceutical companies routinely conduct research on live animals for new or altered drugs. Consequently, all birth control drugs are the result of studies that included animal subjects and are produced by companies that are involved with vivisection. Most condom manufacturers test their products on animals and generally the spermicides and/or lubricants with which they are coated contain animal products. Vegan condoms are available from vegan retailers. Check with them directly for availability.

Surgical sterilization (for you or your partner) is another option. However, it is critical to be absolutely certain prior to undergoing sterilization that you do not want to have children because it is a permanent choice. Although these surgeries can sometimes be reversed, such procedures can be painful, difficult, and costly, and are not always feasible.

Natural birth control is an excellent, drug-free method, but it requires a significant commitment from both parties. For natural birth control to be effective, a woman must be able and willing to take and record her basal body temperature at the same time every morning; inspect, interpret, and record the characteristics of her vaginal secretions (mucus); and chart the course of her ovulation and menstrual cycles to determine fertile and infertile intervals. The male partner must be willing to abstain from sex during the woman's fertile times throughout the month and accept that sexual relations may be less than spontaneous. It is also very helpful if the woman has a regular menstrual cycle and is in a stable relationship and both parties have a strong desire to avoid pregnancy.

Unfortunately, there are no birth control methods available at this time that are suitable for all people and are safe, effective, hassle-free, and vegan. You must weigh the alternatives against the consequences of having an unwanted child and determine the method that you and your partner are most comfortable using. If the decision comes down to a not-totally-ideal birth control method versus an unwelcome pregnancy, the compassionate option is obvious.

All vegans must, at times, make compromises because we live in an imperfect world. We need to make the best choices we can based on the world we have inherited, not the society we envision and are trying to create. Making concessions for birth control is not necessarily indicative of hypocrisy. It simply means that you are being realistic, practical, and responsible.




Copyright © 1998-2014 by Jo Stepaniak   All rights reserved.
Nothing on this web site may be reproduced in any way
without express written permission from the copyright holder.

 

 
 

Vegan Vittles:
Second Helpings

Vegan Vittles: Second Helpings by Jo Stepaniak

Click here to learn more

Order this book!

 

 

The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook

Click here to learn more

Review by Dan Balogh

View Readers' Comments

Order this book!

 

 

The Food Allergy
Survival Guide

The Food Allergy Survival Guide

Click here to learn more

Order this book!