What is a Vivist?

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Intro

A Vivist is someone who adheres to the behavioral pattern of “Vivism”, which implies that he in principle respects and spares life and well-being of all kinds of creatures, being mainly humans, animals, plants and microbes.

As a result in the field of feeding he doesn’t eat any kind of animal foodstuff,  nor vegetables as far as they are plants or vital parts of plants; furthermore he waives cooked food as in cooking many microbes inside food and fuel are killed. In all other aspects of behaviour he optimally tries to prevent that living beings one way or another are harmed or treaten rudely; this not only by himself but also by others.

One of the main reasons to become or stay a vivist is in the empirical awareness that the more life-friendly one behaves, the less one is punished by nature. As  other possible reasons can be mentioned firstly the fact that Vivism has the potential to make the entire environmental issue disappear and secondly a profound respect for life in all its appearances.

As other fundamental behavioral patterns, that are related to Vivism, can be mentioned Vegetarianism, Veganism, Raw-foodism, Fructarianism and Humanism. They all exist longer than Vivism  and are assumed to be more well-known, but on the other hand are considerably less comprehensive.

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A closer look at:

“Saving life and well-being of all kinds of beings”

First about  “saving life”

This means that one does what one can do to prevent that one directly or indirectly causes the death of one or more beings, also insofar as this is not prohibited by law.  

In the food sector this mainly results in the abandonment of firstly all types of food that are derived from animals (such as meat, milk and eggs), secondly food for which it is necessary to kill or damage plants (such as leafy vegetables or cane sugar), and thirdly food that has been processed by boiling or other types of heating (because by this heating large numbers of microbes, which are naturally found in fuel and / or food, are killed).

In areas other than food adherence to Vivism results in a far-reaching degree of caution in all human activities, including those in the economic field. Where for example Vegans refuse the use of certain materials, because there is animal suffering from them (e.g. ivory, natural silk and duck down), Vivists apart from that also limit their use of plant materials such as wood and paper as much as possible, because trees must be killed to obtain them. Furthermore Vivists also  spare plants that are known as weeds as much as possible. So-called vermin they only fight when this is absolutely unavoidable, and then at the most in a non-lethal way that is as animal-friendly as possible, (e.g. not poisoning a mouse, but catch it in a cage trap and release it elsewhere).

Environmental pollution is optimally avoided, also because indeed in many cases it is lethal (e.g. for fish).

In order to limit the killing of microbes as much as possible in principle no fire is made, since in this process huge numbers of these beings, naturally finding themselves in and on the burnt material, are killed. (For this reason among other things the use of motor fuel is avoided as much as possible (which in turn is particularly beneficial for environment and road safety).

Turning now to the “saving of well-being”

As far as man is concerned, some things already have been regulated by law in the area of ​​welfare protection. Regulations that aim to limit several kinds of hindrance by third parties (such as noise and odor nuisance) are clear examples of this. Similarly there are rules that protect the possession of money or good. Yet there is also a great deal in the area of ​​well-being that is not legally regulated, so that one can still ruin somebody’s life without having to fear any form of legal punishment; examples that spring to mind in this respect are  bullying, lying, cheating, speaking evil, opposing others unfoundedly, as well as causing nuisance that remains within the legal norms. In this respect a Vivist holds to the principle that he leaves behind everything  possible of his own accord, even if it’s not legally or otherwise prohibited. Thus for Vivists the age-old advice of life: “Don’t do to somebody else what you don’t want to be done to you”, is continuously up-to-date.

As far as animals are concerned, there are also a number of legal rules that aim to prevent the most harrowing forms of non-lethal animal suffering, and here as well Vivism goes much further. This by basically leaving behind everything possible  that can be assumed to be at least not pleasant for animals. In this respect Vivism also goes further than Veganism, which generally seeks to exclude pronounced animal suffering. Vivists in principle leave animals completely untouched, so that for their part these beings can retain their natural freedom to the greatest extent possible.

As far as welfare of plants is concerned, virtually nothing is legally regulated, but in this respect too there are many ways in which Vivists ensure that they don’t harm these co-creatures. For example they don’t use tea and tobacco, because these products are made out of plant leafs, whereas keeping these leafs is very important for health and therefore well-being of the concerning plants.

Sparing well-being of microbes Vivists do among other things by not only leaving behind heating food to temperatures in which these creatures lose their lives, but also to lower temperatures above about 30 degrees Celsius, because it can be assumed that microbes then will suffer severely or get too hot.

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 © Copyright Nicolas Pleumekers (Nature Protection Foundation)