Long story short, some do, some don’t. Like with any group of people, some vegans are pro-vaccine and some are not. People may assume that all vegans are against vaccinating but that’s definitely not true.
This is a topic that’s often discussed in vegan parenting groups online, and can be very controversial. I get asked about it a lot and have been meaning to do a post about it for a while now.
My kids are fully vaccinated and I believe that’s the best choice for our family. I don’t really want to get into a debate with anyone about that because people have strong opinions on both sides and it can often turn into an argument.
But whether people believe in vaccination or not, they might wonder whether vaccines are really suitable for vegans and how vegans feel about it ethically. I’m sure some vegans will have different opinions, but this is how I feel about it. These are entirely just my opinions as a vegan parent.
Some vaccines do contain animal ingredients, and like all medication, vaccines are tested on animals. So technically you could say they are not suitable for vegans. But if you take the definition of veganism as, “a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose”, then you might agree it’s morally acceptable to use medication when necessary.
Vaccines are a little more complicated, since you could argue that they may not be absolutely necessary, but more of a precaution. I have thought about this from a vegan point of view, and I see it as they save lives, so are important and even necessary.
I also think as parents we have a responsibility to look after our children and do what we think is best for them. So if they need medication, we have to give it to them. If someone chooses to not take medication themselves, I guess that is their choice, but for children we have to give them medication when it’s needed.
As a vegan, I really don’t agree with animal testing or experimenting and think it’s incredibly cruel. We can avoid products that are tested on animals as far as possible, by buying cruelty free cleaning products, make up, shampoo, etc. but drugs and vaccines are required to be tested on animals. We can still campaign against animal testing as there are alternatives, and support charities like the Dr Hadwen Trust who fund research that doesn’t use animals. The Dr Hadwen Trust believes that animal testing is not necessary for medical research.
I would love to know how other people feel about it, but please keep comments respectful to others.