It's not at all extreme to be a vegan. Indeed, what is extreme is to not be a vegan, if you believe that animals are not things and do matter morally. That is, if you reject the idea that animals are just 'things', which you almost certainly do, then you should see veganism as a moral imperative.
GARY L. FRANCIONE: You probably think animals matter morally. That is, you don’t think that non-human animals are merely things to whom we can owe no moral obligations. You accept the animal welfare position that just about everyone embraces and that is so uncontroversial that it is the law in many places: we may use and kill animals but we have a moral (and legal) obligation to treat them ‘humanely’ and not impose ‘unnecessary’ suffering on them. You find cruelty to animals morally abhorrent.
But you probably also eat meat and other animal products, such as dairy and eggs, wear clothing obtained from animals, and use toiletries and other products that contain animal ingredients. You may use animals in other contexts as well.
You’ve heard about people – vegans – who do not eat, wear, or otherwise use animals or animal products. You haven’t considered that option because you think it is too extreme. You think we ought to treat animals ‘humanely’ but it goes too far to say that we should stop altogether our dietary and other institutionalized uses of animals.
In this article, I hope to convince you that it’s not at all extreme to be a vegan; indeed, what is extreme – in the sense of being extremely confused – is to not be a vegan if you believe that animals are not things and do matter morally. That is, if you reject the idea that animals are just things, which you almost certainly do, then you should see veganism as a moral imperative. SOURCE…