I remember I was in a bicycle accident a few years ago and needed stitches because the under part of my bike sliced up my leg. After getting stitched up in the ER, the doctor asked me, “When was the last time you had a tetanus shot?” I told her it had been about 11 or 12 years. She told me that I needed one immediately. After about 5 minutes of her telling me why I should get it (versus me knowing that animal products are used in it), I decided to do it. Though I did make the conscious choice for stitches that were removable (versus the animal based ones that are absorbed into the system), it bothered me about making the conscious choice about getting the tet shot. I wonder if I was really at danger. What would have happened had I not done it? Was the doctor really valid in her concerns? Was I simply giving in to ignorant fear and probably not thinking too clearly because I was still in shock from the bike accident?
The other year, a good friend of mine had emergency root canal surgery. A strict raw foods vegan, he was torn about getting a prescription for a heavy antibiotic in which the caps were not vegan. He and I asked the pharmacist if she could order a vegan capsule for him, but they were not able to find it. Ultimately, he decided to take it, but felt really horrible about it.
How does one negotiate these situations? Many people who practice veganism also rely on medications, prescriptions, etc that were developed using animal ingredients and/or experimented on animals. This is not a judgmental question, just a question I have because I have a lot of people telling me they are 100% vegan in lifestyle, but I am wondering what “100%” really means. Is that possible for many people, when dealing with reliance on prescriptions, medications, surgery, etc? Please share your story or thoughts on this.