Why Some Vegans Are OK With Eating Oysters

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Sara Kate Gillingham)

If you assumed all vegans eat zero animal products, you assumed incorrectly.

Apparently, some make an exception for oysters. Why?

The reasons why oysters are allowed? Cultivated oysters make up 95% of the oysters consumed but have minimal negative impact on the environment — in fact, they can help improve water quality. (See a tour of an oyster farm in Massachusetts.)

Oysters also don’t have a central nervous system, so the theory is that they do not feel pain like we or other animals do.

So while milk, eggs, and even honey are excluded from a vegan diet, some people make exceptions for this popular bivalve. We’re not sure if that still qualifies them to be called vegans anymore, but what do you think?

Read more: Consider the Oyster from Slate