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Abattoir    noun    

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Slaughterhouse

Our definition:  Industrial building in which animals are brutally killed en masse in order to be used in the food chain.  The RSPCA describes standard methods of slaughter in UK abattoirs and Animal Aid describes the all too frequent reality for animals in abattoirs when welfare laws, such as they are, are not enforced.

Albumen    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Egg white

Our definition:  The albumen, or white, of an egg, is mostly water with some dissolved protein called albumin.  In a fertilised egg a chick will develop inside the yolk which will feed him or her as he/she grows.  The albumen, wrapped as it is around the yolk,  is designed to keep the embryo (baby chick) moist and cushioned as he or she grows.

Alfalfa    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Clover-like plant used for fodder [Oxford definition of fodder =  “hay, straw etc as animal food”]

Our definition:  Taken from an excerpt of this article by the Global Healing Center – “The word “alfalfa” comes from the Arabic phrase, al-fac-facah, meaning “father of all foods.” It stands to reason, alfalfa is extremely nutritious. The extensive root system allows the plant to absorb a high level of nutrients from the soil. Alfalfa leaf contains essential vitamins including the entire spectrum of B-vitamins, A, D, E and K. Alfalfa Leaf is a source of iron, niacin, biotin, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. Alfalfa is a source of chlorophyll. Compared to other plants, alfalfa leaf is very high in protein and amino acids.”  Look here for ways to incorporate it into your diet, and look here to learn how to grow your own delicious alfalfa sprouts.

Anchovy    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Small, strong-flavoured fish of herring family.

Our definition:  From Encyclopædia Britannica – “any of numerous schooling saltwater fishes of the family Engraulidae (order Clupeiformes) related to the herring and distinguished by a large mouth, almost always extending behind the eye, and by a pointed snout. Most of the more than 100 species live in shallow tropical or warm temperate seas, where they often enter brackish water around river mouths. A few tropical anchovies inhabit freshwater.  Anchovies lay large numbers of elongate, transparent, floating eggs in spring and summer. The eggs hatch in about two days, and the larvae sink to the bottom. Young and adult anchovies feed on plankton and their growth is rapid. Adult anchovies are 10–25 cm (4–10 inches) long.”

Angora    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Fabric made from hair of angora goat or rabbit.

Our definition:  Angora yarn and the fabric made from it is made from the hair of these animals.  In factory farms angora rabbits are kept in separate wire cages and are forced to endure the excruciatingly painful ordeal of having the hair ripped from their bodies, EVERY THREE MONTHS.  They are slaughtered after 2 to 5 years of this.  Rabbits fortunate enough to have their hair cut or sheared still suffer the terrifying ordeal of being strapped down while shaved, and the miserable loneliness of being caged alone for the sake of protecting their fur.

Animal    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  1.  Living organism esp other than man having sensation and usually ability to move.  2.  Brutish person.

Our definition:  Any living being, including humans, which can feel pain and emotion and respond, physically and/or emotionally, to positive and negative stimuli accordingly.

Apiary    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Place where bees are kept.

Our definition:  A collection of man-made hives or colonies of bees kept for their honey. Excerpt from gentleworld.org: “most hives are now confined to large boxes (a completely foreign shape to bees) that are jostled and shipped around the country to pollinate crops and produce honey. This is stressful and confusing to the bees’ natural navigation systems. Along the way, bees are lost and killed, and may spread diseases from one infected hive to another.”

 Aquarium    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Tank for keeping fish etc

Our definition:   A prison for fish and water animals.  A ‘cage’ where living, sentient beings are forced to live in confinement, unable to roam freely or experience natural behaviour.*

Aviary    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Large cage or building for keeping birds.

Our definition:  A prison for birds.  A cage where living, sentient beings are forced to live in confinement, unable to roam freely or experience natural behaviour.*

*Of course, as vegans, we recognise that sometimes rescue organisations and individuals do need to use tanks and aviaries to house rescued animals which, having lived all their lives in captivity, could not survive in the wild.  Our condemnation of aviaries and aquariums comes from the practice of those who willingly and deliberately breed and keep animals in this confined and unnatural state for amusement, entertainment, or profit.

20 thoughts on “A a

  1. And today I found out why angora rabbits are a breed of rabbit. I always wondered why they existed, I should have known humans would have been involved. As if its not bad enough that the poor things have their fur in their eyes all the time and are more susceptible to breathing difficulties (angora buns, not humans).

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  2. Love this idea, have to admit even as a vegan my definition of an anchovy would have been the traditional one (even though I have never tasted one – which says something to about the way we absorb information without really questioning it), and I learned something reading this. I agree with the idea of developing a childrens version also.

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  3. Good idea. The only constr. crit. I have is that we need to be sure of our use of personal pronouns. Nonhuman animals are always she, he, her, him, they, them, or who, never it, that or which. You’ve got a few instances of the latter.

    Other than that, rock on.

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    • I agree with you 100%. I always do my best to avoid doing that but as most of these definitions are pasted from the web pages I’ve linked to, sometimes I accidentally miss those troubling its. Thanks for pointing this out, I will endeavour to find the offenders. 🙂

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