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Why do you think people say they are veg*n when they aren't?

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Old 07-25-2009, 06:02 PM   #166
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I think a definition of something can be useful and a timesaver, as long as there are enough people that know what the word means. Saying one is pescatarian or lacto-ovo vegetarian only works if the other person knows what that means.

Kaplods - you bring up a good point of 'vegetarians versus normal'. In a lot of places I'm sure that idea still exists, but overall the numbers of vegetarians and eco-awareness of food choices are rising, and 'labels' or definitions are becoming handier. In my opinion.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:18 PM   #167
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My husband is reading a book called "Mad Cow" which is by a cattle rancher turned vegetarian (vegan? not sure).

He says to me the other day, "This book is funny, it calls vegetarians who eat eggs and dairy ovo-lacto". He had never heard the term ovo-lacto or ovo or lacto vegetarian before. Here is a guy who has been vegetarian for 2 years and is in his mid 30s
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Old 11-15-2009, 01:25 PM   #168
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I *hate* it when people think vegetarians eat fish. I've been a lacto-ovo 'tarian for 20 years and I can't count the number of times people ask me if I eat fish. FISH ARE ANIMALS. What are they, made of broccoli? *sigh*
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Old 11-15-2009, 01:30 PM   #169
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I hate the fish thing too!

I'm just grinning because I saw this thread today, and realized I posted in it last year when I was just thinking about becoming vegetarian, and now I have been vegetarian for over a year
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:05 PM   #170
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I normally just tell people that "I eat Salmon on occasion, but beyond that I don't eat any other kind of meat". At restaurants or with new acquaintances I normally keep it short and just say "I don't eat meat." So there's no confusion. I'm very picky about the Salmon I eat; organic wild-caught Alaskan salmon. Also I don't want to be eating it on a constant basis. It's a rare treat for me, and I fear people relying on it so they don't have to leave their "meat meals" comfort zone.

I've been "pescetarian" for just barely a year. It's been a new and exciting change, finding out how to cook healthy nutritious meals, discovering that I actually DON'T despise veggies/beans. I'm still working on letting go of the Salmon, but beyond that I'm happy with my diet. The only other non-Vegan food I eat is eggs (just recently started again) as it's a quick, filling source of protein in the mornings for a very very poor college student.

I understand the confusion on both sides of the fence when someone says "I'm Vegan, but.." You're contradicting your previous statement by clearly saying that you eat something outside of that doctrine. I think that ends up coming out of mouths more often than it should because A) people are misinformed or confused about the actual terms they're using, or B) when put on the spot it's the easiest, quickest way to describe their diet. Let's face it, we don't always say the most intelligent or correct things when someone is questioning us and our beliefs.
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:32 PM   #171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieJ08 View Post
I hate the fish thing too!

I'm just grinning because I saw this thread today, and realized I posted in it last year when I was just thinking about becoming vegetarian, and now I have been vegetarian for over a year
How time flies, do you still eat fish?
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:13 PM   #172
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EZMONEY View Post
How time flies, do you still eat fish?
You better be careful, EZ. You keep hanging out in the veggie forum and you never know what might happen ...
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:34 PM   #173
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True story....

tonight....I am making my first ever spaghetti squash!!

a casserole...already cut it in half....knew I wasn't supposed to use the seeds but I threw the slimy stuff out too...

gonna bake it for an hour then shred it and do the rest..

wish me luck!
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:43 PM   #174
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Bake it good and long - it stays pretty crunchy for a long time. Or you might like it that way.
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:50 PM   #175
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Some people use it as an excuse to politely not eat (often as part of an eating disorder).
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:09 PM   #176
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There have been times in my life where my dairy consumption was virtually nil, and for years I hated honey, however, I would never label myself a vegan. I was eating less dairy probably for financial reasons. I am one of those rare adults that is lactose tolerant, not intolerant, I believe for me personally, I am meant to consume dairy, my ancestors obviously adapted to consuming it as adults to get nutrition through long, dark winters in Europe.

I appear to suffer no ill effects from not consuming meat, though.
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:13 AM   #177
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I think coming up with terms such as flexitarian, pollo-tarian, pescetarian, etc just kind of speaks volumes of how meat, especially red meat and the excess of it on certain dishes in (I can say for) American culture is so prevalent that if someone goes one or two meals or even a whole day without eating some type of meat or animal product, they are looked at as weird. I once had a couple of friends and one them was so big on eating out and eating lots of pork, chicken, and beef that one day I had a vegetarian breakfast (which before my recent incarnation wasn't abnormal for me), and I had a lacto vegetarian style lunch at a tea shop and he pointed it out to me and for some reason I decided to challenge this notion for the day and my snacks and even a dinner at a Chinese restaurant, I ate a vegetarian meal and even the waitress asked if I was one. For some reason I decided to eat spaghetti and meatballs for lunch the next day and felt a bit weird about it. But those friends ended up being bad friends anyway, so what the "hey".

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Old 12-23-2014, 03:04 PM   #178
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As a younger person, I can understand the frustration, I can see why its happened, but I can also say I don't see it changing in the way people want.

Someone used the religious example and its how I can relate to the frustration. I'm a Christian, to be specific, I'm foursquare. Most people don't even know what that is. It doesn't bother me so much people not knowing, I've realized that personally, I dont want people to know what I believe simply because I say it. I want people to SEE what I believe because I do it and live it. Not long ago though, it used to bother me how people didn't know what I was when I said "Christian Foursquare". Because when I say "Christian" I'm suddenly and automatically linked up with people who support things I don't. People start to think that I follow a child molester (because, for some people, all old men in churches are child molesters). They think I love it when a girl gets raped because she's informally dress's cause she's a "slut and deserves it". They think I want to see people who have abortions and homosexuals burn in ****. They think i believe woman have less value and dont belong in important jobs. They think I brain wash children when I lead kids church worship. I don't think ANY of those things or believe them. So I can relate!!!

As far as the word " vegetarian " goes, most of us young people don't know the difference. A lot of us think vegetarians can eat fish, yes fish is a meat, but we've been raised with the defintion of "some vegetarians eat fish". Vegans are no animal products, but so much of our food is processed we don't even know what animal products are. All we really know is vegans are no milk, no eggs, no fish. And that's because of the problems people have described... It comes from the generation before us being too loose with the word. Most of your servers in restaurant's? They fall into my age category. We just don't know, we've sort of been raised into these slightly askew definitions. The only people I know who are my age that know the difference are people who seriously study it and look it up. I had a friend who decided to go vegetarian once, she didn't look it up she just followed what she was raised to know. Vegetarians eat vegetables and fish. And once something is sort of "learned" its hard to "unlearn".

And think about the poor server too, because I can tell you that its just as confusing for them. Someone says vegetarian, they assume no meat, and then customer gets mad because they still eat fish, etc. I'm sure its a nightmare for them too even knowing the real definitions. No matter what they do, they're bound to run into problems. Even asking " what does vegetarian mean to you?" Can offend people. Not saying they can't do a better job, just saying it probably isn't easy.

I'm not trying to make excuses or down play the frustration at all, but language is an evolving thing. Meanings change all the time, "Cool" no longer means that something is cold, "Sick" can be good and bad, "Gay" doesn't just mean happy anymore, heck "literally" doesn't even mean "literally" anymore. When the purist of linguists use jargon that wasn't around fifty years ago. And eventually their will be a generation raised with that jargon as "the norm". Can you imagine how difficult it would be to suddenly take the word "Hot" and have it not mean "beautiful" or "attractive" anymore? Even on this forum alone, it would be difficult to unlearn. It's why I think the term "Vegetarian" is difficult to change and why people just keep misusing. They've been raised with that meaning.

And the way to solve this problem is equally as un-pleasent. As someone said before, if you change the definition, people get mad. You invent a new term, people get mad. You use the term incorrectly, people get mad. There's no easy solution which is why its so fought over and ends in angry heated discussions. Some people don't like labels, some people rely on that defintionntobliflve their life, etc.

I guess all we can do is choose our "ugly" in life and vent about it. I have to say, even as a non-vegetarian this was a really nice conversation to follow and I appreciate how calmly and fairly people presented their opinions, thoughts and frustrations. Its the best we can do! In the future, I don't see myself becoming vegetarian or vegan at all, but with what I've learned I'll definitely be careful about how I use those words and how I treat others since I know its a frustration now. Thanks for all I've learned!

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Old 12-23-2014, 03:40 PM   #179
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I really like what @sakurasky said above, although I have a different take:

Most of the labels that are applied to people indicate preferences, rather than absolutes. For example, if someone says they're gay, they prefer their own gender, and if someone says they're straight, they prefer the other gender (not taking into account gender variations of course)... and bi leaves a category for everyone else. It's a useful category because it describes how a person generally functions, and what they want in their day-to-day life. If a straight woman decided to experiment with a woman, it doesn't make her bi or gay, for instance. The title "straight" still describes her preference.

I see vegetarianism the same way. If you're a vegetarian, you prefer not to eat meat. It's not like you aren't physically capable of eating meat, and some people eat some meat despite that they consider themselves vegetarians. But who am I to define for someone else what vegetarianism means to them? And if they want to jump out of their category from time to time, so what?

Part of the distinction, though, is the reason people hold their preferences. I have a vegetarian friend who eats meat while she is on vacation, for instance. It's impractical to not eat meat in some countries and when people are feeding you traditional dishes it's impolite to refuse. But the thing is, she's a vegetarian for health reasons, not for moral reasons. So eating meat while she's on vacation isn't really a big deal. It's like how I let myself eat more calories on vacation, even though I'm more restrictive on a day-to-day basis. I'm a calorie-counter—and I'm still a calorie-counter if I go off track from time to time.

If you're a vegetarian for moral reasons, I'm not sure if you have the freedom to jump outside your "category" anymore—or at least not on purpose or regularly. But the thing is, you only have to answer to yourself. So it's still not up to me to tell you what's what.

I could see how other vegetarians might look at a self-proclaimed vegetarian eating chicken and say "that's not a real vegetarian, she's eating chicken" but the person is only not a vegetarian by YOUR standards. By her own standards she might be off track, or this might be a "cheat" day of some sort. But by judging her you're actually doing something far worse—pushing your own beliefs onto someone else when her reasons for being vegetarian might be very different from yours.

As an aside, I don't think it matters that the term "vegetarian" means different things when applied to a person. Despite that, the term is fairly regular when applied to food, and I'm pretty sure everyone knows some vegetarians eat fish and some don't, so that's a question that comes up. "Vegan" is certainly a standardized term, although admittedly difficult to accommodate because the weirdest things have animal products in them.

TL;DR:
I don't think people should judge others on their own terms.
People's reasons for being veg*n differ, and that matters.
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